Janelle Monáe's Oscar performance earlier this year seems like an incredibly long time ago. At the time, she called The Academy to task in her opening number singing "The Oscars is so white." Then she brought Billy Porter on stage to give his rendition of Elton John's "I'm Still Standing." But that inclusion didn't come without some elbow grease.
In a new cover story on Monáe for Vanity Fair, Porter reveals that the multihyphenate (ok, they are both multihyphenates so we are talking about Monáe here) had to fight for him.
"There were different suggestions and she said, 'I'll only do it if I can have Billy," Porter told Vanity Fair. "She lobbied for me." And the lobbying paid off as the put on quite the show. They celebrated the successful gig by having cocktails at Beyonce and Jay-Z's Oscar party.
Monáe was set to be quite busy this year. The Oscar's gig has passed but she was also slated to perform at the Essence Music Festival and NYC Pride. She will still do a virtual appearance for Pride, but it will undoubtedly not be the same. Still, this year sees her head a television show for the first time with the second season of Homecoming.
For those who are wondering about her love-life, the Vanity Fair profile has very little for you.
“I don’t want to disclose the people I’m dating, or have dated," Monáe said. Jackie, the character she plays on Homecoming, is her first Black queer character to portray on screen. "I may not always want this to be at the center of a conversation.”
Later in the profile, she admits that she has that reticence and attributes it in part to old traumas like her relationship with her father. During her earlier years, he had a drug addiction.
“I’m happy that he is recovered, but what that left me with growing up was having abandonment issues, because I just never knew when he would show up," she said. "I have high anxiety. I’ve always had it.”
Those abandonment issues, no doubt, still have lingering impact today.