We have had legends in music paving the way for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual community over the years from Elton John to Madonna. They have continuously paved the way for the new generation of artists through their legacy and awareness whether it is through their music or initiatives for the community more commonly known as simply LGBT.
As like all things, there are a new wave of new LGBT names in music that the community to relate and look up to for inspirations. Whether it is about their strong beliefs or just through their style, they represent the new voices for LGBT icons in music for our generation. Here are just ten of them that stood out the most in alphabetical order.
This ponytailed pop star’s catalogue is filled with gay anthem and there was a time we couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “Into You” or “Break Free.” Ariana Grande’s powerful vocals and girly sense of style captured the hearts of many in the LGBT scene. The fact that her brother Frankie is openly-gay in the entertainment industry makes the LGBT community that much closer to her heart.
It is without a doubt Beyoncé has been such an empowering figure to the LGBT community with her strong presence, style and dance moves. From embracing her previously-known inner alter-ego Sasha Fierce to dancing along to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” the world was inspired by her fierceness and enigma ever since this Destiny’s Child member came into the scene, which is why she is one of the biggest pop artists that has ever lived.
Image: @britneyspears INSTAGRAM
Since her debut single “…Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears have been a pop icon at her own right. She has definitely captured many hearts in the LGBT community for the music princess that she is especially for iconic tunes such as “Toxic,” “I’m A Slave 4 U,” or “Womanizer.” Her kiss with Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2003 caused so much commotion and also became the target for tabloids, which makes her such an important figure in the pop music industry.
Image: @bazaaruk INSTAGRAM
The gay community welcomed Christina Aguilera’s over-the-top style that is ever changing with that powerhouse diva vocals with open arms ever since she came into the scene with the almost-innocent “Genie in A Bottle” to the very provocative “Dirrty.” Her most drastic transformation when she released her second studio album Stripped caught the attention of many especially the powerful single “Beautiful” that encapsulates the message of self-acceptance in 2002 and the rest is history.
Image: @katyperry INSTAGRAM
Ever since Katy Perry released the lead single “I Kissed a Girl” from her sophomore album in 2008, she was quickly given the status because of that daring statement. Beyond that, she is also representing for all the quirky and colourful personalities that the LGBT community can relate to. It doesn’t hurt that her pop songs are super catchy to be performed at any drag shows either.
Image: @ladygaga INSTAGRAM
From the get-go, the world knew Lady Gaga came into the music industry as a gay icon. With her 2011 hit “Born This Way” single created as a tribute to the LGBT community, her shocking styles and being a very vocal supporter for the group. A self-proclaimed bisexual, Gaga is definitely one of the most influential gay rights advocates of our time.
Image: @nickiminaj INSTAGRAM
Nicki Minaj is the epitome of a drag queen for her flamboyance, artistry and over-the-top stage personality. As a straight female rapper, she pushes the envelope on sexuality in her mainstream success through hit songs such as “Super Bass,” “Anaconda,” and her new single “Chun-Li.” It may not be as apparent as others, but she has the LGBT community gagging for her next move.
Image: @troyesivan INSTAGRAM
This YouTube sensation instantly related to music fans all over the world when he stepped into the scene with his teen-friendly Blue Neighbourhood album in late 2015. Troye Sivan who had also played a young Hugh Jackman in the blockbuster movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out on his YouTube channel before the release of his debut album. He definitely doesn’t shy away from gay portrayals in his music videos either.
Image: @itsfrankocean INSTAGRAM
It almost feels like a taboo to be gay in the hip-hop and R&B scene, so when Odd Future member Frank Ocean came out to the world about his relationship with a man when he was 19 through Tumblr, the world took notice. Frank Ocean quickly became the gay icon that many people needed and has given hope to those who have feared living in the dark about their own sexual orientation.
Image: @taylorbennett INSTAGRAM
Just before his 21st birthday, rapper Taylor Bennet came out as a bisexual through his Twitter and inspired many to be true to themselves. The brother of Grammy winner Chance the Rapper is no less talented as he has so much to tell especially on his latest album Be Yourself. Taylor Bennett hopes to share his stories with the LGBTQ and African-American community as well.
Writer | Kevin Yeoh
Kevin was the former editor of two music and lifestyle platforms in Malaysia. He is an all-around music enthusiast from the 90's R&B to K-Pop.