In his new single, "Mama Told Me," Newell's … [16][17] In the sixth and final season, he was not a part of the regular cast, but he did appear as a recurring guest star. Zoey Clarke (Levy) is a whip-smart computer coder who's making her way in San Francisco. [3] He never had any formal voice lessons before landing the part on Glee. Like many femme boys and girls, Newell grew up playing with dolls, which his masculine male family members reprimanded him for. Back in that brick building, Newell tells me about his most recent achievement—making it to Broadway. In the years since, Newell has made a name for himself as a recording artist. After playing a trans girl on season 3 of the TV hit series, Glee, Newell has found a place for The pastor eventually left the church, Newell and his family still attend. Watch our exclusive video interview with Newell above. If you missed the boat for season one, you’ll definitely want to take the opportunity to jump on board. [28] In preparation, he began training with NYC voice teacher Mike Ruckles. 2012 machte er seinen Abschluss an der Bishop Fenwick High School, dort war er im Schulchor, im Improvisationstheaterchlub, Kostümclub, Footballteam und im Kirchenchor.Für Herbst 2012 war er eigentlich auf dem Berklee College angenommen worden, jedoch zog er nach Los Angeles, da ihn das Angebot gemacht wurde, auch in der vierten Staffel von Glee aufzutreten. Alex Newell wurde 1992 in Lynn im US-Bundesstaat Massachusetts geboren. “Honestly, when you strip all that back, you’re still just a human.”. When Newell was cast as Unique on Glee, some people in his religious community wanted to punish him for expressing his support for sexual and gender diversity on TV. I’d just booked my first Broadway show at 25, and I feel like I was just, like, being fake—this poser,” Newell explained. From stunning the world with his performance as the sensational Wade “Unique” Adams in Ryan Murphy’s Glee, the firmly distinctive artist thrives in the spotlight and has continued to dominate as a mainstay in Hollywood through his nearly decade-long career. How was he supposed to be this thing that other people had in mind for him? That Newell has remained so with apparent ease—along with a face full of makeup and stiletto pumps—makes him a notable model for gender nonconforming people everywhere. The release reached No. [12] Newell's performance was described as "bold",[13] with "remarkable restraint and powerful vocals."[14]. She made her 1 million dollar fortune with Glee, Geography Club, The Glee Project. “I don’t know what else I can be.”. He’d just come from shooting an interview upstairs; in an hour, he’d need to be back in Manhattan to rehearse for his new role in a Broadway musical. He currently appears on NBC's musical dramedy Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist in the role of Mo, a genderfluid DJ and the protagonist's next-door neighbor. Newell was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. For the fifth season, Newell was promoted to main cast because of the character's popularity. Alex Newell, the gender nonconforming star of ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,’ discusses his latest role and life since ‘Glee’ On 20-8-1992 Alex Newell (nickname: Alex) was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, United States. [8], Over the years, Newell sang at numerous events, such as the Coachella Festival, but also at many LGBT events and pride festivals. Watch Now. Also, the earnings from its first week of sales were to be donated to the Trevor Project. His father died of cancer when he was six years old, at which point his mother raised him as a single parent. Click to copy. '”, Newell’s turn as Asaka reflects his own complex identity, as well: He often looks and sounds “feminine.” “I’ve gone through it so much now that everything is in a hetero mindset, and it's going to be that way until we break down the wall of what everything is,” he said, pointing out the way that society views gender as a binary. Wade broke ground by being one of the most visible transgender characters on television and one of the first on a network prime time show. I’d look like a miniature version of my 45-year-old uncle. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist stars Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Peter Gallagher, and Mary Steenburgen with Lauren Graham as a special guest star. My mother worked very hard to make sure I went to the best of schools.”. Alex Newell was born on August 20, 1992 in Lynn, Massachusetts, USA. On 20-8-1992 Alex Newell (nickname: Alex) was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, United States. She came in for Mo [Zoey’s neighbor, played by gender-fluid actor Alex Newell], and everybody remembered her when we were casting [Zoey’s sister-in-law] Emily," says Ulrich. “There’s nothing that I could have hidden, honestly. Alex himself identifies as a gender non-conforming male and continues to shatter stereotypes and gender norms while using his voice to help inspire those still trying to find their own. [35] He goes by all pronouns. In July 2016, Newell has provided backing vocals in his biggest collaboration yet in charitable single "Hands". “I’m in the limbo of life.” It’s something to celebrate. Alex Newell released his first EP, "Power," just a month ago. Later that same month, the song was released again, featuring vocals from Jess Glynne. It was expected to be one of a few tracks that Newell was making as part of the HBO TV series Vinyl. After the success and the release of his debut extended play Power and his tour with Adam Lambert, Newell headed back in the studio. 4 on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Album chart, earning Newell more than 400,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. [13], Newell was given a special recognition award at the 2015 GLAAD Media Awards. “I don’t even know how to live right now,” he recalled thinking. He just showed the public and conservative viewers me. Because he identifies as male and also breaks all the rules about how men are supposed to look and behave, Newell stretches the concept of masculinity so far from its starting point that the concept itself breaks apart. You might need to catch up first … I grew up fortunate and blessed. In ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,’ Alex Newell Aims To Be The Queer Black Icon He Never Had NBC’s new musical comedy gave the gender-nonconforming actor and singer a chance to reflect on his own experiences as a person of faith. Does anyone know if Alex actually identifies as transgender, or if he's essentially just dressing in drag* when he plays Unique? ‘Stop crying. "[25] Vulture concluded: "This is just diva vocal acrobatics flexed with the swag of a queen. By allowing himself both masculine and feminine modes of presentation—to appear before his audience as female, or expressing himself personally with femininity, knowing