Todrick Hall

Todrick Hall
Todrick Hall by Hauke Musicaloris.jpg
Hall performing in concert for the Straight Outta Oz tour in Cologne, Germany (2017)
Born (1985-04-04) April 4, 1985 (age 34)
NationalityAmerican
Occupation
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • dancer
  • director
  • choreographer
  • executive producer
  • YouTuber
Years active2008–present
TelevisionAmerican Idol, RuPaul's Drag Race The Greatest Dancer
Musical career
OriginPlainview, Texas
Genres
LabelsIndependent
Associated acts
YouTube information
Channels
Years active2008–present
Subscribers3.1 million[1]
Total views639 million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers2012
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers2015
Updated June 6, 2019
Websitewww.todrickhall.com

Todrick Hall (born April 4, 1985) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, director, choreographer and YouTuber. He first gained national attention on the ninth season of the reality singing competition American Idol, where he made it to the semi-finals. Following this, he amassed a following on YouTube with multiple viral videos including original songs, parodies, and skits. A documentary series about his video-making process titled Todrick aired on MTV in 2015.

Starting with season 8, Hall became a resident choreographer on RuPaul's Drag Race, and occasional judge.[2][3] 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 and the West End.

As a singer-songwriter he has released three studio albums, including the visual albums Straight Outta Oz (2016) and Forbidden (2018).

Early life

Todrick Hall was born in Plainview, Texas, on April 4, 1985. His family consists of his mother, father, one brother, and a stepfather. He knew he was different, he liked playing with dolls, and worried if they would still accept him if he turned out to be one of those gay people they made fun of on television.[4] Hall began studying ballet at nine-years-old, and later worked with Fantasia in The Color Purple. He came out as gay to his family when he was fifteen, it took them a few years to accept.[4] 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

2009–2010: American Idol

On August 24, 2009, Hall auditioned to the ninth season of American Idol in Dallas, Texas.[5] 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.[6]

2011–2013: Career growth and YouTube fame

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 June, 2019, Hall currently has 3.1 million subscribers on YouTube, and as of March 2018, his videos have been viewed 531.9 million times.[7] Hall's videos include several of his own original songs and music videos, choreographed flash mobs for Ariana Grande[8] and Beyoncé performed in an actual Target store,[9] (the latter of which Beyoncé personally recognized Hall for),[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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".[13]

2014–2015: Pop Star High and Todrick docuseries

From April 1 to May 13, 2014, Hall released an eight episode web series on his YouTube channel called Pop Star High. The series takes place in a world where all of the most famous Pop Stars of our day all went to high school together. The series portrays and parodies pop stars like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Tyga, and draws on the tropes of high school comedy movies. The soundtrack for the series was released on April 1, 2014.

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.[14] The soundtrack for the show was released on October 13, 2015.

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

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, Todrick self-released his second 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.[15] 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 States and Canada.

The Straight Outta Oz Tour was interrupted by Hall's casting in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.[16] 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 ran between March 30, and June 5, in various North American, European, and Australian locations.[17] It was accompanied by an expanded 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" 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".[18]

From November 30, 2017, to January 14, 2018, played Billy Flynn in a limited engagement role in Chicago.[19] During his tenure, the show had its best-grossing week in its 21-year Broadway history.[20]

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".[21] 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, Haus Party & The Greatest Dancer

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 embarked on Forbidden: The Tour across the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.[22]

On May 15, 2019, Hall revealed that he will be releasing a trilogy of extended plays to be released across the next six months. The first EP, Haus Party, Pt. 1, was released on May 23, 2019. The first single "Glitter" was released with the album pre-order on May 16, 2019. It also featured Hall's first big hit "Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels." The EPs will be supported by the Haus Party World Tour. While it was originally announced that Part Two would be released in July followed by Party Three in September 2019, the release of Haus Party, Pt. 2 was delayed to September 19, 2019.[23]. It was supported by the singles "Wig", "Fag", and "Dripeesha" (featuring Tiffany Haddish). Part Three was originally announced to be released on October 30, 2019, then November 27.[24] It was put up for pre-order on January 10, 2020 with two singles available, "Blue" and "Pink Dreams", and an announced release date of February 14, 2020. However, this was later pushed back to May 1, 2020.

On June 17, 2019, Hall appeared in the music video for singer-songwriter Taylor Swift's song "You Need to Calm Down"; he co-executive produced the video with Swift. On June 19, 2019, Hall announced that he will be returning to Broadway to play Ogie Anhorn in the musical Waitress opposite friend Colleen Ballinger, who will be making her Broadway debut as Dawn Williams from August 20 until September 15.[25][26]

In August 2019 he joined the panel of Dance Captains for the second series of The Greatest Dancer alongside the other Dance Captains Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison. It will air on BBC One in early 2020.

Artistry

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 Beyoncé, 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.

