PrideFest Milwaukee gets a little bit country

Sun. April 10, 2011 10:11 AM by News Staff

leann rimes headlines pridefest milwaukee

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Festival announces LeAnn Rimes to close out event on June 12

Milwaukee, WI - PrideFest Milwaukee has scored a first in it's history of presenting top notch headliner entertainment. For the first time in 24 years, this Midwest mega-festival celebrating LGBT pride will feature a country music superstar in the closing night time-slot, Sunday June 12.

LeAnn Rimes has sold more than 37 million albums, won two Grammy Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards. This June 12, Rimes will also become the first major country music act to headline PrideFest Milwaukee.

Having been the youngest recipient of a Grammy Award, Rimes also was the first country recording artist to win in the "Best New Artist" category. She has placed 42 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 13 of which are top-10 hits, and has scored numerous hit singles in her career, including "Can't Fight the Moonlight" which went #1 in 11 countries, and "How Do I Live," which is the second longest charting song ever on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"This is very exciting for us," says PrideFest Entertainment Director, David Charpentier. "Country music is big in the Midwest, and this is our first country headliner. Her crossover appeal is tremendous, and she's been big supporter of our community for a long time. This will be a fierce show."

LeAnn has long-supported a variety of charity organizations including advocating for the National Psoriasis Foundation, The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes and Children's Miracle Network.

On her album, Lady & Gentlemen, she reinterprets classic country songs by men, including the Grammy nominated song "Swingin'" and the original new song, "Crazy Women."

Opening for Rimes on June 12 will be another country artist who has seen her name on the charts, as well as in recent headlines. Chely Wright made her name as a commercial country singer, and was named Top New Female Vocalist in 1995 by the Academy of Country Music. She has recorded songs from some of Nashville's top writers, including modern-day classic "Single White Female," as well as the number one hit single, "Shut Up and Drive" and "Jezebel".

Overall, Wright has released seven studio albums, charted more than fifteen singles, and has seen her previous eight albums sell over 1,000,000 copies in the United States. In May 2010, Wright became the first major country music performer to publicly come out as a lesbian, citing concerns with bullying and hate crimes towards those in the Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual, Transgender community.

Last year, Wright released both her memoir of being closeted, Like Me, and her album, Lifted Off the Ground. This year, she was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame and nominated for Outstanding Music Artist at the 2011 GLAAD Media Awards.

The 24th Annual Pridefest Milwaukee is this June 10-11-12 on the Henry Maier Festival Grounds. For more information please visit, and