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Rob Manser

Rob Manser

Guidetogay.com is the leading travel, news and social network for the LGBTQI community.  Join us on social media.

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Mardi Gras and ANZ Community Grants now open

Do you have an LGBTIQ+ project in need of support? Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and its partner, ANZ Bank have teamed up for a third year to provide substantial grants to our community.


Mardi Gras said "We’re proud to announce that applications for ANZ & Mardi Gras Community Grants are now open for 2020!

Now in its third year, the grants provide financial funding for a wide range of LGBTIQ+ projects, including education and training, community development, creation, arts and culture."

ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras are giving away grants of $2,500, $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 to help LGBTIQ+ not-for-profit community organisations, charities and individuals doing work to help support LGBTIQ+ communities across Australia.

Applications close Sunday 4th October 2020, so apply today at www.anz.com/mardigrasgrants.

Track by track of the smash hit album 1998 with Greg Gould

His new album has topped the charts in Australia and Europe and since his stint on Australia's Got Talent, Greg Gould has cemented his place within the Australian music scene, producing unique and thoughtful projects that have been at the forefront of LGBT equality, bullying and other issues that we deal with every day, his sultry vocals and kick-ass production has allowed a lot of other LGBT artists locally make the record labels wake up and pay attention to the massive talent base we have in our community for music and entertainment.

1998 is a 17 track behemoth that is all duets. He has collaborated with some of Australia's finest singers and identities and has delivered a unique and compelling album that is timeless, whilst delivering classic 'retro' (ARGH - how can they be retro lol)  tracks to a totally new generation whilst still paying homage to the originals.

It is a well thought out project and one that tugs at the heartstrings. Its power to envoke memories whilst delivering a new take with a fresh vibe is just genius. Rob caught up with Greg during the COVID-19 lockdown to work on this feature, so we could showcase to you, the listener, what went into the production of the album, and the personal relationships that made this such an amazing hit - track by track.

Sit back, relax, grab and Stoli Ruski or a Bacardi Breezer and enjoy 1998 - a track by track with Greg Gould.

track1

TRACK ONE - LOVE LIKE THIS

Duet with Inaya Day (Originally by Faith Evans)

This one is an extra special story...
I have always been a huge fan of Inaya, i have fond memories of dancing to her hit with Mr Timothy at my very first Mardi Gras. We already had followed each other on Instagram and had chatted a handful of times prior to me reaching out to her with the idea to collaborate on my new 90s duets album. I pitched the classic Faith Evans song ‘Love Like This’. She said “Oh I see someone has done their research” turns out Inaya’s beautiful late brother Schon Crawford had co-written the song with Faith! What are the odds!! It was really beautiful to be able to dedicate the song to her brother and honour the song in such a beautiful way. In terms of arrangement Michael Tan, the album's producer, and I came up with that funky bass line first, and the rest kind of wrote itself. The original hook is pretty recognisable and as with the rest of this album we wanted to make the versions unique and different and its probably my favourite arrangement on the album. Most people that only really know the track from the hook and the chorus don’t recognise it till it comes in with the chorus which is so cool. I also really love the A Capella intro and outro it's the perfect way to begin the album.

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TRACK TWO - MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE

Duet with Prinnie Stevens & Komiti Levai (Originally by Whitney Houston)

I have always loved this song and WHITNEY is my music GOD. This really is a heartfelt tribute to a voice and an artist that really means a lot to me and to have Prinnie on there with me who starred in The Bodyguard here in Australia just made it that much more special. Prinnie is such a soulful heartfelt vocalist and a dear friend. We had done several corporate gigs together in the past meeting at a Carol's back in 2014 and have been mates ever since. It was so special to have her come in the studio with her newborn bubba and daughter and it just had an energy to it of love which is what this song is all about. Having Komiti join us was a blessing and the icing on the cake we needed to complete this track and I love the gospel arrangement and the harmonies. It’s a standout and I’m really proud of it.

track3
TRACK THREE - CRUSH

Duet with Zoe Badwi (Originally by Jennifer Paige)

Crush was the first song I ever demoed for the album and most of my original demo vocal is what you hear on the track. It was a 6 min version when we first demoed it and it wasn’t till adding Zoes gorgeous vocals that it made it clear how the song should be structured. I love Zoe, she’s one of my favourite performers to watch LIVE. I met her a handful of times and we were friends on Facebook but didn’t really know each other. She was such a pleasure to get to know and work with - very collaborative and just a total joy of a human being. The track turned out great - the intro reminded me of the piano into on Brian McKnight’s ‘Back At One’ and it's really gospel soulful version. Both Zoe and I did the BVs so there are hundreds of little Zoe and Greg vocal stacks there haha. Again, super proud of it and its been really well received.

