"She showed me the lyrics," he recalls, "and I said, 'Susan, this is very different from what I usually do. I don't know if I can sing the word war.' And she replied"--he takes a long, dramatic pause--"'Your president just approved $80 billion for a war. You need to be able to say that word.'"
Meeting and working with Sontag was a tremendous gift, the openly gay singer adds. "People underestimate the importance of having mentors, and people who are older, around," he observes. "That is such a huge thing in the gay community, because there is a whole generation of artists who are not here because of AIDS."