Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride

It was on October 9, 2005 that the first Come Out with Pride festival was held in Orlando. The brainchild of the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA), Come Out with Pride Orlando was held in October because it was close to National Coming Out Day, the weather is nicer during autumn, and October was sufficiently far enough away on the calendar from Gay Days, another large-scale LGBT Orlando event. Since that first celebration, attendance has grown from a few thousand to over 120,000 for the 2013 event, which saw Steve Grand, Taylor Dayne, and others come to Orlando to help celebrate Pride. It is one of the most popular gay pride celebrations in the state in terms of attendance figures.

This year Come Out with Pride Orlando will celebrate its 10th anniversary year with events from October 6-12. Macy’s returns as presenting sponsor for another year. Many events are going on throughout the week, and some entertainers are coming to town in part due to the partnership of Come Out with Pride with local radio station WXXL 106.7.

Here are profiles of some noteworthy performers you’ll be seeing during Come Out with Pride week this year.

Clean Bandit at Orlando PrideClean Bandit is a four-person electronic/synthpop group originally from Cambridge, England. The group members are Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson, Grace Chatto, and Milan Neil Amin-Smith. The group produces their own music and has been described as having a humorous, “tongue-in-cheek” sound.

They released their first single, “A+E,” on the UK Singles Charts at the very end of 2012. It was featured on their debut album, New Eyes, which was released in the United States on June 17, 2014. So far six singles have been released from this album, with the song “Rather Be” peaking at #1 on the UK Singles Charts and in the U.S. Billboard Top 20, their first single to appear in the U.S. Top 40.

AJR at Orlando PrideAJR is an indie pop band from New York City, consisting of three brothers. The group name is an acronym signifying each member’s first name (Adam, Jack and Ryan Met). Described as a “DIY” band, they mix their music themselves in their own apartment instead of having other people do it in a studio.

Their debut single “I’m Ready” was released in 2013 and caught the attention of Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler, whose hit “Chandelier” was a chart success this year. Sia put them in contact with former Columbia Records president Steve Greenberg, who acts as their mentor. “I’m Ready” has received over seven million views on YouTube and was a regular fixture on SiriusXM’s Top 20 on 20 channel. Their new EP, “Infinity,” is on sale now.

Meghan Trainor at Orlando PrideMeghan Trainor, who turns 21 in December, released her debut single “All About That Bass” in June of this year, and by September she had a #1 hit. “All About That Bass” has topped the charts in five countries as of press time, and has already sold over a million copies via digital download.

Trainor was born and raised in Massachusetts and started writing her own music when she was 11 years old. She signed to a record label as a songwriter while she was still in high school, and moved to Nashville to pursue her dreams when she was 19. L.A. Reid heard of Trainor and her song “All About That Bass,” which she wrote and produced with Kevin Kadish, and had her signed to Epic Records so she could release the song. Trainor has released a four-track EP, “Title,” which features “All About That Bass” and the new radio airplay hit “Dear Future Husband.”

Capitol Cities at Orlando PrideCapital Cities is an indie pop duo from Los Angeles, California. Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian comprise the duo, with a backing band consisting of Manny Quintero on bass guitar, Spencer Ludwig on trumpet, Nick Merwin on guitar and Channing Holmes on drums. Their song “Safe and Sound,” originally released in 2011, has peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became their first hit.

Their full-length debut album, “In a Tidal Wave of Mystery,” was released in June 2013, a year after the band was signed to Capitol Records. “Safe and Sound” was re-released and became a worldwide hit, and earned the group a Grammy Award nomination for Best Music Video.

Bec and Sebastian Ivanov are singers and songwriters from Melbourne, Australia. They are twins and both gay. They were featured on the television series The Voice Australia, where they made it to the battle rounds before being eliminated. Sebastian has been involved in the music industry for over ten years, while his sister has only been singing publicly for a couple of years. They are currently recording new music for a future album.

Lil Kim at Orlando PrideLil’ Kim (Kimberly Denise Jones) is one of the best-known female rappers of all time, earning herself the nickname “Queen Bee.” Born and raised in Brooklyn, she was first noticed by The Notorious B.I.G., who heard her freestyle rap, and she was featured on Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s album “Conspiracy.”

Her first solo album, “Hard Core” (1996), went double-platinum and produced three #1 rap hits. By 2003, she became only the second female rapper in history (after Missy Elliott) to have released three albums, all of which had gone platinum on the Billboard 200 charts. In 2001, she recorded a cover of “Lady Marmalade” with Christina Aguilera, Mya, and Pink, which reached #1 on the pop charts, making her only the second female rapper to have a #1 pop hit as well. In 2008, she started producing and releasing her own music independently. She has released three mixtapes since then, with the most recent being released on her website in September 2014.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.