Celebrity Entertaiment

LGBTQ DJs share their favorite Pride anthems in mega playlist

Since the first Pride parades in the ’70s, music has always played a special part in bringing the LGBTQ community together to celebrate being out and proud.

From Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” in the ’70s to Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have a Kiki” in the 21st century, music has helped LGBTQ people to both survive and thrive.

On this Pride weekend without the parade and all of the parties, The Post asked six LGBTQ DJs — representing each color of the rainbow flag — to keep the music playing by sharing their picks for the songs that have provided the soundtrack of queer freedom, fierceness and fabulosity.

1. DJ Lina Bradford

DJ Lina Bradford
DJ Lina BradfordNew York Post

The New York nightlife legend, trans activist and former dancing DJ queen of Fire Island spins her signature mix of disco and house classics — and whatever else she pleases — in her IG Live sets on Fridays and Saturdays.

Clivillés and Cole, “A Deeper Love”

That song always hits a chord. At the time that it came out [in 1991], it was really one of those bringing-together moments. As the house music turns you out on the dance floor, there’s a message to it.

George Michael, “Freedom! ’90”

That was during the supermodel moment, and it made you feel like you could do runway till the end of the day. Junior [Vasquez] would pop that song on at Sound Factory at 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning, the flashlights were on, and you just felt brand-new!

Ultra Naté, “Free”

She worked the hamstrings of everyone when this song came out [in 1997]. It just told you that, “Guess what? We got this.” It showed how much we had progressed in the community. That song was speaking to the times. We were out more in the media. We were also showing the government and all of the powers that be that, “We’re not taking it anymore.”

Diana Ross, “I’m Coming Out”

There’s just so many significant turn-out moments in that song, and the fact that Miss Ross is singing it is everything. How it’s done and how it’s sold to you has everything to do with how it takes you there . . . I love seeing that all these youngsters are really living for disco. Any disco song is that moment of rainbows and Skittles.

2. Tracy Young

Tracy Young
Tracy YoungFilmMagic

This veteran DJ — a onetime New Yorker now living in Miami — has worked behind the boards as well as behind the decks. In fact, she became the first woman to win the Grammy for Best Remixed Recording in January.

Madonna, “I Rise”

Both the original and the remix — it’s the one I won the Grammy for. That was Madonna’s LGBTQ anthem last year. She wrote it for Stonewall 50 and WorldPride last year. I’ve worked with Madonna for 25 years, and I credit her a lot for what she’s done for the gay community.

Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors”

I did a new version of this a couple years ago that hasn’t been released. I’m gonna be playing it during my virtual Pride set [Saturday and Sunday on SiriusXM’s Utopia, Channel 341]. I always appreciate a song in its original form, but I added some tempo so we could dance to it.

RuPaul, “Supermodel (You Better Work)”

I’m still playing this! He was signed to a label as an openly gay drag queen [in 1991], and that’s such a huge part of our history — and what Pride truly is about. This coined the saying “You better work,” so I had to mention my boy Ru. Ru was the original bitch.

Judy Garland, “Over the Rainbow”

Judy Garland was such a gay icon. Some of these younger kids, they may not know her. But you gotta give Judy Garland some props. I play versions of “Over the Rainbow” during Pride, but it’s not Judy’s voice. It’s a beautiful, beautiful song.

3. Justin Dawson

Justin Dawson
Justin DawsonBrian Zak/NY Post

Brooklyn’s DJ Dawson didn’t let the quarantine keep him from clubbing in the virtual space, regularly throwing down beats for charity on Instagram Live. And he’ll keep the party pumping this weekend at Furball (Saturday on Twitch/Zoom) and a sunset Pride set (Sunday on IG).

CeCe Peniston, “Finally”

For me, it represents Pride because she’s kind of describing a dream man, who happens to look exactly like me — a man with “brown cocoa skin and curly black hair.” That really spoke to me, having that representation. And having everybody on the dance floor singing those lyrics at the top of their lungs, it means something.

Janet Jackson, “Together Again”

It’s about a friend that Janet lost to AIDS. A whole generation was impacted by that. And when I think about Pride, it’s also about remembering those who fought before us and died for us . . . And right now, this song has significant meaning because we have been quarantined, and we can’t wait to be together again on that dance floor, whenever that can happen.

