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Lee

There was the glitz. There was glamour. It was complicated. Flamboyant pianist, Liberace took the world by storm in a career that lasted over four decades. He performed for millions of people en route to becoming the highest-paid entertainer in the world.

But it wasn’t all rapturous applause and fantabulous candelabras; there was a darker side to his success.

Some criticised his playing style, believing it diminished classical music. Others thought he was just tacky.

And there were those who rallied against him because they thought he was gay, a fact he denied until the end, even though he bedded many male lovers.

On the centenary of his birth, Xav Judd looks at his life and legacy, and re-evaluates his place in the LGBTIQ history books.

Władziu Valentino Liberace was born May 16, 1919, in West Allis, Wisconsin, USA, the son of immigrant parents. His father, Salvatore (Sam), had moved to the US from Italy and become a factory worker, while his mother, Frances could trace her origins to Poland. Both parents had musical backgrounds. Frances had been a concert pianist; Salvatore, a French horn player. His mother was a fan of 1920s silent film star, Rudolph Valentino hence the middle name, but he was known as Lee or Walter to his friends and family. He grew to a statuesque 1.7 metres, with warm, brown eyes, and thick, wavy hair.

Salvatore encouraged the young Liberace’s interest in music and took him to recitals, and when he started to play the piano at just age four, he saw the talent and demanded young Lee practice diligently.

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DNA #242 – The Men And Health Issue On the cover this month is US model and reality star, Cheyenne Parker. Inside he’s in the buff for an 8-page Stable Boy fantasy shoot! Physique model Joe Wachs also gets his muscles, and more, bulging in a shoot we’ve called Hot, Healthy, Hung! And Roman PT, Riccardo Spiga strips off to show us a few unexpected highlights of the Italian city! In the features department, we delve deep into the fetishised world of Greco-Roman wrestling, re-look at the life of Liberace, meet Brazilian drag sensation Pabllo Vittar, and chat with hilarious gay comedian, Nathan Valvo. Our Straight Mate is Dancing With The Stars’ super-sexy Irish judge Tristan MacManus. He reveals he has a man-crush on Michael Fassbinder. DNA readers want to know how to have hotter sex. Why know, because you write to us! So sex-pert Cameron McCool answers your questions. And while we’re talking sex, our Porn Star Interview this month is with Cagedjock, who specialises in chastity fetish. If you haven’t heard of it yet, read this. It’s fascinating! Plus, there’s all your favourite regular reviews and columns – Fight Club (what the haters are saying), Music, Month In A Minute, Burnttoast, Gay To Z and tons more.