For the past two years or so, we’ve been a bit preoccupied with COVID-19 pandemic.

However, some of the members of the community are still dealing with AIDS. The Florida AIDS Walk aims to bring awareness to this pressing issue, educate and motivate the community to come together, and end the epidemic once and for all. With much fanfare, The Florida AIDS Walk and Festival returns on March 19 at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park.  

“We are so appreciative of the tremendous support of so many individuals and corporate partners who continue to rise to new heights to ensure the continued impact of the Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival,” Michael Kahane, AHF Southern Bureau Chief to Business Wire.com, said. “Even in the midst of our community addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still seeing an increase in new HIV diagnosis. The walk not only provides critical funds to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, but also brings awareness around the HIV epidemic and its impact on our community.”

Aside from raising money for the event and raising awareness, the festival also hosts some of the hottest performers. Last year, the festival featured local band Deep Fried Funk, as well as two hip hop heavyweights Trina and Lil Kim as the headliners. There were many viral moments during last year’s event. One moment that definitely stuck out was when Lil Kim brought out her daughter Royal Reign to dance with her onstage. We witnessed her daughter make her stage debut. The most memorable moment occurred when both Lil Kim and Trina hugged each other onstage. Trina was even seen offstage grooving to Lil Kim’s music as she sashayed through her legendary catalog.

This year’s entertainment is going to be just as exciting. Co-headlining the music festival for 2022 will be none other than Deborah Cox and Jessie J.

Multiplatinum Brit Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated songstress Jessie J has been wowing audiences with her soul-stirring voice since her debut album “Who You Are” premiered in 2011. Jessie J had a very impressive run on the Billboard charts, her first go-round. She had not one, but six top 10 smash singles. “Who You Are” also included the collaboration “Price Tag” which featured rapper B.o.B. which went quadruple-platinum. In 2014, Jessie J found success with another collaboration “Bang Bang” which features Niki Manaj and Ariana Grande. The song managed to be another win for the singer as it went platinum six times.

Cox has been a vocal staple in the music industry for decades. Throughout her career, Cox has been involved in Broadway productions like Aida and Josephine. Her dedication to being a performer was put to the ultimate when she played the role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard: The Musical, which is the role that made Whitney Houston a Bonafide movie star. Cox has a staggering 13 #1 hits on the Billboard Dance Charts and has been nominated for a Grammy. The artist is known for her global smash “Nobody’s Spouse to be here” which held the #1 spot on Billboard for 14 consecutive weeks. Cox has also been recognized for the work that sees done in the LGBT community. The Canadian-born star has been recognized for her longstanding commitment to various social issues in the LGBT community.

During June 2019 Pride Month, Cox was presented with a Proclamation by the Borough of The Bronx for her recognition of and dedication to the LGBT community.

“I am beyond excited to see both performers,” mentioned Fort Lauderdale resident Craig Donaldson. “I've been a huge fan of Deborah Cox for a while. Nobody can sing like her. Seeing her is going to bring me back to my ‘90s days.”

This is the 17th year of the festival. FWMF generously supports seven local non-profit organizations that are providing HIV/AIDS education, treatment and prevention services across the metro area. The 2022 benefiting organizations include AQUA, Broward House, Equality Florida, Latinos Salud, The Pride Center at Equality Park, SAVE Foundation, South Florida Afro Pride, SunServe and the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center. Attending the Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival is one of the best ways to give back to the community. Along with the concert there will be delicious food trucks and bars with non-alcoholic selections. There will also be a selfie spot for all of your social media needs, as well as a Memory Wall, so you can reflect on those we have lost to HIV/AIDS.

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