Benjamin Scheuer releases new song, ‘I Am Samantha,’ for International Trans Day of Visibility

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Benjamin Scheuer and Samantha Williams (Photo courtesy Canvasback Records/Atlantic Records)

In honor of International Trans Day of Visibility, singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer released “I Am Samantha,” a new track that recounts the real-life journey of a transgender woman he met and befriended at a coffee shop in New York City, along with a powerful accompanying music video.

Scheuer is well-known throughout the theatre world on both sides of the Atlantic for his 2014 one-man show “The Lion,” which won numerous awards including a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, an off-West End Award for Best New Musical and an ASCAP Cole Porter Award for Songwriting. He’s also a published children’s author (alongside wife Jemima Williams) for Simon & Schuster, having written “Hibernate With Me” and “Hundred Feet Tall,” as well as the author of “Between Two Spaces,” which documented his diagnosis with (and successful treatment for) stage IV Hodgkins’ Lymphoma.

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Come Out With Pride to host virtual event to benefit LGBTQ community

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride announced March 31 a virtual event to benefit Central Florida’s LGBTQ individuals, nonprofits and organizations effected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Stay In With Pride” will be an online, interactive event that will broadcast live April 3 starting at 8 p.m. on Come Out With Pride’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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Dolly Parton to read bedtime stories online

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Legendary musician, philanthropist and LGBTQ ally Dolly Parton will launch “Goodnight with Dolly” April 2, reading bedtime stories online from her Imagination Library.

Parton launched the Imagination Library in 1995. The book gifting program has mailed more than 130 million free books to children from birth to age five in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

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Local performer Philip Ancheta talks about his first national tour, ‘Miss Saigon’

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando performer Philip Ancheta will always remember the day he got the call that changed his life.

“I was with my friend Heather when they called and I just screamed at the top of my lungs ‘Heather, I’m going on tour,’” Ancheta recalls. “I just sat down and cried. It was such a surreal experience and she hugged me on the ground and we cried together.”

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Miley Cyrus says she left Christian church over ‘anti-LGBTQ’ beliefs

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Miley Cyrus. Photo via Cyrus’ Facebook page.

Miley Cyrus has revealed that she turned away from her Christian church as a teen because of its anti-LGBTQ beliefs.

The 27-year-old singer, who came out as pansexual in 2015, made the disclosure during her new Instagram Live talk show, “Bright Minded,” as part of an interview with model Hailey Beiber, who is the daughter of actor (and conservative Christian activist) Stephen Baldwin and the wife of pop star Justin Beiber.

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Lady Gaga postpones the release of her new album, “Chromatica”

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Lady Gaga self-quarantining because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo from Lady Gaga’s Twitter)

Lady Gaga took to her social media March 24 to tell fans that her latest album, “Chromatica,” will not be released next month as previously announced due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“After a lot of deliberation, I’ve made the incredibly tough decision to postpone the release of ‘Chromatica,'” she wrote in a letter to her fans. “I will announce a new 2020 release date soon.”

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UPDATED: Tampa Bay entertainers stream performances amidst COVID-19 closures

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: (L-R) Rest in North Dakota, the Scott & Patti Show and Daphne Ferraro. Photos via performers’ Facebook pages.

TAMPA BAY | Entertainers throughout Tampa Bay are utilizing social media to share their craft with the community as closures mount in response to COVID-19, the coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

LGBTQ and ally organizations throughout Tampa Bay began announcing event cancellations, postponements and closures in mid-March. Many of the decisions preceded Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to close nightclubs and bars for 30 days statewide, impacting a growing number of area entertainers and performance venues financially dependent on scheduled performances.

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Sam Smith releases acoustic version of latest single, ‘To Die For’

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Less than a month after the release of their new single, “To Die For,” singer Sam Smith has debuted a new acoustic version of the song.

Smith dropped the new recording March 13, which features a stripped-down musical accompaniment of piano and cello, along with an “ambient visual” which was filmed and recorded live in Los Angeles. The pop superstar’s vocals are placed front and center in a sentimental performance that evokes their earliest releases.

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GLAAD Media Awards among entertainment events cancelled due to virus outbreak

By : Wire Report
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The GLAAD Media Awards, scheduled for March 19 in New York, is among the tours, awards shows, conventions and festivals announcing cancellations and postponements due to the new coronavirus outbreak, causing a major impact on entertainment events both in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The LGBTQ media advocacy organization announced the cancellation of its New York ceremony in a press release March 11.

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Ethan Gruska chats about his new album ‘En Garde’

By : Greg Shapiro
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You may not immediately recognize Ethan Gruska’s name, but if you were a fan of the brother/sister duo The Belle Brigade, it might ring a bell, if you will.

Gruska, and his lesbian sister Barbara, released a couple of albums in the early 2010s before disbanding. The siblings, who are part of a musical dynasty (their grandfather is award-winning composer John Williams and their father Jay is a musician), continue to make music. Barbara worked on her wife Samantha Sidley’s 2019 album. Gruska has released two solo albums, the latest being the wonderful and eclectic “En Garde.”

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Lady Gaga announces six dates to The Chromatica Ball tour

By : Samantha Neely
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Lady Gaga announced six dates for her limited run tour, The Chromatica Ball. 

The announcement comes days after Gaga released the date of her sixth studio album, “Chromatica,” and a week after her number one single, “Stupid Love,” dropped. 

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Madonna cancels another show due to injury

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATIONgood
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ABOVE: Madonna, photo via Madonna’s Facebook page.

The Queen of Pop has been forced to disappoint her fans once again due to injury.

As reported by Good Morning America on Monday, Madonna canceled a scheduled performance of her “Madame X” tour in Paris on Sunday after a Friday night fall required her to once more go on bed rest.

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