Todrick Hall

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Todrick Hall
Todrick Hall by Hauke Musicaloris.jpg
Born (1985-04-04) April 4, 1985 (age 33)
Plainview, Texas, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • director
  • choreographer
  • executive producer
  • drag queen
  • YouTuber
  • Judge on RuPaul's Drag Race
Years active 1999–present
Television American Idol, RuPaul's Drag Race
Musical career
Origin Plainview, Texas
Genres
Labels Independent
Associated acts
Website www.todrickhall.com

Todrick Hall (born April 4, 1985) is an American singer, actor, dancer, director, drag queen, choreographer, songwriter and YouTuber. He first gained attention on the ninth season of American Idol, where he made it to the semi-finals. He then became known as a YouTube personality and judge on RuPaul's Drag Race.[1][2] He has released several albums and also appeared on television and on tour. From 2016 to 2017, Hall starred as Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Later in 2017, he began appearances as Billy Flynn in Chicago on Broadway.

Early life[edit]

Todrick Hall was born in Plainview, Texas, on April 4, 1985. His family consists of his mother, father, one brother, and a stepfather. Hall began studying ballet at nine-years-old, and later worked with Fantasia in The Color Purple. He also appeared in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and performed with Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Career[edit]

2009–2010: American Idol[edit]

On August 24, 2009, Hall auditioned to the ninth season of American Idol in Dallas, Texas. He sang a self-composed song mentioning the judges – Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and guest judge Joe Jonas – to plead his case for inclusion in the program. All four judges approved of his participation; he went into Hollywood week and eventually the semi-finals.

In the Top 24, he sang Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and in the Top 20, he performed Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It". He was eliminated in the Top 16 on 11 March 2010 after his rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love;" he was one of four contestants eliminated in that round, and thus ranked between 13th and 16th overall.

2011–2013: Career growth and YouTube fame[edit]

Hall joined YouTube on May 27, 2006, and posted his first video to the site, a performance of "It's Hard to Say Goodbye", in 2008. In following years, his audience has grown considerably: as of March 2018, Hall currently has 2.84 million subscribers on YouTube, and as of March 2018, his videos have been viewed 531.9 million times.[3] Hall's videos include several of his own original songs and music videos, choreographed flash mobs for Ariana Grande[4] and Beyoncé performed in an actual Target store,[5] (the latter of which Beyoncé personally recognized Hall for),[6] musical collaborations with Pentatonix, and personal updates.

In May 2011, he released a video audition for the third season of Glee titled "I Wanna Be on Glee", for possible inclusion in the show.[7] Though the video was popular, Hall was not cast in the program. In November 2013, Virgin America produced a pop-music safety video directed by Jon M. Chu with music by Jean-Yves Decornet. Hall wrote the song and lyrics and starred in the video.[8]

In December 2013, Hall released a Christmas album entitled Dear Santa, with covers of "This Christmas" and "Sleigh Bells", produced by wiidope as well as original songs "So Cold" and "SplitsOnXmasTrees".[9]

2014–2015: Pop Star High and Todrick docuseries[edit]

Throughout 2014 and 2015, Hall produced and released a web series on his YouTube channel called Pop Star High. The project spawned several videos and his second studio album also called Pop Star High.

On October 22, 2014, MTV announced Todrick, a docuseries following Hall, would premiere in 2015. On 20 December 2014, Hall produced and appeared in a commercial for the series and featured other celebrities' holiday wishes. Eight episodes of the docuseries were ordered and aired throughout 2015.[10]

In October 2015, he was picked as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month and was featured on NBC's Today show hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and broadcast nationally where he performed live his single "Wind It Up".

2016–2017: Straight Outta Oz, Broadway, and RuPaul's Drag Race[edit]

Todrick Hall on his "Straight Outta Oz"-Tour (2017)

Hall appeared as a guest judge on the eighth season of RuPaul's Drag Race; the episode, which featured a Wizard of Oz-inspired challenge, first aired on April 11, 2016. Hall reappeared as a full-time judge for RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars 2 later in 2016 and again for the ninth season aired throughout 2017.

Along with Drag Race, Hall frequently appeared on Logo TV's game show Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul alongside other celebrities. A second Season of Gay for Play is expected.

On June 23, 2016, Todd self-released his third album, Straight Outta Oz. Straight Outta Oz is a visual concept album that uses the imagery of The Wizard of Oz to explore Todrick's own life and rise to fame. The project's first video was posted to YouTube on June 23, 2016 as well.[11] Shortly thereafter, Hall announced the Straight Outta Oz Tour to promote the album. The tour originally ran between July 7, and August 12, 2016 in the United State and Canada.

The Straight Outta Oz Tour was interrupted by Hall's casting in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.[12] Hall starred as Lola, a drag queen cabaret performer. Hall's performance was well received by critics. He performed as Lola from November 1, 2016, to March 1, 2017.

