When I began writing about Joe (a few years after reading Kate Summerscale's incredible biography of her, The Queen of Whale Cay), I became fascinated by how visually stimulating Joe was, especially for her time: cropped hair, dapper suits, tattooed forearms. She radiates swagger - just look at these Life Magazine portraits of her at Whale Cay.
One of the reasons I began writing the stories about these historical women was that they became animated in my imagination after I read their biographies or saw their pictures. And now, it is my great pleasure to see Joe animated through my beautiful friend Rana Hobbs, who is an artist in her own right, a singer-songwriter. ( Check out her rich and soulful voice here - you can flip through her original songs and also listen to her phenomenal cover of Ain't No Sunshine.)
Rana and I met ten years ago while working in a corporate office in Washington D.C. I was still in my vanilla stage - my inner artist was a desperately kept secret. It will surprise no one that Rana and I reconnected over a mutual love of George Michael. Because. GEORGE MICHAEL IS EVERYTHING. No. Hush! Don't argue.