‘Love Boat’ Star, Grammy-winner to Headline Pride Festival

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Flamenco guitarist and ‘70s pop icon Charo will be appearing at Pride Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 11. Credit: Submitted photo.

Pride Fort Lauderdale recently announced the entertainment line-up for the 41st annual festival on Sunday, Feb. 11.

Charo, the Spanish-born Flamenco guitarist and singer who appeared regularly on the ‘70s TV show “The Love Boat,” will share the Swiss Navy Stage on Fort Lauderdale Beach with Grammy-winning British singer and songwriter Estelle.

A pop culture icon (“cuchi cuchi”) and competitor on the last season of “Dancing with the Stars,” Charo will debut the dance version of her new single, “Fantastico!,” from her upcoming album “Guitar on Fire.”

“I’m excited to join all my friends in South Florida to celebrate Pride Fort Lauderdale,” said Charo. “I’ve always supported my LGBTQ friends and continue to fight against discrimination in every form. Love is love, so let’s all cuchi cuchi together!”

“We’re thrilled to welcome a star of such magnitude as Charo come to Fort Lauderdale to give the world premiere of her new single,” said Miik Martorell, president.

Charo’s history with “The Love Boat” also inspired the volunteer Pride board of directors with the theme for this year’s festival.

“When we realized we were celebrating Pride on Valentine’s Weekend and Charo was going to be performing, we knew ‘The Love Pride’ would be the perfect theme.”

Fans will have the opportunity to meet Charo at the official Pride kick-off party on Friday, Feb. 9 at the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale resort, adjacent to the festival site. Tickets for the party are still available for $65 in advance at PrideFortLauderdale.org and $75 at the door.

It’s been a decade since British singer and songwriter Estelle burst onto the music scene. Her single “American Boy,” featuring Kanye West was nominated for Song of the Year and earned her a Grammy for best rap/sung collaboration. She was nominated again in 2013 for best R&B performance for “Thank You.” More recently, she was featured in David Guetta’s anthem “One Love,” which has gained popularity with the LGBTQ community.

John Legend summarized her sound as “a unique blend of hip hop, R&B, reggae and soul.”

As an actress, Estelle guest starred on Fox’s hit series about the music industry, “Empire,” and made a cameo appearance as herself in the 2017 film “Girls Trip.”

“It’s an honor to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community as we share this beautiful human experience with pride,” said Estelle.

Also appearing will be Laith Ashley, transgender model and singer who was featured in the reality series “Strut” on the Oxygen network, and transgender activist and model Carmen Carrera; popular circuit DJs Tracy Young, Deanne and Power Infiniti; and the LGBTQ cirque company Air-otic.

The festival will conclude with a fireworks display. Organizers expect up to 60,000 people at the free festival, which runs from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

Proceeds from Pride Fort Lauderdale fund grants to local non-profits serving the LGBTQ community. Last year, $10,000 was donated to organizations offering social services and health care, musical performances and visual arts exhibitions, and educational and cultural programs for seniors.

Pride Fort Lauderdale will be held on Sunday, Feb. 11 from noon – 8 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd. For more information, go to PrideFortLauderdale.org.

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