Frankie J. Grande has always been extremely focused and goal-oriented. The current focus of the Broadway dancer, actor, singer, producer, television host, and social media personality is something very close to his heart: the second annual Rainbowthon, a virtual concert benefitting the Los Angeles LGBT Center on Thursday, June 3.
Last year, with the help of some famous friends, Grande raised $55,000 in one night to support Center programs and services impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would love to beat last year’s total,” Grande tells LGBT News Now.“Every year I do something, I always try to go bigger. I hope to raise $100,000 one year!”
Grande has been a regular participant in AIDS/LifeCycle, the seven-day, 545-mile bike journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles which raises millions for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Center.
Rainbowthon was born out of Grande’s strong desire to do something after the ride was canceled and to produce a virtual event because of the pandemic. This year’s AIDS/LifeCycle was also canceled, and a new charity event TogetheRide was launched to give participants an opportunity to set their own riding pace and time commitment goals..
“It’s our second year not riding, and that was such a huge part of my year,” he explains. “So, Rainbowthon is my way of keeping it close to heart. Even though I won’t be on a bike, I will be giving all my love and energy for one week in June—it’s really exciting!”
Grande, who has performed on Broadway in Rock of Ages and Mamma Mia!, will host a star-studded line-up that includes JoJo Siwa; Jewel; Alexandra Billings; MacDoesIt; Chaunté Wayans; Gizzle; Jasmine Davis; Shoshana Bean; Alyson Stoner; Laith Ashley; Rayvon Owen, R.K. Russell & Corey O’Brien; Kenton Chen; and Shea Diamond—just to name a few.
“This year we’ll have the opportunity to do a lot more live appearances than we did last year,” Grande shares. “I’ll be hosting live at the Center and will be able to perform live. I’ll be dancing, singing and hosting—a triple threat!”
Grande, who spoke on behalf of AIDS/LifeCycle at the Center’s 50th Anniversary Hearts of Gold concert at The Greek Theatre in 2019, says he gets constant reassurance from the public that his efforts to support the Center are well worth it.
“Every time I mention the Center, someone tells me how the organization has helped them, whether it’s getting an HIV test, seeing a mental health specialist, or simply finding their community,” he shares. “They are like, ‘Oh my God, I love the Center! They helped me.’ I am immensely grateful for the Center and cannot wait to bring more laughs and smiles to you—and raise more critical funds for this amazing organization. Let’s start Pride month by doing some good!”
Grande was a contestant on the reality show Big Brother in 2014 followed by the U.K. reality show Celebrity Big Brother in 2016. He has more than two million followers on Instagram, one million on Twitter, and more than 450,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Rainbowthon begins at 6 pm P.T. on Thursday, June 3. Watch the livestream at rainbowthon.org