Alex Newell makes opening ceremonies appearance at PrideFest Milwaukee, Friday

Fri. June 5, 2015 7:18 AM by News Staff

PrideFest Milwaukee opens Friday, June 5 at 3 p.m. - runs through Sunday, June 7

Milwaukee, WI - Over the last few years, Alex Newell has gone from regular high school student, to appearing on one of the hottest series on television, putting him into the national limelight.

Fierce, dynamic, and wildly talented, Newell is one of those great talents that comes around once in a lifetime. Newell can currently be seen in the series regular role of "Wade 'Unique' Adams" on FOX's "Glee," and he has quickly become a fan favorite on the show.

"It has been fun every step along the way but it also has been a long journey," Newell told last June when he headlined Chicago Pride Fest. 

Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Newell grew up in the small town of Lynn, about thirty minutes north of Boston. Newell notes that although his neighborhood was rough growing up, it was a melting pot of culture. He was exposed to dozens of different races, religions, and fine arts from a very young age, something that would help fine tune who he is today and what his career goals would be in the future. He found his love for music in church; his father was a deacon and his mother ran the choir.

Every Sunday he would attend church and sing gospel songs with the choir. The styles of gospel music, dominant vocals blended with soul and the expression of personal beliefs were ingrained into Newell and he was able to start exploring and honing his talent.

When Newell was six years old, his father passed away from cancer, and he took refuge in song. However growing up with a single parent, Newell became a rebel child and as a result moved around to many different schools.

By high school, Newell had landed at a private Catholic academy with an impeccable arts program. It was here that Newell decided he knew what he wanted in life: to be a Broadway star, and to be on stage. He surrounded himself with music, and dedicated much of his life to concert choir – which was a crash course on every type of music he could think of. He dabbled in Opera, Jazz, A Capella, Chamber, Modern, and many other styles of music.

In 2011, as a junior in high school, Newell decided to send in a self taped audition to a brand new show on the Oxygen Network called "The Glee Project," inspired by the hit FOX series "Glee." He shares, "my cousin kept sending me the link to send in my audition online, after the fourth or fifth time I decided I might as well try. So at the very last minute, I recorded my audition in my high school auditorium, solo on stage, and did my best to fill the room with my voice."

Newell's audition not only garnered the attention of the show's producers, but it also hit over one million hits on MySpace, where he had uploaded the video for consideration.

Newell went on to compete on the show which was an instant hit, and finished second in the competition. His prize was a guest star role on an upcoming episode of "Glee," and inclusion on the "Glee" holiday album.

Newell learned from the show that perhaps his dreams of being on Broadway were not his only dreams, as his eyes were opened to the possibilities in television and in film. When not working, Newell loves to cook, shop, and has a passion for interior design. He also is a self proclaimed YouTube addict.

On the charity front, he supports the American Cancer Society, and is a role model and inspiration for LGBT teens worldwide. His personal goals include giving people motivation to be whoever they are, no matter how different, and to never change for anyone. Newell currently lives in Los Angeles.

Newell will honor PrideFest Milwaukee with a special opening ceremonies apperance Friday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. on the Miller Lite Main Stage, followed by a full performance. 

PrideFest Milwaukee, the nation's largest showcase of national, regional and local LGBT talent, returns this weekend June 5 - 7. The 28th annual celebration of local LGBT culture and community takes place at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee.

Tickets, including the popular 3-day weekend pass for just $33, are available onlineand at the gate. For more information, including a complete entertainment schedule, visit

Related: PrideFest Milwaukee returns this weekend, June 5 - 7 is again a proud media sponsor of PrideFest Milwaukee.