Former Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes says he does not want to be pigeon-holed as a gay artist.

The 39-year-old musician, who came out five years ago, told News.com.au: “I don’t want to be a gay or a straight artist. I don’t make gay records – I make records.

“I don’t want to feel like I have to be a poster child for anything other than being a great artist. I don’t take that on board as being my responsibility as a gay man, because I think it’s really limiting.”

Hayes, who had a civil partnership in 2006, said he was inspired by Michael Jackson as a child.

He explained: “For me as a kid growing up, I was gay and I didn’t even realise it, let alone accept it. I was told I was gay before I could even imagine it. I was incredibly bullied – ferociously bullied – as a child.

“I looked to this man that the whole world thought was a freak and I thought, ‘That’s normal’, and he was this hero to me. He taught me to sing.”