Sylvester James (Los Angeles, September 6, 1947 – San Francisco, December 16, 1988), better known as Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer-songwriter. Known for his flamboyant and androgynous appearance, he was often described as a drag queen, although repeatedly rejected such a description. Responsible for a string of hit singles, in the late 1970s, Sylvester became known in the United States under the moniker of the "Queen of Disco". Sylvester was openly gay, with biographer Joshua Gamson noting that he tended to enter into relationships with men who were "white, self-doubting and effeminate." In 1978, he met a model named John Maley at a San Francisco show, and the slim, white Catholic boy soon moved in to live with Sylvester at his apartment. Sylvester later devoted the song "Can't Forget the Love" from his Too Hot to Sleep album to his young lover, but their relationship broke up when Maley decided to move to Los Angeles; he would later recollect that Sylvester "was a lovely man, and I owe him a lot." In 1981, Sylvester entered into a relationship with a skinny brunette from Deep River, Connecticut named Michael Rayner, but unlike his predecessors he did not move into Sylvester's house; their partnership ended as soon as Rayner admitted that he hadn't fallen completely in love with Sylvester. Sylvester's next major relationship was with Tom Daniels, a hairdresser whom he met in 1982, but their romance ended after six months when Daniels discovered that Sylvester had been having sex with other men whilst on tour. His final partner, Rick Cranmer, was a six foot two blonde with blue eyes, whom he had first met at one of his gigs in 1984. An architect, he and Sylvester would eventually move into a house together in the hills. Cranmer would die of AIDS in 1987, the year before Sylvester also succumbed to the virus.
Timeline & Places:
• September 6, 1947: born.
• December 16, 1988: died. Buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, 720 E Florence Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302, Stati Uniti