Prince and George Michael's Love Child

Wed. February 20, 2008 12:00 AM
by Jason P. Freeman

Wearing the pair of briefs that he chose to accentuate his bulge and butt, Adam LeBlanc holds an old-school boom box between his legs. Cajoling with the onstage charisma that woos the women of Wrigleyville, and all the lads in Lakeview, the 24-year-old vocalist boyishly beams as the radio plays an aged Elton John 8-track: "I love getting my picture taken!"

Raised in Duluth, Minnesota, Leblanc opted to search for his singer-self in Chicago, as opposed to the closer-to-home municipal of Minneapolis.

"As soon as I was done with high school," LeBlanc says, "I wanted bigger and better things, but nothing good's come out of Minneapolis since Prince in the 1980s."

Yet ironically, Prince's era of Sassoon and cassettes has had the biggest influence on his career. Since arriving in Illinois, LeBlanc's been a two-time contender in the Windy City Gay Idol competition—securing his 2005, second-place spot with a rendition of George Michael's "Faith"—and an LGBT community karaoke host. He's currently the lead singer of Sixteen Candles, a locally famed '80s cover band.

SC became a powerhouse performance shortly after Leblanc took the mike. A sports bar and street fair favorite, the band's Cubby Bear NYE concert sold out on Ticketmaster. However, gay folk don't have to go far to hear LeBlanc belt-out Hall & Oats' "I Can't Go for That." Walking like an Egyptian from Clark Street to Halsted, SC is eager to perform on both sides of the figurative fence.

"The [straight] band members are totally supportive of the [LGBT] community," says LeBlanc. A headliner at Midsommerfest '06 and '07, SC performed at an '80s, gay prom-themed Howard Brown fundraiser last summer, and on the fundraiser's float during the '07 Pride Parade. "We're working on getting a gig for Market Days," LeBlanc adds

Leblanc relishes his '80s-genre niche but says, "I feel weird because, right now, I'm making a living off other people's music." When not on stage, LeBlanc works with a producer in effort to reinvent the '80s sound in his own way. The end result, he hopes, will hold mass audience appeal.

"I love performing, and if I can relate to anyone through my music than my [endeavors are] validated."


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