I Candye 

From porn star to mother to blues musician, Candye Kane is The Toughest Girl Alive

Who: Candye Kane

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 19

Burlesque is back baby, and in a big way. Musicals like Chicago are raking in the crowds. Pop princesses are grabbing Grammy’s for Moulin Rouge-style sultry singing. America’s favourite live show is the Pussycat Dolls, where hot young stars clamour to get into corsets.

But one voluptuous diva has been doing it since long before the recent converts discovered it, and she’s still going stronger and sexier than ever.

Candye Kane, the self-described "black drag queen trapped in a white girl’s body" has been performing her swinging, flamboyant, hard blues show for more than 15 years and constantly wowing the critics. Just last year she received the best blues band award at the San Diego Music Awards – for the seventh time mind you. Her latest record, The Toughest Girl Alive , was named one of the top 10 best CDs of the year. And with a new label taking her to new heights, she’s just wrapped up production on her sixth LP, Whole Lotta Love. Not bad for a girl from East L. A who raised a son on her own and started out as a stripper and porn star.

"It’s funny, that part of my life is almost 20 years ago. I was 21 years old at the time and now I’m 40, but I still use elements of that period in my gigs," said the effervescent Kane.

Fabled stories of how she plays the piano with her rubinesque breasts spring to mind.

"Oh yes, I can do all that type of stuff, but what I really borrowed from that time is the confidence to perform on stage. Once you’ve danced naked you can do anything.

"But seriously, it really is all about the music. We’re a blues show, we do a lot of blues shuffles with lyrics and costumes that make it humorous, sometimes political, but all the time musically sound."

Kane is a dedicated and class act. Between her sex advice columns, writing her memoirs, being a sex worker and feminist advocate and also a plus size model, she still manages to squeeze in 250 concerts a year around the world.

"It’s crazy I know, but it’s really a necessity. I’m not Mariah Carey or Kelly Osbourne with my own TV show. I’m not on commercials or hearing my songs every day, so in order to make money I keep touring, but I really love it. Especially places like Whistler, which I only get to hit once a year."

Kane has a deep love for Whistler and this trip she is bringing her 22-year-old son, Evan, who just happens to play percussion.

"This is his first tour and first time to Whistler, which we’re really excited about," she said. "It’s kind of a legendary place for him because our good friend Country Dick Montana from the Beat Farmers passed away there."

Kane hopes that plenty of women turn out for her show.

"The biggest misconception about me is that because of my past, people think it won’t be a female-friendly show," she said. "I am sure some people think ‘why would I want to see an ex-porn star?’ But it is actually an unplifting, more female accessible show than you’d think."

With powerful songs like The Lord Was A Woman and You Need a Great Big Woman To Show You How To Love, Kane’s performance is certainly body-loving, soul-saving music that pays homeage to the female species.

"I’m really empowered by those songs myself, so when I see others inspired too it really makes me really happy."

Quench your Candye craving at the GLC this Wednesday night.

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