Ari Gold (born February 11, 1977) is an American pop singer and songwriter. He is openly gay and regularly addresses both his being Jewish and gay, also starring in an autobiographic theater production, Ari Gold - Untitled: The Making Of A Gay Pop Star.
Gold was born and raised in the Bronx to an Orthodox Jewish family. He was discovered while singing at his brother Steven's bar mitzvah at the age of five. Along with Steven and his other brother Elon, he was awarded top prize at the First Annual Jewish Children's Song Festival. Gold landed his first job as a professional singer and actor by performing the lead role on the CBS Children's recording Pot Belly Bear: Song and Stories. The album went platinum and led to his successful career as a child vocalist. He went on to sing over 400 jingles, provide various voices for Cabbage Patch Kids and cult favorite Jem. He also performed back-up vocals for Diana Ross.
After graduating from the Ramaz School in Manhattan, Gold studied at Yale. He then transferred and received his BA from New York University.
Living in New York City, Gold took full advantage of his surroundings and began performing his own original music at NYC hotspots Joe's Pub, Fez, China Club, Barracuda, Metronome, Avalon, Pyramid, Splash, Bar d'O, Starlight, and CBGB's. Meanwhile, he was busy recording the material for his self-titled 2001 debut album. His debut included something unprecedented in R&B/pop: explicit gay love songs. The album won Gold at the 2002 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Debut Recording. Later that year, Gold was named one of Genre Magazine's "Men We Love."
His debut also caught the attention of songwriter Desmond Child. Their first collaboration "I'm All About You" (Island Universal) was on the top 20 UK pop charts and a top 10 dance hit. The song was co-written and produced with UK garage musicians DJ Luck and MC Neat. The video was shot in Miami.
2003-2005: Space Under Sun:
In 2003, Grammy award-winning producer David Morales remixed "I'll Be Here", which Ari co-wrote with Automagic for Nashom of The Ones ("Flawless") solo project. The song became a Top-10 Billboard dance hit and was featured on Queer As Folk. In 2003, Gold began recording his sophomore album. In January 2004, Gold's second album "Space Under Sun" was released on his own label, GOLD18 Records. It debuted at #1 on the Outvoice Charts. The Advocate said that his "equal parts of sly, finger-snappin' sass and earthy R&B finesse," created the "crisp... sound of a platinum-selling recording."
The video single, "Wave Of You" debuted as a DVD extra and went on to become a mainstay during the launch of MTV's new LGBT network Logo, included in their list for the best videos of 2005. Metro Source Magazine also named Ari "One Of The 25 People That Make Us Proud" alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Harvey Fierstein, Hugh Jackman, and Barbra Streisand. Gold's appearance in the VH1 special My Coolest Years: In The Closet solidified Gold's status as an emerging gay icon. In 2005, Space Under Sun took home the Outmusic Award for Outstanding New Recording.
On the Space Under Sun World Tour, Gold opened for Rupaul and Chaka Khan and headlined clubs and festivals in Europe (France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic). He also toured Canada and in over 25 cities across the U.S. including the world's largest stage at the Reno Hilton.
2005: The Remixes:
In September 2005, Gold released his first remix album, The Remixes. The album was named the #2 Best Independent Release of 2005 according to national magazine The Advocate. The first single, "Love Will Take Over" instantly became a Billboard Dance Chart hit. The "Love Will Take Over" video has been played on HBO Zone, Rock America, For Promo Only and claimed the top spot for two weeks in a row on MTV's Logo. In December 2005, Gold released of Ari Gold: The Photobook.
2006-2008: Transport Systems:
In 2006, Gold began recording his album in Los Angeles and New York City where he began working with Steve Skinner and Grammy Award Winning producer Joe Hogue on the album. In 2007, Gold released his third studio album, Transport Systems. Ari debuted on the Billboard Top 10 charts for the first time, six months after winning the prestigious 13th Annual USA Songwriting Competition for "Where The Music Takes You", where he won the Overall Grand Prize. The album features special guests Adam Joseph, Mr. Man, Sasha Allen and Dave Koz. LGBT-focussed magazine Pink said his lyrics lingered on "gender, sexuality, addiction and race." In early 2008, the song "Love Wasn't Built in a Day" won in The 7th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best R&B Song.
2010-present: New moniker, Between the Spirit & the Flesh:
In 2010, Gold returned to the studio to begin the recording sessions for his fourth studio album. In October 2010, Gold released the lead single "Make My Body Rock". In May 2011, Gold released his fourth album "Between the Spirit & the Flesh", under the moniker "Sir Ari". In mid-2011, Gold released the second single "Sparkle". In February 2012, Gold released "My Favorite Religion" as the third single.
Gold has written songs for #1 Billboard dance recording artist Kevin Aviance on both his debut, Box Of Chocolates, and the Tony Moran produced Entity. He also keeps company with Diane Warren and Stephen Bray on 1980s teenscream Tommy Page's last album. Gold's music has been licensed to numerous independent films including, Boy Culture, John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus and Latin Boys Go To Hell, for which he served as the Music Supervisor and appeared in the film performing his song "See Through Me". Ari also served as Music Supervisor on the IFC documentary, Fabulous! The Story Of Queer Cinema.
Gold appeared in fashion magazines such as W and VIBE, for which he was photographed by Walter Chin, and chosen as one of "The Stylistics" in their January 2002 issue. He was named one of "The 9 Hottest Men in NYC" by H/X magazine, and one of the hottest men in the world by DNA magazine. After interviewing and photographing Gold for AXM magazine, Boy George chose him to be the spokesmodel for his clothing line RUDE. Gold's 12-Month Calendar has been highlighted in Heeb Magazine's Jewgayica.