Brighton Pride 2023: Mae Muller delivers iconic ABBA cover, while Black Eyed Peas set cut short
Brighton Pride 2023 saw Eurovision star Mae Muller cover an iconic ABBA number, while Black Eyed Peas had their hotly-anticipated headline set cut short.
The two-day Fabuloso concert in Preston Park over Saturday (5 August) and Sunday (6 August) includes performances by more than 150 LGBTQ+ artists perform in aid of Brighton Rainbow Fund, which distributes grants to LGBTQ+ and HIV groups across Brighton and Hove.
Despite the rain and yellow weather warnings from the Met Office, Saturday’s Pride parade was a colourful success, with more than 30,000 people estimated to be in attendance.
In Preston Park, the UK’s 2023 Eurovision entry Mae Muller took to the stage in a pink and red two-piece outfit, styled with matching trainers and her hair slicked back into a ponytail.
Muller performed her infectious revenge tune “I Wrote A Song”, and then treated the crowd to a rendition of ABBA’s beloved banger “Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (A Man After Midnight)”.
The singer – who may not have won Eurovision but was part of the most-viewed final in UK history – saw “I Wrote A Song” reach the UK Top 10 despite placing 25th out of 26 entries in Liverpool.
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Muller has been dubbed “Slay Muller” and “Slae Muller” by queer fans, who weren’t shy about sharing their delight over her energy online.
The London-born singer thanked attendees for turning up despite the rain, tweeting: “I had the best time and I appreciate you all, we were drowned rats but being all wet on stage made me feel hot n sexy so that’s cool.”
Muller was joined on the main stage by other stars including Zara Larsson, Jax Jones and headliners Black Eyed Peas, minus Fergie.
Remaining group members apl.de.ap, Taboo and will.i.am saw their announcement as Brighton Pride’s headline act initially cause confusion as they have no queer members.
Despite initial confusion, the trio’s performance, alongside artist J Rey Soul who joined on vocals, proved a hit with the crowd. However, due to a late start, the group were left on stage without sound.
The unexpected halt saw the crowd continue singing “I Gotta Feeling” before the group finished on “Where Is The Love”, which they dedicated to all those around the world suffering in the face of injustice.
Will.i.am praised the UK as a “special place”, and he and apl.de.ap wore rainbow wristbands throughout the performance.
On Instagram, Black Eyed Peas shared Stories featuring videos from their performance. One was overlaid with text that read: “We felt so blessed to be here tonight. Spreading love for the LGBTQ+ community … Every one of you are fabulous!”
The band have previously shown LGBTQ+ allyship, including in January, when they trolled the Polish government by wearing pro-LGBTQ+ armbands during a New Year’s Eve concert on state TV.
Brighton Pride is the city’s largest single event and expected to boost the local economy by more than £20 million over the weekend.
Saturday also saw Dame Kelly Holmes, who came out last year, deliver a powerful speech about everyone’s right to live as their authentic selves.
Since coming out, the British Olympic champion has said she feels “happy for the first time”.
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