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TRACK FOUR - THE BOY IS MINE

Duet with Peyton (Originally by Brandy & Monica)

The obvious first single for me once completed. It’s probably the most commercial ballad on the album and I just love how gorgeous the piano and the arrangement and the vocals are. Peyton and I met in 2017 when we performed Freedom at the Mardi Gras Party at the RHI for the George Michael Tribute. I loved his voice and working with him and we have built such a gorgeous friendship. The music video is what really took this song to another level, flipping the narrative on its head from two women fighting over a man to a mother sending a message to bully’s to say you can't have him, you can't hurt him. It’s stunning and my favourite video I’ve done to date and to have gorgeous Lynne McGranger in the video is something I will pinch myself about for years to come. Peyton is a real storyteller with his stunning voice and I look forward to making more music with him int he future. The boy is mine, the boy is yours, this boy could be any of us...

track5
TRACK FIVE - HOW DO I LIVE

Duet with Melanie Lewin (Originally by LeAnne Rimes)

This one probably means the most to me...
Given that Melanie and have been best friends for a long time, this track celebrates more than music - but a 20-year friendship, we have been singing together that long - and I think that really shows in the track. We have both loved this song growing up and it was Mel’s parent's favourite song she used to sing so along with being a well-loved hit from the 90’s it carries a lot of memories and nostalgia for both of us, me and my mum used to sing this together on the way to her dropping me to school. I really couldn’t live without my gorgeous friendship with Mel - she’s been my absolute rock through the tough times and we have been each other’s funny bone - we always laugh so much when we are together and we just really love singing together. It’s an honest arrangement stripped right back and because Mel and I know each other’s voice so well the blend and the vocal journeys are so together. It’s actually to date the highest streamed song on the album and I’m not surprised. It’s really special to both of us and I hope it can be just as special to those people who listen to it.

track6
TRACK SIX - UNINVITED

Duet with Damien Leith (Originally by Alanis Morrisette)

Damien is such a gorgeous vocalist - his falsetto is stunning and its well showcased in our special version of this epic song from the City of Angels soundtrack. We met when I supported him on one of his tours and he is such a lovely guy and a real talent! This was a hard one to get right (and I believe we did) it was Damien's idea to do the octave when we sang together which made it feel more current and I added the harmonies to make it different from the other acoustic versions out there. Doing my entire verse A Capella was something that came to me when I stepped into the booth, I told my producer to just give me a crack without piano til the second verse where Damien comes in. I wanted it to be honest and for the melody of the lyrics to be sparse and vulnerable. I absolutely love the hauntingly beautiful piano solo Michael Tan has done here. Again, very proud of this track.

track7 

TRACK SEVEN - BABY ONE MORE TIME

Duet with Katie Underwood (Originally by Britney Spears)

This one was a lot of fun! Katie Underwood’s voice is so suited to jazz and it was her jazz album Ain’t Nobody’s Baby that led me to choose this track and style of this iconic Britney song. Katie and I met in Melbourne at the very first same-sex wedding - Ron & Antony and what a wedding it was! We perform “What The World Needs Now” together with Maria Mercedes (also on this album) and we had an instant connection. Musically I love our voices together and I loved playing with the harmonies - Katie really led this song as she recorded her vocals first. Michael Tubman’s trumpet solo is HEAVEN and he did a great job arranging all the horns on this album. The music video is fun and I love this Burlesque vibe for this track!

track8

TRACK EIGHT - FROZEN

Duet with Maria Mercedes & Jacqui Dark (Originally by Madonna)

