June 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm EDT | by Keith Loria
Free your mind
Capital Pride, gay news, Washington Blade

Amber and members of En Vogue say fans can expect all their hits when they perform at Capital Pride this weekend. (Photos courtesy Capital Pride)

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Capital Pride, the organizers decided to let 2015 be the year of the female, with an entertainment lineup featuring some of the best female singers of the last few decades.

Headlining the Sunday celebration will be Grammy-nominated singer Carly Rae Jepsen, whose “Call Me Maybe” single was one of the most popular songs of 2012. The Canadian singer has another song climbing the charts with “I Really Like You,” and you can expect both hits to be performed at Capital Pride.

Older attendees will be dancing in the streets with the hits from German electro-pop/dance singer and songwriter Amber, who was a mainstay on the ’90s dance charts with tunes like “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sexual (Li Da Di),” and “This Is Your Night.”

“I look forward to making my fans happy and to meet with them. I’ll be playing all the hits, of course, and have been blessed to have become a soundtrack to many lives out there,” Amber says. “I am actually blessed with a straight and gay following but I am very aware about the many hardships and prejudice still out there against the LGBT community. It seems that my music has an uplifting factor, which happens to appeal and balance some emotions for the moment.”

Many in the LGBT community consider Amber’s music part of their “coming out” soundtrack and the singer never gets tired of hearing that she’s made a difference in someone’s life.

“I have heard that countless times and I then take them to the side and tell them the secret to my music. … I tell them that my music actually makes people gay, but jokes aside, to me it is the greatest gift, that it moves people to live their truth and that they should not be ashamed of who they are,” she says. “I feel that it is important to celebrate and accept our positive differences instead of caving in to bigotry and hatred.”

Amber is no stranger to the Pride circuit, having appeared at Atlanta Pride last September.

“I just love the happy faces and so many people from different places coming together and having a moment of unity,” she says. “Music has the power to bring people from all states, nations and political affiliations together, and for that moment, I imagine that we all can just get along and wish each other well and reach out to each other.”

The women of R&B’s En Vogue (Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron and Rhona Bennett) will also be performing at Capital Pride, calling on popular hits such as “Hold On,” “My Lovin’,” “Free Your Mind” and “Whatta Man.”

“It’s always a blast to perform for the Pride crowds,” Ellis says. “There’s so much energy and a sense of widespread, free self-expression. It makes for an engaging performance with supportive vibes all around. And, being near the Capitol is an added bonus.”

The group has sold more than 20 million albums since coming together in Oakland in 1989, and is still going strong today.

Herron says that there’s something electric about dynamic, soul-powered women coming together for a great cause.

“You can expect to hear our hits but also expect to hear us paying homage to the divas that paved the way for us, and probably all of the women that will be gracing the stage,” she says. “I expect a great celebration. I think it’s an opportunity for the LGBT community to have fun while fellowshipping and supporting one another on their journey of authenticity and self-exploration.”

Ellis says the LGBT following has been a huge support to En Vogue over the years and there’s an appreciation for what the brand/band represents — class, talent, femininity and empowerment. She’s thrilled that her group is playing Capital Pride.

“We do the music to touch the hearts and souls of the listeners. It feels good to know that our expression of music makes a favorable difference in someone’s life,” she says. “People let loose at an event like this and there’s an air of freedom to be who you are.”

Also on tap for Capital Pride is Wilson Phillips, the group behind hits “Hold On” and “You’re in Love”; and newcomer Katy Tiz, the British pop singer who gained mainstream attention following her cover of Rock Mafia’s single “The Big Bang” in 2014.

There will also be performances from two of the finalists from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” A separate lineup will perform on Pride’s Monument Stage in the Ruby Road Food Court and Beer Garden.

Capital Pride’s entertainment runs from 1-9 p.m. Sunday at the Capitol Concert Stage in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.


Capital Pride Festival, gay news, Washington Blade

Wilson Phillips and Carly Rae Jepsen will also sing Sunday on the Capital Pride Capitol Concert Stage. (Photos courtesy Capital Pride)

Capitol Concert Stage (3rd & Pennsylvania)

EMCEES: Jerry Houston (Hot 99.5 PRIDE Radio)

Destiny B. Childs



1 p.m.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington

Michelle Raymond Band

Team Peaches

Ella Fitzgerald


2 p.m.

Kristal Smith

Amber (headliner)


3 p.m.

Freddie’s Follies

Katy Tiz (headliner)

Sarah Peacock


4 p.m.

En Vogue (headliner)

Night Runners


5 p.m.

Ginger Minj of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season seven

EnKore Dance Company

Jessi Malay

Violet Chachki “Drag Race” season seven winner


6 p.m.

Wilson Phillips (headliner)


7 p.m.

Carly Rae Jepson (headliner)


MONUMENT FESTIVAL STAGE (6th & Constitution)

EMCEE: Ophelia Bottoms





1 p.m.

National Anthem by Shadina

Miss Capital Pride Ophelia Bottoms

Mr. Capital Pride Yarde’ Noir

Drag Cabaret


D.C. Front Runners

TeeJay Johnson

Mr. Cobalt Brian J. Kelly


2 p.m.

Drag Cabaret

Ragin’ Love


Oasis Dance Company


3 p.m.

DJ Andre Gutarra

Run Jenny


Town & Country (Rawhides)


4 p.m.

Drag Cabaret

Cobalt Pride Idol winner

D.C. Gurly Show


5 p.m.

The Glamazons

Mr. EOY Matthew J. Kelly

Drag Cabaret

Billy Winn


6 p.m.

Wicked Jezebel

Mel Jade


Dupont Dance Tent (6th & Pennsylvania)


Noon — DJ Jacq Jill

1 p.m. — DJ Sidekick

2 p.m. — DJ Lemz

3 p.m. — DJ Jason Royce

4 p.m. — DJ Keenan Orr

5 p.m. — DJ Rosie

6 p.m. — DJ Madscience

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