Openly gay former NFL player Esera Tuaolo is one of my favorite people I've met through Outsports. He has always come across to me as sincere and generous. And, maybe more than anything else, optimistic. He has long talked about making a transition into a music career - and with his voice, that is not such a stretch (hell, if Ron Artest can do it . . .).
His new Christmas single, “First Christmas,” is a winner. Originally written for the Backstreet Boys by Joe Hogue, Tuaolo fell in love with it the first time he heard it. While it was written as a romantic love song, Tuaolo poured his love for his children into his performance.
“If there was a song for me to write for my children,” Tuaolo says, “this would be the one.”
In addition to the words of the song and his performance, Tuaolo’s love of his children – and children anywhere – shines with the donations he’ll be making to kids organizations after the holidays. A portion of the proceeds from the single sales will go to four organizations: Camp Heartland, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, and Minnesota AIDS Project.
The single also includes a bonus track of “Silent Night.” Tuaolo’s personal arrangement of the holiday classic, this version features not only the siren’s vocals, but also his strumming of the ukulele. While almost every version of “Silent Night” that hits the radio airwaves in December is haunting, Tuaolo’s version is triumphant and joyous. It’s also accented with a second verse in Samoan that gives a unique accent to the uplifting feel of the song.
On both tracks, Tuaolo's voice is gorgeous. He is blessed with a set of pipes that could truly rival the smoothest voices in R&B and the most energetic in pop.
For more on Esera, read the whole Outsports.com article I wrote about his latest venture.