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WorldPride goes country

Major country music acts added to Toronto lineup

Steve Grand will perform at the WorldPride opening ceremonies in Toronto in June. Credit: Steve Grand

Chely Wright, Amanda Rheaume, Mark Jacob and Steve Grand have been added to the performance roster for Toronto’s WorldPride celebration in June.

Grand will perform alongside Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox during the opening ceremonies, taking place Friday, June 20.

“We are so pleased to have out and popular country artists like Chely Wright, Amanda Rheaume, Steve Grand and Mark Jacob join us for WorldPride 2014,” writes TK, arts and culture manager for the event, in a press release.

Wright came out publicly as a lesbian during the promotion of her 2010 album Lifted off the Ground, becoming one of the first major country-music artists to do so. She founded her second charity, the LikeMe Organization, in an effort to provide support for LGBT teens. Juno-nominated Rheaume released her 2013 album, Keep a Fire, to critical acclaim; Jacob is a Toronto native who has been touring the country since 2009; and Grand became an overnight sensation in July 2013 when his single “All-American Boy” went viral on YouTube. He has garnered major media attention since, with many outlets calling him the first openly gay male mainstream country artist.