3 worlds combined! If there was ever a Madonna musical - this should be in it! Hahaha
Australian Broadway royalty Maria Mercedes and opera star Jacqui Dark both were incredible to work with on what I think is one of Madonna’s greatest songs. Such an important message in this song and we really dug deep to find the truth in the lyrics and tell the story within the song. “You’re frozen, when your hearts not open” what an important message in today's world. Maria and I as mentioned above met at the “wedding of the century” and we have become the most incredible friends. She has been my mentor in many ways and a true friend. Jacqui and I met on the set of All Together Now and was so funny and lovely and has so much heart in her gorgeous voice. I love that in the 2nd verse the tempo and the vibe change and the instrumental when Jacqui soars is like Mother Earth crying. It’s stunning!

track9
TRACK NINE - MY ALL (MI TODO)

Duet with Emily Williams (Originally by Mariah Carey)

Idol, Young Divas, The Bodyguard - I have been on team Emily since I met her at the Australian Idol Season 3 auditions. I made it to the Final 40 and Em of course went on to the Grand Finale. What a voice! So much power and emotion. I have loved this song so much since I first watched Mariah perform it on VHS Divas Live (that gold dress!!) The arrangement is fairly simple as the melodies in the is song are so beautiful that I really didn’t want to change it too much - you can't mess with perfection right?! Haha, I love our voices belting together at the end. So powerful, I remember when I first heard Ems vocal I balled my eyes out. Adding the Spanish was a last-minute decision I had actually recorded the entire song in English first but I’m so glad I did it - I love singing in other languages and it adds something special to the track. This really is my thank you to Mariah for inspiring me vocally and being so fabulous!

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TRACK TEN - I WANT TO SPEND MY LIFETIME LOVING YOU

Duet with Cosima De Vito (Originally by Tina Arena / Marc Anthony)

Don’t Ask was the first album I ever bought and was the soundtrack to my childhood. Tina Arena is such a huge inspiration to me so to record one of her many incredible songs is a dream come true - and who else could have sung this than the ONE + ONLY Cosima De Vito. What a freaking voice! Literally her vocal is ONE TAKE - she smashed it out of the park first go and that is what you hear on the record. Our voices together are really really special and I remember being really meticulous about having every not finish together, ever crescendo perfectly together and every breath takes the same time. It’s gotta be one of if my favourite tracks on the album and I’m so proud to call Cosima a friend now - she’s a darling human with so many gifts. I look forward to releasing this properly when we are allowed to tour and we are in the midst of planning the music video for it now! There will be DANCING! Hehe

track11

TRACK ELEVEN - CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOU BABY

Duet with Rhonda Burchmore (Originally by Smash Mouth)

What an honour to do a duet with the incredible Rhonda Burchmore! Such a pro, such an icon, and such a lovely human. So talented, so wonderful and so SEXY! Her vocals were so good - there was so much to choose from when we were putting it all together. I arranged this song with Rhonda in mind - jazzy, sassy, and fabulous! So much history and heart in that voice and again - I love hearing us blend together! Double bass, grand piano, and horns with a gorgeous sax solo - YES PLEASE! Rhonda and I met at Broadbeach Jazz Festival initially and were both judges on All Together Now - and I have to admit I was a bit star-struck - shes got such a dazzling energy to her and I’m so honoured to be her friend.

track12 

TRACK TWELVE - BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY

Duet with Tania Doko & Eric Bazilian

Both LEGENDS! Tania and I have been mates for some time (absolutely love her) - we met a few years back online and I came to one of her gigs while she was here in Sydney and we actually had recorded another track together before this one - and this one just worked so beautifully. Raw, vulnerable. I took all of the tuning, reverb, and the delay off of my verse to start it - I wanted it to be really honest. Tania’s voice - I CAN'T EVEN - she has so much emotion it speaks to my inner soul. Eric really is an actual living legend - he wrote One Of Us for Joan Osbourne and played guitar on Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time & Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (cmon!?!) and I love his voice also - so much heart and grit! This song is my favourite arrangement on the album and means a lot to me as I was recording it when my step mum passed away from lung cancer. I dedicate it to her as she got to hear my solo raw demo just before she passed - she would be so proud of the finished product.

track13 

TRACK THIRTEEN - BUSES & TRAINS

Duet with Lynne McGranger (Originally by Bachelor Girl)