The Straight Outta Oz Tour was revived in 2017 and will run again between March 30, and June 5, in various North American, European, and Australian locations.[13] It was accompanied by an expanded deluxe edition the deluxe edition that included songs that were featured on the tour but not on the original version of the album. Additionally, the album included an extended version and new video for "Wrong Bitch" featuring Bob the Drag Queen, and a rerecorded version of Todrick's previous single "Low", now featuring RuPaul.

In August 2017, he had a cameo as a back-up dancer in the music video for Taylor Swift's song, Look What You Made Me Do.[14]

From November 30, 2017, to January 14, 2018, played Billy Flynn in a limited engagement role in Chicago.[15] During his tenure, the show had its best-grossing week in its 21-year Broadway history.[16]

In December he released the documentary film Behind the Curtain about the production behind Straight Outta Oz. It was screened in select theatres and later released on home video. Later that month he had a guest appearance in the Bob's Burgers Season 8 episode “The Bleakening” as drag queen Miss Triple-Xmas (or Cleavage to Beaver) performing the song "Twinkly Lights".[17] He also released a medley of covers of songs from the Pitch Perfect film series that was featured on the Pitch Perfect 3 Special Edition soundtrack.

2018–present: Forbidden[edit]

In March 2018 he announced his new visual album follow-up to Straight Outta Oz called Forbidden. It was released on March 27, 2018. To promote the album, Hall will embark on Forbidden: The Tour across the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.[18]

Artistry[edit]

Hall is a baritenor with a soulful, expressive voice, including falsetto; in addition to a singer, Hall is also a rapper. The genre of his works include R&B, pop, hip hop, neo-soul, funk, and musical theatre. Many of his lyrics include elements of social commentary, such as gun violence in and against black communities in "Water Guns" (featuring Jordin Sparks), acceptance of interracial relationships in "Color" (featuring Jay Armstrong Johnson) and queer culture; Hall writes and produces much of his own music with Jeeve Ducornet and wiidope. Hall also posts musical tributes to his favorite musical artists such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift. These tributes feature elaborately-produced mashups of the artists' songs sung by Hall.

Hall's music videos often feature extravagant production value not typically associated with artists outside major labels. Hall's videos often include bespoke costumes and urban fashion, elaborate sets, and extensive choreography, much of which is designed or created by Hall himself. He frequently directs his own videos as well. As part of his style, many of Hall's music videos include drag as a central component, either featuring Hall in drag himself or famous drag queens including RuPaul, Bob the Drag Queen, Willam Belli, and Alaska Thunderfuck, among others.

Hall's fans call themselves "Toddlerz".[citation needed]

Selected videography[edit]

2010–11[edit]

  • It Gets Better
  • McDonald's Drive Thru Song
  • Beyonce End of Time Flash Mob
  • I Wanna Be On Glee
  • We Found Love, duet with Siri
  • Without U, duet with Tori Kelly (Creator; singer)

2012–13[edit]

  • Once Upon a Crime (Episodes 1-4)
  • Keeping Up with the KarTRASHYans (3 episodes)
  • Grown Woman Disney Parody
  • Beauty and the Beat
  • How The Grinch Stole Crenshaw
  • Dear Santa
  • Disney Dudez
  • Todrick Hall's The Wizard of Ahhhs feat. Pentatonix
  • Hold On, We're Going Home
  • The Hungry Games
  • Mean Gurlz
  • Spell Block Tango (as Scar from The Lion King)
  • Beyoncé (2013) – choreographer – Blow on YouTube
  • Beyonce (2013) -actor [uncredited] – "Superpower"

2014[edit]

  • Pop Star High on YouTube (8 episodes)
  • Once Upon a Crime (Episodes 5 & 6)
  • Opening Act for the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards
  • Twerking in the Rain
  • Mary Poppin-Dem-Pills
  • Cinderfella
  • Mean Boys
  • All That Azz
  • Bridesmaidz 2
  • Weavegirlz
  • Grown Woman
  • Disney Dudez 2
  • Snow White and the Seven Thugs
  • Freaks Like Me (feat. the cast of Dance Moms)
  • Disney Dudez 3
  • #BandCamp (with boyband IM5)
  • Cell Black Django
  • Alice in WeHoLand
  • Splits on Christmas Trees
  • Bitch Perfect

2015[edit]

