|Education||Tisch School of the Arts|
|Occupation||Nightlife personality, club host, clothing designer, fashionista, actor, drag performer, recording artist, dancer, singer and songwriter.|
|Known for||Music, drag, dance and fashion|
Erickatoure Aviance (or Ericka Toure Aviance) is an American nightlife personality, club host, clothing designer, fashionista, drag performer, recording artist, dancer, actor, singer and songwriter. She is a member of the House of Aviance, one of the vogue and ballroom houses in the U.S. founded in 1989 by Mother Juan Aviance. It is from this House that she takes her last name from as customary for all ballroom house members.
Early life and education
Aviance was born into a mixed race family with a Black father and a White mother. She grew up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and came out of the closet at a young age. Although a trained dancer, she started off doing theatre and didn't enter the dance field until she was 14 years of age. She attended New York University with a dance scholarship and in 1999, progressed to the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts and majored in dance.
During Aviance's career as a drag artist working in nightclubs, she met the entertainer Jonny McGovern who later became a friend and encouraged her to explore her drag character and make her own music. In her earlier years as an artist in New York City, she drew great influences from the performances of her fellow Aviance House member Kevin Aviance. As Erickatoure narrates in an interview with The Huffington Post:
In 2009, Aviance released her EP Work Ericka, and soon after released the music video for her single My Pumps collaborating with artist one-half NelSon who constructed all the looks in that video. Aviance also started the performance art group enSUBTITLES with one-half NelSon and Clifton Brown.
Aviance was part of La'Mady, a transgender rap group that included Koko Aviance, Linda James, and DJ Nita Aviance. The group collaborated with Jonny McGovern in his 2006 album Jonny McGovern Presents: This is NYC, Bitch! The East Village Mixtape , with Aviance featuring in the track Showgirl as well as on This is New York City (BITCH!). In that album, she also appeared with the La'Mady group on Runway in My Street Clothes. The track This is New York City (BITCH!) produced by Jonny McGovern, and written by Jonny McGovern, DJ Nita Aviance and Linda James also became a single for La'Mady and featured Kevin Aviance.
Aviance also Appeared on Jonny McGovern and Lady Red Couture's premiere Hey Qween TV's show Pimp My Drag! (a drag makeover show) in 2017 with Adam Joseph and one-half NelSon, and in 2016 and 2017 appeared on the Hey Qween Show as a guest, starring Jonny McGovern. The music video for her 2017 single OVAH released on Aviance Records was first published on Jonny McGovern and Lady Red Couture's Hey Qween YouTube channel on June 26, 2017.
Controversy involving Wendy Williams
In 2009, Aviance was reported to have been kicked out of The Wendy Williams Show by Wendy Williams and her team for wearing a dress and a wig. It is alleged that: "Erickatoure Aviance was told she couldn't sit in the studio audience of The Wendy Williams Show because the show had a strict "no costume policy". Aviance responded to the incident by calling it "particularly offensive", and went on to add that "Williams has compared herself to a drag queen on the show multiple times." After receiving lots of complaints, and GLAAD getting involved, the show's officials issued an apology, changed their policy, and invited Aviance back on the show. In 2010 when Wendy Williams was supposed to do the pre-show for RuPaul's Drag Race, former contestant Detox, drag performer Stephanie Stone, and recording artist and RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage took to social media and brought up the 2009 humiliation of Erickatoure on The Wendy Williams Show by referring to Wendy Williams as transphobic and not an ally of the LGBT community. That sentiment was echoed by RuPaul's Drag Race's All-Stars season 2 winner Alaska Thunderfuck who referred to Wendy William's coverage of Caitlyn Jenner's transition as "transphobic".
- Huffington Post : "After Dark: Erickatoure Aviance, Artist And Nightlife Personality"' by James Michael Nichols (August 24, 2014)
- Mic : "Detox slams VH1 for making Wendy Williams 'Drag Race' preshow host, Michelle Visage agrees" by Mathew Rodriguez (March 28, 2017)
- Advocate : "Wendy Williams No Homo No Way" by Ross Von Metzke (March 26, 2010)
- Official website of The House of Aviance : Bio page of Erickatoure Aviance
- Bailey, Marlon M., "Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit", University of Michigan Press (2013), p. 23, ISBN 9780472051960
- Erickatoure's exclusive interview on the official Hey Qween YouTube Channel : "Erickatoure Aviance on Hey Qween! With Jonny McGovern". Published 29 Jun 2017 (also premiere of her music video OVAH;)
- EIN News : "HeyQween.tv hits 100,000+ Subscribers on Youtube! Jonny McGovern joins "The Art of the Teese" tour with Dita Von Teese",
- "PIMP MY DRAG: Premiere Episode – A Drag Makeover Special" on Hey Queen's official YouTube Channel. Published on April 26, 2017.
- "Erickatoure – Ovah (Music Video)" on Hey Qween official YouTube Channel. Published on June 26, 2017
- Queerty : (mo' hair, mo' problems) : "Why Did Wendy Williams Try to Block This Drag Queen From Her Show?" (August 14, 2009)
- Apology of Lonnie Burstein, Executive Vice President, Programming & Production, Debmar-Mercury (The Wendy Williams Show's production company) [in] GLAAD : "Wendy Williams producer apologizes for offending drag performer"' by Taj Paxton (August 25, 2009) :
- "Much of the success of The Wendy Williams Show is due to our incredibly diverse and colorful audience and we all agree that fashion is a true form of self expression. But in an attempt to explain and enforce our show's dress code, I was not as sensitive as I could have been to Ericka, the LGBT community or drag's long history of being a target of discrimination. And for that, I sincerely apologize as it was never my intention to offend in any way."