Country Crossover Singer Steve Grand to Play Indy Pride Festival

The 24-year-old native of a Chicago suburb is considered by many to be the first openly gay star in that musical genre.

The Indy Pride organization plans to bring another burgeoning name in entertainment to its annual summer showcase, a performer who’s just as likely to throw back a six-pack of beer as work out his six-pack of abs. Last week, the group that puts on the Circle City IN Pride Festival each June announced that Grammy Award nominee Mary Lambert will headline a fest-favorite event, Girl Pride, at Talbott Street Nightclub. Now country crossover sensation Steve Grand is set to headline the festival’s main-day event on June 14, with his viral hit “All-American Boy” in tow.

But the Chicagoland native carries more than a chiseled physique. What makes Grand’s presence in the world so important is, in part, that he’s openly gay, with a song that doesn’t merely survive but rather thrives in the country-music genre, as shown by the accompanying video’s 2.8 million–plus YouTube views to date. Country music, of course, is hardly known for producing LGBT artists, and Grand’s arrival on that scene makes for a breakthrough in the industry. Last summer, upon going public with his personal news, Grand appeared on CNN and Good Morning America, and he has a full-length album due this spring.

Suffice it to say, Circle City IN Pride organizers know what they’re doing: The 2014 event’s lineup is shaping up to represent a remarkably diverse array of styles and personalities within the LGBT culture itself. The festival’s main-day attractions will go on at the American Legion Mall on June 14. A full week’s schedule of events starts on June 7 with a downtown 5K-and-walk event.