Lesbian Icons Light Up Ann Arbor

Ever since the Indigo Girls debuted their indie release "Strange Fire" in 1987, legendary duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been the standard bearers of contemporary American folk pop. Known for their lush vocals, joyful and textured guitar arrangements, openhearted songwriting and powerful live performances, their sound continues to evolve. Growing up together in Decatur, Georgia, the duo formed in high school and quickly ascended to national stardom in their early 20's with anthems like "Closer To Fine" and "Hammer and Nail." Hits like "Galileo" and "The Power of Two" continued to popularize them among generations of fans.

To date, the Indigo Girls have won several Grammys, sold more than 14 million albums and remain the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in the '80s, '90s, 2000s and '10s. Their constant touring, as well as staunch dedication to a number of social and environmental causes, has earned them a devoted following over the years. The Indigo Girls have refused to slow down and are stronger than ever.

Ray and Saliers, who both identify as lesbians, have become icons for the LGBT community. Their 2007 "True Colors Tour" benefitted the Human Rights Campaign and other pro-LGBT organizations; they repeated the tour the next year for their "True Colors Tour 2008." More locally, the Indigo Girls supported transgender women during the controversial "womyn-born womyn" actions at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (Michfest). The band performed, but protested the exclusionary policy from the stage.

The women have also supported the environment with "Honor the Earth," an organization they helped establish with Winona LaDuke, an activist who ran as the vice president on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000. They've also supported the rights of Native Americans, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and many other social activism movements.

The Indigo Girls open the 2015 Mainstage with a rare Ann Arbor appearance in support of their newest release, "One Lost Day." Their performance for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival is at 8 p.m. on June 19 at the Power Center in Ann Arbor. The Power Center is located at 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $40-50.

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment and community spirit. A boutique music and arts festival, the three-week gathering offers dozens of performances, activities, exhibitions, and screenings representative of the best in music, dance, comedy, film, circus and street arts and family entertainment.

Check out BTL's profile on the Indigo Girls online at www.pridesource.com.

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