Who’ da thought Lynne had such a lovely singing voice!!! Irene and I met at the Perth Telethon 2 years ago at the bar - we were both comparing the wines of all things hahah! - not a bad conversation starter! Initially, I asked her to be in The Boy Is Mine music video (which she deserves an Oscar for) but when she told me she said she had been in Legally Blonde The Musical - a wine or two were had and I was pleasantly surprised by how she sang and how much she loved it! It was a really special recording experience as I was kind of her vocal coach through it- not that she needed it - LEGEND! I love Lynne and I’m very grateful for her friendship. To have James Roche (who wrote Buses & Trains) and Jack Jones (Southern Sons) play on the track is a complete honour and I love the first verse and the harmonies - having Tania on the previous track also who originally sung the song is really special. Having Lynne tell this story from a different perspective someone who has lived and had children of their own is a really interesting take on this classic Bachelor Girl tune!

track14

TRACK FOURTEEN - MY HEART WILL GO ON

Duet with Amanda Harrison (Originally by Celine Dion)

Who doesn’t love TITANIC and its epic soundtrack! “Jack, Jack - I’m flying!”
Amanda Harrison’s vocals here are so stunning to come out of me singing my verse so soft and singing it mostly in falsetto to her so effortlessly building it further to the 3 part harmony finale at the end. I wasn’t sure whether to take on this song - but I’m so glad we did and can’t imagine anyone else singing it with me that - well, ELPHABA lol. Amanda is a great human, incredible performer, and singer. I was lucky enough to witness her as the Greenest Witch in town and I, like everyone else who saw it - was completely blown away. The arrangement is similar to the movie instrumental “Rose’s theme” without the Pan flute and I think it makes it a little more of a conversation version of the song. There will be no water used in the music video haha!

track15

TRACK FIFTEEN - TOGETHER AGAIN

Duet with Joanne (Originally by Janet Jackson)

Joanne was my rock on this album. We have been close friends for a few years now meeting through mutual friends and falling in love instantly. What a voice! What a performer! What a human. So much heart in this track because we genuinely love and respect each other’s talents and our relationship. Joanne is such a pro and a joy to work with - this album would not be what it is without her! From the many hours on the phone talking about concepts, song ideas, who should sing what - Joanne was there from Day 1. Jo chose this song for us as shes a huge Janet fan and we worked really hard on this track - both going in several times to record more background vocals, and to make it the fun, soulful and the heartfelt track it is. I was lucky enough to perform it with her at the initial single launch for Mardi Gras 2020 and it was such a dream come true. It’s Joanne’s first release in 19 years and I’m so honoured to share this track and friendship with her.

track16
TRACK SIXTEEN - YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE

Duet with Mark Gable (Originally by New Radicals)

Mark is a legend! Who hasn’t belted out Run To Paradise at the top of their lungs before!? I certainly have. I had the great pleasure of sitting next to Mark on the panel of All Together Now and he was hilarious and charming and we had the best time. I absolutely adore our track together. This ballad version showcases the tracks incredible lyrics and hearing Mark so beautiful and vulnerable - it is really special. This was one of the first songs I recorded for the album and it was going to be the last track and done as a solo but alas I recorded Closing Time - so I called up Mark and said hey come on a journey with me - he was great to work with and its a great track.

track17

TRACK SEVENTEEN - CLOSING TIME

Duet with Mary Kiani, Danni Da Ros and Jordan Raskopolous (Originally by Semisonic)

The icing on the cake - the performing end to my album. It’s my Seasons Of Love final group number. 4 unique voices coming together to take it home. Danni and I have been friends for about 10 years - a great singer and very caring human - I've sung with her many times and its always a thrill - she sings her face off on this track - that last belt!? Phwoar!! Mary and I met at Fairday many years back and she was just fabulous - I love her conversations and she just loves music - she brought so much hear to this track. It’s a ballad version of a rock song so it needed heart. Jordan and I met at a gig and got chatting in the green room - the girl can sing rock like no one's business but it's so so lovely to hear her sing with such vulnerability and poise - we worked really hard on this track and it was, in fact, the last song we recorded. I remember when I’d finished the last session in the studio I didn’t want to leave - it felt like the end of an era - 2 years of collaboration and 1998 was born...

 

1998 really is a mash-up of incredible talent, all expertly steered by Greg to get the best performances out of some incredible talent and deliver a world-class album that reflects not only the era it is covering but a community that can come together and creates art and moments that we can all enjoy.

