Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 21, 1969, Billy Porter studied drama at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts (High) School and Carnegie Mellon University. After graduation, he landed on Broadway, playing "Teen Angel" in the 1994 Broadway revival of Grease! Porter has enjoyed a storied career on and off-Broadway, appearing in Jesus Christ Super Star and Dream Girls, at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. His stage career reached pinnacle-status in 2013 when being awarded the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical, for his role Lola in Kinky Boots; this accolade was followed by a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for Kinky Boots.
A talented musician, Porter has three solo albums, Billy Porter, At the Corner of Broadway and Soul, and Billy's Back on Broadway. Additionally, he appears in several albums with other musicians.
Always pushing the fashion-needle to extreme levels, Porter made headlines at the 2019 Golden Globe awards for wearing an embroidered suit and pink cape designed by Randi Rahm. But, perhaps, an outfit to end all outfits was his 2019 Met Gala ensemble of a bejeweled catsuit, with 10-foot wings and a 24-karat headpiece- entering the event carried on a litter by six shirtless men.
Porter made history by becoming the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy Award for lead actor in a drama series. The following words from his acceptance speech might sum up his continually transformative presence in the world; "We are the people…we, as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don't ever stop doing that. Please don't ever stop telling the truth."
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