Big Freedia bounces into Gasparilla Music Festival and beyond

By : Gregg Shapiro
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Music has always been an escape for Big Freedia, the out and proud Queen of Bounce. The New Orleans-based entertainer is a worldwide ambassador of bounce music, indigenous hip hop characterized by Mardi Gras Indian chants, energetic call-and-response vocals, heavy bass and up-tempo beats.

Freedia, who grew up singing in church choirs and admiring artists like Patti LaBelle and the openly gay “Queen of Disco” Sylvester, was first introduced to bounce music by drag entertainer Katey Red in the late 90s. Red is considered the first transgender emcee to rise to prominence in New Orleans and is credited with creating the LGBTQ-inclusive subgenre sissy bounce. She also welcomed Freedia as her backup dancer.

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Elton John escorted from stage in New Zealand due to pneumonia

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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(Above image from Instagram)

A week after winning an Oscar for writing Best Original Song, “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from “Rocketman” with longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin, Sir Elton John was forced to call an early end to a concert in New Zealand after losing his voice.

The legendary pop star and LGBTQ icon is in the midst of his three-year “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour and was visibly emotional as he was led offstage at a concert in Auckland, Australia Feb. 16 after he had already performed for nearly two hours.

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Transmasculine Latinx musician Jakk Fynn drops new EP and video

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Jakk Flynn, photo courtesy Flynn.

Jakk Fynn, a transmasculine pop music artist who says he is “committed to redefining masculinity,” has released his first EP – and he’s shared a brand new music video to go with it, too.

The new release, which dropped on Wednesday, is titled “Cancelled,” and it’s a collection of emotionally evocative dance pop tracks drawn from what publicity material calls the Latinx singer and songwriter’s “pop-punk and post-hardcore musical roots.”

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Sam Smith announces new album release

By : Jeremy Williams
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Sam Smith announced via Twitter Feb. 13 that their third studio album, “To Die For” will be released May 1.

“I’m more proud of this album than anything I’ve ever done,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “I’ve really set myself free the last two years whilst writing this & I hope you can dance and relate to these stories. It’s all for you, always xx.”

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Madonna lashes out after London Palladium cuts off concert for going past curfew

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Madonna performs, screenshot via YouTube.

Madonna is making news again for a disruption of her current “Madame X” tour, but it’s not because she cancelled another show.

Variety reports that the 61-year-old “Queen of Pop” has been venting her anger at the London Palladium after the venue cut short her concert for running over an 11 p.m. curfew on Wednesday night.

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Tampa Pride announces inaugural concert, celebrity headliner

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Martha Wash will headline the sixth annual Tampa Pride’s inaugural Pride at Night March 28. (Photo from Facebook)

TAMPA | The sixth annual Tampa Pride will feature an inaugural Pride at Night concert on March 28 from 6 p.m.-midnight at The Cuban Club, welcoming headliner Martha Wash.

“Tampa Pride 2020 will be bigger than ever,” organizers have shared. “Our street festival will feature more room for community participation and our diversity parade will also be bigger, with more room for bands, floats, horses, music and much more. But that’s not all … this year’s star will be Martha Wash, performing ‘It’s Raining Men!’”

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Ricky Martin finds inspiration in Puerto Rico protests

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Ricky Martin in his video for “Tiburones.” (Screenshot from YouTube)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) | Ricky Martin’s wide smile began to fade as the Puerto Rican superstar talked about his next album.

It’s influenced by the U.S. territory’s political turmoil as people struggle to recover from Hurricane Maria and a recent 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed one person and destroyed hundreds of homes amid a 13-year recession.

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On Grammy red carpet, stars speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Little Big Town speaks with GLAAD. Screenshot via YouTube.

The tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, alongside his 13-year-old daughter and 7 other people, cast a somber mood over Sunday night’s 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony. A breathtaking opening number by host and multiple Grammy-winner Alicia Keys and members of Boys II Men paid tribute to the basketball superstar, setting the stage for an evening which was peppered with speeches and performances dedicated to Bryant’s memory.

The passing of Bryant was not the only shadow hanging over the evening, however. With this week’s news of the signing into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee of his state’s controversial measure allowing adoption agencies to deny service to same-sex couples on the basis of “religious freedom,” the resurgent specter of anti-LGBTQ discrimination also haunted the proceedings, made all the more glaring by a lack of any mention in a presentation that included several wins by out LGBTQ artists.

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Taylor Swift explains why she got political in new Netflix doc

By : Jeremy Williams
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(Screenshot from YouTube)

“I need to be on the right side of history,” pop icon Taylor Swift says about her jump into the political arena in the trailer to a new documentary film coming to Netflix Jan. 31. “Miss Americana,” directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lana Wilson, follows Swift throughout the making of her album “Lover” and as she finds her political voice over the last few years.

Prior to the 2018 mid-term elections, Swift had been quiet publicly on matters of politics until she came out in an Instagram post endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee in October 2018. Less than a year later, Swift encouraged her fans to support The Equality Act — legislation designed to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination on the basis of  sexual orientation and gender identity — in the music video for her single “You Need To Calm Down,” which featured dozens of LGBTQ entertainers.

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Kristin Chenoweth covers, duets with fellow legends

By : Gregg Shapiro
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On “For The Girls,” the legendary Kristin Chenoweth’s most contemporary, pop-oriented studio album in nearly 10 years, the Tony and Emmy Award-winning performer pays tribute to several of her musical icons.

The list includes Judy Garland, Eydie Gorme, Barbra Streisand, Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton.

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Taylor Swift, Janet Mock to be honored by GLAAD

By : Wire Report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Taylor Swift and writer-director-producer Janet Mock will be honored at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards for their advocacy for LGBTQ issues.

The pop star will receive the Vanguard Award, which is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. Mock, who is best known for her work on the FX series “Pose,” will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented to a LGBTQ media professional.

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Actress Sara Gilbert separates from wife, singer Linda Perry

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry at an Evening with Women event in 2014. (Photo by Greg Hernandez, from Wikimedia Commons)

LOS ANGELES (AP) | Actress Sara Gilbert has filed for legal separation from her wife of five years, singer and songwriter Linda Perry.

Gilbert filed the separation documents in Los Angeles Superior Court Dec. 27. The papers cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split, and requests that neither woman receive spousal support.

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