I Am What I Am (Broadway musical song)

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"I Am What I Am" is a song originally introduced in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles. The song is the finale number of the musical's first act, and performed by the character of Albin Mougeotte, first played by George Hearn.[1] His version appears on the original cast album released in 1983.[2] The song was composed by Jerry Herman, an openly gay man.

Gloria Gaynor version[edit]

"I Am What I Am"
Single by Gloria Gaynor
from the album I Am Gloria Gaynor
B-sideMore Than Enough (7")
Format7", 12"
GenreSoul, disco
Length5:56 (album version & 12"), 3:51 (7")
Songwriter(s)Jerry Herman
Producer(s)Joel Diamond
Gloria Gaynor singles chronology
"I Am What I Am"

The song was released as a single by Gloria Gaynor in 1983 and went on to become one of the singer's best known songs. Producer Joel Diamond recognized the song's disco potential when he saw La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway and arranged for Gaynor - whose 1978 ...Park Avenue Sound album he'd produced - to record it.[3] A club hit in America, Gaynor's version of "I Am What I Am" was a Top 40 hit throughout Europe becoming established as a global gay anthem.

Track listing[edit]

A. "I Am What I Am" – 3:51
B. "More Than Enough" – 4:46
A. "I Am What I Am" (Extended Version) – 5:56
B. "I Am What I Am" (Dub Mix) – 5:10

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983-84) Peak
Belgium[6] 36
Germany[7] 35
Netherlands (MegaCharts)[8] 37
Switzerland[9] 20
UK Singles Chart (OCC)[10] 13
U.S. Dance Music/Club Play Singles (Billboard)[11] 3
U.S. R&B Singles (Billboard)[12] 82

Other versions[edit]

Other use[edit]


  1. ^ Summers, Claude J. (2004). The Queer Encyclopedia of Music, Dance, & Musical Theater. Cleis Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-57344-198-8.
  2. ^ "La Cage Aux Folles (Original Cast Recording) by La Cage Aux Folles (Original Broadway Cast) on iTunes". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  3. ^ Arena, James (2013). First Ladies of Disco: 32 Stars Discuss the Era and Their Singing Careers. Jefferson NC: McFarland & Company. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7864-7581-0.
  4. ^ "Gloria Gaynor - I Am What I Am (Vinyl) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  5. ^ "Gloria Gaynor - I Am What I Am (Vinyl) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  6. ^ "Gloria Gaynor - I Am What I Am" (in Dutch). www.ultratop.be. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  7. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts" (in German). www.offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  8. ^ "Discografie Gloria Gaynor" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  9. ^ "Gloria Gaynor - I Am What I Am" (in German). hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  10. ^ "GLORIA GAYNOR | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  11. ^ "Gloria Gaynor Chart History". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  12. ^ "Gloria Gaynor Chart History". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  13. ^ "Soy lo que Soy | 1984 archivos - Sandra Mihanovich | Sitio Oficial" (in Spanish). www.sandramihanovich.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  14. ^ "Karen Mulder - I Am What I Am" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  15. ^ "The Words and Music of Jerry Herman: Tap Your Troubles Away - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  16. ^ "Linda Eder Chart History". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  17. ^ "Music Music Music - John Barrowman Official Site". www.johnbarrowman.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  18. ^ "I Am What I Am (TV Final Mix) - Single by Amanda Lear on Apple Music". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  19. ^ "The Story Of The Gay & Lesbian Kingdom Of The Coral Sea Islands". henriettahudson.com. 2015-04-04. Retrieved 2018-05-28.