01-08-1865 – 11-26-1943 Winnaretta Singer, Princesse Edmond de Polignac – Born in Yonkers, New York. She was the twentieth of 24 children and an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. It was known in private circles that she was a lesbian. She married twice, with neither marriage being consummated. Her second marriage was to Prince Edmond de Ploignac, a gay man. Even though the marriage wasn’t sexual, they both loved one another, had a mutual respect, and understanding. Singer had many affairs with women and never tried to conceal it. The women she had relationships with include, Romaine Brooks, composer and conductor Ethel Smyth, pianist Renata Borgatti, British socialite and novelist Violet Trefusis, and British landscape expert Alvilde Chaplin. Singer used her fortune to benefit the arts and the sciences. Protégés of her music salon included Debussy and Ravel. She also performed, playing both the piano and organ, and she was an accomplished artist. At the time of her death she was living with Alvilde Chaplin. (Painting is a self-portrait of Winnaretta Singer, 1885)
01-08-1947 – 01-10-2016 David Bowie (born David Robert Jones) – Born in Brixton, London, United Kingdom. He was an English musician, singer-songwriter, actor, and arranger. Throughout his career, he sold an estimated 140 million albums. In the UK, Bowie was awarded nine Platinum album certifications, 11 Gold, and eight Silver, and in the US, five Platinum and seven Gold certifications. In 1972, Bowie declared himself gay in an interview with Michael Watts in the January 22, 1972 issue of Melody Maker. In a September 1976 interview with Playboy, he said,“It’s true – I am a bisexual. But I can’t deny that I’ve used that fact very well. I suppose it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” According to his first wife Angie, Bowie had a relationship with Mick Jagger. On April 24, 1992, Bowie married Somali-American model Iman. On January 17, 1996, Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album Black Star.
01-08-1911 – 04-26-1970 Gypsy Rose Lee (born Rose Louise Hovick) – Born in Seattle, Washington. She was an American burlesque entertainer famous for her striptease act. She was also an actress, author, and playwright, whose 1957 memoir was made into the stage musical and film Gypsy. It was not only her striptease act that made her famous, she brought a sharp sense of humor into her act as well. She was married three times, and had a son with Otto Preminger while still married to her second husband. Her mother opened a lesbian boarding house in a 10-room apartment on West End Avenue in Manhattan. Mother Rose shot and killed her female lover. According to Gypsy’s son, Erik Lee Preminger, Mother Rose’s female lover had made a pass at Gypsy. She was never prosecuted.