Carl Bean Dead At 77; Preacher, Former Singer Who Inspired Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' Album Suffered From 'Lengthy Illness'
Carl Bean, a famous preacher, activist, former singer and Lady Gaga's main inspiration for her 2011 record, has passed away at the age of 77.
The outlet nor the church did not specify what type of medical condition he's been suffering from.
Carl Bean founded the church in 1982, and it has been considered the first Black church for LGBTQIA+ individuals.
"Our hearts go out to all as we mourn the loss of this trailblazing leader and legend in the worlds of activisim, advocacy, AIDS, community outreach, faith, liberation theology, and so much more will live on for several lifetimes." The church wrote.
The activist was an openly gay Motown and disco singer. In 1977, he released the track "I Was Born This Way", which was considered controversial at the time.
The song was embraced by queer individuals from all across the country, and it was considered a "gay liberation anthem."
The hit song stayed on Billboard's dance club songs chart for over eight weeks and peaked at No. 15 the following year.
Earlier this year, as Lady Gaga celebrated the 10th year anniversary of her 2011 record "Born This Way," the singer publicly stated that the late archbishop inspired her to write the record as a powerful anthem for the community. (check out her tweet below)
Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being “Born This Way.” Notably his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born. pic.twitter.com/92oIuPQYHs— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) May 24, 2021
"Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all." The pop star added.
In 1982, Bean decided to end his music career to pursue religion and activism. Per the church's website, they embrace progressive theology and focuses on social activism.
The late preacher also founded the Minority AIDS Project, a charity that provides HIV/AIDS prevention services. They also give treatment and care for people of color in Los Angeles, California.
An intersection in LA was named after him in 2019 called "Archbishop Carl Bean Square."