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Dionne Warwick to be honored by state LGBTQ organization

Updated October 15, 2020 - 9:52 am

Dionne Warwick was an American idol long before the TV show. It’s fitting she’s being introduced by an “Idol” alumna to receive an honor from the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.

Warwick, a recording superstar dating to the early 1960s, is being honored with the Silver State Equality, Nevada’s Ally Leadership Award at Silver State’s virtual gala at 6 p.m Tuesday. Vocalist Mikalah Gordon, who grew up in Las Vegas and was a finalist on “American Idol” in 2005, hosts the event, which will livestream on the organization’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.

Gordon has also performed at Rose. Rabbit. Lie at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and is a comic-actress who has portrayed Melania Trump alongside Donald Trump impressionist John Di Domenico.

R&B ensemble En Vogue, country artist Brandon Sansell and Vegas singer-songwriter Shamir are also set to perform in honor of Warwick, a Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace headliner who has 18 Billboard top-100 singles and has sold more than 100 million records. She joined Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder on the groundbreaking 1985 single “That’s What Friends Are For,” which raised money for AIDS research and prevention.

Warwick is joined by Sen. Pat Spearman (Equality Leadership Award) and the Washoe County School District Students for Change (Community Leadership Award) as this year’s Silver State honorees.

Caesars Palace and Cromwell chef and Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis, actress Alyssa Milano, Linq Hotel magician Mat Franco and drag performers Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Coco Montrese will make special guest appearances.

In a statement, Silver State Equality State Director André C. Wade heaped praise on all of the honorees.

“Dionne Warwick is not only a legendary and iconic singer, actress and television host; she’s also an incredible HIV/AIDS activist and a dedicated ally to our LGBTQ+ community,” Wade said. “Senator Spearman has similarly blazed important trails, as a minister, as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army and as the first openly LGBTQ+ woman to serve in the Nevada Legislature. And the Washoe County Students for Change stand on both of these prolific giants’ shoulders, representing the next generation of pro-equality leaders and their courage and commitment to a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people.”

Warwick is also hosting a livestream, pay-per-view performance dubbed “What the World Needs Now Is Love” at 6 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. Go to MusicParkNetwork.com for information.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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