Personal life

He came out as gay at the age of fifteen.[4]

Selected videography

2010–11

2012–13

  • Once Upon a Crime (Episodes 1-4)
  • Keeping Up with the KarTRASHYans (3 episodes)
  • Grown Woman (Beyoncé/Disney Parody)
  • Beauty and the Beat (Parody of Belle)
  • How The Grinch Stole Crenshaw
  • Dear Santa (original song)
  • Disney Dudez (feat. IM5) (Disney Tribute)
  • Todrick Hall's The Wizard of Ahhhs feat. Pentatonix
  • Hold On, We're Going Home (cover)
  • The Hungry Games (The Hunger Games parody)
  • Mean Gurlz (Mean Girls parody)
  • Spell Block Tango (parody of Cell Block Tango with Disney characters)
  • Beyoncé (2013) – choreographer – Blow on YouTube
  • Beyonce (2013) -actor [uncredited] – "Superpower"

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Filmography

Television roles
YearTitleRoleNotes
2010American IdolHimself (contestant)Season 9 - Semifinalist
2014Nickelodeon Kid's Choice AwardsHimselfOpening Act
2015-2016Dance MomsHimself3 episodes
2015Hit RECord on TVLead High School BoyEpisode: "Re: school" "What They Say" segment
2015The World Dog AwardsHimselfPresenter
2015Catfish: The TV ShowHimselfEpisode: "Devan & Rylan"
2015TodrickHimself8 episodes
2016Dance-Off JuniorsGuest Judge10 episodes
2016Sing It!MiloEpisode: "The Chicken Theory?!"
2016-2017Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaulHimself (Guest Panelist)3 Episodes
2016-2018RuPaul's Drag RaceHimself (Guest Judge & Choreographer)6 Episodes
2016-2019RuPaul's Drag Race: All StarsHimself (Judge & Choreographer)Main Panel (Season 2); Guest judge & choreographer (Season 3-4)
2016Christmas All Over AgainYoung BreezyTelevision film
2016Todrick Hall: Behind the CurtainHimself; ProducerDocumentary film on the making of Straight Outta Oz
2017Wild 'N OutHimselfEpisode: "LeSean McCoy/Todrick Hall/SNS & KidTheWiz"
2017Sound it Out: The Untitled LGBT DocumentaryHimself
2017Bob's BurgersMiss Triple X-Mas (voice)Episode: "The Bleakening"
2018Muppet BabiesCarlos (voice)Episode: "Frogs of a Feather"
2018Dear White PeopleVolume 2, "Chapter III"
2018Queer EyeHimselfEpisode: "Sky's the Limit"
2018RuPaul's Drag Race Holi-slay SpectacularHimself (Judge)Television special
2019Crazy Ex-GirlfriendFunky CatEpisode: "I Need Some Balance"
2020The Greatest DancerDance Captain
Theatre roles
YearTitleRoleNotes
2008The Color PurpleBobby, Harpo (understudy), ensembleBroadway
2010–2011MemphisGator (understudy), ensembleBroadway
2016–2017Kinky BootsLola/SimonBroadway
2017–2018ChicagoBilly FlynnBroadway
2018West End
2019WaitressOgieBroadway
2020Kinky BootsLola/SimonLos Angeles, California
Web Roles
YearTitleRoleNotes
2019Step Up: High WaterHimselfGuest Appearance (Season 2 Episode 4: "Vogue")

Discography

Tours

  • Twerk du Soleil (2013)
  • Twerk the Halls (2014)
  • Toddlerz Ball (2015)
  • Straight Outta Oz (2016–2017)
  • Forbidden: The Tour (2018)
  • Haus Party Tour (2019)

References

  1. ^ "YouTube Channel". Retrieved June 7, 2019..
  2. ^ Parker, Lyndsey. "Season 9 Idol Todrick Hall Now Managed by Scooter Braun". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  3. ^ Avery, Dan. "Logo Announces Contestants for "RuPaul's All Star Drag Race" Season 2". Newnownext.com. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Todrick Hall's Journey from Closeted American Idol Contestant to Kinky Boots Star on Broadway: 'This Is a Dream Come True'". PEOPLE.com. 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  5. ^ Farley, Christopher John (2010-01-28). ""American Idol" Season 9 Dallas Auditions (With Guest Judges Neil Patrick Harris and Joe Jonas): TV Recap". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  6. ^ Roberts, Soraya. "'American Idol' season 9 top 12: Alex Lambert, Lilly Scott, Todrick Hall and Katelyn Epperly get cut". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  7. ^ "Todrick Hall". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  8. ^ "Ariana Grande Gets Flash'd by Todrick Hall – Episode 1". YouTube. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  9. ^ "Beyonce End Of Time Target Flash Mob". YouTube. 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  10. ^ "Thanks, Todrick Hall!". YouTube. 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  11. ^ "I Wanna Be on Glee". YouTube. 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  12. ^ "Virgin America Safety Video #VXsafetydance". YouTube. 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  13. ^ "Dear Santa by Todrick Hall on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  14. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2014-10-22). "YouTube's Todrick Hall Sets MTV Unscripted Series". Variety. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  15. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  16. ^ todrickhall (August 16, 2016). "Todrick is Coming to Broadway!!!". Retrieved June 4, 2018 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2017-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Taylor Swift's 'Look What ...' Video Decoded: 13 Things You Missed". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ "Broadway Grosses: Chicago Celebrates Best Grossing Week in 21-Year History", Broadway.com, January 2, 2018
  21. ^ "Todrick Hall Makes Drag Queen Cameo In 'Bob's Burgers'". Tubefilter.com. December 14, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  22. ^ "Tickets". Todrickhall.com. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  23. ^ Cite error: The named reference Billboard was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  24. ^ "Haus Party 3 by Todrick Hall". Apple Music. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  25. ^ "Todrick Hall Talks Pride Month, His Inspirational Fans & His New EP 'Haus Party, Pt. 1'". Billboard. May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  26. ^ "Todrick Hall's Haus Party Tour Stops At The VETS In Providence". Broadway World. May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.

External links