David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland, “When Love Takes Over”

Lyrically, I feel like “When Love Takes Over” is what Pride is all about. The fight for acceptance and equality is really rooted in finding love for each other . . . when love takes over.

Kings of Tomorrow featuring Julie McKnight, “Finally”

It kind of speaks to the timelessness that we experience on the dance floor. Time kind of loses its significance. With Pride, we come together to reflect on the past and to work toward the future, but also to celebrate the moment.

4. Nita Aviance

Nita Aviance
Nita AvianceCourtesy of Nita Aviance

Since moving to New York in the late ’90s and joining the House of Aviance, this DJ — who released a remix of XiViX’s “Urgent” this week — has turned many an underground party into a kiki, both working solo and as one half of the Carry Nation.

Kevin Aviance, “C - - ty”

I’m gonna give it to my [House of Aviance] sister right there, honey! That is the one. She brings all the girls to the floor. She gives you all the feelings. She’s just about owning it, right? We’re all familiar with the bitch tracks, but there’s something so powerfully aggressive about the rhythm to this. It’s like battle armor.

Two Tons O’ Fun, “Just Us”

It’s always been a classic for the dance community, but I think especially for the queer community . . . When the world is so crazy outside, we still have this really special bond as queer people. It’s just so beautiful, so much love. It’s togetherness, honey!

Alison Limerick, “Where Love Lives”

For me, “where love lives” is the dance floor with our queer community. When we are in so much pain, this is the place that we go to find our like-minded people and celebrate ourselves, the power that we have in our community.

Sylvester, “Over and Over”

These queer people in the past really have paved the way for us to be where we are today. Sylvester was such an out and proud figure for the queer community from very early on, never hiding. And visibility is so key. It’s so important to be out and proud.

5. Bill Coleman

Bill Coleman
Bill ColemanBrian Zak/NY Post

This Brooklyn DJ and owner of Peace Bisquit Productions & Management has worked with everyone from Deee-Lite to Lady Gaga, and spun everywhere from an HK lounge to a BK roller-skating rink.

Grace Jones, “Pull Up to the Bumper”

Pride is about empowerment, but it’s also about sexiness. That song represents an iconic artist who has always been a supporter of LGBTQ lives. She represents a freedom and a power — she’s 72, and she could still lay us all out!

Erasure, “A Little Respect”

This song epitomizes my coming-out college years. That’s what I wanted — a little respect — as a black queer person with an alternative bent, running around in the suburbs. [Lead singer] Andy Bell was so fierce and so out at a time when it wasn’t always commercially viable to be so.

The Ones, “Flawless”

This is bittersweet, of course. Joel Schumacher, who did the movie [“Flawless”] that this song was written for, just passed. And we lost Nashom [Wooden, of the Ones] this year to COVID. The Ones represented the downtown, East Village club scene, and this song became iconic . . . Anybody can be flawless. It’s about an attitude — bringing it and working it.

Carly Rae Jepsen, “Run Away With Me”

That totally is an anthem. 100 percent. It always makes the room go off whenever I play it. Carly Rae really speaks to the younger queer crowd that I DJ for regularly. They love her. They’re, like, disciples. And it makes me happy that they live for her.

6. Eddie Martinez

Eddie Martinez
Eddie MartinezCourtesy of Eddie Martinez

Now living in Los Angeles, Brooklyn-born Martinez was set to bring home his mix of happy and hard house at the big Sunday Pride Island party — playing original productions such as “One Love” — before the coronavirus spoiled all of the festivities.

Peter Rauhofer & Victor Calderone, “Do It Properly”

It’s just so crowd-pleasing . . . such a feel-good vibe. I mean, it’s telling you what to do: Do it properly. There’s no other way. I’ve always loved Peter Rauhofer’s work. I remember [him DJing] the Roxy closing party. It was the end of an era.

Junior Vasquez & Razor N Guido Present Vernessa Mitchell, “This Joy”


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‘The Bachelorette’ to Begin Production, Season Shot in 1 Location

Clare Crawley‘s season of The Bachelorette will be the first major network show to begin filming again in the U.S. following the coronavirus pandemic.

The show is heading back into production, Us Weekly confirms. Variety was first to report the news on Friday, June 26, more than three months after it was shut down. Although no date has been set, the show has set “heavy-duty safety precautions” and the cast and crew will be heading to set very soon.

