Billy Porter Says This One Song Changed the Trajectory of His Entire Life

Listen to the new episode of “This Life of Mine with James Corden” on the SiriusXM app now.

Jackie Kolgraf
March 29, 2024

Billy Porter opened up about the power of diverse representation in Hollywood during a new episode of “This Life of Mine with James Corden” — exclusively on SiriusXM’s Stars (Ch. 109) via the SiriusXM app and car radios.

This Life of Mine with James Corden - Special Guest: Billy Porter - Available exclusively on SiriusXM - Listen Now button

Billy Porter’s Song: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”

Billy shared with James that the song that had the biggest impact on his life was actually a live performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” by Jennifer Holliday at the Tony Awards in 1982.

“I’m washing dishes in my kitchen. The Tony Awards comes on,” Billy said. “For the first time in my life, I’m seeing Black people who aren’t slaves and who aren’t in the ghetto. Dressed in sequins, gowns, makeup, and hair, and elegant.”

Jennifer’s performance inspired him because “it was theater, but … it was on television,” he explained.

“I knew instantly, ‘That’s it. I can make money doing that,'” Billy continued. “I didn’t think about those people in the way as making money doing that. I didn’t realize it was a profession until I saw it on television. I can’t express enough that it was that song and that performance that literally changed the trajectory of my entire life.”

About “This Life of Mine with James Corden”

Featuring in-depth, richly produced conversations between James Corden and a variety of prominent guests on the people, places, possessions, music, and memories that made them, “This Life of Mine with James Corden” tells the never-before-heard stories that shaped the people at the top of their field across film and television, sports, fashion, music, theater, business, and more.

New episodes air Thursdays at 5pm ET on Stars (Ch. 109). Stream episodes anytime after their premiere on the SiriusXM app.

Previous guests on “This Life of Mine with James Corden” include Tom FordMartin ScorseseKim KardashianOdell Beckham Jr.Jeremy Renner, Dr. Dre, and David Beckham.