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, House and Freestyle music became more prevalent in the United States. LGBT artists began performing popular music in their own ways, giving the name "LGBT music"[2]

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, 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, as well as artists who are openly LGBT allies, such as Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Donna Summer, Jessica Lowndes and Gloria Gaynor, among many others. The 90s 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. The 2000s saw LGBT music branch off into its own genre in some cases, and new artists like Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Will Young, The Scissor Sisters, The Gossip, RuPaul, Jeffree Star, Blood on the Dance Floor (duo), Lady Gaga, Mika, Dario, Adam Lambert, t.A.T.u., Kent James, Dawnstar and Troye Sivan strengthen the message of LGBT rights, exposure and positivity, and support a growing industry that is large in numbers and rich in content.

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.[3]

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 transvestite individuals.

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.[4][5] Country singer Ty Herndon came out as gay in 2014, after three number one hits on Billboard Hot Country Songs.[6]

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.[7] The awards are to recognize some of the LGBT artists who have made significant contributions to the music industry.[8] Their mission statement emphasizes the need to acknowledge, document, and celebrate LGBT artists.[9]

See also


  1. Phoenix, Shane. "The 2010 LGBT Music In Review". Hot Spots magazine. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  2. Friedrichs, Ellen. "GLBT music, books and Entertainment". Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  3. "Tegan and Sara Oreo Jingle".
  5. "History of Ricky Martin's peak position". Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  6. "Ty Herndon Comes Out As Gay".
  7. Robinson, Charlotte (February 11, 2016). "Diedra Meredith Talks LGBT Academy of Recording Arts & More". Huffington Post.
  8. Kane, Matt (August 17, 2012). "LGBT Academy of Recording Arts Announces 8th Annual OUTMusic Awards". GLAAD.
  9. "About". OUT Music Awards. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
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