Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hit Songwriter Bonnie McKee Scratching Her Artist Itch at PrideFest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hit Songwriter Bonnie McKee Scratching Her Artist Itch at PrideFest

Article excerpt

It's a mad, mad world out there, and Bonnie McKee is singing about it.

McKee, who has written songs for Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Cher, Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Jason Derulo and a number of other superstars, brings her new song to St. Louis PrideFest on Saturday.

"Mad Mad World" came about after what McKee calls a heavy year in the news -- including mass shootings, controversy surrounding President Donald Trump and "being on the brink of nuclear war."

"I found I was waking up every day reading the news and being traumatized by the headlines -- all the intolerance and hate being spewed," McKee says. "I wrote it after the Las Vegas shootings -- that feeling like you need a vacation, a break from all the hate. It's important we stand up and do something and say something, and pride fests are an excellent way to stand up for what you believe in and be heard."

She describes her PrideFest set as high-energy and fun. At past performances, she played songs that listeners may not have been familiar with; now she's performing material fans will know from YouTube, Spotify and other platforms.

"Now, fans can sing along and enjoy it," she says. "I have fun costumes, dancers, and it's really great," says McKee, known for songs such as "American Girl" and "Somebody."

She doesn't typically play songs she wrote for other artists. "My set is just my own personal, original songs. If on occasion I have a long enough set, I'll do some songs from other artists."

McKee, who identifies as bisexual, has a long relationship with pride festivals. She has been attending them since she was a 12-year-old in Seattle and considers it a summer tradition. Now 34, she has been performing on the pride circuit for about a decade.

"I think they've really gotten more sophisticated," she says. "And it was once more of a controversial thing to go to pride. …

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