LOS ANGELES — Two years after celebrations of the coronavirus pandemic were dashed 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 Saturday for LA Pride in the Park, a day-long concert and entertainment event that Aguilera headlined with Rebecca Black, Michaela Jaé and more.
Throughout her set, Aguilera hit belted 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 included a montage condemning Florida’s educational parental rights law, which critics dubbed “don’t say gay,” and a touching 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 2021 Charli XCX concert was virtually streamed.
Here’s a glimpse of the extravagance.
Christina Aguilera interrupts her LA Pride set to discuss Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law
After opening out on high-energy, old-school numbers like “Dirrty” and “Fighter,” Aguilera left the stage mid-set as video played attacking Florida’s proposed Parents’ Rights in Education bill, which will be passed on March 28 was signed in March.
The law bans teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and has shaken people on both sides of the political aisle.
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“It was dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law,” the video reads. “So let’s shout in honor of pride today.”
Spectators chanted “Gay” while backup dancers held up signs that read “Say Gay.” The words “Equality,” “Identity,” “Peace,” “Love,” “Unity,” and “Freedom” also flashed on the screen behind them.
Mya reunites with Christina Aguilera in Lady Marmalade, Paris Hilton honors newlywed Britney Spears
Aguilera didn’t keep the spotlight entirely to himself. She also brought celebrity guests with her.
R&B artists 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 Spear’s lavish private wedding to Sam Asghari on Thursday.
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In keeping with the 2000s theme of the night, Hilton also grabbed the mic and sang her 2006 song “Stars Are Blind.”
Petras also served as a surprise guest, delivering a daring performance of her song “XXX”. Aguilera joined Petras on stage for the number, who wore a large, glittery green phallic strap-on while Petras danced on all fours.
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Christina Aguilera is ‘beautiful’ in the Pride cape.
But the most stunning spectacle came from Aguilera’s closer: her ballad “Beautiful.”
The singer appeared on stage wearing a flowing cape that resembled the Pride flag. The cape was so big that her backup dancers had to hold it up for her.
Earlier in the night, Aguilera shared her gratitude for her LGBTQ fans and opened up about how she hopes her music speaks to them.
“Thank you for having me tonight. I am so honored. I am so grateful. I’m so impressed by your love and support over the past 20+ years,” she told the crowd from the stage. “I am so happy to always give back to you and to give a voice to anyone or to try who feels oppressed, who feels like an outcast.”
She added: “I absolutely love these shows because you know what? We stand for freedom – freedom of expression, owning who you are, fearlessness and also imagination.”
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