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Decatur folk singer Amy Andrews plays for ‘Gay Ole Opry’ on Thanksgiving

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Decatur resident and singer/songwriter Amy Andrews is ready to celebrate Thanksgiving and she's inviting the entire World Wide Web to join her.

Andrews, 26, along with the The Skipperdees, a twin-sister duo based in Athens, will play a holiday concert on Thursday, Nov. 22, to raise money for the North Star Fund, an organization providing relief to those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The concert will be broadcast online at 7 and 8 p.m. ET on the website www.stageit.com. It's pay what you want to view and listen to the concert with all donations going to the North Star Fund http://northstarfund.org/. Now you can use your full belly to prop up your laptop for a good cause and some good music. Good deal.

Andrews came up with the idea for the internet concert after plans for her to perform at the Gay Ole Opry in Brooklyn, N.Y., were canceled due to the damage Hurricane Sandy brought to the Northeast.

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Why Madonna is a gay icon

Madonna

At a time when it seems like any straight diva who can sing even marginally is a "gay icon," expect LGBT fans to turn out in droves to see the real thing: Madonna plays Philips Arena tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

"Gay icon" used to be reserved for stars with that certain mix of talent, survival instincts, triumphing against the odds, challenging norms, and actual ties to the LGBT community — in addition to Madonna, think Cher, Bette Midler, Barbara Streisand and Janet Jackson.

Now the term has been diluted to include everyone from "Real Housewives" to all of the aging '80s pop stars and "American Idol" contestants who have found new career opportunities on the stages of Pride festivals around the country.

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Melissa Etheridge brings ‘4th Street Feeling’ to Atlanta

Melissa Ethridge

It’s been almost 25 years since the release of Melissa Etheridge’s first studio album and nearly 20 since she came out publicly with her aptly named 1993 album, “Yes I Am.”

Now the groundbreaking lesbian rocker returns to her roots with her latest album, September’s “4th Street Feeling,” named for a street in her hometown of Leavenworth, Kan. Her tour stops in Atlanta on Monday, Nov. 12, for a show at Symphony Hall.

Etheridge shattered barriers first by coming out in the early ‘90s and then by performing live at the Grammys while bald from breast cancer treatment. She returns to where she was born and raised for her eclectic 11th studio album, while experimenting with some new elements as well — like the banjitar featured in the first single, “Falling Up.”

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[Photos] Indigo Girl Amy Ray rocks hometown crowd at Atlanta Pride

Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls

Hometown favorite Amy Ray, best known as one half of the beloved folk duo Indigo Girls, brought her edgier solo show to the Atlanta Pride stage on Sunday evening.

Backed by the Butchies, Ray rocked through a set that opened with her striking “Rural Faggot” and closed with her mandolin-driven ode to standing up against religious hate, “Let it Ring.”

Ray spoke from the stage about the significance of playing Atlanta Pride and dedicated a song to her partner, Carrie. To hear more from Ray about her experience of coming out personally and in her music career, please read our full interview here.

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[Photos] Erasure’s Andy Bell brings star power to Pride’s Saturday stage

Andy Bell

Erasure front man Andy Bell closed out Atlanta Pride’s stage on Saturday evening, following British pop songstress Rita Ora, who already had the crowd packed to the stage and ready to dance.

Bell, who has also had a successful solo career, treated fans to a set of favorites including Erasure hits like  “Chains of Love.”

Appearing alone on stage, Bell began his set in suit jacket, then tossed it aside to dance and twirl in a sleeveless t-shirt. He also thanked his partner, who he is soon to marry, who was standing to the right of the stage during the show.

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Rufus Wainwright gets ‘Out of the Game’

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright, the gay son of music marvels Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate McGarrigle, has been a musical presence since childhood. He stepped out on his own in 1998 with his highly regarded eponymous debut disc and has been delighting his devoted following ever since.

Wainwright is renowned as much for his movie soundtrack work (his renditions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from “Shrek” and the Beatles’ “Across The Universe” from the “I Am Sam” soundtrack are legendary) as he is for his love of opera (referenced in song a such as “Damned Ladies”).

His talent and creativity seemingly knows no bounds, as evidenced by his spot-on recreation of Judy Garland’s infamous 1961 concert on his 2007 “Rufus does Judy at Carnegie Hall” show and subsequent live recording.

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Pride: Famed DJs, hot parties on tap for Pride weekend

Atlanta Pride nightlife

Atlanta Pride is a time to celebrate — during the day at the festival in Piedmont Park, and at night with special events in many of the city’s bars and nightclubs.

For shirtless guys dancing and celebrating their freedom, the Heretic, Jungle and after-hours Xion serve up a “100 percent genuine big slice of Atlanta Gay Pride” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-14.

On Friday, after partying with the fishes at the official Atlanta Pride kick off party at the Georgia Aquarium, Pride revelers can get into the groove at Jungle for the official Pride Aquarium After Party with DJ Ed Bailey, or go across Cheshire Bridge Road to the Heretic with DJ Joe Gauthreaux.

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Pride: Amy Ray is home for Sunday show

Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls

Hometown hero and Indigo Girl Amy Ray was chosen by Atlanta’s Pride committee to headline this year’s event. She will be finishing out the festival on Sunday, October 14. The GA Voice caught up with her to talk to her about her own coming out, being a gay musician and living in a conservative community.

GA Voice: Congratulations on headlining Atlanta Pride. How does it feel to be a part of this event in your own home town?

Amy: It’s awesome. It’s one of those things where I can’t express the level of love that I have for my city. I love that I can bring my band into my hometown and play a Pride show. It’s like having your best friend and you really want to share with them something that’s really important to you.

When did you realize that you were gay?