Pride is such an important part of the year as it gives us all a chance to come together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Pride means a lot of different things to different people. For some it can be just a time to party, throw on a whole tub of glitter and have fun! For others, it really represents something greater. It is a time for self-reflection and to acknowledge how far LGBTQ has come as a community. These famous LGBTQ+ artists have helped with that, so we have decided to dedicate this article to them!
In this article, we will go through 10 of our favourite LGBTQ+ artists and talk about why they are so influential to the music industry.
Also, we’ve got a Spotify playlist created by the team here at Music Gateway to help you celebrate Pride in style! Stay tuned till the end to see our favourite LGBTQ+ tunes!
So, without further ado, let’s kick it off with number 10!
Tove Lo is a Swedish singer-songwriter. Despite writing her songs in 2006, she didn’t achieve international mainstream success until 2014. She received a publishing deal from Warner/Chappell Music in 2011 and worked with producers such as Alexander Kronlund, Max Martin, and Xenomania.
She has now been awarded over 50 awards including a Grammy and Golden Globe Award.
Tove Lo came out as bisexual in October 2016. She says that she created a media image of herself that is synonymous with her true identity.
Lady Leshurr is the professional name for English grime and hip-hop rapper Melesha Katrina O’Garro. She is best known for her Queen’s speech series of freestyles. In 2016, she won a MOBO award celebrating excellence in black music. This was for Best Female Act.
In 2019, she won the award for Best Rap/Grime Act and in 2020 she won Best Solo Female at the Birmingham Music Awards.
Lady Leshurr came out as pansexual in 2018. The way she describes her sexuality is that it’s not always about gender. It’s about the energy, connection and vibe that someone brings that really draws her in.
She said she has never been someone to look at someone’s appearance and judge them. For her, it was always about connection and that’s why she identifies as pansexual.
Frank Ocean is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, rapper, photographer, and visual artist. He is one of the best gay musicians of his generation and one of the most popular LGBTQ music artists of today.
Frank has won numerous awards in his career including two Grammy Awards, a Brit Award for International Male Solo Artist, and an NME Award for Best International Male Artist in 2017. He was also included in the 2013 edition of the Times’ list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
After a journalist had addressed the fact that several of Frank’s songs were addressed to a male love subject, Frank took to his own web page to declare his sexuality.
The paragraph started “Whoever you are, whatever you are … I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike”. It then went on to tell a story of the singer’s first romance at 19 with a male friend.
Miley Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She is one of the famous LGBTQ country artists on our list. The personal life, image, and performances of this country star have sparked a lot of controversies and received widespread media coverage.
In 2014, she founded the Happy Hippy Foundation which focuses on youth homelessness and the LGBT community.
Miley came out to her mother at just the age of 14. She said “I never want to label myself! I am ready to love anybody that loves me for who I am! I am open.” In June 2015, she then revealed she is gender fluid and does not relate to being a boy or a girl.
Miley wrote a song called ‘My Heart Beats For Love’ which was written for one of her gay friends. Since then she has claimed London to be her favourite place to perform due to its extensive gay scene.
George Michael was an English singer-songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He was one of the best gay pop artists in history and one of the most notable LGBTQ music artists.
He had sold over 115 million records worldwide making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The artist won various awards such as: two Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards and six Ivor Novello Awards.
George came out as gay in 1998. He was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser. After being caught in the act by an undercover police officer, he went public with his sexuality and his relationship with US businessman Kenny Goss.
George admitted that his very first relationship wasn’t until he was 27 years old, as he hadn’t actually come to terms with his sexuality until he was about 24 years old.
Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter, record producer, and lead singer of the rock band Queen. He was known as one of the greatest singers in the history of LGBTQ rock artists and also known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range!
Freddie never really addressed his sexuality in public, albeit the media refered to him as the “bisexual rock star” and being gay. However, he met his partner Jim Hutton in a London nightclub in 1985.
Their relationship did have its ups and downs. They never knew a relationship that started off with just a drink would last until the very end of Mercury’s life. Although it did remain a secret until the very end.
Unfortunately, Freddie was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 and died in November 1991 from Bronchialpneumonia as a complication of AIDS at the age of 45.
Sam Smith is one of the top LGBTQ music artists in the industry. He was born and raised in London, UK. His music is considered to be in a variety of genres such as R&B, Pop and Soul.
He has won multiple awards during his music career. Some of these include four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, American Music Award, Golden Globe, and an Academy Award.
Sam is non-binary and prefers to use of they/them pronouns. His music career started in 2008 when he released two singles ‘Bad Day All Week’ and ‘When It’s Alright’.
Sam came out to the public in May 2014 as gay. His record ‘Stay With Me’ won an award at the Grammy Awards. He thanked the man who the song was about and for breaking his heart as it won him four Grammys! In 2017 his album ‘The Thrill Of It All’ showed the ‘gay guy’ he had become.
Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight) is an English singer-songwriter, pianist and composer. John has sold over 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Elton has won tonnes of awards in his music career. This includes five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards (for Outstanding Contribution to Music), two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor.
Elton announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988. He entered his civil partnership with David Furnish on 21st December 2005 and they then married after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014.
Elton John is certainly one of the most prolific LGBTQ music artists of all time!
They recorded hits such as ‘Karma Chameleon’, ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’ and ‘Time (Clock of The Heart). He is best known for his soulful voice and his androgynous appearance.
In 1985 when he was interviewed by Barbara Walters, he was asked about his sexual orientation. George said that he was bisexual and had had various girlfriends as well as boyfriends.
One response he gave to an interviewer was that he preferred “a nice cup of tea” to sex. In his book ‘Take It Like A Man”, he said that he had secret relationships with punk rock singer Kirk Brandon and Culture Club drummer Jon Moss.
Demi Lovato is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She has just recently come out as non-binary and has changed her pronouns to they/them after doing a lot of healing and self-reflection.
Demi grew up with her life on television from a very young age. She has said that ‘non-binary people often feel as if they do not quite fit into the gender binaries of being a man or a woman’.
Demi has sold over 24 million records in the US and has received numerous awards such as: MTV Video Music Award, 14 Teen Choice Awards, five People’s Choice Awards, two Latin American Music Awards, a Guiness World Record and was included on the Time 100 annual list in 2017.
Those were 10 of our favourite LGBTQ musicians! These LGBTQ music artists are extremely important to the music industry and the world in general. They send out clear messages to anybody who is struggling with their identity or sexuality, that it is okay to be different and to embrace every minute of it!
Additionally, they have brought us unreal LGBTQ music that everybody will remember for the rest of their lives. All the while spreading love and equality!
Be sure to check out our Music Gay-Way playlist on Spotify for some of the top LGBTQ+ tunes!
Do you agree with our list of artists? Let us know if you can think of any more!
So here it is – Music Gateway’s Pride playlist!
If you haven’t yet got your Pride playlist sorted yet, then you’re in luck – you can take this one! Let our playlist be your soundtrack for June. Enjoy!