that his identity is comfortably male—Newell is projecting a life-altering message to boys and men across the nation: It is okay be a boy and to be feminine, and to embody the image of a beautiful woman the way that Newell does. Whether recording in the studio, performing on Broadway, or appearing on television, he instantly connects. Gender: Male. “I never felt comfortable in my own clothes,” Newell told me. Image: Alex Newell And Partner Zeke Thomas Kissing Each Other At An Award Event [6] Unique returned as a Glee recurring cast member in the fourth season premiere, "The New Rachel". As I see it, it is precisely because Newell does not pin himself to any label that he has so much power. "I always had jelly on my hips and a swish in my step. For many, especially Black LGTBQIA+ youth , coming out can be even harder as they reconcile multiple and intersecting identities, on top of the biggest challenge of coming out to their families. On June 3, 2016, he released his first single outside of his recent project, entitled "Need Somebody". Newell stars as Mo, a sassy gender-nonconforming neighbor who becomes the first of Zoey’s friends to catch on to her newfound superpower. The connection grows stronger on a series “And so it’s like, when I get married and have kids, I know that I'm going to be the mother figure. The musician is currently single, her starsign is Leo and she is now 28 years of age. Character: Unique Adams. Once that backstory is delivered, Mo shifts from being Zoey’s mentor to being her best friend, and the audience gets the pleasure of seeing a gender-fluid series regular character explore love, life, and loss in ways that we haven’t seen on a broadcast drama before. It’s a sweltering late afternoon in June and Alex Newell is struggling to put on his shoes. His original song "This Ain't Over", released in January 2016, was warmly welcomed by the media. [10] Nevertheless, the producers were so impressed that they decided to bring him on Glee for two episodes. [7] Newell's self-taped audition earned him over one million MySpace views as well as a spot among the 12 participants who competed for a seven-episode arc on Glee. In 2015, Newell embarked on a series of cover songs and collaborations. But I, and my family, have been a pillar of this church, and I’m not going anywhere.” He held his ground. “I don't know what it's like to own up to being a man. He was awarded the part after impressing the show's producers with his runner-up finish on The Glee Project, a singing competition that aired on the Oxygen network. [21] His debut single, a cover of Sigma's "Nobody to Love", was released on June 3, 2014.[22]. "Stronger" did not enter the Ultratop 50, but peaked at number 79 on the Flemish Ultratip chart. As a singer, Newell has released tracks with Clean Bandit, Blonde, and The Knocks. "I don't know what it's like to own up to being a man. “It’s something we don’t even notice that we do,” Newell said, pointing out that many Black Americans have descended from the white American slave trade, and how that forced Black people to adhere to white ideals, including “passing” as white. [10] The EP will be released on February 19 via Big Beat.[25]. The musician is currently single, her starsign is Leo and she is now 28 years of age. Like his character, the actor and singer had to reconcile his religious faith and his gender identity growing up, and he’s been vocal about how that dichotomy informed his work as an artist. Alex Newell Partner Zeke Thomas Alex is gay by sexuality and he is dating his long term boyfriend Zeke Thomas. As many as 50 percent of Millennials consider gender to exist on a spectrum, not a binary. “While I'm not 1,000 percent masculine and not 1,000 percent feminine, I know that I am heavy on the feminine,” Newell told me. Unique is a young, talented trans woman who is played by gender nonconforming actor, Alex Newell. Is Alex Newell actually transgender? She is portrayed by actor Alex Newell. “When my father was dying, all I kept hearing was, ‘Now you’re the man of the household,’ and I was just like, ‘I don’t know what this means,’” Newell said. He graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in 2012, where he was involved in his school's choir, improv club, costume club and also a member of his church choir. With traffic-stopping delivery, sweeping range, and wild charisma, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actor, activist, and performer evokes a physical reaction every time he steps up to a microphone. “But sometimes I want to rip the hair off and be in a sweatpant!”, Newell identifies as a man, but because of the way he dresses, acts, and sounds, people often make assumptions about his gender—like that he’s actually a trans woman. It was exclusively released onto iTunes and Apple Music on June 3 and released onto other platforms several days later. Growing up gender non-conforming, his own mother supported him unconditionally, and inspired his artistry as a result. I was always like, ‘Great, I’m in a zoot suit, living my best fashion life,’” he laughed. “A Broadway poser. Alex Newell wields such a voice. “Maybe I should just be trans.”, "Great, I’m in a zoot suit, living my best fashion life.". [citation needed], Newell identifies as a gender nonconforming man,[34] and in May 2020 said he relates to his character Mo in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, who is genderfluid. “I remember the shift: It’s all fun and games for me to sing the song until I say I’m gay,” Newell said. "[6] He later appeared in two more episodes and completed his story arc that season. Maybe Alex Newell’s star-making moment – the “Dreamgirls” showstopper “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” which the 23-year-old gloriously belted out on “The Glee Project,” before nabbing a spot on Fox’s “Glee” – was meant to be. My voice has always been naturally extremely high, for no apparent reason,” he laughs. Alex Newell released his first EP, "Power," just a month ago. “Dear feet. [11] Newell first appeared on Glee in the third season episode "Saturday Night Glee-ver". Newell, along with the rest of the cast, received a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2012, but lost to Modern Family. In 2016, he came out with his debut EP, POWER, on Big Beat Records. “I am the minority of life,” Newell told me, his hair curving over his brow. Newell used drag as a way to stand out on the show. Newell has dodged clumsy, ill-fitting, and often arbitrary gender assignations since childhood. [23] Later in the same month, he produced a disco-house stylization of Robin S.'s single "Show Me Love" together with Russian DJ Matvey Emerson. I get kids walking up to me like, ‘You helped me transition; you inspired me to transition.’ I’m like, ‘I did that!’” he told me. Hell, all I wanna do is be a stay-at-home mom and just make cookies and drink martinis. 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