Over 9 million people in the US openly identify themselves as LGBT. There’s so many of us, and yet hearing about LGBT singers is like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s cool when you do, but it’s not the norm.
Listed down below are some of the most inspirational singers that LGBT people should learn about in their lifetime. The ways in which these artists are changing the game for all of us is powerful and important.
10 Incredible LGBTQ Singers
Below are 10 incredible LGBTQ+ singers from across genres and eras. Enjoy!
1. Ricky Martin
“Livin’ La Vida Loca”, is a jam that many of us have stuck in our heads from time to time. Its singer, Ricky Martin, is one of the more famous gay singers still topping the charts. When this song played non-stop throughout the world, he gained thousands of LGBT followers who wanted more.
It’s not only through song that he gains followers. This LGBT artist stood in front of a UN conference in 2012 and gave an impassioned speech about homophobia. He aims to make a difference for everyone.
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2. Elton John
Another larger-than-life name is Sir Elton John himself. He announced his bisexuality back in 1976 and has been unafraid to be himself ever since then.
He’s a world-acclaimed performer, with millions of records sold. He joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and even has a knighthood granted to him by Queen Elizabeth II. He’s also been a huge supporter of movements towards fighting AIDS for over 40 years.
3. George Michael
Top hits like “Last Christmas” and the energetic “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, are only two of the many hits George Michael had to his name. It was difficult for anyone to turn on the radio without hearing his voice on the speakers.
Once he came out as gay back in 1998, his songs took a more personal note, touching on subjects that weren’t as talked about during the time. The subject matter of those songs resonated with so many in the LGBT community, and still do to this day.
4. Linda Perry
Linda Perry had her time in the spotlight with her band, 4 Non Blondes, and their song “What’s Up?” Where she truly shines these days is in the background, bringing beautiful heart-felt songs to newer talent.
“Beautiful,” sung by Christina Aguilera, resonates with many within the LGBT community. Linda Perry was a huge part of that song coming to fruition.
A loud and proud lesbian, Linda Perry married her wife back in 2011.
5. Freddie Mercury
It’s hard to go far in the music world without hearing about the star that was Freddie Mercury. Almost every person in the world knows his name (and his band, Queen), but not as many know that he was a part of the LGBT community. He kept his lifestyle out of the spotlight, but rumors were always running wild.
So many of Queen’s songs swept the world by storm, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and “Killer Queen.” His theatrical performances are unforgettable, and the world still loves to jam out to Queen’s music even to this day.
6. Chavela Vargas
Chavela Vargas subverted traditional gender roles in the 1930s. Instead of doing what was seen as proper, she became a ranchera singer who had no problem smoking cigars and wielding pistols. Her songs had similar ideas, pushing the boundaries between sexuality and gender with every hit.
She was never afraid to keep her music true to herself. Instead of swapping pronouns to appear more mainstream, she never hid her emotions towards breakups with past girlfriends.
Despite all of this, she didn’t officially come out as one of the most famous lesbian musicians until 2002, when her autobiography hit the shelves.
MikeQ made music within the vogue sub-genre for many years before it became part of the mainstream. He works together in the drag scene to bring authentic vibes to performances all over the world. He does his best to keep the culture he’s worked to build as pure as possible.
His record label, Qween Beat, achieves a huge variety of edgy modern music that allows all vogue-enthusiasts to live their best life.
8. Lesley Gore
One of the most quotable songs in music history is Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party.” After it became such a big hit, she used her fame to fight for LGBT rights, speaking up on various issues that made a big splash on the news.
Once she began hosting LGBT-centered episodes of her own, she finally started to talk about her experiences and opinions. She found it difficult to be in the limelight and talk about being gay but decided to no longer hold back.
9. Barry Manilow
With a smooth sound that transcends time, Barry Manilow never was one to show off his private lifestyle. People speculated about his love-life for years, but he never gave in. It didn’t matter, as he topped the charts more than 28 different times and is still found at the top even today.
He became an official LGBT artist when, in 2014, he announced that he and his boyfriend of more than 36 years were now married.
10. Mina Caputo
In 2011, Mina Caputo was the first openly transgender woman within the heavy metal genre.
No longer afraid to hide her true self, she uses all of her emotions and experiences to fuel her music. She embraces the things she did not allow herself to enjoy before she came out and continues to appear on interviews to share her thoughts and opinions about her place in the LGBT world.
LGBT Singers Bring Inspiration to Us All
It’s impossible to list all of the influential LGBT singers of past and present. There are tons of current inspirational singers who are a part of the LGBT community that are making beautiful waves every day.
At least by learning about the ones above, you’ve got a great foundation.
Who else would you like to see added to this list? Let us know in the comments below.