Do yourself a favour and go and grab the album on iTunes, or stream it on Spotify.  You can also follow Greg on Guidetogay to check out his videos and get up to date news and project information.

Check out the photo gallery from the 1998 album launch at Sydney's Universal.

 

 

NYC Pride 2020 canceled, joins global online pride celebration

Heritage of Pride, in partnership with the City of New York, announced today that the NYC Pride 2020 roster of events, originally scheduled for June 14-28, will not take place as planned. Due to the collective concern for the overall safety of the community, the organization has worked closely with the City to arrive at this decision.

“New York City is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. We’ve come a long way since the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March 50 years ago, which is a testament to the bravery and resiliency of LGBTIA+ New Yorkers in the struggle for equality,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“While this pandemic prevents us from coming together to march, it will in no way stop us from celebrating the indelible contributions that the LGBTIA+ community has made to New York City or from recommitting ourselves to the fight for equal rights.”

"As the days have passed, it has become more and more clear that even with a decline in the spread of COVID-19, large-scale events such as ours are unlikely to happen in the near future,” said Maryanne Roberto Fine, NYC Pride Co-Chair. “We understand that we need to reimagine NYC Pride events - and have already begun to do just that."

“Pride is a staple in New York City, and is oftentimes a safe space for many,” said David A. Correa, Interim Executive Director. “This weighed on our members, board, and staff, knowing that we serve as a haven for vulnerable communities. It was not easy to arrive at the decision to cancel pride as we have come to know it over the years, especially given the financial impact this could have on LGBTQIA+ people and businesses, but our top priority remains the health and well-being of all those that participate with us.”

Aside from the changes in event programming, NYC Pride will continue to focus on initiatives like Pride Gives Back. This grant program was created to support LGBTQIA+ organizations from some of the most marginalized communities to develop much-needed programming. The success of WorldPride | Stonewall 50 made it possible to increase the total number of grants awarded this year. NYC Pride is honored to be able to help sustain these organizations during this time of financial uncertainty and unprecedented
challenges.

“We are a community that thrives when we are united,” added Correa. “We may not fill the streets of New York City this year, but LGBTQIA+ people carry pride with them all year long. I have no doubt that we will be together again soon.”

“WABC Channel 7 will continue to support Heritage of Pride this year by broadcasting a special NYC Pride programming event in June to all communities across the NYC and tri-state area. This virtual event will shine a light on Pride month and the incredible stories of unity and strength by utilizing the powerful reach of ABC-7, the number one station in the market, and the deep connection we have with our viewers and communities,” said Debra O’Connell, WABC-TV President & General Manager.

As a founding member of InterPride, the board and membership of Heritage of Pride have agreed to participate in the virtual Global Pride event on Saturday, June 27, 2020. Additionally, NYC Pride will continue to evaluate the situation and work toward creative ways to celebrate pride.

NYC Pride updates on COVID19 situation

After celebrating an iconic 50 years of the Stonewall riots last year, 2020 brings a challenge to NYC Pride with the ever-growing coronavirus pandemic affecting areas of New York City.

After the postponement of similar events in America, like LA Pride, we reached out to NYC Pride to see what their position was for the events in June.

The safety of NYC Pride’s members, volunteers, staff, and the community at large is our highest priority when it comes to creating Pride events and programs. Because of this, it is important that we share with you the steps we are taking to ensure your health and safety as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve.

After speaking with our co-chairs and various volunteer directors, we have decided and prepared for all staff to work from home and for meetings to be moved online for the foreseeable future in order to align with the health and safety protocols outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of today, March 13, NYC Pride is working on our June 2020 events 100% as planned.

As we do each year, we are in ongoing conversations with the city and state on best practices for all of our programming and will continue to ensure that our 20+ events, including the 50th Anniversary of the NYC Pride March, are healthy, safe, and inclusive for all.

 

Stay tuned to Guidetogay.com for updates on Pride celebrations around the globe.

LA Pride postponed due to COVID-19

One of America's largest Pride events has announced it's June celebrations will be postponed due to the ever-increasing threat of the Corona Virus.

The organisation today released an announcement on its social channels.

"Due to the concerns of COVID-19 around large public events, CSW will postpone all events related to the 50th Anniversary of LA Pride that were scheduled for June 2020. Organizers are assessing the situation. More information will be provided around the postponement as details become available."

