In alphabetical order
This category is for LGBT+ community’s favourite music artists and looked for musicians who are either LGBT+, or who have proven to be strong advocates of the LGBT+ community.
Adele is a singer-songwriter who, to date, has sold over 90 million records. At the end of 2016 she held the record for the longest running album at number 1 in the US after 21 sat at that position for 23 weeks. Adele is a strong supporter of LGBT+ and women’s rights and performed for free at Pride in London in 2011. She stated in an interview, “I’m a feminist, I believe that everyone should be treated the same, including race and sexuality.” The day after the Orlando nightclub shooting, Adele dedicated her show to the victims of the attack saying, “I would like to start tonight by dedicating this entire show to everybody in Orlando and at Pulse nightclub last night… The LGBTQ community, they’re like my soul mates since I was really young, so I’m very moved by it.”
Sir Elton John CBE
Sir Elton John CBE is one of the most successful artists of all time. As a gay icon, he is one of the world’s most famous gay men. He has sold more than two hundred and fifty million records, achieved thirty gold and thirty-one platinum albums and holders the record for biggest selling single of all time for Candle in the Wind. In 1990 he started the Elton John AIDS Foundation and he is patron of several charities, including the Terrence Higgins Trust. On December 21st 2005 he entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish, on the day it was legalised. In 2016 John pledged to spend his AIDS Foundation monies on supporting LGBT+ people in Africa that are persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Fifth Harmony is a girl group formed as part of the X Factor US in 2012. They have sold nearly half a million records to date. One of their members, Lauren Jauregui, came out as bisexual in an open letter to Trump in 2016. The group are very vocal about their support of the LGBT+ community and their LGBT+ fans, saying “The number one thing that we try to promote is to be who you are and to love who you are no matter what that means.” The group has performed at LA Pride, and members have worn the rainbow flag while performing on stage. In addition to LGBT+ rights, the band also advocate for gender equality, body positivity and have spoken out on domestic violence.
Kele Okereke is a singer-songwriter and lead singer of the band Bloc Party. Bloc Party have released five albums since 2005 and Okereke has released two solo albums to date. In 2010 Okereke came out officially as gay to BUTT magazine. In an interview with Out Magazine, he explained that he takes being a role model very seriously: “The idea of being a spokesperson for people, the idea that your words go on and have a life outside of you, it [is] just a bit intimidating… I’m still working out who I am. I’m still working out what I stand for.” In 2014 he also wrote an article about the challenges of being a gay black man in the rock/indie world for Vice Magazine.
As one of the best selling female artists of all time and a gay icon, Madonna really needs no introduction. The singer-songwriter, actress and author has sold over 300 million records worldwide to date. Throughout her career, Madonna has been no stranger to controversy and has always pushed boundaries. She is reported to have had sexual relationships with women including K.D. Lang and Jenny Shimizu. She was an early advocate in the fight against AIDs and has always been a vocal supporter of the LGBT+ rights, publically supporting same-sex marriage, gay adoption, homophobic bullying and many other issues affecting the community.
Miley Cyrus is a singer-songwriter and actress. Her big break came when she played the character Miley Stewart in the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana. She has released five albums to date and starred in twelve films, including Hannah Montana: The Movie. Her later work, being more mature and explicit, has garnered controversy as it was at odds with her previous and popular teen idol image. Cyrus is openly pansexual and gender fluid. She is also the founder of the charity Happy Hippies, an international online community that helps vulnerable LGBT+ youth. Cyrus stated in 2015: “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me. I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”
Katy Perry is a multi award-winning singer/songwriter whose break came with her number one single I Kissed a Girl in 2008. Since then she has released four albums and has sold 92 million records worldwide to date. Perry is a vocal LGBT+ rights activist and regularly speaks out on issues facing the community. Perry has previously supported the Stonewall It Gets Better campaign and this year she is due to co-chair the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Party. In 2012 Perry was awarded the Trevor Hero Award by The Trevor Project for her work on behalf of LGBT+ youth. She has been openly critical of former Australian Prime Minister’s stance on gay marriage and was one of nearly 200 artists that wrote an open letter to the US congress demanding better gun control after the Pulse shooting in 2016.
Troye Sivan is a singer-songwriter, actor and YouTube celebrity with over four million subscribers. He has starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the Spud trilogy. In 2013 Sivan posted his coming out video, which has had over seven million views to date. Sivan incorporates LGBT+ themes into his songs and videos and his most recent single ‘Heaven’ tells of the challenges he had as a 14-year-old trying to balance his sexuality and religion. He was quoted in Fader magazine in 2015 as saying “I just wanted to write normal pop songs and use the word ‘he’.”
Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara are Grammy nominated singer-songwriters and twin sisters. They have released eight albums to date with over one million albums sold to date. Tegan and Sara have been openly gay throughout their career and are vocal advocates of LGBT+ rights. In 2012 the appeared on the cover of Radar magazine holding a sign that said “The rights of the minority should never be subject to the whim of the majority.” During the Prop 8 debate in North Carolina, instead of boycotting, they performed and donated all proceeds to Equality North Carolina. They also partnered with Revel and Riot to create an LGBTQ t-shirt that stated “Gay behaviour is found in over 1500 species. LGBTQ equality now”. They are founders of the Tegan and Sara Foundation to fight for women’s and LGBTQ rights.
Years & Years
Years & Years are an electropop band whose lead singer is the openly gay Olly Alexander. Their debut album Communion was the fastest selling album of 2015. In 2016 Alexander gave a empowering speech to the LGBT festival goers at Glastonbury. “As queer people, we know what it’s like to be scared, and we know what it’s like to live with fear as part of our every day. But tonight, Glastonbury, I’d like you to join me and say: ‘No thank you, fear’; to say ‘Fear? Bye’; to literally shove a rainbow in fear’s face!”