Sylvester James, Jr. (1947-1988), better known by his stage name Sylvester, was an American singer, songwriter, and performer who was one of the most influential figures in the disco and Hi-NRG music genres. He was born in Watts, Los Angeles and raised in San Francisco, California.
Sylvester was a pioneer of the Hi-NRG style of dance music and became one of the most successful and recognizable performers of the genre. He is best known for his hits “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Dance (Disco Heat),” which became anthems of the disco era and are still widely recognized and celebrated today. He was also a powerful performer, known for his electrifying live shows and distinctive style, which blended high-energy dance beats with soulful and emotional vocals.
In addition to his work as a performer, Sylvester was also a prominent LGBTQ+ activist and was one of the first openly gay musicians to achieve mainstream success. He used his platform to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ rights and to fight against discrimination and prejudice. He was a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and his music and performances helped to promote a positive image of the gay community and to encourage people to embrace their individuality and to be proud of who they are.
Sylvester James, Jr. passed away in 1988 at the age of 41, but his impact on the world of music and LGBTQ+ activism continues to be felt today. He is remembered as one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the disco era and as a pioneering figure in the LGBTQ+ community. His music and activism continue to inspire and entertain people around the world and his legacy will endure for generations to come.