Shears performing in March 2011
|Birth name||Jason F. Sellards|
|Born||October 3, 1978|
Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
|Genres||Glam rock, alternative, pop|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboards, guitar, flute|
|Associated acts||Scissor Sisters|
Shears was born in Mesa, Arizona, the son of an entrepreneur father and a Baptist mother. He grew up on San Juan Island, Washington, where he attended school at Friday Harbor High School and was bullied. At the age of 18, he moved into a dorm at the Northwest School in Seattle, Washington, to finish high school. Shears later attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. At the age of 19, he traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, to visit a classmate, who introduced him to Scott Hoffman. Shears and Hoffman hit it off immediately and moved to New York a year later.
Shears attended New York's Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, where he studied fiction writing and was a classmate of Travis Jeppesen. He also wrote pieces for the gay magazine HX. In 2000, he worked as a music reviewer for Paper magazine.
Shears and Hoffman formed Scissor Sisters in 2001 as a performance art stunt, playing outrageous shows in clubs like Luxx, the heart of the electroclash scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where Shears lived. After a couple years struggling in New York (working with the record label A Touch of Class, who produced "Comfortably Numb" and "Filthy/Gorgeous"), Scissor Sisters finally found success in the United Kingdom and Ireland, ending 2004 with the biggest-selling album of the year in the UK. In concert, Shears is known for provocative dancing, flamboyant outfits, and near nudity. (During his early years while he was struggling to make it in New York, he would often earn extra money as a Go-go dancer and male erotic dancer at male strip clubs.)
Shears' musical influences include The Bee Gees, Leo Sayer, ABBA, Blondie, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Roxy Music, The New York Dolls, Queen, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Pet Shop Boys, The Beatles, and Dolly Parton. The Scissor Sisters video for Filthy/Gorgeous was directed by John Cameron Mitchell after Shears met him at a gathering of the Radical Faeries. Shears attended Sir Elton John's "stag" party before John's civil partnership ceremony with David Furnish in 2005. John and Shears discussed each other in The Observer in 2006.
Shears performed with Erasure's Andy Bell on "Thought It Was You", on Bell's 2005 album Electric Blue. He has also collaborated with Tiga on "Hot in Herre", "You Gonna Want Me", and "What You Need" from Tiga's album Ciao!. He also worked on Finnish house musician Luomo's "If I Can't". Together with Babydaddy, he co-wrote with Kylie Minogue on her hit single "I Believe in You" for her greatest hits compilation Ultimate Kylie. Shears and Minogue also co-wrote "Too Much" with Calvin Harris for Minogue's number one album Aphrodite. In 2011, Shears collaborated with John Garden to write the music for a musical version of the book Tales of the City. The show is directed by Jason Moore. Shears was featured on the track "Metemya" of Amadou and Mariam's 2012 album Folila. Shears also wrote the foreword to the award-winning '80s 7-inch vinyl cover art book Put the Needle on the Record. In 2013, Shears also appeared on the Queens of the Stone Age album ...Like Clockwork, providing backing vocals on the song "Keep Your Eyes Peeled". He duetted with Cher on the track "Take it Like a Man" for her 2013 album Closer to the Truth.
In October 2017, Shears released his first song as a solo artist, "Creep City", which he described as a "pretty theatrical jam, with quite a few twists and turns."
In January 2018, Shears made his Broadway debut starring in Kinky Boots. The next month Shears published his autobiography, Boys Keep Swinging. Shears released his eponymous debut solo album on August 10, 2018.
Shears came out as gay to his parents at the age of 15 at the urging of Dan Savage, who later called his advice "the worst I've ever given" due to the negative reaction of Shears' parents. In 2010, Shears participated in Savage's It Gets Better Project. In 2012, Shears was interviewed about his experience. He spoke about his good friend Anderson Cooper and said he felt gay celebrities "at least have the responsibility to come out". Shears was in a relationship with Chris Moukarbel from 2004 to 2015.
Awards and nominations
|2007||Virgin Media Music Awards||Himself||Most Fanciable Male||Nominated|
|2018||Best Art Vinyl||Jake Shears||Best Art Vinyl||Nominated|||
|2019||Classic Pop Readers' Awards||Boys Keep Swinging||Book of the Year||Nominated|||
|2015||"The Other Boys"
(NERVO featuring Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears and Nile Rogers)
|2018||"Creep City"||Jake Shears|
- Strong, Martin Charles (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Canongate. p. 945. ISBN 978-1-84195-860-6.
- "It Gets Better - Jake Shears". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Entries tagged with 'Jake Shears'". Archived from the original on 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- Michael A. Knipp (2006-10-13). "Scissor Sister's return". Southern Voice Atlanta. Archived from the original on January 11, 2009. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- Darren Murph (2008-04-19). "Logo to simulcast Scissor Sisters: Live at the O2 Arena on MHD". EndGadgetHD. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
With several openly gay band members and a loyal and enthusiastic LGBT following...
- Romano, Tricia (19 October 2004). "Sex Slaves". Village Voice. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "When Elton met Jake". the Guardian. 2006-11-12. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Hetrick, Adam. "Musicalizing Tales of the City". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Tsioulcas, Anastasia (1 April 2012). "First Listen: Amadou And Mariam, 'Folila'". NPR. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Crowley, Patrick (October 31, 2017). "Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears Releases 'Creep City,' Teases Upcoming Solo Record & Cryptic 'Labor Of Love'". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- "Kinky Boots Welcomes Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears to the Company". TheaterMania. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
- Boys Keep Swinging: A Memoir. Atria Books. 2018-02-20. ISBN 9781501140129.
- "Iconic Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue is touring Australia". 9Now. 2019-03-05. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
- Ferber, Lawrence (2020-02-14). "Jake Shears' New Single Is a "Sinister" Tribute to Gay Disco Royalty". LOGO News. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
- "The Worst Advice Dan Savage has Ever Given". "I think the worst and perhaps most damaging advice I ever gave was to Jake Shears who I met when he was 15 years old and he asked if he should come out to his parents, and he described what was going on and who they were and what he thought they might know. And after he told me everything I was like: 'Oh, they know. They're just waiting for you to tell them. You should tell them. Just come out to them. They're waiting. They're ready.' And he came out to them and they didn't know, and it was a big disaster, and they threatened to pull him out of school and they were really angry and so he called me. I had a radio show, and he called me, and I got him off the air and got his mother's phone number and called my mother and gave my mother Jake's mother's phone number and had my mom call his mom and yell at her. And it helped, but yeah, I gave him really shitty advice."
- OnTopMag.com. "Jake Shears glad he came out as a teen".
- "Jake Shears Reveals Teenage Harassment". The Advocate. 2003-10-08. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- "Jake Shears talks candidly about his coming out". R U Coming Out. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Annabel Rivkin (2012-05-11). "The Scissor Sisters are back ... and sharper than ever - ES Magazine - Life & Style - London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- Schulman, Michael (2018-02-17). "Jake Shears, of Scissor Sisters, Stages His Own Comeback". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- "There's still time to vote in our 2018 Reader Awards!". 2019-01-02. Archived from the original on 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
- "Jake Shears by Jake Shears". iTunes Australia (Apple). Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "The Other Boys (Remixes) - EP". iTunes Brazil. October 23, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
- "The Other Boys (Remixes) - EP". iTunes Australia. October 23, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
- "Creep City (Single)". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 8 June 2018.