Photo: Atlantic Records

Alex Newell Makes Tony Award History

Club culture singer Alex Newell, whose ‘Kill the Lights’ was a #1 Billboard chart single in 2016, is officially the first nonbinary performer to win a Tony Award.

The 30-year-old Broadway star portrays Lulu in the new musical comedy Shucked, which opened in New York City in April following its 2022 run in Salt Lake City.

During last night’s acceptance speech, the multi-hyphenate stated “I should not be up here as a queer, nonbinary, fat, black, little baby from Massachusetts.” “And to anyone that thinks that they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in your face and tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to.”

When nominations for the 76th annual Tony Awards were announced on Tuesday (5.02), Newell became the first gender nonconforming performer to earn a nod in the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical category.

Though Shucked is not Newell’s first Broadway venture, Alex has never been up for the famous Broadway award before this year. Referring to the 2017 revival of Once on This Island, which received nods in all major categories but best actor, in March the singer/actor told Playbill, “My entire first time on Broadway was, ‘You were snubbed.’” “I went everywhere, and that’s what I was [hearing]. Not, ‘Hello, Alex how are you.’ It was always, ‘Oh, how awful.’ The rationality that was given to me was, ‘Well, we didn’t know what category to put you in. You’re just so different.’ Was that supposed to make me feel better or worse?”

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Atlantic Records