This follows announcements from other Californian based attractions that will be closing, like Disneyland - who will shut its doors of The Magic Kingdom and California Adventure theme parks until the end of this month after the states Governor declared large gatherings to not be preferable in the current health climate.

Guidetogay.com has reached out to other Pride organisers in the USA to see if similar postponements may take place as June is pride month throughout the USA.

Mardi Gras Parade sparkles in 2020.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade took place last night, bringing together an estimated 300,000 spectators who lined the streets, balconies and rooftops of Oxford Street to cheer on the 12,600 marchers taking part in the world’s biggest celebration of the LGBTQI community.

Mardi Gras’ 2020 theme was WHAT MATTERS, a motif that built on the legacy of Mardi Gras as a platform for activism and encouraged the public to examine what can be done to build an even more inclusive future. Many of the floats in the Parade used the theme as a call to action, choosing to showcase a diverse array of important issues facing the community.

Reflecting on the Parade, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said, ‘Last night was a dazzling display of diversity that brought together people from across the globe to celebrate what truly matters.’

 ‘In total there were 191 floats, representing a spectacular cross section of the community and each bringing their own terrific twist to this year’s theme.’

‘This year we collectively reflected on a number of issues facing our community. From LGBTQI homelessness to the Australian bushfires and climate change, many of this year’s floats had a distinct point of view on the issues that matter most’.

 ‘And of course, having Sam Smith and Dua Lipa join us on the parade route was a fittingly glittering finale to a truly unforgettable night,’ said Albert Kruger.

As the sparkling spectacle came to a close, 12,000 revelers kept the celebration going at the iconic Mardi Gras After Party, which took over Hordern Pavilion and surrounding venues until 8am.

Artists who performed at the Party included international superstars Dua Lipa, Kesha and Sam Smith, as well as Brazilian drag phenomenon Pabllo Vittar.

The electrifying line-up of local and international DJs included: Ayebatonye, Cupids Cut, Charlie Villas, DJ Kilimi, Estée Louder, Kate Doherty, Magda Bytnerowicz, Trinity, Whiskey Houston, DJ Hamo, Kate Monroe, DJ Nate, Atomic Blonde & Dutch Kiss, Dameeeela, Barry Harris (CAN), Midland (UK) and DJ Joelby (UK)

The 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade was proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.

Ben Platt to perform at 31st Annual GLAAD Awards in NYC

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that Ben Platt, Tony Award-winning star of Netflix’s The Politician, will perform at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York.  GLAAD also announced that special guests comedian and correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Jaboukie Young-White, the cast of Pose, and Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire will attend the New York ceremony at the Hilton Midtown on Thursday, March 19.

 

GLAAD previously announced that award-winning actress, producer, and activist Judith Light will be honored with the Excellence in Media Award and award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director Ryan Murphy will be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the New York ceremony. Lilly Singh, openly bisexual executive producer and host of NBC’s A Little Late with Lilly Singh, will serve as host of the Awards.

 

The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta, Gilead, Hyundai, and Ketel One Family-Made Vodka. GLAAD previously announced over 175 nominees in 30 categories. Taylor Swift will receive the Vanguard Award and Janet Mock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 16.

 

Award-winning actor, singer, and songwriter Ben Platt is an Atlantic Records recording artist and dropped his critically acclaimed debut album Sing To Me Instead in March 2019. Platt recently performed the album and other songs to a sold out crowd at Radio City Musical Hall, which was filmed for a Netflix special being released this spring.

 

Platt is currently filming season two of the highly popular Netflix series by Ryan Murphy, The Politician, in which he stars and serves as Executive Producer. Platt’s performance in season one earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the show received a nomination for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy. The Politicianis also nominated for a GLAAD Media Award this year. In an interview with Pink News in September 2019, Platt commented on the forward-thinking approach to LGBTQ representation in The Politician: “I think it’s really important that Ryan [Murphy] has portrayed this Utopian society that hopefully we’re headed towards, where everybody falls somewhere along the spectrum of sexuality, everyone’s a little bit queer, and no one feels the need to discuss it or label it.”

