I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to Cheyenne Jackson. The talented singer/actor turns 35 today. I will say I was lucky enough to see him in Damn Yankees in 2008 and damn, he was great in the show. I'll start with the obvious, the boy is a stunningly handsome man. But, to add to it, he is a good actor, more than holding his own with Jane Krakowski and Sean Hayes. And when he sang, it was just magic. Here he is singing A Change Is Gonna Come, showing off that amazing voice of his.
Jackson was born in Idaho, and raised in a small town. At 19, he came out to his family, which caused a rift with the Christian evangelicals that has since been healed. He was taught to sing by his mother, who often played piano and sang with her children. While living in Seattle, Washington, he was working in publishing and discovering theater, soon deciding that is what he wanted. He moved to New York, and by 2004 he was cast in a leading role in the Off-Broadway music Alter Boyz at the New York Shakespeare Festival. That lead to 2005, when Cheyenne had the leading role in All Shook Up, a tribute to Elvis Presley. Here he is in rehearsal footage singing C'Mon Everybody.
Another song from All Shook Up, Cheyenne has sung If I Can Dream on several different occasions, from telethons to rallies for marriage equality. It is a beautiful song, and he is spectacular singing it.
Back in January, I mentioned one of the things I wanted to do was to see Jackson in the revival of Finian's Rainbow, a glorious show with a gorgeous score. Unfortunately, it closed before I got the chance to see it for myself, but luckily, there are some videos on YouTube. Here he is with Kate Baldwin singing Old Devil Moon. Oh, it does my heart good to hear this!
Jackson is on a bit of a career high at the moment, with guest roles on Ugly Betty and 30 Rock, as well as the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He also recently released an alarmingly good album with Michael Feinstein called The Power Of Two, inspired by a sold-out appearance the two made at Feinstein's. Cheyenne has been with his partner since 1999. Sounds like good things do come to good people. For more on Jackson, check out his official website here. You can also follow him on Twitter here.