COVID-19 couldn't stop the Pride celebration and iHeartMedia and Procter & Gamble's "Can't Cancel Pride: Helping LGBTQ+ People In Need" was a testament to that.
On Thursday night (June 25), the virtual relief effort, which was produced to help the LGBTQ+ community impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, pushed Pride Month festivities with celebrity appearances and creative lockdown performances by Adam Lambert, Big Freedia, Tank and The Bangas, Billy Porter, Katy Perry, Kim Petras, Melissa Etheridge, Sia and Ricky Martin, as well as Carla Morrison. Hosted by Z100's Elvis Duran and Laverne Cox, the event also partnered with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to distribute financial support raised by the event to LGBTQ+ organizations with a track record of positive impact and support of the LGBTQ+ community, including the National Black Justice Coalition, GLAAD, SAGE, The Trevor Project, CenterLink and OutRight Action International.
If you missed out on the festivities, head on over to the official website for "Can't Cancel Pride" or text "RAINBOW" to 56512. In the meantime, scroll on below to relive some of the best moments from the one-hour pop spectacle.
Katy Perry Unveils Dancefloor Makeover Of "Daisies"
We already knew that pregnancy wasn't going to stop Perry from pushing "Daisies," but the pop star went the extra mile during "Cant Cancel Pride." Presented by Tituss Burgess, the singer appeared during the broadcast to perform a dance version of the track and it was almost like a music video as the expectant mother crooned to the Oliver Heldens mix. As always, Perry opted for a number of animated set-ups, involving a bed full of daises, a wigged mop, Chinese food and more. As an extra special treat, this edit of the remix also heard Heldens sneak in bits of Perry’s past hits, including "I Kissed A Girl," "Peacock" and "Swish Swish."
Kermit Celebrates Pride Month With A Special Message
After Sesame Street shared a post in honor of Pride Month, The Muppets took their messaging a step further when Kermit the Frog appeared on-screen to introduce a performance by Ricky Martin and Carla Morrison. However, it was his opening that truly caught wind as the character broke down the message of free love. "I love green. Okay, I know. That is not a big surprise. After all, it's who I am and as the saying goes, 'I was born this way,'" Kermit told viewers. "I mostly love green because it can be about so many other things like the Earth and nature and being naturally who you are. To me, it also means loving yourself, loving your family and loving who you wanna love."
Kermit went on to speak about two different kinds of families. "As you can probably tell, I come from a family of frogs and I love them. But once I dropped my tail and grew up, I found another family to love: The Muppets," he continued. "We're all very different pigs, bears and chickens and whatever, but what matters is that we love and care for each other and that's what makes us family."
After sharing his thoughts, the Sesame Street staple introduced Martin, who has a family of four, alongside his husband, Jwan Yosef. "He and his husband have four tadpoles, er, four kids of their own," Kermit told viewers, before the Latin heartthrob appeared on-screen to sing "Recuerdo," his new duet with Morrison.
Sia Recruits Drag Race Finalists For "Together"
Sia usually dons an oversized wig for performances, but the prop wasn't really needed for her performance of new single, "Together." To kick off the event, the Aussie singer did indeed rock a colorful incognito headpiece, but several clips of drag queens, including the finalists of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12, as well as the legendary Lady Bunny, took the forefront for the lip-synch extravaganza.
Stars Align To Celebrate 20 Years Of Hedwig and the Angry Inch
To wrap up the affair, we rounded up an all-star reunion performance in honor of the 20th anniversary of Hedwig And The Angry Inch. Featuring some of the very stars that took to the Broadway role of Hedwig Schmidt, including Neil Patrick Harris, Darren Criss and Andrew Rannells, the number saw the friendly faces sing the theatrical number. With their red lip, makeup, dresses and wigs in-tow, the performance heard the singers deliver the anthemic song from the rock musical and encouraged viewers get in on the mix when the number turned into a karaoke number.
Ben Platt Honors Trans Women Of Color
After some words from Peppermint and Matt Bomer, Platt took to the benefit to sing his new single, "So Will I." Standing in his backyard, the Broadway staple let his talents shine in a simple performance of the tender ballad with piano backing. "We would have no queer liberation to speak of were it not for the queer people of color that came before us, particularly trans women of color, so mostly I am excited to sing to honor them and everyone on this Pride day," a scruffy Platt told viewers.
Billy Porter Gives A Pride History Lesson
Early into the benefit, Porter offered viewers a comparison of the recent struggle for Black American and the origin of Pride. "It is summer time. Police treat a person of color with force and brutality, leading to protests that change the course of American history. This is the story of 2020," the Pose star said. "But it’s also the story of 1969 when patrons at the Stonewall Inn, many of them young LGBT people of color, refused to accept police brutality as a way of life. Pride began with protest."
Porter went on to break down the fight for equality for the LGBTQ community within the last 50 years. "We've fought to end racism and homophobia and affirm our rights to health and safety, equal employment, access to education, to marry the ones we love. We’ve made our marks in pop culture and found our place in history books," he explained, before adding the long road ahead to ensure complete equal rights. "While we do [continue to dance], we affirm our solidarity with our Black and brown families fighting for their rights and lives right now and we ask them to support us because no one is free to live the lives we love until all of us are free."
Kim Petras Shines Light On "Malibu"
When it came to repping for LGBTQ youth, Petras was the perfect candidate and she appeared as part of the benefit to perform her new single, "Malibu." Introduced by Cara Delevingne, the German superstar belted the lyrics to the uptempo track, alongside a guitarist on a rooftop deck.
Big Freedia Brings The Bounce From New Orleans
After an introduction from Ciara, Big Freedia repped for the LGBTQ community, New Orleans and the bounce genre during her performance. Atop a stationary rainbow-coated stage, the star brought the hype with a live band and backup dancers from a pier. With funk collective Tank and The Bangas by her side, the acts offered up a high-energy performance of the former’s 2019 track, “Louder,” that was made for the dancefloor, or in this case, a socially distant boardwalk.
Melissa Etheridge Invites Us To Her Window
In a performance dedicated to the ladies, gentlemen and "everyone in between," Etheridge delivered an oldie, but a goodie with an acoustic performance of her smash, "Come to My Window." Introduced by Bebe Rexha, the famed singer/songwriter delivered a rousing rendition of the 1993 anthem, which put her vocals and guitar skills at the forefront as images of Black Lives Matter and Pride gatherings filled the screen.
"Come to my window/ Oh, crawl inside, wait by the light of the moon/ Come to my window,” she belted during the track’s famed hook. "Thank you all so much. I love you. Be strong. Speak true. Spread the peace. Choose only love," Etheridge said at the end of the number.
Adam Lambert Shines In Backyard Performance Of "Roses"
Decked out in a shimmery black suit with a red top hat to match, Lambert sat with his pup as he delicately delivered his recent Nile Rodgers collaboration, "ROSES." It might have been filmed in his backyard, but the American Idol alum pulled out a few bells and whistles as he made his way to his feet to a backdrop of larger than life stereo props and two backup dancers. "And all that I got was roses/ Don't mean a thing without emotions/ Baby, just do it right, focus/ 'Cause I just needed your love tonight, tonight, tonight,” he crooned during the disco-esque track.