Ari Gold (musician)

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Ari Gold
Ari Gold in 2007
Ari Gold in 2007
Background information
Also known asGoldNation, Sir Ari
BornFebruary 11, 1974
OriginThe Bronx, New York City, U.S.
DiedFebruary 14, 2021(2021-02-14) (aged 47)
GenresR&B, soul, dance, pop, adult contemporary
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, music producer, actor, model
Years active1996 – 2021
LabelsGold 18 Records, JRED Music

Ari Gold[1] (February 11, 1974 – February 14, 2021) was an American pop singer and songwriter. He was openly gay,[2][3][4][5] and regularly addressed being both Jewish and gay. He starred in an autobiographical theater production Ari Gold– Untitled: The Making of a Gay Pop Star.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Gold was born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, in an Orthodox Jewish family.[6] He was discovered while singing at his brother Steven's bar mitzvah at the age of five.[7]

He was awarded top prize alongside Steven and his other brother, future comedian Elon, at the First Annual Jewish Children's Song Festival. Gold landed his first job as a professional singer and actor by performing the lead role on the CBS Children's recording Pot Belly Bear: Song and Stories. The album went platinum, and led to his successful career as a child vocalist. He sang over 400 jingles, and provided various voices for Cabbage Patch Kids[8] and cult favorite Jem. He also provided vocals for the song "A Father Should Be..." by Starlight Girl Ba Nee, which appeared in the episodes The Jem Jam Part 1, and the final episode A Father Should Be....[9][10] He also performed back-up vocals for Diana Ross[11] and Cyndi Lauper.[12]

After graduating from the Ramaz School in Manhattan, Gold studied at Yale University. He then transferred to New York University,[13] where he would receive his Bachelor of Arts.

Musical career[edit]


Gold began performing original music at Joe's Pub, Fez, China Club, Barracuda, Metronome, Avalon, Pyramid Club, Splash, Bar d'O, Starlight, and CBGB's. He recorded the material for his self-titled 2001 debut album, Ari Gold, in which Gold uses male pronouns, and shows men being affectionate with one another in his music videos.[14] The album won gold at the 2002 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Debut Recording. Later that year, Gold was named one of Genre Magazine's "Men We Love".[citation needed]

His debut also caught the attention of songwriter Desmond Child. Their first collaboration "I'm All About You" (Island Universal) was on the Top 20 UK singles charts, and a Top 10 dance hit.[15] The song was co-written and produced with UK garage musicians DJ Luck & MC Neat.

2003–2005: Space Under Sun[edit]

In 2003, Grammy award-winning producer David Morales remixed "I'll Be Here", which Ari co-wrote with Automagic for Nashom of The Ones ("Flawless") solo project. The song became a Top-10 Billboard dance hit, and was featured on Queer As Folk. In 2003, Gold began recording his second album. In January 2004, Gold's second album Space Under Sun was released on his label GOLD18 Records. It debuted at No. 1 on the Out-voice Charts. The Advocate wrote that his "equal parts of sly, finger-snappin' sass and earthy R&B finesse," created the "crisp...sound of a platinum-selling recording."[citation needed]

The video single "Wave of You" debuted as a DVD extra, and became a mainstay during the launch of Logo TV, included in its list for the best videos of 2005. MetroSource magazine also named Ari "One of the 25 People That Make Us Proud". Gold's appearance in the VH1 special My Coolest Years: In the Closet solidified Gold's status as an emerging gay icon. In 2005, Space Under Sun took home the Out music Award for Outstanding New Recording.

On the Space Under Sun World Tour, Gold opened for RuPaul and Chaka Khan,[16] and headlined clubs and festivals in Europe (France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, and Czech Republic). He also toured Canada, and in over 25 cities across the US, including the world's largest stage at the Reno Hilton.

2005: The Remixes[edit]

In September 2005, Gold released his first remix album, The Remixes. The album was named the No. 2 Best Independent Release of 2005, according to national magazine The Advocate. The first single, "Love Will Take Over" became a Billboard Dance Chart hit. The "Love Will Take Over" video has been played on HBO Zone, Rock America, and For Promo Only, and claimed the top spot for two weeks in a row on MTV's Logo. In December 2005, Gold released Ari Gold: The Photo-book.

2006–2008: Transport Systems[edit]

In 2006, Gold began recording his album in Los Angeles and New York City where he began working with Steve Skinner and Grammy Award-winning producer Joe Hogue on the album. In 2007, Gold released his third studio album, Transport Systems. Gold debuted on the Billboard Top 10 charts for the first time, six months after winning the prestigious 13th Annual USA Songwriting Competition for "Where The Music Takes You", where he won the Overall Grand Prize. The album features special guests Adam Joseph, Mr. Man, Sasha Allen and Dave Koz. LGBT-focused magazine Pink wrote his lyrics lingered on "gender, sexuality, addiction and race."[17] In early 2008, the song "Love Wasn't Built in a Day" won in The 7th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best R&B Song.[18]

2010–2013: Between the Spirit and the Flesh[edit]

In 2010, Gold returned to the studio to begin the recording sessions for his fourth studio album. In October 2010, Gold released the lead single "Make My Body Rock". In May 2011, Gold released his fourth album Between the Spirit & the Flesh under the name Sir Ari. In mid-2011, Gold released the second single "Sparkle". In February 2012, Gold released "My Favorite Religion" as the third single.

In 2013, Gold released his second remix album Play My F**k Remix.

2015–2021: Soundtrack to Freedom[edit]

In July 2015, Gold released his single "Sex Like a Pornstar". In August 2015, Gold released his fifth studio album, Soundtrack to Freedom, under the name GoldNation.

