Atlanta Hawks today announced that award-winning R&B singer-songwriter and LGBTQIA+ ally Keri Hilson will perform at halftime for their annual ‘Pride Night presented by Your Atlanta Area BMW Centers’ at the award-winning State Farm Arena on Thursday, Feb. 9. The evening will include special in-game programming and performances that celebrate members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community and will feature a rainbow lighting of the iconic ‘ATLANTA’ letters.
The Hawks, who are set to play Phoenix at 7:30 p.m., have limited tickets remaining for fans who want to attend the game. A Pride ticket package can be purchased at Hawks.com/promotions and includes a $10 food-and-beverage discount as well as a custom Hawks-branded Pride shirt, while supplies last.
“Social equality is one of the most important things to me,” said award-winning R&B singer-songwriter Keri Hilson. “Being able to perform on nights like this are as purposeful as they are fun! Sports and music have the ability to unite everyone across all orientations, nationalities and genders.”
To tip off the festivities, Voices of Note’s Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus (AGMC) will sing the national anthem. The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus is one of the world’s longest-running gay men’s choruses. Founded by Jeffrey McIntyre in 1981, the AGMC has long been a catalyst for social change, providing an opportunity to be inspired and to journey into the perspectives of LGBTQIA+ neighbors, teachers, siblings and friends.
At halftime, award-winning singer-songwriter and LGBTQIA+ ally Keri Hilson will perform some of her most popular hits. Born in Decatur, Ga., Hilson was arranging songs, cutting vocals and engineering sessions by the age of 18. After writing tracks, and vocally collaborating with many of today’s hottest pop and hip-hop artists, Hilson released ‘In A Perfect World’ in 2009. The album peaked at fourth on U.S. Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. Featuring her breakthrough solo single “Energy”, the album was also Certified Gold via the Recording Industry Association of America. Her success continued with her sophomore project, ‘No Boys Allowed’, which released in 2010 and included the Platinum single, “Pretty Girl Rock”. Hilson’s talents have earned her a BET Award, MOBO Award, an NAACP Image Award and two Soul Train Music Awards, along with multiple nominations for the GRAMMY Awards and the American Music Awards. In fall of 2022, Hilson made her return to the stage co-headlining “The Millennium Tour”. Additionally, Hilson is an actress, having been featured in various movies including “Think Like a Man”, “Riddick” and “Almost Christmas”.
During the game and through social recognition, the Hawks and Your Atlanta Area BMW Centers will celebrate members of the Atlanta Hawks Pride Council, their LGBTQIA+ Pride Employee Resource Group and allies of the community.
“Over the past year, it has been an honor and privilege to serve on the Atlanta Hawks Pride Council, giving recommendations and guidance on how the organization can take a very visible stance toward the promotion of unity, equity and visibility – all of which are at the core of the Atlanta Pride Committee’s mission,” said Atlanta Hawks Pride Council Member and Director of Equity and Engagement for Atlanta Pride Steven Igarashi-Ball. “As a lifelong Georgia native, I take PRIDE in seeing my hometown team be leaders on the court and in our community. Like the Atlanta Hawks, I also amplify that Pride should be celebrated year-round, not just at an annual festival and parade.”
Launched in 2022, the Council includes external community leaders, partners and entrepreneurs in the LGBTQIA+ community who work with the organization as advocates and liaisons. The focus of the Council is to ensure a more inclusive environment and to help the organization adopt policies that create a welcoming environment for everyone. The Hawks Pride Employee Resource Group serves to promote LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in the workplace and fosters connection between team members across the organization who share similar experiences and identities.
“The Atlanta Area BMW Centers are proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Atlanta Hawks’ fifth annual Pride Night,” said Southern Region Marketing Manager for BMW of North America Curtis Snyder. “The Atlanta Hawks are an organization that leads by example, which is why we are proud to partner and stand with them in support the country’s strongest community of LGBTQIA+ members and allies.”
In October 2022, the Atlanta Hawks marched in the Atlanta Pride Parade with presence from the organization’s team members, friends and family. The team’s branded activation truck included rainbow flags and featured the popular emcee Patrice ‘Sway’ McKinney hyping up paradegoers and DJ Toni K spinning live from the truck’s interior. Your Atlanta Area BMW Centers joined the Hawks in the festivities and provided a BMW M440i Convertible to ride alongside the activation truck in the parade. In September 2022, the Atlanta Hawks participated in the Atlanta Black Pride Pure Heat Community Festival. Members of Hawks Entertainment including the Flight Crew, along with Hawks volunteers joined at Piedmont Park to hand out Hawks-branded giveaways and participate in the festival’s activities.