LOS ANGELES – Two years after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted celebrations around the world, Pride is officially back in Los Angeles – with the help of Christina Aguilera.
More than 23,000 people flocked to Los Angeles State Historic Park on Saturday for LA Pride in the Park, an all-day concert and entertainment event that saw Aguilera headline a lineup that included Rebecca Black, Michaela Jaé, and more.
Throughout her set, Aguilera hit hits that her fans have come to know and love, while also making room for surprise guests like Kim Petras, Paris Hilton and Mya. Her set also featured a montage condemning Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which critics have called “Don’t Say Gay,” and a moving tribute to her LGBTQ supporters.
LA Pride in the Park is the first major, in-person music event to be held as part of Los Angeles Pride since plans for 2020 were torpedoed and the Charli XCX concert virtually streamed in 2021.
Here’s a look at the extravaganza.
Christina Aguilera Pauses Her LA Pride Set For A Segment About Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law
After starting off with energetic, old-fashioned songs like “Dirrty” and “Fighter,” Aguilera left the stage midway through the set playing a video attacking Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which was signed on March 28.
The law bans classroom teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade and has spurred people on both sides of the political aisle.
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“It’s also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law,” the video reads. “So today, in honor of Pride, let’s shout.”
Audience members chanted “Gay” as backup dancers held up signs saying “Say Gay.” The words “equality”, “identity”, “peace”, “love”, “unity” and “freedom” also flashed on the screen behind them.
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Aguilera didn’t quite keep the spotlight to herself. She also brought out famous guests.
R&B artist Mya and Aguilera sang their 2001 hit “Lady Marmalade,” a reunion that was greeted with wild cheers from the crowd.
Hilton also shocked fans when she was wheeled onto a platform to perform a DJ set. One of the first songs she played was “Toxic” by her friend and newlywed Britney Spears. Hilton was spotted at Spears’ lavish private wedding to Sam Asghari on Thursday.
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In keeping with the theme of the 2000s night, Hilton also grabbed the microphone and sang her 2006 song “Stars Are Blind.”
Petras was also a surprise guest, delivering a daring performance of her song ‘XXX’. Aguilera joined Petras onstage for the song with a large, sparkly green phallic strap-on, while Petras danced on all fours.
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Christina Aguilera is ‘Beautiful’ in Pride cape
But the most stunning spectacle came from Aguilera’s closing track: her ballad “Beautiful.”
The singer appeared on stage wearing a billowing cape that resembled the Pride flag. The cape was so big that her backing dancers had to hold it up for her.
Earlier in the evening, Aguilera shared her gratitude for her LGBTQ fans and shared how she hopes her music will appeal to them.
“Thank you so much for having me tonight. I am so honored. I am so grateful. I am so humbled by your love and support over the past 20 years,” she told the audience from the stage. “I’m so happy to always give something back to you and give a voice, or try, to anyone who feels oppressed, who feels like an outcast.”
She added: “I love these shows more than anything because you know what? We represent freedom – freedom of expression, owning who you are, fearlessness and fantasy too.”
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