Out Recording Artist Darren Hayes Says Career Suffered Because He Looked too Gay

Sunday March 13, 2022
Originally published on March 3, 2022

Out recording artist Darren Hayes of Savage Garden recalled in an interview how his career suffered when a record label dropped its support of his first solo album because they thought he looked too gay.

"It came from the top in New York and the message was, 'He looks gay when he moves, so we have to reshoot that video, and don't let him dance,'" Hayes, 49, told the Herald Sun, referencing the music video for the album's lead single "Insatiable." (Story is behind a paywall.)

Hayes added that the label said, "we don't know what to do with this" and pulled its support behind the promotion of the album, titled "Spin."

UK newspaper The Daily Mail said that "Spin" was "shelved in the U.S."

That move, Hayes said, "stopped'' his career in America. He said he suffered a similar fate with respect to Australia. The label sent him to Britain, "where the album was huge, and that gave me a career in Europe," Hayes went on to say.

Indeed, The Daily Mail recalled, "Spin" hit the European charts at the No. 2 spot right off, and went on to sell two million copies globally.

The singer related how he struggled with "grief about my relationship to my sexuality, and grief about my career at the peak of my Savage Garden fame," and added: "The audience never truly knew who I was. And that made me so deeply sad."

But living authentically is the best validation, and Hayes achieved that with his marriage to husband Richard Cullen in 2006, after civil partnerships became legal there in 2004. A decade later, full marriage equality became available to same-sex families in England and Wales.

Hayes "recently released his first track in a decade, titled 'Let's Try Being In Love,' which he will perform at the 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade this month," The Daily Mail noted.