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Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018 Boasts Gus Kenworthy, Betty Who, and More!

Wednesday Mar 21, 2018

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Miami Beach Gay Pride has announced a dynamic duo of Grand Marshals - Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy and NBC6 anchor and host Roxanne Vargas. The two Marshals will be honored at events throughout Pride Week and will lead the loud and colorful parade down Ocean Drive on Sunday, April 8, beginning at noon. Miami Beach Gay Pride is presented by Celebrity Cruises and takes place April 2-8 at venues throughout Miami Beach.

"Gus and Roxy are two preeminent public figures who well represent and support the LGBTQ community. Gus for being a role model as an out and proud sportsman who excels at his craft and Roxy for being a prominent ally for the community and equal rights," said Mark Fernandes, chairman of the Pride board of directors.

Grand Marshal Gus Kenworthy Olympic, Silver Medalist

Gus Kenworthy is proud to serve as the 2018 Grand Marshal for Miami Beach Gay Pride. Hot off his competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Gus is thrilled to lead the parade at Miami Beach Gay Pride.

Gus is one of a kind. Not just for his skiing but for his personality, determination and heart. At the age of 23, he earned the privilege of representing the USA in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi Russia, and proudly brought home the silver medal in slopestyle. Gus has been active on the competition circuit for years as well as an active social networker. Born and raised in Telluride, Colorado, Gus has skied his whole life. At the age of 16, Gus compiled footage of his skiing into a one-minute video submission for the Jon Olsson Invitational -- one of free skiing's most prestigious events. The video quickly began to circulate on the web turning the heads of industry professionals and helping Gus pick up his first sponsor and his professional career began to take off.

Gus has taken his talents to the highest accolades in his sport, earning seven World titles, and five X Games Medals to go along with his Silver medal from the Olympic Games. Gus is also credited with the first ever to perform a double cork 1080 and right side 1440 in a halfpipe, the first ever double flip on a hip jump and the first double flip off a rail!
His dedication to his craft has established him as one of the top freeskiers in the world and one of the select few athletes to consistency make podium in slopestyle, halfpipe and big air events.

In 2015, Gus made the bold and courageous decision to come out as a proud gay man. Never one to shy away from the camera or his fans, he chose the cover of ESPN magazine as the vehicle to deliver the news. He was met with widespread support, love and praise for his choice to reveal his true self. The caught-on- camera kiss of good luck from his boyfriend in PyeongChang went viral globally.

Ally Grand Marshal Roxanne Vargas

EMMY® Award Winner, Host of NBC6's "6 in the Mix," NBC6 weekend anchor and Pride Parade Emcee, Roxanne Vargas has been an enthusiastic supporter of Pride and of the LGBTQ community for many years. She has been a vocal advocate of the LGBTQ community and continues to spread messages of diversity and inclusion from the platforms provided through her station.

Vargas has more than a decade of extensive on-air news experience including consumer, health and entertainment feature reporting as well as covering local and national breaking news. She also regularly contributes reports in Spanish for NBC6's sister station Telemundo 51.

During her time at NBC6, Vargas has received various distinctions including ten EMMY® nominations. For the last six years, Vargas has served as host of NBC6's entertainment show '6 In The Mix,' which airs weekdays at 11:30am.

She joined the NBC6 News team in May 2006 and has been part of the NBC6 and
Telemundo 51 family since 2003. She was voted "Best TV Host" by the Miami New Times in 2012 and inducted into famed fashion designer Donna Karan's Women Who Inspire Program in 2014. She has been the recipient of the coveted Pink Flamingo award for "Favorite Media Personality" three times.

A native of Miami, Vargas earned her bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida International University.

Betty Who Headlines

Popstar, singer-songwriter and all-around fierce performer Betty Who (@BettyWho), known for recent hits "I Love You Always Forever" and "Ignore Me," will become the first artist to headline Miami Beach Gay Pride's (@MiamiBeachGayPride) Saturday Beach Party Festival to mark Pride's momentous 10-year anniversary and its ever-growing popularity. The Saturday Beach Party Festival Village promises to be a full day of non-stop entertainment to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

As one of this year's featured entertainers, Betty's performance will begin at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, from the Festival's main stage in Lummus Park just off Ocean Drive and 11th Street in Miami Beach. Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018 is presented by Celebrity Cruises.

Casting a striking presence as a performer, emanating confidence as a writer, and inspiring as an independent force, Australia-born and Los Angeles-based pop star Betty Who has quietly elevated herself to a worldwide phenomenon on her own terms. Acclaimed by Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, Elle Magazine, and more, Betty's sophomore album, "The Valley," yielded a string of international hits, including "I Love You Always Forever," certified double-platinum in Australia, and "Human Touch." Total Spotify streams exceed 150 million as she regularly averages over 3.3 million monthly listeners on the platform. Beyond countless sold out headline tours, she's delivered knockout television appearances on "The Today Show," "Late Night With Seth Meyers," "The View," and many more.

Betty's commitment to charity, health, and wellness matches her passion for songwriting. A dedicated supporter of human rights, women, children, and the LGBTQ+ community, she has given performances to benefit UNICEF, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, and many more. As a fitness obsessive, she joined forces with Lululemon and Soul Cycle to launch the acoustic "Beats Per Moment" tour, ran a Nike marathon on the entertainment team, and partnered with a personal favorite workout app, Aaptiv, for playlisting.