Other ventures[edit]


Gold has written songs for #1 Billboard dance recording artist Kevin Aviance on both his debut Box of Chocolates and the Tony Moran-produced Entity. He also worked with Diane Warren and Stephen Bray on 1980s teenscream Tommy Page's last album, Ten till Midnight, in which Page covered Gold's first written song, Dance To the Beat of My Heart.[19] Gold's music has been licensed to numerous independent films, including Boy Culture, Shortbus, and Latin Boys Go to Hell,[20] for which he served as the music supervisor, and appeared in the film performing his song "See Through Me". He also served as music supervisor on the documentary Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema.[21]

Modeling career[edit]

Gold appeared in fashion magazines such as W and VIBE, for which he was photographed by Walter Chin, and chosen as one of the Stylistics in the January 2002 issue. He was named one of "The 9 Hottest Men in NYC" by H/X magazine, and one of the Hottest Men in the World by DNA magazine. After interviewing and photographing Gold for AXM magazine, Boy George chose him to be the spokesmodel for his clothing line RUDE.

Illness and death[edit]

Gold died from leukemia on February 14, 2021, three days after his 47th birthday.[22][23] RuPaul, whom Gold had described as a mentor, was among those to express condolences on social media.[22]


  • 2001: See Through Me
  • 2004: Wave of You
  • 2004: He's on My Team (featuring Kendra Ross)
  • 2005: Love Will Take Over (JKriv's Love Lounge Radio Mix)
  • 2007: Where the Music Takes You (featuring Sasha Allen)
  • 2007: Love Wasn't Built in a Day (featuring Dave Koz)
  • 2008: Human (featuring Mr. Man)
  • 2009: I Can Forgive You
  • 2010: Mr. Mistress
  • 2010: Make My Body Rock
  • 2011: Sparkle (featuring Sarah Dash)
  • 2012: My Favourite Religion
  • 2013: Play My F**Z Record
  • 2013: Love Goddess (Remix)
  • 2015: Sex Like a Pornstar
  • 2016: Turn Out the Night
  • 2017: Make Music


Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus Child (voice)
1986–88 Jem Ba Nee (singing voice)
1997 Latin Boys Go to Hell Trash Pop Star cameo / composer: song "See Through Me", music supervisor
1999 The Olive Tree Ari supporting role
2006 Paws for Style Himself cameo
2007 Starrbooty Tyrone Cohen supporting role
2021 Mister Sister Jackson supporting role
TV documentary
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Sex 'n' Pop Himself episode: "It Ain't Necessarily So"
2006 NewNowNext Music Himself
2006 Phone Sex Caller
2006 Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema Himself also music supervisor
2007 Indie Sex: Teens Himself
2007 Indie Sex: Extremes Himself

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Category Nominated Work Result
Outmusic Awards
2002 Outstanding Debut Recording "Ari Gold" won
2004 Out Song of the Year "He's on My Team" nominated
2005 Outstanding New Recording "Space Under Sun" won
USA Songwriting Competition
2007 "Where the Music Takes You" won
Independent Music Awards
2008 Best R&B Song "Love Wasn't Built In A Day" won[24]


  1. ^ "Ari Gold - Rock Jem". Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  2. ^ F. Daniel Kent (October 19, 2007). "Ari Gold moves forward with Transport Systems" Archived October 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine,
  3. ^ Alexandra J. Wall (October 3, 2003). "Openly gay pop singer mixes spiritual, sexual",
  4. ^ a b Gold, Ari (December 21, 2006). "It's not easy being a gay pop star". Archived from the original on January 7, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Event: 'Ari Gold – Untitled: The Making of a Gay Pop Star' @ Laboratory Theater,
  6. ^ Elkin, Michael (February 10, 2011). "Rockin' and Roilin' the Waters". Philadelphia: The Jewish Exponent. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  7. ^ "From Bar Mitzvah to MTV: Ari Gold's Pop Journey". Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  8. ^ "Ari Gold Queeried interview",
  9. ^ "The Jem Jam Part 1 Cast & Crew List",
  10. ^ "Ari Gold: Credits",
  11. ^ "Gold, Ari (b. 1977)",
  12. ^ Portwood, Jerry (February 15, 2021). "Ari Gold, Trailblazing Queer Dance Music Artist, Dead at 47". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  13. ^ "Ari Gold, yeshiva student-turned-pop star and LGBTQ icon, dies of cancer at 47". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  14. ^ "RuPaul, Other Stars Mourn Pioneering Gay Musician Ari Gold". February 16, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  15. ^ King, John Paul (February 16, 2021). "Music loses a beloved queer icon as Ari Gold passes from cancer at 47". Los Angeles Blade: LGBTQ News, Rights, Politics, Entertainment. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  16. ^ Portwood, Jerry (February 15, 2021). "Ari Gold, Trailblazing Queer Dance Music Artist, Dead at 47". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  17. ^ "Pink Picks Entertainment" Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Pink (magazine) (Fall 2007): pp.18. Fall 2007
  18. ^ "ALBUM CATEGORY WINNERS". The Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009.
  19. ^ Tommy Page - Ten Til Midnight, retrieved May 17, 2022
  20. ^ "Ari Gold". IMDb. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  21. ^ "Sort by Popularity - Most Popular Movies and TV Shows With Ari Gold". IMDb. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  22. ^ a b Street, Mikelle (February 14, 2021). "Trailblazing Queer Artist, Ari Gold, Dies at Age 47". Out. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  23. ^ Krol, Charlotte (February 15, 2021). ""Pioneer in pop" DJ and dance music artist Ari Gold dies aged 47". NME. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  24. ^ "ALBUM CATEGORY WINNERS". The Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009.

External links[edit]