Joey Arias

Drag queen, Musical Artist

1949 –


Who is Joey Arias?

Joey Arias is a New York City based performance artist, cabaret singer, and drag artist.

Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he was six when he moved with his family to Los Angeles. After singing with the rock band "Purlie" on Capitol Records and a stint with improvisational group the Groundlings, In 1976 he and his best friend Kim Hastreiter - who would go on to co-found Paper - drove across country in a pickup truck and moved to New York City. Arias eventually got a job at the Fiorucci designer clothing store. He and other store staff famously performed in the shop windows. While working at the store he became friends with alternative musician Klaus Nomi, singing backup and designing sets and costumes. On December 4, 1979, Nomi and Arias appeared on Saturday Night Live accompanying David Bowie for a live performance of TVC 15. While in New York he also performed with Ann Magnuson in a band called Strange Party which recorded and performed in various night clubs. Upon Nomi's death, Arias became executor to the Klaus Nomi estate. A tribute to his friend is held in Berlin every year, and the documentary film "The Nomi Song" was released in 2004. A film on the life Arias shared with Nomi is currently in development with Alan Cumming slated to play Nomi.

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Oct 3, 1949
Also known as
  • Paco Arias
  • Joe Arias
  • Joseph Arias
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Fayetteville

on July 23, 2013


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