Ho was born in Toledo, OH and raised in Kansas City, KS by her high school sweetheart parents. A born misfit, she was drawn to all things urban while growing up surrounded by white trash, and was kicked out of high school choir for sounding “too black.” This fascination with the street moved her ass to New York City and straight up to Harlem in the summer of 2002. When life got hard, Ho turned to drugging, dealing, and running hustle to keep her afloat during the lean times. Stealing ladies’ handbags from coat rooms at parties inspired her track “Bitch, I Stole Yo Purse!,” which became the #1 Funniest Video of 2008 on the MTV/LOGO Network, and was spoofed on FX’s Nip/Tuck with Jennifer Coolidge playing their version of Wendy Ho.
Amidst the accolades for her sexy and stoopit comedy, what sets her apart from other musical comics is her undeniable vocal chops. Wendy Ho can sing. Her combination of comedy and real musical talent caught the attention of producer Craig Levy, aka Little Pioneer, in the Fall of 2004. Their collaboration birthed The Gospel According to Ho in the spring of 2007 and delivered 10 tracks including the torch song “Fuck Me,” “Cocaine,” recounting her former drug-addiction, and “The AIDS Gamble,” a PSA warning of the dangers of flossing.
This irreverence and balls-out femininity struck a special chord with the gay community, inspiring drag queens around the world to perform her songs and celebrate Ho. With a rainbow hurricane of gay support behind her, Wendy Ho owned 2009, performing across North America and abroad, with venues in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Montreal, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, and her hometown of Kansas City, as well as an Atlantis gay cruise to Rome, Greece, and Egypt. She also appeared on Showtime’s series I Can’t Believe I’m Still Single, where she met the show’s director of photography Stas Tagios, who became her fiancé after he popped the question on the cruise. Love led to relocation, with Wendy moving westward to Los Angeles, where she currently performs regularly at Hamburger Mary’s West Hollywood in The Wendy Ho “Ho Show” and continues to tour across the country.
And the music don’t stop. Working again with Little Pioneer, Ho recently dropped Number Two, a free download mixtape packed with fresh song jacks, freestyles, mashups and remixes, including the dirty disco anthem “Poop Noodle.” The “Poop Noodle” video, meanwhile, is delighting and disgusting thousands of viewers daily on YouTube. Loaded with eleven original songs (no samples this time around), Ho’s new full-length album Yes, I’m a Ho! has recently been released to satisfied disciphos. Featuring edgy, musically and thematically diverse tracks like “I Can’t Afford It (I’m Gonna Have to Abort It)” and “Gurl, Putcho Tampon In,” Yes, I’m a Ho! is a soon-to-be-notorious classic hip-hop/r&b record combining tongue-in-cheek delivery with in-your-face prophecy. Off the leash in the studio just as much as she is on stage, Ho consistently creates outrageously raunchy, entertaining and thought-provoking experience with songs that push buttons and masterfully jump genre lines.
Ho is an artist. Ho is a state of mind. Ho redefines women in music with true liberation. She is funny and sexy, never sacrificing one for the other. A pretty bitch, a witty feminist, a self-possessed, self-assured mashup of street and trash who makes you laugh while she makes you think. The responses she evokes from audiences are as diverse as her roots, but at the core there is no question about who she is. Wendy is all woman. All Ho.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I have always sung, but I didn't start developing "Wendy Ho" until college. I added comedy writing and rap into my performance arsenal, after I wrote a rap about a man that looked like Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It wasn't until this song, "Yo Teef," was demanded by my peers at parties and pub crawls that I began toying with the idea of crafting an act that would incorporate all the things that I love to do for people: sing to them, surprise them with rap, and make them laugh!
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
My favorite thing to do in the whole wide world is to sing and make people lose their shit laughing.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
My biggest challenge is promotion. Promoting my live events in different cities and new markets is very challenging.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I thought I was going to be the next Bette Midler.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
The gay community has embraced my material in a way I never saw coming. Especially the drag divas. I am inspired by their humor, their talent, their make up, their theatricality, I'm pretty much a female drag queen.
What other artists out there do you love?
I love Bette Midler, Erykah Badu, Lil Kim, TuPac, Jay-Z, Mary J
What does your future hold?
My future holds more and more growth and work as an entertainer. There will be more opportunities, and at each level a new way to learn the business and develop my artistry. Baby, I'm a star!