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Top 10 Performers You Should not Miss at Charlotte Pride 

Pride Guide 2017

In addition to Charlotte's Blame the Youth, which performs at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 26 on the Wells Fargo stage, Charlotte Pride 2017 will feature a range of other comics, drag performers, musicians and more. Here are 10 highlights:

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Deborah Cox

She's been entertaining Pride audiences since the mid-'90s and charting on the R&B and Dance Billboard lists since her 1998 No. 1 Hot R&B single "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here." In Lifetime's Whitney Houston biopic, Cox displayed a powerhouse voice that uncannily channels that of the late, legendary R&B diva. And Cox knows how to work both her voice and a stage. During her 25-city U.S. tour of the Broadway musical version of The Bodyguard, she's continued to channel Houston and gain more fans through her love of musical versatility. To experience Cox's amazing range — and maybe have a little moment of Whitney nostalgia — head over to the Wells Fargo Stage at 8 p.m. Aug. 26. — Kia Moore


Sandra Valls

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Riding the wave of two Showtime comedy specials (The Latin Divas of Comedy and Pride: LGBT Comedy Slam), Valls brings groundbreaking humor that celebrates Latinx culture and sexuality. Her entertaining and enlightening comedy won Valls the 2013 International Woman's Day Award and even recognition from the California State Senate. Valls says she's ready to hit the Queen City's Pride fest in the wake of the nasty HB2 debacle and powerful uprising that followed the Keith Lamont Scott killing. "There will be healing, there will be empowerment, and a reminder that love wins always," she tells CL. The unstoppable cabrona takes the Wells Fargo Stage at 5 p.m. Aug.26. — Grey Revell

KeKe Wyatt

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A preacher's kid turned R&B diva, KeKe Wyatt is known for her virtuosic vocals and sassy personality. Wyatt first burst onto the mainstream music scene when her warm, dynamic, gospel-tinged vocals were intertwined with the R&B crooning of Avant in the 2001 chart-topping single "My First Love." As her songstress star was rising, domestic violence at home shifted Wyatt's trajectory from R&B starlet to assumed crazed diva. Years later, in 2012, she would embrace her diva title as she joined the TV One reality show cast of R&B Divas: Atlanta. Since Wyatt's resurgence to the camera and lights, she has found herself returning to her first love — sharing her music with others. Catch Wyatt on the Charlotte Pride Wells Fargo Stage Saturday, Aug. 26, at 7:30 p.m. — K.M.

The Girls of RuPaul's Drag Race

If your entire world stops when you hear the phrase, "Lipsync for your life. And, don't... fuck it up," then you are most certainly in for a treat on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 3 p.m. RuPaul's Drag Race reality TV stars Kennedy Davenport, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, and Eureka O'Hara will be sashaying it up on the Charlotte Pride stage to entertain, delight, and empower onlookers with their performances.

Kennedy Davenport

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Entertain: Kennedy Davenport is a Texas native with deep North Carolina ties who starred in season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race. Davenport's training in dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem finds its way in the display of the drag performer's dexterity. Davenport is known for bringing dance moves and clean body lines to her lip-synching performance like a true professional. This is a performance you will not want to miss.

Cynthia Lee Fontaine

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Delight: Cynthia Lee Fontaine is a drag performer known for having a thick Puerto Rican accent that projects excitement and delight into her performances and costuming choices. She starred in season 8 and 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race. If you are looking for fun with a whole lot of Cu Cu added in, then Fontaine's is a performance to add to your itinerary.

Eureka O'Hara

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Empower: Eureka O'Hara is a plus-size drag performer always ready to represent for the big girls. With her big smile and bomb-ass outfits that make you do a double take, O'Hara is ready to bring it to the Charlotte Pride crowd. If you are ready to be pulled into O'Hara's Barbie-style world, you will surely be taken on a fantastic ride filled with confident outfit choices, entertaining dance moves, and uplifting messages for the curvy and buxom body types in the crowd. — K.M.

Los 5

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Rock en Español is coming to Charlotte Pride from Los Angeles by way of Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. Los 5, made up of members from all those countries, has been sending seismic waves throughout the Wild West since winning iHeart Radio's 2016 Rising Star competition in November, with appearances on Univision's Despierta America and NBC's Today Show as Elvis Duran's Pick of the Month. The bicultural band has made it a mission to project positivity into a divided world with its singular brand of bilingual pop rock, and will grace the Wells Fargo Stage at 6 p.m. Aug. 26. — G.R.

Cazwell

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Massachusetts born and New York club-bred electro artist Luke Cazwell has toured the world since 2014, promoting his second album Hard 2 B Fresh, on the Brooklyn-based indie label Peace Bisquit. With collaborators including the edgy Peaches and Justin de Nobrega of the hip-hop group Die Antwoord, Cazwell brings the fierce to tunes like the Spanish Harlem-flavored "¡Spicy!," but for his Charlotte Pride appearance, he will undoubtedly put the spotlight on "Loose Wrists," his first single produced and released on Snow Cone, his own new label. Catch Cazwell on the Wells Fargo Stage at 8:45 p.m. Aug. 26. — G.R.

Matteo Lane

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Still buzzing from a recent performance on Late Night With Seth Meyers and Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central, Matteo Lane is about to be featured The Comedy Jam. He studied storyboard and illustration at the Art Institute of Chicago, before settling in New York City as a fashion illustrator. That's where Lane caught the comedy fever, and subsequently some decent heat with his appearances on MTV's Girl Code and MTV2's Guy Code. Lane will appear at 5:20 p.m. Aug. 26 on the Wells Fargo Stage. — G.R.

Sam Jay

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Being female, African American and lesbian has made Sam Jay stand out in the male-dominated comedy world. And she makes those facts relatable and blindingly hilarious to her audiences.

"I'm at a place where it's like, 'Be yourself, live in your moment, embrace your stereotypes," Jay said in a recent knee-slappinglu funny appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "Stereotypes are the best thing, 'cause they can help you, man, if you play them up. Like, people think black people are hostile: I use that to my advantage ... I play up my hostility all the time. I ride the bus and the train, I blast music out my headphones, I look left and right real crazy while I do it."

That stereotype-embracing humor is what earned Jay this showcase at Charlotte Pride.

Jay's 2013 performance at the nearby Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival and her 2014 turn at the Women In Comedy Festival in Boston — not to mention stellar performances at comedic institutions including Gotham NYC and the Comedy Studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts — have garnered the comic praise from Comedy Central and BET.

She will appear on the Wells Fargo Stage at Charlotte Pride at 5:35 p.m. Aug. 26. — G.R.

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