Miami Beach Gay Pride is one of the hottest gay pride celebrations in the country, and this year will be even bigger than ever as more than 125,000 people will line Ocean Drive to see the pride parade (with Mario Lopez as Grand Marshal) and the festival, which will feature many well-known local and international entertainment acts. Here are profiles of the grand marshal and the entertainers who will grace the TD Bank Grandstand Stage and the Vapor Shark Stage at Ocean and 11th Street on Sunday, April 12.
Mario Lopez is the current host of the syndicated celebrity newsmagazine Extra and the Hot AC version of the weekly iHeartRadio Countdown, heard on iHeartRadio stations throughout the country. He first became famous playing the role of A.C. Slater on the sitcom Saved by the Bell, and also its sequel series, Saved by the Bell: The College Years. He was commended for his breakthrough performance as Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis in the 1997 TV film Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story. He has also been featured in shows such as Dancing with the Stars, Nip/Tuck and George Lopez, and was the host of Fox’s The X Factor.
TIFFANY FANTASIA AND ROXANNE VARGAS
Tiffany and Roxanne will be presenting at the TD Band Grandstand Stage starting at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 12. Fantasia is a South Florida drag legend and a regular performer at Palace South Beach. She was also the winner of the Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride pageant in 2013. Roxanne Vargas is the host of “6 in the Mix,” a local daytime newsmagazine program aired on WTVJ-TV NBC 6 in South Florida. She produces content for NBC 6 South Florida and also Telemundo 51. Having been employed with WTVJ since 2003, Vargas has been nominated for an Emmy Award five times for her work.
WildChild (Sean Fountain) is a performance artist who calls South Beach his home, by way of New Orleans, Louisiana and Pensacola, Florida. He has been producing special events for nightclubs for over 20 years. A WildChild show is noted for its theatrical improvisation, body painting, glamorous and inventive makeup and costuming, and even street theater (when possible). In the past two decades, he has finished over 150 major collaborative efforts, many of which have been seen across the country.
NATALIE LA ROSE
Natalie La Rose, originally from Amsterdam, moved to the United States from the Netherlands to pursue her dream of singing in 2010. She was signed to Flo Rida’s Republic Records label after meeting him at a party, introducing herself, and telling him that she will be a recording artist on his label one day. This winter, she released her debut single, “Somebody,” featuring Jeremih. The song has already charted in the pop top twenty and reached the top ten on the U.S. R&B charts.
Erika Jayne was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She first found out she had a passion for singing while attending the North Atlanta School for the Performing Arts. In 2007, her debut single “Rollercoaster” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts. Since then, she has released six more #1 dance hits. Her most recent single, “PAINKILLR,” was released last year and quickly shot to the top position on the dance charts. She holds the record for the most #1 Billboard charting songs from a debut album (six).
DJ TRACY YOUNG
Tracy Young, originally from the Washington, D.C. area, first became involved in music in 1993 when she was named on-air mix DJ at WPGC-FM in Washington. She moved to Miami Beach after accepting a job with Interscope Records and has stayed here ever since. She is a resident DJ at Mansion in Miami and also Stage 48 in New York City. She has remixed songs from the biggest artists in the business, such as Cher, Britney Spears, Madonna, and Janet Jackson.
Deborah Cox was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She released her debut album in 1995 and achieved breakthrough success in 1998 with the single “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” off her sophomore album One Wish. The album and the single both went platinum, with the song peaking at #1 on the R&B charts for a record 14 straight weeks, and peaking at #2 on the Billboard pop charts for eight straight weeks. You may have recently heard Cox’s stylings in the recent Lifetime Whitney Houston biopic; Cox provided vocals in the style of Whitney for song segments. Cox lives in Miami with her husband and three children.
For more information on Miami Beach Gay Pride, be sure to read next week’s Hotspots. Also, visit miamibeachgaypride.com.