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Grammy Award Winning Song: Don't Leave Me This Way

The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center is honored to welcome Grammy Award winning singer, R&B and Disco legend, Thelma Houston, to headline our inaugural Rainbow Fair at Splash Pad Park, located at the corner of Grand & Lake Park, across from the Grand Lake Theater.


Please Join us as at this free and family friendly event, to kick off Pride Month and celebrate our new Lakeshore LGBTQ Cultural District. The event takes place on Sunday, June 9th, from 11am-6pm. We look forward to welcoming you all there. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available at the buttons show above.



A Mississippi native, Thelma Houston is a dedicated music creator and philanthropist who started her career in the late1960s. After her first and critically-acclaimed album was released, Houston accepted an offer from none other than Hitsville, U.S.A. – Motown Records in Detroit.

Always a pathbreaker, at Motown she claimed the top of the pop, R&B, and disco dance charts with her signature rendition of "Don't Leave Me This Way."

"Don't Leave Me This Way" is a song written by Kenneth GambleLeon Huff and Cary Gilbert. It was originally released in 1975 by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.

Originally assigned to Diana Ross, it was intended to be the follow-up to her 1976 single "Love Hangover", but was reassigned to Houston instead.

Thelma Houston's version of the song went Gold in 1977, giving Houston the distinction of being the first solo female artist in Motown history to win the GRAMMY Award for "Best R&B Female Vocal Performance."

Houston is known for her charitable causes and tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS. In 2003, the City of West Hollywood proclaimed January 29 as "Thelma Houston Day." Houston has contributed her talents to numerous causes, including Divine Design for Project Angel Food, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and the Minority AIDS Project, to which she donated her $20,000 winnings from the TV show Hit Me Baby. She has been active with the NAACP and is a longtime supporter of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).


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