iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride 2022 – Highlights

iHeartMedia and Procter & Gamble’s “Can’t Cancel Pride — Proud AND Together” returned this year on June 14. The live event in Los Angeles from the iHeart theater was in-person for the first time ever! It is a fundraiser for the LGBTQ+ community celebrating visibility and inclusivity for all, helping celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with the special event.

The special event saw performances and appearances of some of the most influential voices of the LGBTQ+ community. This also included the biggest names in culture and entertainment. They all came together at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles and in remote locations across the country.

2022 Can’t Cancel Pride was hosted by JoJo Siwa. It featured stunning performances and appearances by the likes of stars Elton John, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, and Lizzo, among others. It also included Anitta, Dove Cameron, Betty Who, Kim Petras, and more.

Queer trailblazers like Hayley Kiyoko, Big Freedia, Gigi Gorgeous, Eugene Lee Yang, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and so many more took the stage. They highlighted the important efforts of LGBTQ+ organizations with a track record of positive impact and support of the LGBTQ+ community and were reflecting on the past year in Pride. They introduced the amazing performers. The stars were also backstage taking iconic photos and hanging out!

Here are some highlights –

The pop powerhouse and longtime LGBTQ+ ally Lizzo opened the event with a vibrant performance of ‘About Damn Time’, her latest bop, and was backed by high-energy dancers. They were on a skating rink at the ‘Moonlight Rollerway’. The star showed off her epic voice. She took on a flute solo amid the vibrant lights and a shimmering disco ball.

JoJo Siwa then began her hosting duties by explaining, “Tonight, we’re gonna raise visibility for the community and funds for six incredible organizations.” “We’re all going to stand proud and stand together in this fight for equality and acceptance. Are y’all ready for this party?”

After a video presentation of “A Year in Pride”, Dove Cameron brought her sultry queer anthem ‘Boyfriend’ to Can’t Cancel Pride where the lights turned low and fog filled the stage as Dove, clad in a black gown and dark eye makeup, began singing her hit song.

Two dancers joined the singer and her band. They performed a dramatic routine as she sang through the unforgettable chorus: “I could be a better boyfriend than him/ I could do the shit that he never did/ Up all night, I won’t quit/ Thinking I’m gonna steal you from him/ I could be such a gentleman/ Plus all my clothes would fit.”

Toward the end of the song, the singer and Emmy-winning actress showed off her impressive vocal range. Cameron went from high falsetto to straight-up belting as a beautiful flower bloomed on the screen behind her and as she sang her final notes, the two dancers ended in a loving embrace. The crowd went wild!

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Over the past 2 years, Can’t Cancel Pride has been able to raise USD 8.3 Million (and counting) for six diverse LGBTQ+ organizations that support the community. Big Freeida then joined Jojo Siwa on stage to talk about Centerlink, an organization that “strengthens, supports, and connects the LGBTQ community centers.” 

LGBTQ community centers remain on the frontlines, providing support and services to nearly 58,000 people each week covering critical needs like housing, STI, HIV testing, therapy, and much more.

Betty Who gave alive debut of her new song ‘Blow Out My Candle’ after an introduction by ‘Yellowjacket’ queer stars Jasmin Savoy Brown and Liv Hewson, who have been celebrated for being queer actors portraying queer characters on screen. Betty was joined onstage by two dancers. The three then bopped around to the ’80-influenced track in perfect synchronization. 

Following Who’s performance, Hayley Kiyoko took the Can’t Cancel Pride 2022 stage to express her gratitude for SAGE, who have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of older LGBTQ+ people. 

The night also celebrated an LGBTQ+ icon whom Siwa calls “King Gay” on the 30th anniversary of the Elton John Aids Foundation. “Elton’s commitment to everyone who is affected by this disease has saved millions of lives,” began the host. Sir Elton John received the biggest honor at iHeartRadio ‘Can’t Cancel Pride’ this year as he accepted the ‘Impact Award’. Host Jojo Siwa and special guest performer Lizzo delivered touching tributes to the singer before he accepted the honor.

“I adore these two women,” John said. “Thank you JoJo for your joy and spirit as a member of this community and thank you Lizzo for such an incredible tribute performance. Thanks also to iHeart and P&G. This award is such an honor for me.”

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The Elton John AIDS Foundation was launched 30 years ago. Since then, the esteemed singer has pushed to find a cure for the sexually-transmitted disease so far, the organization managing to raise over USD 600 million to help end AIDS by 2030.

“We can’t let the clock move backward. We can’t let fear rule, and we must fight to be ourselves. So I offer you all the same advice I gave my two young sons, ‘Be yourself, push the envelope, and ruffle feathers where you need to.'”

Sir Elton John is currently on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. It started in 2018 and ends in 2023.

Jari Jones then shared her pridelight and helped us learn more about the initiatives of the NBJC National Black Justice Coalition. After Ruby Wood of the 2022 film ‘Better Nate Than Never’ introduced Anitta who has been a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, the Brazilian icon hit the stage to perform her major single ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ off her latest album ‘Versions Of Me’ wearing a two-piece jean-inspired ensemble with grey knee-high boots.

The host JoJo Siwa explained the amazing work of GLAAD and record-breaking ‘Jeopardy’ winner Amy Schnieder said, “We Say Gay’ in reference to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Schneider also introduced the next performer for the event – Kim Petras who took the stage to perform ‘Coconuts’ in an ultimate summer country club outfit. Petras with her four backup dancers perfectly sang and danced her way through her catchy lyrics.

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Eugene Lee Yang then drew attention to The Trevor Project which helps young LGBTQ lives. Michael Cimino the star of the television series ‘Love, Victor’ introduced the Grammy-winner and ‘Too Good At Goodbyes’ singer Sam Smith. Smith had the ultimate message that they delivered in a heartfelt rendition of their latest single, ‘Love Me More’. The singer’s performance of the anthem for self-love was streamed from London. 

Lastly, drag queen Manila Luzon joined Siwa on stage to highlight the efforts of Outright Action International, which works towards helping human rights for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. 

JoJo Siwa, herself, then introduced the Pop ICON, Katy Perry who closed the event in a performance from Las Vegas with truly Vegas-worthy set pieces and performers on stage. The ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘Roar’ hitmaker delivered a must-watch performance of her throwback hit “Waking Up In Vegas” with a new spin.

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