As Us previously reported, season 16 of the ABC dating show will be filmed in one quarantined location. All cast and crew will live on-site. Testing will happen before filming and regular temperature checks will occur throughout the season.

Clare Crawley Paula Lobo/ABC

There will also have to be a quarantine period for cast and crew before filming begins. According to Variety, the season will not be shot in Los Angeles county but will be somewhere in Southern California. Production is going above and beyond to assure the location will be “a super safe paradise” for the cast and crew. No visitors or press are allowed on sit during filming.

For the first time ever, the season’s lead, 39-year-old Crawley, was able to research her suitors ahead of time, as they were announced in March.

Obviously [I googled]. What woman wouldn’t, are you kidding me?” she told hosts Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast on Tuesday, June 23. “I will say this. At first, I really didn’t. I really did not and it was because, I don’t know. I just kind of felt like I want to get to know them and regardless, I know how my Instagram is. It’s a piece of my life. … You have to see and feel it in person and so regardless of what their life is and what it looks like on their Instagram, it’s nice to actually see them in person and I am huge on pheromones, so that’s like the end for me.”

She also noted that she’s been through a lot through her life, including an “abusive relationship,” and wants to find someone to accept all of her.

“It’s been something that I’ve hidden for so many years, but until I’ve owned that part of my life and looked at the stuff I’ve been through as shame — to look at it as my superpower — and these are the things that have made the woman that I am today,” the hairstylist said. “I want the man of my dreams to see the worst of me, to know the worst of me. I want a man to love me for that, and not just for the easy makeup and hair. Anybody can love you for the easy fun times and the smiles and the laughs.”

The Bachelorette is set to premiere on ABC on Tuesdays in the fall.

Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants!

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‘Teen Wolf’ Cast Reveals Favorite Episodes, Set Secrets in Reunion

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Siesta Key’s Juliette, Kelsey Call Out Alex’s ‘Racism’ After Firing

Standing by MTV. Juliette Porter and Kelsey Owens agree with the network’s decision to cut ties with Alex Kompothecras due to his past racially charged comments.

“I have a lot of — I don’t want to say racist followers — but a lot of people are really upset with him leaving,” Porter, 22, said on the Thursday, June 25, episode of the “Chicks in the Office” podcast. “People love a villain.”

Owens, 23, also stated that she doesn’t understand the comments Porter has received. “There are so many people saying they want him back and I’m like, ‘Do you understand why he’s gone?’” the model added. “MTV definitely made the right decision on cutting him.”

Porter, who dated Kompothecras, 25, on and off for years after high school, also noted that the comments he had made were not OK — and not just a small issue. “It’s not even subtle racism. It was, like, blatant racism,” she said.

Juliette Porter and Kelsey Owens Open Up About Alex Kompothecras Siesta Key Firing
Juliette Porter, Kelsey Owens, and Alex Kompothecras MTV(3)

MTV announced the decision to fire the reality star following the summer premiere of the show on June 16.

“We’ve made the decision to cut ties with Alex and are editing the current season to minimize his presence,” the network said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time. “He will not be in future seasons of Siesta Key.”

He had commented with the N-word in one resurfaced Instagram photo and liked and commented on multiple other racists social media posts.

Kompothecras has not commented following the firing but has been posting on social media, mostly sharing photos of girlfriend Alyssa Salerno and their daughter, Alessi, who they welcomed on June 11.

MTV’s choice to cut ties occurred one week after announcing the firing of Dee Nguyen from The Challenge after she posted multiple offensive tweets amid the Black Lives Matter protests. She has since apologized and the network is working on editing her out of The Challenge: Total Madness, which is airing now.

Siesta Key airs on MTV Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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Billie Lee Claims She Was ‘Gaslighted’ Before ‘Pump Rules’ Exit

Sharing her truth. Vanderpump Rules alum Billie Lee has a lot to say about her experience filming the reality series — and even more to add about former boss Lisa Vanderpump.

Lee, 36, confirmed her exit from the Bravo series in July 2019, writing in an emotional blog post that she “realized that SUR was no longer right for me.” While the outspoken activist claimed at the time that she resigned on her own terms, she revealed on a recent episode of the “I Feel Tried” podcast that she was fired.

