Brian Falduto Sings the Same Old Country Love Song but it’s Gay!

Photo By Mia Isabella

Selected as “one of the 20 most influential, outspoken, and optimistic individuals on the planet” by Pride Life Magazine, Brian Falduto came into prominence after playing the role of Billy, nicknamed Fancy Pants by Jack Black in the cult classic film School of Rock. His participation in the film had a major impact on his coming of age having been so publicly visible as different but yet too young to come to terms with his sexuality. “My story is one of what happens when we try to label something we don’t understand in order to avoid our own discomfort,” says Brian, a now out-&-proud LGBTQ artist & advocate. He has traveled the country performing and speaking at Pride events, sharing himself vulnerably and offering hope to countless young people.

In 2023, Brian released his first country music song, “Same Old Country Love Song.” It was greeted with a flood of positive encouragement and excitement and would become an LGBTQ+ country music anthem. Subsequent releases followed including “Hottest Guy Here”, “Big Boys Club, and “Skip the Step.”

Newest Single

Brian Falduto’s newest single release is another example of what’s become the modus operandi for the Hollywood child actor turned country crooner: it’s the same old country love song, but it’s gay. He covers Dolly Parton’s beloved classic “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That,” but his version adds a modern twist that while humorous, also carries real significance to Falduto and a large segment of country music fans that have long felt ignored by the genre. “As far as I’m concerned, we all belong in country music,” he asserts. “White, black, straight, gay… country music is about storytelling and it’s time we hear some new stories.”

Claim to Fame School of Rock

Brian Falduto first gained fame playing the role of Fancy Pants in the Jack Black cult classic film School of Rock. The intense focus on the effeminate mannerisms he displayed as an adolescent would have a major impact on Brian’s coming to terms with his sexuality as a teen and young adult. “Mine is a story of what happens when society attaches a label on something they don’t understand in order to avoid their own discomfort,” he reflects today. Brian would later pen a pivotal essay about his sexual awakening in The Advocate and he now travels the country performing and speaking at Pride events, sharing himself vulnerably and offering hope to people in the early stages of their coming out.

Live Shows

In his live shows, Brian Falduto often mixes his original material with cover tracks. He finds familiar songs complete the vibe of his sets and showcase his inspirations. Dolly’s always a favorite because of her consistent support of the LGBTQ+ community and he is especially drawn to tongue-in-cheek songs like “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That” because they are similar to his current catalog. His version of Dolly’s beloved classic doesn’t delineate too far from the original, but it does contain some rootsier, folkier elements that color the song differently. Also, in its production, Brian draws inspiration from the Cam song, “Diane.” “Tonally, ‘Diane’ is similar to ‘Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That’ so I’d say my version marries the two,” Falduto explains.

The biggest alteration from Dolly’s version is Brian’s queer storyline. “People forget this song is about a player,” he laughs. “The cowboy is charming but doesn’t treat his lover so right.”

Photo By Mia Isabella

Brian admits that he can relate to the song. “In my twenties I was always chasing attractive but unavailable men who were incapable of an authentic connection.” (Anyone interested in learning more about Brian’s dalliances can listen to “One More,” a single he released earlier this year chronicling a flirtatiously romantic encounter.)

The “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That” video was filmed in NYC at Hill Country BBQ. It was directed by Brian Falduto and styled by Brendan McCann. Hollywood actor Dan Amboyer (Younger and Uncoupled) plays the charming, cheatin’ cowboy.

“I love that Brian is taking a classic Dolly song and flipping it, making it his own,” Amboyer says from his NYC home. He is excited to play a part in Brian Falduto’s mission to make country music more LGBTQ+ inclusive. “There’s a perception that gays are urban-centric and that country music isn’t for us,” Dan Amboyer continues. “But that’s not my experience. My husband grew up on a cattle ranch. I grew up with pet chickens and pulling bullfrogs out of creeks.”

Photo By Mia Isabella

Shift Toward Inclusion

Brian has noticed a positive shift towards inclusion in country music in recent months. He points to Beyonce Knowles shaking up the genre with “Texas Hold ‘Em,” but also feels there is still a lot of work to be done. “I mean, Beyonce was the first black woman to have a number one single in country music? It’s not because black country artists don’t exist.”

He places the blame on country music radio who, for too long, have been the gatekeepers on what music gets played on air and what is discarded. “Thanks to streaming services, long silenced genres of country including queer country music are finally finding an audience,” says Brian, adding, “This is only the beginning.”

Brian Falduto’s “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That” is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all streaming platforms. Its video released to Youtube on Tuesday, April 16.


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