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Charo headlines Pride Fort Lauderdale on the beach | Video

Charo wants the LGBT crowd attending the Pride Fort Lauderdale festival this weekend to know she considers them “hot tamales.”

“They are so hot,” she says. “I am extremely, extremely excited. I’m very happy to go to Pride and make some great friends.”

The “cuchi cuchi” singer and flamenco-guitar virtuoso will perform Sunday, Feb. 11, at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. The festival will also feature British singer Estelle and "RuPaul's Drag Race" alum Carmen Carrera, as well as DJs Tracy Young, Deanne and Power Infiniti. Organizers say Charo will also make an appearance at the festival’s VIP kickoff reception at B Ocean Resort on Friday, Feb. 9.

“I believe one day we will all embrace one another,” Charo says from her home in Beverly Hills. “We will all get together and have a good time, not fight, no prejudice. That’s why I’m very happy to be there and celebrate the LGBT myself. Love is love. Nothing is more important than to be able to love.”

Charo also says she’s looking forward to performing a remix of her new single “Fantastico!” from “Guitar on Fire,” an upcoming album. “He’s a very famous DJ from Tel Aviv, and he has me dancing and shaking my ass,” she says. The album reflects the music Charo heard growing up in Spain. (Her full name is María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza.)

“It is cool, passionate flamenco melodies that I learned from Gypsies when my cuchi cuchi was only a kichi kichi,” she explains, recalling the Gypsy camps that popped up on her family’s farm during the summer when she was a child. “The culture is excellent [in Murcia, where she grew up] in between Andalusia and Valencia. The art of the Moorish is beyond belief. They had this instrument they called an oud ... or a lute, and the Spanish people copy that, and that copy nowadays is called a guitar. So we have a lot of influence of the Moorish in flamenco and that is what I’m going to introduce in ‘Fantastico!’ ”

Depending on whether you believe her latest narrative about her birth certificate (she claims that things were fudged so the then underage starlet could marry bandleader Xavier Cugat), Charo is 66. She continues to tour most of the year (she’s a favorite of casinos around the world), although she took a break from the road in 2017 to appear on “Dancing With the Stars,” “Celebrity Wife Swap,” “Sharknado 5: Global Swarming” and in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Charo, who as a girl studied with classical guitar legend Andres Segovia, is still unwavering when it comes to practice.

“I practice at night,” she says. “I finish about 2 in the morning. I practice every day of my life. I can’t wait to introduce [‘Guitar on Fire’] to Fort Lauderdale. I believe in making people happy and forget your problems and have a glass of sangria and cuchi cuchi.”

Pride Fort Lauderdale will take place noon- Feb. 11 from noon-8 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd. Admission is free, though tickets to the VIP Lounge cost $100 before the festival and $125 at the gate (if space allows). Tickets to the VIP kickoff reception on Friday, Feb. 9, at the B Ocean Resort cost $50 in advance and $65 at the door (if available). For more information, go to PrideFortLauderdale.org.

rhagwood@southflorida.com

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