“People were trying to get on camera, people wanted to be famous. And like, all I wanted to do was give a voice to the trans community,” the former reality star explained on Wednesday, June 24. “I was actually dismissed. I publicly came out and said that I left … but what happened was toward the end of the seventh season, I was told that Jax [Taylor] and them did not want to film with me.”

During her time on the show, Lee claimed that she “constantly felt discriminated against” by a few of her costars who urged her to leave the cast. Before being let go, the former SUR hostess said that the network told her they were hoping to “go in a different direction” with their featured players. Lee admitted the decision left her “appalled and disappointed” after having stressed a need for more diversity on the series.

Billie Lee Claims She Was Silenced and Gaslighted by Lisa Vanderpump Before Being Fired From Pump Rules
Billie Lee and Lisa Vanderpump Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock; MediaPunch/Shutterstock

“During my reunion, I publicly posted that there was no minority on stage with me, none of my cast members were of color or LGBTQ,” she explained. “For me to be silenced and talked over and gaslighted by Lisa was just really, really sad. … I tried to publicly talk about it but I was silenced. Lisa personally called me and said that, you know, she made my career and she could easily take it away.”

Earlier this month, Bravo announced that original cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute would no longer be part of Vanderpump Rules after former costar Faith Stowers claimed that they had falsely reported her to the police in 2018. New faces Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were also fired for their history of making racist remarks on social media. While Lee applauded the network for taking action, she felt like there were other stars who deserved to face consequences for their actions.

“@BravoTV what about Jax Taylor? He refused to film with me because I was trans and called him out on his white cis privilege. Stop celebrating his disgusting actions. #canceljaxtaylor,” she tweeted on June 9.

Since leaving the show, Lee has spoken openly about her uncomfortable experiences working with Taylor, 40, who she claims spread rumors about her as a “tactic” to force her out of the cast.

“When Jax was refusing to film with me, he also made up a rumor that I was — that Tom [Sandoval] and I were having an affair,” she said on Wednesday. “Tom and I have a great connection, he literally reminds me of a best friend I went to high school with or something. But there’s nothing sexual there. … It was just a way of turning people against me.”

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‘Siesta Key’ Cast Reacts to Alex Kompothecras’ Firing

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Every Project Michael Jackson’s Estate Released After His Death

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Ashley Benson Is Featured on G-Eazy’s New Album

Mixing business with pleasure. Ashley Benson will lend her voice to G-Eazy‘s new album, Everything’s Strange Here.

The rapper, 31, announced the collaboration while teasing the full project via Instagram on Wednesday, June 24. As evidenced by a photo of the track list, the actress, 30, is featured on “All the Things You’re Searching For” along with Kossisko.

“’Everything’s Strange Here’ – a ten song project that encapsulates my mindset and creative inspiration over the last few months drops tomorrow night,” he wrote. “What’s been your favorite song so far?”

Ashley Benson Is Featured on G-Eazy New Album
Ashley Benson and G-Eazy. Shutterstock; Steven Ferdman/Shutterstock

In April, the couple released a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” on G-Eazy’s YouTube channel.

Benson and the musician sparked relationship rumors in May following her split from Cara Delevingne. The Pretty Little Liars alum “liked” a seemingly telling tweet after she was spotted hanging out with him. “Can’t Ashley have friends now? STOP SAYING ASHLEY CHEATED! OR EVEN CARA!” the post read. “They just need friends right now more than ever.”

Us Weekly revealed in May that the twosome “are hanging out and seeing each other, but it’s not serious.”

Benson’s sister, Shaylene Benson, hinted last month that the Days of Our Lives alum’s musical partnership with G-Eazy turned romantic. “It’s okay if you decide to heal through music and collaborate with other artists. And if a spark happens. It’s not a crime when you’re single,” she wrote via her Instagram Story. “I mean a lot of people meet through working together and if there is a connection, great! Do what you want. It’s no ones [sic] business.”

After being spotted holding hands in Los Angeles and spending Memorial Day together, the Spring Breakers star brought the “No Limit” rapper to Shaylene’s wedding earlier this month. The bride, 31, shared photos and videos of the duo at the celebration on Friday, June 19.

Meanwhile, Delevingne, 27, defended Ashley’s right to move on after their breakup. “It’s more important now than ever to spread love, not hate,” the model declared on her Instagram Story in May. “To everyone hating on @ashleybenson please stop. You don’t know the truth, only her and I do and that’s exactly how it should be.”

