Metro Weekly

Marshmello, Zara Larsson, Todrick Hall, Shea Diamond, Nina West, Calum Scott to headline Capital Pride Concert

Openly gay rapper Big Dipper also included in lineup for annual concert on Sunday, June 9

Photos courtesy of Capital Pride Alliance.

The Capital Pride Alliance has announced the headliners for the 2019 Capital Pride Concert on Sunday, June 9, which serves as the climax of Capital Pride Weekend’s festivities.

Performing at this year’s concert will be Marshmello, the anonymous music producer and DJ best known for his remixes of chart-topping hits, including his official remix of Jack U and Justin Bieber’s “Where are U Now,” which collected over 40 million plays on Spotify and SoundCloud within a six-month period, as well as his collaborations with Selena Gomez on “Wolves” and “Silence” featuring Khalid. His debut album, Joytime, charted at #1 on the iTune Electronic Albums and landed in the Top 5 on Billboard’s TopDance/Electronic Albums.

Another headliner is singer and songwriter Zara Larsson, notable for her hit singles including “Ain’t My Fault,” “Lush Life” and “Never Forget You,” which went triple-platinum. She performed the mega-hit “Symphony” with Clean Bandit at the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Concert, and hold numerous honors, including landing on TIME Magazine’s “30 Most Influential Teens of 2016,” Billboard’s “21 Under 21” of 2017, and Maxim‘s Hot 100 of 2018. Her RIAA gold-certified album, So Good, was the second most-streamed debut on Spotify by a female artist in history, surpassing 5 billion streams. 

Todrick Hall and Shea Diamond – Photos courtesy of Capital Pride Alliance.

Other top performers at this year’s concert include singer, rapper, actor, and choreographer — and international YouTube personality with over 2.7 million subscribers — Todrick Hall, best known for his roles in Broadway shows like Kinky Boots and Straight Outta Oz; singer Shea Diamond; drag queen Nina West; singer Calum Scott; and gay rapper Big Dipper. 

Hall, just off a successful tour of Europe and the United States, creates and shares original music on his YouTube channel, has choreographed flash mobs for Beyoncé, and appeared as a backup dancer in Taylor Swift’s video for her hit “Look What You Made Me Do.”

Diamond, a transgender artist who has overcome personal struggles, is known for her danceable, emotional singles like “I Am Her,” “Seen It All,” and “Keisha Complexion,” and recently released her debut extended-play album Seen It All.

Columbus-based drag queen Nina West, who rose to prominence during her stint on the 11th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has been known for hosting the annual “Heels of Horror” show at Axis nightclub in Columbus, as well as the competition “So You Think You Can Drag?” She was named to Columbus Business First‘s “40 Under 40” list in 2018, and has used her performances as a platform to support local and national LGBTQ organizations, averaging about $1,500 in donations per show.

Scott, the British-singer and songwriter best known for covering Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” is a viral musical sensation, charting at No. 1 in more than six countries and landing in iTunes’ Top 10 in more than 12 countries. Best known for his stint on the 2015 season of Britain’s Got Talent, Scott collaborated with Leona Lewis on the 2018 single “You Are the Reason,” and released singles from his debut studio album Only Human, including “What I Miss Most,” “Rhythm Inside,” and “No Matter What” that same year. He is currently signed to Capitol Records.

Nina West and Calum Scott – Photos courtesy of Capital Pride Alliance.

The self-described “ultimate big boy of rap,” entertainer, DJ and musical artist Big Dipper has gained a cult following for his at-times salacious but tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and his accompanying music videos celebrating LGBTQ identity and body positivity, including fan favorites like “Drip Drop,” “Summertime Realness,” “LaCroix Boi,” “Meat Quotient,” and “Lookin.” He released his debut album, Late Bloomer, last year, courtesy of Jelly Records.

“The Capital Pride Alliance is thrilled to announce such a diverse slate of performers for the 2019 Pride Concert. The wide range of talent, experience and contributions of these artists speaks to our theme of shhhOUT: Past, Present & Proud,” Ryan Bos, the executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance, said in a statement.

Big Dipper – Photo courtesy Capital Pride Alliance.

The concert, presented by HOT 99.5 and PRIDE radio, will kick off at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 3rd Street NW, one hour after the start of the Capital Pride Festival. From 1 p.m. on, both events will run simultaneously into the evening hours. The concert is free to the public, with tickets available for special access to the Concert Pit and the VIP Concert Experience, featuring its own pit, private bar, air-conditioned restrooms, and a view of backstage.

Together, the festival and concert are expected to draw over 350,000 attendees. The festival will also feature two other music stages, beverage gardens, hundreds of exhibitors, a family zone, and food vendors as attendees commemorate both the 44th anniversary of Capital Pride and the 50th celebration of the Stonewall uprising, which is considered to be the seminal event that sparked the growth and development of the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement.

“In these challenging political times for the LGBTQ+ community, and as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, it is more important than ever to gather in community, solidarity, and resolve, to demonstrate that we will not be rendered invisible or further marginalized by any administration,” Bos added. “Washington, D.C. has much rich, important pre-Stonewall history and we look forward to our 44th annual Pride Celebration in the Nation’s Capital.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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