 

From December 2016 to November 2017, Platt starred as the title role in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. Platt won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as Evan Hansen, as well as the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance, making him the youngest actor to win the coveted award. Additionally, Dear Evan Hansen won the Tony award for Best Musical and the cast recording took home the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

 

GLAAD recently announced over 175 nominees in 30 categories for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, including the returning category for Outstanding Broadway Production. The Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category expanded to ten nominees as a result of an increase in LGBTQ images across the kids and family television programming and an increase in GLAAD’s work to advocate for inclusion in this genre. GLAAD also announced Special Recognition honors for Netflix’s Special and for pioneering LGBTQ journalists Karen Ocamb and Mark Segal. For a full list of nominees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, click here.

 

To purchase tickets for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, please visit https://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/31/tickets.

 

Adam Lambert launches foundation for LGBTQIA+ people.

Musician, actor and activist Adam Lambert has launched the Feel Something Foundation (FSF), with the mission to support LGBTQ+ organisations that are moving the needle for communities of all ages and backgrounds.

Founded by Adam in late 2019, the Feel Something Foundation is the result of a career traveling the world, meeting global members of the community, hearing their stories and witnessing first-hand the difficulties LGBTQ+ people continue to face in all areas of life. Having spent time throughout his career engaging in LGBTQ+ activism and as a member of the community himself, the foundation sees Adam’s philanthropy institutionalised into an organisation with the aim to truly make a difference. With the vision to see LGBTQ+ communities of all ages and backgrounds enjoy full human rights within a fully-inclusive society, FSF first aims to ensure support is given to the myriad of issues that continue to disproportionately affect them. This will be achieved through working with charities that have a mission or project directly focussed on impacting the LGBTQ+ community in areas of Education & the Arts; Homelessness; Suicide Prevention & Mental Health. The Feel Something Foundation wants to abolish “coming out” as a term used to define someone simply being themselves.

FSF will build its revenue through the personal charitable contributions of its founder, directors and with public funds raised through fundraising and awareness campaigns, events and initiatives. The first fundraiser will be initiated in the coming weeks with an online clothing auction of some of Adam’s best looks. Initial charities will be chosen based on those Adam has worked with previously and that stand for the positive, progressive messages of the Feel Something Foundation in supporting and empowering LGBTQ+ communities.

Your global Gay guide to NYE 2019/2020

We give you the ultimate list of what's on in queer parties around the globe for New Years Eve to send out the decade in style!

 

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Sydney Australia:
Celebration NYE.
This rooftop party sits above the iconic Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney's Circular Quay and is right in the heart of the massive fireworks display with views of both the opera house and the harbour bridge.
A see of white and silver, join Sydney's gay glitterati as they count down the New Years in the most fabulous spot available for this iconic world-famous NYE celebration. Away from the madding crowds and catered with amazing food and drinks, party till the wee hours and let your New Years go off with a gay old bang!
Limited tickets are available, so get in quick - there are no door sales.


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thicknjuicy

Melbourne Australia:
Thick & Juicy NYD
The day after the night before. Kick off a new decade in furry style with the world's best DJ's all under one roof.
The incomparable Corey Craig (NYC), Dom De Sousa (Syd) and the fabulous Matt Effect (San Diego) plus many more - a line up of gogo boys, fuzzy muscle men and sexy daddies will make you howl for more fun from 4pm. There are inside and outside dance spaces and even a dark room for all you horny guys out there.

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nycnyehotrabbit

New York City USA:

Resolutions by Hot Rabbit

In the world's mega city, where can you have a gay old time on NYE for $30? Hot Rabbit of course! The Bowrey Ballroom is playing host to the gayest NYE in the city that never sleeps.  DJ MITCH FERRINO is on the decks, with performances by VanityQ and special guests. 

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pushthebutton
London UK:

PopWorld: Push The Button

Hold on to your knickers, girls - Push The Button is BACK BACK BACK at PopWorld for their New Year’s Eve spectacular! Its one of the best nights for lovers of pop culture and pop music and a must do when in london.

Hosted at the iconic PopWorld with its light-up dance floor, two bars, and kick-ass sound system backstreet boys, material girls and dancing queens will ring in the new year in classic pop style.

From Ariana to Gaga, Lizzo to Little Mix, Rihanna to Loreen and everything in-between. Girl bands, boy bands, scandi-pop, impossible princesses – it’s a glamophonic, electronic, d-d-disco baby!

