TORONTO — “Canada’s Drag Race” winner Priyanka hopes to unite nation music followers and the LGBTQ neighborhood as she serves cowgirl realness as co-host of this yr’s Canadian Nation Music Affiliation Awards.
The Toronto drag queen will saddle up with co-host and CCMA Awards nominee Lindsay Ell later this month for a rustic music celebration geared toward “bridging the hole” between two worlds that do not all the time mingle.
Priyanka, often called Mark Suknanan out of drag, mentioned the purpose is to make the CCMA Awards really feel as if “we’re one massive joyful household with cowboy hats on.”
“This can be a historic second for Canada,” he mentioned over a video name whereas making use of eyeliner for an look as Priyanka.
“Like, I would like this to be a kind of Canadian Heritage memes.”
Inviting the star of a nationwide drag competitors into the nation neighborhood would possibly elevate eyebrows amongst extra conservative listeners, however Suknanan insisted the crossover is not that uncommon.
Nation music has a storied historical past in LGBTQ bars and golf equipment, he identified, noting Dolly Parton’s “9 to five,” Shania Twain’s “Man! I Really feel Like a Girl!” and Carrie Underwood’s “Earlier than He Cheats” are all vastly standard on drag phases.
“That is the place I feel lots of people do not realize how a lot of an influence nation music icons have, like Carrie Underwood, like Shania Twain, like Reba, like Dolly Parton – good day!” he mentioned, emphasizing Parton’s affect.
“She mentioned if she was a person, she can be a drag queen.”
There’s additionally “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Trixie Mattel, whose bouffant coiffure is eclipsed solely by her down-home nation woman persona.
Forward of the CCMA Awards, Priyanka will foray into the nation scene with a single titled “Nation Queen.”
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Suknanan brings years of tv expertise to the internet hosting duties. Earlier than turning into a drag celebrity, he was often called Mark Suki, co-host of YTV’s “The Zone” and a character on the station’s competitors sequence “The Subsequent Star.” He give up that gig at age 28 when he was chosen as a competitor on “Canada’s Drag Race.”
The gamble paid off when Priyanka gained the primary season of the sequence final yr, turning into a family title within the drag neighborhood through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ell carries her personal status as considered one of Canada’s rising stars in Nashville.
The singer-songwriter was found by Randy Bachman when she was 15 years previous, and her 2017 album “The Undertaking” debuted atop the Billboard nation album charts. She’s additionally lined up as host of “Canada’s Acquired Expertise” when the brand new season begins subsequent yr on Citytv.
The CCMA Awards will likely be a warm-up of types for Ell and one she’s assured will likely be a visible spectacle, promising “numerous unimaginable style” and a few highly effective LGBTQ illustration.
“There’s going to be numerous unimaginable moments of with the ability to say issues that actually matter and produce mild to points that typically are troublesome issues to speak about,” mentioned Ell.
“If we have now discovered something prior to now couple years, it is that all of us have quite a bit to be taught and develop from. All of us can do work when it comes to being extra inclusive and in loving each human as a human.”
Main this yr’s CCMA Awards contenders is sibling duo the Reklaws with six nominations. The Cambridge, Ont.-born pair, Jenna and Stuart Walker, are up for classes together with entertainer of the yr, Amazon Music & Alexa Followers’ Alternative and single of the yr for “The place I am From.”
Following intently behind are Calgary-born Ell; Dallas Smith of Langley, B.C.; and Brett Kissel from Flat Lake, Alta. who every have 5 nominations.
The indoor bash will likely be held in-person at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ont., and stream stay on the World TV app and Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 29. An encore presentation will broadcast on World TV on Dec. 3.
The CCMAs will even implement a vaccination coverage in any respect Nation Music Week 2021 occasions, which embody the Songwriters’ Sequence, Fan Village, CCMA Legends Present and the CCMA Awards crimson carpet.
Attendees together with performers, presenters, their groups and friends should be absolutely vaccinated.
The group says members who should not but absolutely immunized have till Friday to obtain their second dose.
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Nov. 8, 2021.
David Pal, The Canadian Press