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Why He Won’t Be on ‘Big Brother’ 22’s All-Star Season

Not returning just yet. Despite rumors that Big Brother 20 alum Chris “Swaggy C” Williams is in talks to appear on the second all-star season of Big Brother this summer, the reality star claims that’s not true.

“I would not go back right now. I know there’s all these rumors about all-stars season 2. Swaggy C is not on that,” the Challenge: Total Madness alum, 25, said on the “Challenge Mania” podcast, published on Tuesday, June 23. “I can’t afford to leave the business and me trading and all that stuff right now. I’m 100% percent guaranteed not on that. I can’t right now.”

Earlier this month, Us Weekly exclusively broke the news that CBS is eyeing all returnees for season 22 — which also marks the 20th anniversary of the show’s debut. The cast has not yet been locked in and could still change, but multiple sources confirmed to Us that many memorable past competitors have been contacted and are negotiating.

Swaggy C won't be on big brother all stars
Chris ‘Swaggy C’ Williams Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“CBS was originally aiming for July 15 premiere, but now it’s set for July 22,” an insider shared exclusively. “It could be pushed back even further due to COVID-19.”

Swaggy C, who works as a day trader, was the second to be evicted on his season in 2018, leaving the show on day 23. Most recently, he competed on The Challenge 35, alongside fiancée Bayleigh Dayton, whom he met on Big Brother.

Swaggy C and Bayleigh
Swaggy C and Bayleigh Courtesy of Swaggy C/Instagram

“If it was two [or] three years down the line and everything with the business was automated and I made enough money where I feel like, you know, let me chill and not put money as the top priority and let me just chill, then it’s, like, ‘Yeah, I would love to go back on Big Brother,’” the Connecticut native told hosts Scott Yager and Derrick Kosinski. “Just right this second, where, like, I’m in the prime of my life and I’m about to hit my first $2 million, $3 million a year. Because last year I wasn’t making $2-3 million. Now I’m at a stride where it’s all clicking and I’m at the prime. I can’t just leave and go on another TV show — not right this second.”

The show has reached out to season 6’s Janelle Pierzina, season 14’s Ian Terry, season 16’s Frankie Grande and season 20’s Tyler Crispen, according to multiple sources. “Contracts are still be negotiated, but NDAs have gone out,” the insider added.

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Us Weekly The Game Is Perfect for Pop Culture Junkies: How to Play

Looking for a new board game? You’re in luck! Us Weekly The Game, created by Big Potato, is now available at Target. The board game, based on the legendary entertainment magazine, is for celebrity news and pop culture fanatics. However, not to worry — as long as you know a few A-listers, you’ll be good to go.

Here’s how to play:

Goal: The first team to collect a celebrity from all eight categories wins.

Instructions: Open your board game and split into two teams; each team should choose one player to represent them in the first round of the “Celeb Buzzer Battle.”

Famous Celebrity Families

Grab the buzzer and turn over a Head-to-Head Card to reveal a category. As soon as a player thinks of a celebrity that fits, they should yell it out and hit the buzzer. Here are a few examples of the head-to-head card clues: Celebs Who Have a Famous Son or Daughter, Celebs from New York or Celebrities With Red Hair.

Us Weekly The Game Is Perfect for Pop Culture Junkies

The opposing team’s representative has 15 seconds to shout out a new celeb name, kicking it back to their opponent. The first player to run out of time loses.

The winning player’s team gets an advantage in round 2, “Triple Charades Jeopardy!” The winner draws nine Celebrity Cards, keeps three, then gives their opponent the remaining six cards. Their opponent then chooses three to keep.

Stars Who Got Their Start on Reality TV

Each player then has 30 seconds to get their team to guess all three celebrities using one of three methods: describing them, acting out the celebrity or using just one word. When a team guesses one correct answer, they keep the card.

The first team to grab a card from all eight categories wins. The categories include A-List Influencers, TV Stars, Multi-Award Winners and more!

The game contains 136 Celebrity Cards, 44 Head-to-Head Cards, 1 electronic timer and 1 purse game board. For more instructions, watch the video above.

All the Stars Who Are EGOT Winners

The game, priced at $19.99, is for 4+ players and ages 14+. AAA batteries required — not included — or users can download the “Us Weekly Timer” on the App Store or Google Play. The game is now on sale at Target, and will be available at Walmart and on Amazon later this summer!

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