Listen: Pop Star Remakes ‘Jessie’s Girl’ for Lesbians

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

Pop musician Mary Lambert has had a great couple of years. After being introduced to the world on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s gay rights anthem “Same Love,” Lambert performed alongside them at last year’s Grammy Awards and released her full-length debut album, Heart on My Sleeve, last October.

In an interview with Rolling Stone published this week, the singer discusses her reimagining of Rick Springfield’s 1981 hit, “Jessie’s Girl” as a song in a similar vein as “Same Love.”

“Originally, I had put a piece about rape on the record, called ‘Epidemic,'” Lambert told RS. “My project manager was like, ‘We support you 100 percent, but you should know Target and Starbucks won’t carry it, and it’ll have a warning on it,’ so I was like, damn, that’s true.”

“I remember when I heard ‘Jessie’s Girl’ for the first time, I was like, ‘This is so applicable to lesbians!’ So in two days I came up with a different chord progression, rearranged it, played the piano and sang it. Everyone in the room was crying and I was like, ‘Cool, job well done.’ It seemed to be the perfect replacement for ‘Epidemic’ – equally as important for me.”

In addition to writing and performing music, Lambert is also a slam poet and a writer, having published a book of poetry called 500 Tips for Fat Girls in 2013. According to the Huffington Post, Lambert’s concerts are designed as “safe spaces where crying is acceptable and even encouraged.”

When asked how she feels about “pushing the envelope” as a gay artist, Lambert told Rolling Stone she’s “curious about what the next step is.”

“With the knowledge that your favorite artist is gay, you know that the context of which they’re singing is going to be inherently gay,” Lambert told RS. “And I think what’s beautiful about that is that it doesn’t deter anyone from listening. That’s what I think is really important about gay artists being in the spotlight.”

“I understand the plight of an artist singing a song and not using gendered pronouns because it can alienate some of their audience, but I’ve found success with using a gendered pronoun – but that’s my story. I’m curious about what the next step is and how to be an asset.”

Listen to Lambert’s rendition of “Jessie’s Girl” below:


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