Utah Pride Festival Announces Headliner

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The Utah Pride Center has announced that bisexual singer, songwriter, rapper and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello will headline this June’s Utah Pride Festival.

Familiar to Utah audiences from her participation in the Gallivan Center’s 2006 Twilight Concert Series, Ndegeocello (pronounced n-ded-GAY-o-chel-o) is an innovator in the worlds of rock, jazz, funk and soul. Born Michelle Lynn Johnson in Berlin, Germany, Ndegeocello began her career in the 1980s playing in bands such as Prophecy and Rare Essence and sang background vocals for “I’d Rather Be Your Lover” on Madonna’s 1995 album Bedtime Stories. She also became the first artist to sign with Madonna’s label Maverick Records with her album Plantation Lullabies. Released in 1993 when Ndegeocello was 25, Plantation Lullabies rose to #166 on the Billboard Top 200 List the next year. Since then she has released seven albums, including 2007’s The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams, a hybrid of orchestral soundscapes, funk and punk rock.

Although she is best known for performing a cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night” with John Cougar Mellencamp Ndegeocello (whose last name means “free like a bird”) has received nine Grammy nominations for her music, her most recent being a nod for the song “Fantasy” from the compilation album Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire. Known for her androgynous voice and appearance, Ndegeocello has also sung about gay topics, most notably in the Dance Top 20 hit “Leviticus: Faggot.”

Currently, Ndegeocello is performing at Billboard Live in Tokyo.

Tickets for her performance will be available online at utahpride.org starting April 23.

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