Tickets for pop singer Belinda Carlisle's show Saturday at the IP Casino Resort are going quickly, with only a limited amount of reserved seats still available.
Carlisle will be performing in Biloxi as scheduled, despite her public opposition to HB 1523, the "religious freedom bill" that was signed by Gov. Phil Bryant earlier this month. The controversial bill, which will allows services to be withheld from members of the LBGT community based on one's religious or moral preferences, will become a law July 1.
According to Carlisle's manager Simon Watson, she will be holding a press conference before her show at the IP to address the state's passing of HB 1523. She will be joined by local representatives from the LBGT community.
On Tuesday, Carlisle posted a message on her Facebook page to publicly address and criticize Bryant for supporting the bill. Carlisle, whose son James Duke Mason is openly gay and an activist for LGBT rights, said she almost canceled her performance due to the bill.
"As the very proud mother of a gay child, I can't imagine anything less Christian than using the law as a weapon against others. Because of my career as a performer and the privilege that has brought to our family, my son will be all right, but the pain you're causing LGBT Mississippians is devastating, especially the transgender folks and LGBTQ people of color who will be most directly impacted by these attacks," Carlisle said in her post on social media.
Major life changes
In a recent phone interview with the Sun Herald, which took place prior to the passing of HB 1523, Carlisle, who has lived in France with her husband, Morgan Mason, the son of the actor James Mason, said her family is in the process of moving to Thailand.
"We're moving to the Far East," she said. "We have spent a lot of time there and it just resonates with us -- we have our residency set up in Thailand and we are in the process of closing up shop here in France where we've been for the past 20 years."
Carlisle, who has been clean and sober for years, is a practicing Buddhist. She said this helped influence the decision to move her family to Bangkok.
"I always knew it was in the cards for us to move there, there's a real energy there that I think is great," she said.
With hits such as "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" and "Mad About You" as a solo artist, Carlisle is also the lead singer for the Go-Gos, the most successful all-female band in history.
She said the band cut its teeth in the influential late 70s punk scene in Los Angeles.
"We knew like 50 people that were in bands," Carlisle said. "Everyone was in a band -- it was a 'learn and play as you go' thing, which was the great thing about punk rock -- so we formed a band, too, but we just had to have a lot of natural ambition and a lot of natural talent."
But, she said, the band is calling it quits this year after a month-long tour in August with Best Coast as the opening act on most dates.
"The great thing about that is that it's not ending on an acrimonious note," she said. "We decided it was time because we wanted to go out on a high note. We didn't want people to go 'oh, these chicks are dinosaurs.'"
And when the Go-Gos take a final bow later this summer, Carlisle said it will be for good instead of the endless touring that often accompanies "farewell tours."
"We're doing a month of shows because I have a life and the girls all have lives," she said. "Power to Motley Crue, but I don't want to be on the road for three years straight saying goodbye."