The 3rd Annual Zoomer List: Canada’s Top 45 Over 45: Corey Hart

Corey Hart, 50, Musician

The Montreal-born singer-songwriter blasted to the top of the charts in 1983 with his mega-hit Sunglasses at Night; however, decades later it was his 1988 song, Truth Will Set You Free, that has him making headlines again. Hart maintains he always intended it as a gay-positive song – he had many gay friends in the ’80s who had felt the sting of prejudice – but after the murder of gay student Matthew Shepard in 1998, he felt more strongly then ever about the issue of discrimination. His opportunity to make a real statement came this year when approached by a DJ who wanted permission to remix the tune: Hart punched up the lyrics and rerecorded it, making its pro-gay themes less cryptic. The result is a new verse about Shepard. Hart – who is straight and married with four children – also performed the tune at Toronto Pride this past June as a pro-gay anthem, telling a newspaper: “I think it was important that if I’m going to make a statement that I stand behind it physically and in every capacity that an artist can, which is to go on stage and perform.”