One of the biggest and most attention-grabbing relationships of the 1990s was all a hoax, one of those involved now admits.
In the early ’90s, there were rumors that openly gay country singer KD Lang was in a relationship with pop superstar Madonna, causing quite a stir in a music industry that had not yet become fully accepting of all. As Lang now reveals, there was never anything of substance to those rumors, but both she and Madonna didn’t mind fanning the flames in order to bring some attention to themselves.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Lang admitted that both she and Madonna shared a publicist and that both of them were able to garner more attention from the rumors. Ironically, Lang shared that she was actually dating one of Madonna’s friends at the time, so the world thought she was dating Madonna.
“I don’t know the entire story,” Lang said. “Maybe. Because I was kind of dating one of Madonna’s close friends, so we were in a circle. We hung out. The lesbian chic thing was something that both Madonna and I benefited from. I didn’t know it was implied that we were actually doing it, but Madonna and I never did.”
The report noted that the attention preceded a number of female celebrities coming out as openly gay. While it is not clear if the rumors of a fake relationship had any role, the report noted that within a few years fellow singer Melissa Etheridge came out as gay, followed by comedian and actress Ellen DeGeneres.
“For people growing up in today’s LGBTQ+ literate times, it may be hard to comprehend, but these were watershed moments,” the report noted.
Madonna has long been seen as an icon to the LGBTQ community, speaking out about gay right issues. Madonna said that one of her earliest influences, dance teacher Christopher Flynn, was a gay man who encouraged her to pursue a career as a professional dancer and introduced her to the gay community in her native Detroit.
Saw KD Lang perform & met Madonna. Let me ponder their sexual chemistry….I'm not seeing them together for 1 afternoon, night, or any sexual thingy. kd lang hints Madonna relationship was a showmance https://t.co/tEMUmOsnJX via @Femail
— Rebecca J Williamson (@rebjefwill_j) June 16, 2019
KD Lang said in the interview that she has since moved away from her sexuality being one of her defining characteristics as an artist, saying she has learned to use the “allure of a singer” without making it overtly sexualized. Madonna continues to be an LGBTQ icon, and is slated to perform at World Pride Day in New York City at the end of the month.