Whitney Houston’s 1999 Epic NYC Pride Appearance Is Released

Before Cher, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lopez, there was Whitney Houston’s 1999 New York City Gay Pride appearance at the 13th Annual New York City Lesbian and Gay Pride Dance (which eventually became the Pier Dance as we know it). Houston shocked the thousands of Pride revelers, as her appearance was completely unannounced. As she took to the stage, she spoke with MTV News saying, “We’re all God’s children, honey” when John Norris asked her about participating in an event with the gay community, which in many circles was still considered an act of rebellion at that time. Houston’s defining moment at what would become the Pier Dance ushered in a new era that would eventually make high-profile artists performing at LGBTQ events virtually commonplace. 

As the event was officially known as “Dance 13: The Last Dance of the Century,” it  was essential to welcome the new era with a truly iconic performance, and Houston provided that and more. Decked out in glistening Dolce & Gabbana, Houston performed two of her now-signature remixes, both by Thunderpuss 2000. During her appearance, Houston threw down “Heartbreak Hotel” and “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” to the roars of the crowd, who sang along to almost every lyric, which they continue to do twenty plus years later. During the bridge & final verse of “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” virtually every audience member had their hands in the air, screaming back the lyrics to Houston as she sang along with a community who’s adoration, to this day, remains unparalleled. 

In addition to the songs Houston performed at the now-legendary NYC Pride performance, Barry Harris & Chris Cox (the duo known as Thunderpuss 2000) crafted remixes for Houston tracks like “Try It On My Own” and “My Love Is Your Love.” Following the dissolution of Thunderpuss 2000, Barry Harris has gone on to craft spectacular remixes of his own, many of which you can find on his SoundCloud. Harris spoke with me exclusively, looking back on the era of Whitney Houston’s career that Thunderpuss 2000 helped to define. “It’s stunningly amazing to me how this song and version Chris and I created together has hit a nerve generation after generation and still does to this day 23 years later! Forever grateful that Hosh Gurelli at Arista believed in us and brought us in to create something special that quickly became so magical”!

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