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Hayes turns 35 on May 8, celebrates the first anniversary of his marriage to animator and director Richard Cullen on June 19, and releases his third solo album, 'This Delicate Thing We've Made' in August on Powdered Sugar, his own independent record label.The 25-track double CD set, inspired in part by Kate Bush's masterpiece 'Hounds of Love', dives into his childhood, teen years, struggles with his sexuality, loneliness, and the joys of making a real relationship work.The cover band they initially performed in broke up, leading the two to form their own duo, named after a passage from Anne Rice's novel, "The Vampire Lestat". It was then that Leonie Messer--Hayes's publicist and/or manager for about a decade and best friend--asked the question Hayes had refused to ask himself. My secret feelings for men were in this drawer in my head. But I think both of us hoped, thought, we'll be together. '" Hayes never worried about being recognized when hitting the bars or going out on dates. I just dated these emotionally abusive, overpowering, gruff men who took care of me from a parental sense, in a stern kind of sense, but were not emotional, were never demonstrative." For reasons they rarely discuss, Savage Garden broke up after two albums. Everyone said, 'We're really, really sorry.' I was icy; I was just icy. I got into the [car] and I slumped down into my seat and I just... That was the moment where I just thought, 'OK, this is a problem now. You can say it's just a bit of paper, but it's so much more than that.

The Advocate "Truly Madly Gay" by Michael Giltz For years, the lead singer of the band Savage Garden wasn't just in the closet, he was in denial.

Now the international pop star is remarried (this time to a man) and staging his musical comeback. Almost everyone seems to have known pop star Darren Hayes was gay before he did.

"It's weird, because I can say to you that at the age of 11, I was [thinking], 'Dear God, please don't make me gay,' says Hayes. And if they didn't come out of my mouth, they weren't real." What was real was a lifetime of self-denial.

Hayes left that scared little boy behind, married his best friend, became one half of the massively successful Australian duo Savage Garden, enjoyed hit records and sold-out shows, and then--and only then--finally admitted that his lifelong attraction to men and those intense crushes actually meant something.

Even some of my favourite artists probably could’ve used someone at certain points in their career to tell them ‘You know what? “That’s what happened on this record — I was with people who weren’t afraid to say ‘You can do better.’ “I think it’d probably been about 12 years since someone had had the balls to say that to me in the studio,” he laughed.

Given this new concerted effort to write radio-ready three-and-a-half minute pop songs (check current single , which starts as a tender ballad before morphing into a Coldplayesque anthem), Hayes was eager to refute any notions he’d ‘sold out’. So often people phrase that type of question as ‘Has coming out hurt your career? “Truthfully, I actually think my creativity’s always been intact.

"I think his voice is so recognizable, and those two songs..two years they didn't leave the airwaves," says Taylor.

Like Carole King's 'Tapestry' and David Gray's 'White Ladder', 'This Delicate Thing We've Made' has the feel of something made for the sheer love of it, without any consideration for radio play or fitting into formats or pleasing a major label.

Hayes was promoting 'The Tension and the Spark' on a TV show in the United Kingdom called 'Popworld', known for bringing on celebrities and treating them rudely. "So this guy on camera says, 'So you're obviously gay; why didn't you ever come out? "In a lot of ways, there was a feeling that I didn't feel authentic," says Hayes.

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