It’s Pride Month! Throughout June, HollywoodLife is celebrating with The Sound Of Pride, where celebs and stars of the LBGTQ+ community pick songs for the ultimate 2023 Pride Month playlist. It’s the perfect soundtrack to planning your Pride party, researching how to protect LGBTQ+ rights, or reading about the history of Pride Month. Drag superstar BeBe Zahara Benet shares her new banger along with some other jams to put some energy into the playlist.
“I expect there to be bigger crowds and a lot more events for people to engage in,” BeBe Zahara Benet tells HollywoodLife about Pride 2023. “It’s an excitement you can feel vibrating around the world, especially as people push to criminalize drag and shame the community into hiding. This year, we’re going bigger and celebrating harder than last year, for sure.”
BeBe will help the crowds go hard and big this year with her new song, “Heavy.” With a thumping bass and signature delivery, “Heavy” sees the recent Drag Me To Dinner guest star departs from her AfroPop sound, taking her musical artistry in a bold and exhilarating direction. It arrives with a futuristic and fashion-forward music video overseen by her frequent collaborator, Assaad Yacoub.
For more BeBe, her debut comedy special, Africa is Not a Country, is out now via Amazon Prime and Apple TV. She’s bringing her show, NUBIA: A Brave New World, to Seattle’s Moore Theatre on Juneteenth. Beyond that? Her debut album and corresponding headlining solo tour are coming over the horizon. When it arrives, be prepared – and in the meantime, check out her selections for The Sound of Pride.
Beyoncé, ‘SUMMER RENAISSANCE’
“This song just feels like pride: the hum of the Donna Summer sample in the back, the sassy lyrics, and the ease of it all. It makes you smile and feel sexy.”
Crystal Waters, ‘100% Pure Love‘
“Whenever this song comes on, the crowd goes wild. It always brings back memories of carefree fun with friends and my early days performing the Pride circuit and paying my dues in the art form.”
Lil Nas X, ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’
“Lil Nas X is a risk-taker and is always provocative–and that’s why I love his artistry. This song has that easy-going summer feel with some sexy lyrics. It’s the perfect modern pride anthem.”
Alex Newell, ‘Keep It Moving’
“Powerhouse vocals? Check. Incredible message? Check. This is such an uplifting anthem that doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. When people try to get you down, you have to keep it moving!”
BeBe Zahara Benet, ‘Heavy’
My latest single is all about confidence and owning who you are. And that, to me, that is what Pride is all about. You make no apologies for living your life and wearing your crown, though it may be heavy at times.
HL: What’s the vibe of Pride 2023?
BeBe: “This year, things are reopened, and most people are ready to go out and really celebrate. This feels like the first Pride since the pandemic has settled. I expect there to be bigger crowds and a lot more events for people to engage in. It’s an excitement you can feel vibrating around the world, especially as people push to criminalize drag and shame the community into hiding. This year, we’re going bigger and celebrating harder than last year, for sure.”
Pride is a time to celebrate unsung heroes. Is there anyone you’d like to see get some more of the spotlight this year?
“There are many people still on the front lines fighting for equality. They don’t do it for the accolades or social media stardom, they do it because they believe in the cause and want to spark change. Many are part of the drag community as performers and allies. One big one is Peppermint. She’s been fighting for visibility and using her talents to spark change and show that representation matters. There are so many drag artists around the world setting the tone and sparking conversations that lead to change.”
Do you have a memory of Pride Months past that you’d like to share?
“My first full-on drag performance was during Pride in Minneapolis, and I got the opportunity to perform on stage with Cyndi Lauper. That was a defining moment for me. It was super early in my career, but it showed me so much of what this art form could unlock. There was magic in that. That’s what Pride season makes me feel.”
What do you have planned for June (and the rest of 2023?)
My latest single, “Heavy,” is out today, and I’m looking forward to performing it and taking the stage across the country to help people celebrate pride. It’s the first single from my forthcoming debut album that’s set to be released later this fall. I am excited to tour a new live experience later this year, and I have some exciting new TV projects in the works.
Do you have a Pride 2023 message to share?
“Pride may be recognized this month, but it should be celebrated year-round. Take some time to celebrate yourself and your community, especially now. A lot of people are threatened by this community, but we’re not going anywhere. Stand proud and show love to yourself and everyone else!”