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Savage Garden’s Darren Hayes Looks Back on Being Closeted During Band’s Heyday: ‘I Was in a Dark Place’

Darren Hayes is opening up like never before. In a new interview, the Savage Garden singer spoke out about the mental anguish he endured at the height of the pop act’s fame due to being closeted.

“I would say my new album honestly saved my life,” the now openly gay musician told People in a story published Monday (July 4). “I was in a dark place, emotionally, not understanding that just like my sexuality, my creative outlet is a huge part of the person I am, and by denying that, I was denying an essential part of me.”

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Hayes’ decision to get honest with his fans actually started days earlier on Friday (July 1), when he published a vulnerable op-ed in HuffPost looking back on Savage Garden’s heyday back in the late ’90s thanks to treacly middle-school slow dance jams (and No. 1 hits) such as “Truly Madly Deeply” and “I Knew I Loved You.”

“To the casual observer, I appeared confident, full of swagger with my vaguely ’70s blow wave and a blue-black dye job that could rival Elvis in his prime,” he reminisced about a 1999 interview on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. “But my bravado was a carefully crafted persona, built to protect me from years of bullying at school, denial and shame about my sexuality, and a mask to hide the rapidly increasing depression that would soon become overwhelming.”

Continuing to People, the Brisbane, Australia, native added, “I realized that I had never truly been myself at the height of my fame and commercial success. It would have been a huge regret of mine to have retired from the public eye without having come back to the world as my true authentic self.”

Now he’s doing just that, launching an upcoming tour of the United Kingdom in the wake of his recent solo singles “Let’s Try Being in Love,” “Do You Remember?” and “Poison Blood.”


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