Barclays Center hosts WorldPride 2019 Opening Ceremony

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Barclays Center in Brooklyn hosted the opening ceremony of WorldPride Wednesday night, with a star-studded lineup and hosted by EGOT winner and host of "The View" Whoopi Goldberg.

Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Chaka Khan, Ciara, Daya, Todrick Hall and others performed at the big event.

"The attention is on us and because of that, people are paying attention more and that's good because attention must be paid," Porter said on the Rainbow Carpet.

WATCH: Rainbow Carpet arrivals for the WorldPride 2019 Opening Ceremony


"I've been a longtime advocate of the LGBTQIA+ community, and this year marks a pivotal moment within our storied history and fight for equality," Goldberg said. "Hosting a WorldPride event is an absolute honor, and I am delighted be a part of the Opening Ceremony."

The celebration marks the first time WorldPride has been held in the U.S. and it's expected to be the largest Pride celebration ever.

"New York City is one of the most diverse and inclusive cities, what better place to host than New York City, so people are celebrating their best lives and we're united for this event," said international sensation Shangela.

There's been a colorful buildup over the last few weeks, and everyone will do their part to make the roughly 4.5 million people who will line the streets of the city feel welcomed.

"I'm hoping everyone who can hear my voice will join me in fighting for LGBTQ plus community, for our humanity, because if we can fight for people who are most marginalized, I think that lifts all of us up," actress Laverne Cox said.

Lauper, iconic performer for the LQBTQIA+ community and New Yorkers alike, headlined the talent line-up.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the WorldPride Opening Ceremony," she said. "I can't wait to celebrate with my LGBTQIA+ friends and family from across the world."

A songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, Chaka Khan has influenced generations of recording artists. Throughout her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, seven RIAA certified gold singles and ten RIAA certified gold and platinum albums.

Ciara, a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, model and actress has sold more than 23 million records and 16 million singles worldwide, including chart-topping hits "Goodies," "Ride," "Oh," "1, 2 Step," "Body Party," and "I Bet."

"In celebration of WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50, NYC Pride is dedicated to broadening its commitment to serving the LGBTQIA+ community," said Chris Frederick, Executive Director of NYC Pride, "Every ticket sold to this 10,000-seat event is supporting some of the best service and advocacy work being done in our community by Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality and SAGE."

The March on Sunday, June 30, 2019, is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary.

We invite you to join our team of Ken, Lauren Glassberg, Sam Champion and Kemberly Richardson for live coverage of WorldPride NYC 2019 on Channel 7 and abc7NY.com beginning Sunday, June 30 beginning at 12:00 p.m.

Find more Pride stories from this year and year's past at abc7NY.com/pride.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this year's march.

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