Kevin Aviance didn’t know Beyoncé would audition his songs on ‘Renaissance’

  • Beyoncé’s latest album, Renaissance, will be released on July 29, 2022.
  • This song features a sample of the 1996 Kevin Aviance song.
  • Aviance told Insider that he had no idea his track would be on the album.

Kevin Aviance says he is grateful to Beyoncé for bringing his music to a new generation.

The legendary drag actor and LGBTQ+ icon’s name took off when the 28-time Grammy-winning superstar’s latest album, Revival, was released on July 29.

Aviance said he didn’t know his 1996 gay dance club hit “Cunty” would appear on the 15th track “Pure/Honey” from Beyoncé’s album.

“It just happened, no, I didn’t know anything about it,” Aviance told Insider. “Someone sent me the track list at 1am and I saw my name and I couldn’t believe it.”

“It makes me gag, the performance, the vocal performance… it’s amazing,” Aviance said of Beyoncé’s album.


Beyonce performing at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Her latest album, “Renaissance,” was released on July 29 and features samples of Aviance’s songs.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS

“The National Anthem of a Generation”

Born Eric Snead, Aviance achieved mainstream success in the late and early 1990s with three Billboard dance club singles. The 54-year-old Richmond, Virginia native, known for his quirky and neutral fashion sense and booming bass vibrato, has gained a cult following through a string of songs, including 1997’s percussion “Din Da Da”, 2003’s sexually provocative “Give It Up” and a daring cover of Britney Spears’ 2007 international chart-topper “Gimme More”.

Aviance’s song “Cunty” is instantly recognizable within the first few seconds of Beyoncé’s ballroom culture theme song. Another LGBTQ+ national anthem, late performer Moi Renee’s 1992 track “Miss Honey” is also featured on “Pure/Honey” alongside DJ Mike Q’s chant.

Although the word used in the title has a negative connotation, the Grammy winner said it was not meant to be used in a derogatory way.

“This song is the national anthem of a generation,” Aviance said. “I remember working in a nightclub and everything was so extraordinary and when I traveled the world I felt awkward. It wasn’t a negative word, it was like an anointing from God. It was like a mantra that meant ‘I It felt great, I felt incredible, I was that.”

Kevin Aviance performing after the screening

Kevin Aviance performs after the screening of “The Wig” at the Spring Studio Tribeca Film Festival on May 4, 2019 in New York City.

Steven Feldman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Aviance calls Beyoncé a genius, “I mean, she gets it.”

A survivor of a widely reported hate crime attack in 2006, Aviance’s story was the focus of Chris Moukarbel’s 2019 HBO drag culture documentary “The Wig.”

Although he released a new song titled “I’m Back” last month, the “Alive” singer said he has been active in the community over the years.

“I never really stopped, I kept going as far as I could,” he said. “Like I’m coming back to DJ now…I’m just writing most of the time, doing stuff all the time, collaborating with other artists, so I’ve never really stopped working on Kevin Aviance.”

“You know ‘Cunty’ never fails me, it’s always, like, something wonderful,” he continued. “These five letters have brought an incredible life. I’m so grateful to Beyoncé, it’s an honor. I mean, she gets it.”

Aviance said he met Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles, in 2003 during a promotion for her post-Destiny’s Child solo debut, “Dangerously In Love.” “When she started her first tour, she was on The Roxy. I immediately thought she was a genius. She was so beautiful.”

Kelis attends the UOMA Beauty Launch at the NeueHouse in Hollywood on April 25, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA.

Kelly at the event in Los Angeles, California. She recently accused Beyoncé of “stealing” because she sampled a song she sang without her prior knowledge.

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for UOMA Beauty

He didn’t know the song would be sampled

Aviance said he wasn’t worried about not knowing his songs would be sampled until after “Renaissance” was released.

Singer Kelly was recently charged with “theft” for claiming Beyoncé performed a song on the “Renaissance” track without her prior knowledge.

“Some people are upset about it, but I have no problem with it,” Aviance told Insider. “When you’re in a place where you can share things…that’s art.”

“It affects people and spaces, and it happens,” he continued. “So people are upset about it, I get it, but it’s not that deep. As long as you get the business part right sooner or later.”

When asked about the song’s copyright ownership, Aviance quickly closed the question.

“I’m not allowed to talk about that,” he said. “That’s it.”

A long list of popular producers

“Renaissance”, which Spotify Announce This year, the cumulative single-day traffic is the largest, bringing together a treasure trove of world-renowned musicians.

Jay-Z, Drake, Pharrell, The-Dream, Raphael Saadiq, Hit Boy, Tems, Donna Summer, Teena Marie, dance music producer Nile Rodgers and gospel pioneer Twinkie Clark are all listed as songwriters on the album.

“God knows what he’s doing,” Aviance said. “My mom always told me, ‘God always knows what time it is. So when you think you’re not on time, it’s the right time.'”

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