  • DRIVE
  • 90s Disney (feat. Shoshana Bean)
  • 4 Beyoncé (Tribute for Beyoncé)
  • 4 Gaga (Tribute for Lady Gaga)
  • 4 Rihanna (Tribute for Rihanna)
  • 4 Taylor (Tribute for Taylor Swift)
  • Beauty and the Beat Boots
  • Bitch Better Have My Money
  • Pretty Boys (Public Service Announcement)
  • Evolution of Disney
  • Mickey Minaj
  • Pentatodrix (Parody of Pentatonix)
  • Invisible (Cover)
  • Low (Original Song)
  • What They Say (feat. Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
  • Monday Nights (MTV)
  • The Birthday Dance (MTV)
  • Who Let the Freaks Out (Original Song) (MTV)
  • Haterz (Original Song) (MTV)
  • Epic Love (Original Song) (MTV)
  • Wind It Up (Original Song) (MTV)
  • Titaniqua (MTV)
  • You Unfollowed Me (Original Song) (MTV) (feat. Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
  • Hocus Broke-us
  • Dem Cakes Tho (Original Song) (MTV)
  • Youngblood
  • Peter Perry (MTV)

2016[edit]

2017[edit]

2018[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2015 Hit RECord on TV Lead High School Boy Episode: "Re: cord" "What They Say" segment
2015 MTV's Todrick Himself Reality series star
2016 Dance-Off Juniors Guest Judge 10 episodes
2016 Sing It! Milo Episode: "The Chicken Theory?!"
2016 Christmas All Over Again Young Breezy Television film
2017 Bob's Burgers Miss Triple X-Mas (voice) Episode: "The Bleakening"
2018 Muppet Babies Carlos (voice) Episode: "Frogs of a Feather"
Theatre roles
Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Color Purple Bobby, Harpo (understudy), ensemble Broadway
2010–2011 Memphis Gator (understudy), ensemble Broadway
2016–2017 Kinky Boots Lola/Simon Broadway
2017–2018 Chicago Billy Flynn Broadway

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilation album[edit]

  • MTV's Todrick: The Music, Vol. 1 (2015)

EP[edit]

  • Dear Santa (2013)

Singles[edit]

  • "It Gets Better" (2010)
  • "I Wanna Be On Glee" (2011)
  • "The Bieber" (2011)
  • "Just Love" (2011)
  • "Barack Yo' Body" (2011)
  • "#SplitsOnTrees" (featuring Unterreo Edwards) (2013)
  • "The Wizard of Ahhhs" (with Pentatonix) (2013)
  • "It Gets Better" (acoustic) (2013)
  • "Hold On We're Going Home" (featuring Chester Lockhart) (2013)
  • "Freaks Like Me" (featuring Mack Z & the ALDC) (2014)
  • "Disney Dudez 2" (with IM5) (2014)
  • "Disney Dudez 3" (featuring IM5) (2014)
  • "IM5's Fancy" (with IM5) (2014)
  • "Monsterbia" (with IM5) (2014)
  • "Evolution of JB" (with IM5) (2014)
  • "Cell Block Django" (2014)
  • "Low" (2015) (Note: A new version of Low was featured in Straight Outta Oz, with RuPaul)

Tours[edit]

  • Twerk du Soleil (2013)
  • Twerk the Halls (2014)
  • Toddlerz Ball (2015)
  • Straight Outta Oz (2016–2017)
  • America: The Forbidden Tour (2018)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parker, Lyndsey. "Season 9 Idol Todrick Hall Now Managed by Scooter Braun". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ Avery, Dan. "Logo Announces Contestants for "RuPaul's All Star Drag Race" Season 2". Newnownext.com. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Todrick Hall". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  4. ^ "Ariana Grande Gets Flash'd by Todrick Hall – Episode 1". YouTube. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  5. ^ "Beyonce End Of Time Target Flash Mob". YouTube. 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  6. ^ "Thanks, Todrick Hall!". YouTube. 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  7. ^ "I Wanna Be on Glee". YouTube. 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  8. ^ "Virgin America Safety Video #VXsafetydance". YouTube. 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  9. ^ "Dear Santa by Todrick Hall on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  10. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2014-10-22). "YouTube's Todrick Hall Sets MTV Unscripted Series". Variety. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  11. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved June 4, 2018. 
  12. ^ todrickhall (August 16, 2016). "Todrick is Coming to Broadway!!!". Retrieved June 4, 2018 – via YouTube. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Taylor Swift's 'Look What ...' Video Decoded: 13 Things You Missed". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  15. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Todrick Hall Returns to Broadway in Chicago Beginning November 30", Playbill, Nov 30, 2017; and Baron, Tricia. "Todrick Hall Takes First Bow in Chicago", TheatreMania.com, December 1, 2017
  16. ^ "Broadway Grosses: Chicago Celebrates Best Grossing Week in 21-Year History", Broadway.com, January 2, 2018
  17. ^ "Todrick Hall Makes Drag Queen Cameo In 'Bob's Burgers'". Tubefilter.com. December 14, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018. 
  18. ^ "Tickets". Todrickhall.com. Retrieved April 11, 2018. 

External links[edit]