Please bear in mind this event ALWAYS SELL OUT so make sure you grab a ticket: early birds £15 / standard £20 / last remaining tickets £25.

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DJ Dan Murphy curates iconic Sydney NYE Fireworks all Aussie soundtrack.

A selection of contemporary and classic songs by Australian artists will ring out as Sydney celebrates 2020 at the world’s best New Year’s Eve party.

Viewers watching at home will be treated to an all-Aussie midnight soundtrack featuring Tina Arena, Crowded House, Peking Duk, Sia, Fisher and more.

2020 will open with a song from Aboriginal Australian duo Electric Fields, who are also creating a bespoke soundtrack for the midnight fireworks to be played online.

The 9pm family fireworks will feature fun and bouncy party tracks by the likes of Calvin Harris, Pink and Vanessa Amorosi.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the eyes and ears of the world will be on Sydney for the midnight fireworks.

“Whether it’s the midnight fireworks, lighting displays, pylon projections or music – we are celebrating all things Australian this New Year’s Eve,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This is our most choreographed event to date, with music synchronised to the fireworks and lighting effects that will create a stunning spectacle.

“There’s something for everyone in the soundtrack that will no doubt have viewers dancing in their living rooms.”

The soundtrack was selected and mixed by Sydney DJ Dan Murphy.

Sydneysiders can tune in to the 2019 Sydney New Year’s Eve soundtrack at 9pm and midnight accompanying the televised coverage on ABC and iview, or simulcast with media partner KIIS-FM 1065.

The event will be livestreamed on sydneynewyearseve.com and ABC TV’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The Lord Mayor said all of Sydney had been deeply saddened by the tragic impact of the bushfires, and pledged to use New Year’s Eve to help raise money and awareness for those in need.

“Sydney New Year’s Eve unites people from all over the world with a message of hope for the year to come.

“We will harness the enormous power of the event to raise more money for the Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

“We encourage all people who visit our city on New Year’s Eve and those watching at home to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund in our online fundraiser.”

The City of Sydney has already donated $620,000 to drought and bushfire relief, and will provide trucks, staff and other in-kind support to assist emergency services with recovery and clean-up efforts. 

To donate, visit nye.sydney/donate

9pm family fireworks

  1. Sandy B – Make the world go round (Deep Dish Remix) w/- Yothu Yindi – Treaty (acapella)
  2. Calvin Harris, Rag n Bone Man – Giant
  3. Pink, Cash Cash – Can we pretend
  4. Shawn Mendes – If I can’t have you
  5. Sigala, Paloma Faith – Lullaby
  6. Vanessa Amorosi – Absolutely everybody (Latino remix)
  7. Kygo, Whitney Houston – Higher love
  8. Guy Sebastian – Choir
  9. Taylor Swift, Brandon Urie – ME!
  10. Lil Nas, Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix)
  11. Lady Gaga – Shallow
  12. Carly Rae Jaspen – Cut to the feeling

 

Midnight fireworks

  1. Electric Fields – 2000 and whatever
  2. Pnau – Go Bang
  3. Baker Boy – Cool as hell
  4. Thandi Phoenix & Sigma – Say it
  5. Flight Facilities – Feelin
  6. Tones & I – Dance monkey
  7. Hilltop Hoods, Illy, Ecca, Vandal – Exit sign
  8. Peking Duk – Stranger
  9. Tina Arena – Chains (S&M Remix)
  10. Kate Miller-Heidki – Zero Gravity (7th heaven remix)
  11. Fisher – Losing it
  12. Sneaky Sound System – UFO
  13. Pnau – Solid Gold
  14. Sia – Titanium w/- Crowded House – Don’t dream it’s over (acapella)

 

The City of Sydney New Year’s Eve event times:

7pm                 Fire tug presents its water display on Sydney Harbour

7.30pm            Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony on Sydney

Harbour by the Tribal Warrior Association

8pm                 Air display above Sydney Harbour by flying ace Matt Hall and

Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections start

8.30pm            Sydney Harbour Bridge lighting effects start

9pm                 Family fireworks (8 minutes) includes the ABC Design Your Own                           

Firework competition firework display

9.08pm            Calling Country segment honouring Australia’s Indigenous heritage

 

9.15pm      Harbour of Light parade

12am               Midnight fireworks (12 minutes)

2am                 Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projection and lighting effects ends.

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