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LGBT music

LGBT music (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender music) is music focusing on LGBT issues performed by LGBT artists and performers.[1] The lyrics are largely about empowerment, same-sex relationships, love, acceptance, freedom, gay pride and the courage to "come out" to the general public. Starting in the 2010s, it became more popular amongst Americans, as when openly gay artist Adam Lambert topped the 2012 Billboard 200 chart.

Origin of the term

The origin of the genre arose during the 1980s, when Dance, Hi NRG, House and Freestyle music became more prevalent in the United States. LGBT artists began performing popular music in their own ways, which was given the name "LGBT music"[2]. DJ Larry Levan started his DJ career at gay disco the Paradise Garage[3].

LGBT artists

While popular music has always included LGBT artists, the increasing social tolerance of the late 20th and early 21st century allowed such artists to come out publicly. Early examples of this arose with the sexual liberation movement, with artists such as Elton John, Village People, Sylvester, Tom Robinson, Indigo Girls, kd lang, Queen, David Bowie, Little Richard, Esquerita, Melissa Etheridge, Janis Ian, The B-52's, Cher, Kylie Minogue, Grace Jones and Marc Almond, among others. In the 80's, the exposure of openly LGBT artists became richer, with artists such as Culture Club, George Michael, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Pet Shop Boys, Dead or Alive, and Erasure. Other popular artists include Diana Ross, Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, Melba Moore, Loleatta Holloway, Jessica Lowndes, Gloria Gaynor, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Pink, and Madonna. In the 1990s saw a start of a fair introduction to pro-LGBT laws, and artists condemning homophobia in their music. Groups such as Placebo, Alcazar, Right Said Fred, and more joined the ranks of allies and LGBT musicians.

Bands such as Pansy Division and Tribe 8 led the Queer Core frenzy that help solidify LGBTQ arts in the 1990s and inspired artists such as Pink Sheep's Brett Basil to be out and no longer constrained by stereotypes of gay music.

The 2000s saw LGBT music branch off into its own genre, and new artists like Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Will Young, The Scissor Sisters, The Gossip, RuPaul, Jeffree Star, Blood on the Dance Floor (duo), Mika, Dario, Adam Lambert, t.A.T.u., Kent James, Dawnstar and Troye Sivan supported a growing industry, spreading the message of equality and positivity.

In the 2010s, openly gay artists such as Tegan and Sara gained popularity; the duo produced a pro-tolerance advert jingle for Oreo in 2014.[4]

Many openly LGBT musicians have become very successful, such as Elton John, who has the best-selling single in Billboard of the 1990s ("Candle in the Wind 1997"), and the single "Anything is Possible"/"Evergreen" by Will Young, which was the best-selling single of the decade in the 2000s.[5] Country singer Ty Herndon came out as gay in 2014, after three number one hits on Billboard Hot Country Songs.[6]

Some LGBT artists and bands today are Kehlani [7] , Hayley Kiyoko, Mary Lambert, Dodie Clark, Zolita, Halsey [8] , MUNA [9] , Kevin Abstract (who is part of the group Brockhampton), Sam Smith, Le1f, Azealia Banks, Sia, Adore Delano, Lowell, Perfume Genius, Ms. White, Courtney Barnett, Angel Haze, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Against Me!, FLETCHER, SÄLEN, Rostam, Tom Goss, Courtney Act, Shura, Superfruit, Mr. Twin Sister, Rita Mae, The Cliks, Eli Lieb, Wasi, Years and Years, Spoonboy, PVRIS, Frank Ocean, Billy Gilman [10], Syd, Ladyhawke (musician) and Mykki Blanco. [11] [12] [13]

Some LGBT music is not made by LGBT musicians, but rather by allies: country artist Phil Vassar released the song "Bobbi with an I" in 2009, which uses a humorous narrative to encourage acceptance of transgendered individuals. Singer and songwriter Hozier released the song "Take Me to Church", which was partially focused on religion-based homophobia (as demonstrated by the music video). [14] "1-800-273-8255 (song)", a song performed by Logic and Alessia Cara, dealt with homophobia and the pain that it results in. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis teamed up with Mary Lambert to make "Same Love", a song about same sex marriage that focused on the message that love conquers all. Avicii produced the song "Silhouettes (Avicii song)" ; the music video detailed the struggle of being transgender.

OUTMusic Awards

Since 2001, the U.S.-based, annual OUTmusic Awards program has functioned as an LGBTQ award event that mirrors the Grammys. OUTmusic Inc., a 501 (c) 3, was re-founded as the LGBT Academy of Recording Arts by Diedra Meredith in 2007.[15] The awards are to recognize some of the LGBT artists who have made significant contributions to the music industry.[16] Their mission statement emphasizes the need to acknowledge, document, and celebrate LGBT artists.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Phoenix, Shane. "The 2010 LGBT Music In Review". Hot Spots magazine. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Friedrichs, Ellen. "GLBT music, books and Entertainment". Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  3. ^ []
  4. ^ "Tegan and Sara Oreo Jingle". 
  5. ^ "History of Ricky Martin's peak position". Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Ty Herndon Comes Out As Gay". 
  7. ^ Ahmed, Insanul. "Kehlani Discusses Shady Managers, Her Bisexuality, and Her Many Tattoos". Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  8. ^ Martins, Chris. "Art-Pop Singer Halsey on Being Bipolar, Bisexual and an 'Inconvenient Woman'". Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  9. ^ Bruner, Raisa. "Hear Girl Band MUNA's Uplifting New Song for the LGBTQ Community, 'I Know a Place'". Time. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  10. ^ Shelburne, Craig. "Billy Gilman Comes Out as Gay". CMT. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  11. ^ Kitchener, Shaun. "Pride 2017: The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender popstars conquering music". Express. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "25 Pivotal LGBT Moments In Music". Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  13. ^ LaCount, Amy. "16 LGBT Musicians Who Are Shattering Stereotypes and Making It Big". Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  14. ^ Stumme, Clifford. "What does "Take Me to Church" by Hozier Mean?". The Pop Song Professor. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  15. ^ Robinson, Charlotte (February 11, 2016). "Diedra Meredith Talks LGBT Academy of Recording Arts & More". Huffington Post. 
  16. ^ Kane, Matt (August 17, 2012). "LGBT Academy of Recording Arts Announces 8th Annual OUTMusic Awards". GLAAD. 
  17. ^ "About". OUT Music Awards. Retrieved 7 May 2015.