Taylor Dayne and Thelma Houston Also to Appear

From platinum pop songs to chart-topping dance hits, Taylor Dayne is one of the most popular vocalists of the past three decades. Dayne will take to the main stage at Miami Beach Gay Pride as headline performer for the Pride Festival at 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, in Lummus Park just off Ocean Drive and 12th Street in Miami Beach. Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018 is presented by Celebrity Cruises.

"We're extremely excited to have Taylor Dayne bring her classic hits to Pride," said Mark Fernandes, board chair for Pride. "So many of her songs are instantly identifiable and one of her newer songs rose to #1 on the dance charts. We can't wait for Pride to 'tell it to her heart'."

She has enjoyed Top 10 hits in three consequent decades, selling a combined 75 million singles and albums along the way. Originally signed by music mogul Clive Davis in the 1980s, Dayne has become a true crossover artist, someone whose popularity spans multiple generations and many different music formats.

With the release of her first two albums, 1988's Tell It to My Heart and 1989's Can't Fight Fate, Dayne racked up three number 1 singles: "Tell It to My Heart," "Love Will Lead You Back," and "Prove Your Love to Me." Her Grammy-nominated songs could be heard across the radio dial, from Top 40 pop stations to adult contemporary channels.

Meanwhile, Dayne sang in front of audiences across the world, even joining Michael Jackson for the European leg of his sold-out "Bad" tour. As the '80s gave way to the '90s, she began establishing herself as a film, television and stage actress, appearing alongside Warren Beatty in the movie "Love Affair," starring in Elton John's Broadway award-winning production of "Aida," and playing Grizzabella in the 2013 Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival's production of "CATS." She also gained notice not only for her singing ability, but her songwriting skills, as well. Several of Dayne's gold and platinum-selling solo albums featured her own compositions, and "Whatever You Want," a song she co-wrote for Tina Turner, became a Top 40 hit in 10 different countries in 1996.
After taking a break from music to raise her two children, Dayne made a highly publicized return with her 2008 release, Satisfied. She co-wrote the album's lead single, "Beautiful," which climbed to number 1 on the dance charts. It was her 17th time cracking the Top 10 on the Billboard charts. Two years later, Dayne performed the official theme song of the 2010 Gay Games, "Facing a Miracle." She followed that song's release with her 18th Top 10 hit, "Floor on Fire," and continued making appearances on film and TV. Fans of "American Idol" even chose her as the top candidate to replace former judge Paula Abdul in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone, proof that Dayne was still a household name.

More than 25 years after the release of her famous single, Dayne continues to tour the world. She was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012, joining other time-tested luminaries like Billy Joel and Joan Jett.

Legendary Grammy Award-winning disco, soul and R&B singer Thelma Houston (@ThelmaHoustonOfficial) will take to the main stage at Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018 (@MiamiBeachGayPride) to the delight of thousands.

"Thelma Houston is a classic, and has been a good friend of the LGBTQ community
throughout her storied career," said Mark Fernandes, Pride's Chairman of the Board. "Die-hard fans are going to be thrilled with her high-energy, electric performance and a whole new generation of Pride-goers are going to love her legendary sounds."

Houston has captivated audiences around the world with her signature blend of energetic
dance classics and soulful ballads for decades. During her time with Motown Records,
Houston claimed the top of the Pop, R&B and Dance charts with her ultimate, all-time disco anthem "Don't Leave Me This Way." The Gold Record classic gave Houston the distinction of being the first solo female artist at Motown to win a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1977.

Houston has continued to dazzle audiences worldwide, including appearing before the Pope as part of The Sisters of Glory, performing at inaugural events for President Obama, and electrifying millions of viewers on such programs as "American Idol," "The View," "America's Got Talent," and many more. She is known for her dedication to humanitarian causes, including tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS and deep commitments to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 2003, the City of West Hollywood named January 29th "Thelma Houston Day" in recognition of her many charitable activities.

With appearances from Tokyo and Las Vegas to Paris, London and beyond, this diva regularly brings audiences to their feet with her dynamic, captivating show - most recently wowing attendees of the official 2016 Grammy after party.

The 71-year-old singer-songwriter is enjoying every moment of her success. "I still feel a tremendous excitement about performing," says Houston. "I have so many more projects I want to do, places I want to see and fans I want to reach that I have no plans to retire anytime soon."

About Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018

For its momentous 10-year anniversary, Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018 will feature a week's worth of events, April 2-8, which include highlights such as a Friday night VIP Reception, Saturday beach party and festival, and Sunday parade and festival.

Miami Beach Gay Pride is an extraordinary week-long event that features a Beach Party and a Festival & Parade with more than 125 LGBT-friendly vendors and businesses, exciting celebrities, musical performances, refreshments, food, and a family-friendly play area.

Since its inception in 2009, Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown from a neighborhood event to an event on the global stage with A-list celebrities such as Ross Mathews, Bebe Rexha, Mario Lopez, Elvis Duran, Iggy Azalea, Jordin Sparks, Gloria Estefan and Adam Lambert.

Attendance has grown, as well. An estimated 15,000 spectators turned out for the first Pride parade in 2009; an estimated 135,000 attended the event in 2017. In addition to Parade spectators, last April's event included more than 70 parade contingencies, 35 floats and 3,000 participants.

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