THECOUNT.COM “ALWAYS OPEN! Since 2005!” – February 15, 2021

NEW YORK, NY. (THECOUNT) — New York City dance music DJ, Ari Gold, has died, according to multiple reports. He was 47.

Gold died after a long battle with leukemia, according to rollingstone.

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RuPaul posted the sad news of Ari’s passing on Twitter. Friends and fellow musicians since shared tributes and remembrances.

On Instagram, director and musician John Cameron Mitchell wrote: “What a light and a pioneer in pop. He was out long before it was fashionable and took so many artistic risks. Loved him. What a sweetheart. Wishing his friends and family peace of heart and mind. Rest In Peace dear Ari.” RuPaul also shared a clip from Gold’s podcast, titled “A Kiki From the Cancer Ward,” in which they spoke about Gold’s battle with cancer after he was “cancer free.”

Laverne Cox also paid tribute. “So many people have come and gone from my life over the past 25 years but you have been a constant,” the 48-year-old transgender trailblazer wrote via Instagram. “As I’ve grown and evolved, you evolved with me. The spiritual journey we’ve both been on has made it clear why we’ve remained in each other’s lives for so long. I’m so utterly devastated that you’ve moved on today.

“But I know you’ll be watching over me as you always have. I’m so grateful to have known you. I’m better because you have been a part of my life. My brother! I love you so much! Rest in power!”

Gold released seven albums during his career and paved the way for many out LGBTQ artists. He sang with Diana Ross and Cyndi Lauper, collaborated with Boy George, and opened for Chaka Khan. His music video “Wave of You,” released in 2004, was the first video by an out LGBTQ+ artist to world-premiere on Viacom’s Logo network.

He also worked as a DJ and went by Sir Ari and GoldNation in addition to Ari Gold. He is perhaps best remembered for the track “Where the Music Takes You,” which features Sasha Allen and charted on Billboard’s Top 10 Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.