Many people throughout history have experienced worry and self-doubt because they identify as LGBTQ+. Despite the fact that certain nations have started to accept sexual and gender diversity, prejudice still exists.
Numerous singers have shied away from disclosing their sexuality to a judgmental public as public stars. Those who have done so have come under fire, yet they have persisted and battled for acceptance despite it. We’ll examine the lives and careers of 12 prominent LGBTQ+ musicians in this article. Let’s begin, shall we?
Table of Contents
1. Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury travelled from Tanzania via Bombay to London as a young child. He joined a group called “The Hectics” in Bombay, then much later, Mercury joined Queen, which performed its debut concert in 1971. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which Mercury penned and performed, was one of Queen’s biggest hits.
He demonstrated his entire 4-octave vocal range in just just one song. The song “Bohemian Rhapsody” reached the top of the charts in both England and the US. Queen was primarily renowned for its rock music, even though they sung a range of songs. The group was admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
2. Elton John
From the start, Elton John adored his mother’s albums by Bill Haley & His Comets and Elvis Presley. His father, however, advised him to go with a more secure career. John managed to become a highly popular musician in spite of this. His first hit as a singer was “Your Song,” which claimed number 7 on the UK Singles Chart and number 8 in the US.
Later, he co-wrote songs for the Lion King soundtrack, which sold 15 million copies and earned diamond status. He came out as bisexual and eventually as gay in public in 1976. He exhorts young people who are having sexual identity issues to be proud of who they are.
3. Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin believed she was an outsider as a child. She was chosen by a fraternity at her college as the “ugliest male on school.” She was fortunate to find comfort in music. As the lead singer, Joplin joined the psychedelic rock group Big Brothers in 1966. She became instantly popular because to their rendition of “Piece of My Heart.”
Unfortunately, Joplin never saw the release of her most popular album, Pearl, that went quadruple-platinum and ranked number 122 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Even though Joplin declared herself to be bisexual, the majority of her committed relationships were with females.
4. George Michael
In his early teens, George Michael’s family relocated to Radlett from London. There, in 1981, he met Andrew Ridgeley, with whom he later created the band Wham! On both the US Billboard 200 and the UK albums charts, their Make It Big album debuted at number one. They also dedicated the royalties from “Last Christmas” to famine relief in Ethiopia. Following his 1998 coming out as homosexual, Michaels freely discussed how challenging it may be to accept one’s sexuality.
5. Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman was abused frequently as a child because she is African-American despite being born in Ohio. She started playing the ukulele and making her own music when she was little. She played “Fast Car,” one of her best-known songs, at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute concert, where it became well-known.
It was the number 6 pop hit on Billboard Top 100 in 1988 and was ranked 167th on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Chapman had a relationship with author Alice Walker, though she never outright admitted it to the media.
6. Demi Lovato
Their mother reared Demi Lovato in Dallas, Texas. Lovato openly discussed their abusive father, but they also understood that he had a large heart and wanted to be a good man. In 2002, Lovato made her debut on television on Barney & Friends. When Camp Rock debuted in 2008, Lovato’s fan base swiftly grew. They come out as non-binary, pansexual, and sexually fluid in 2021. They frequently speak out in favor of LGBTQ rights, and they contributed a letter to Billboard magazine’s Pride Month coverage.
7. Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow met Susan Deixier while still a child while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at the Julliard and New York College of Music performing arts colleges. Manilow met Bro Herrod while working for CBS, and Herrod hired him to compose the music for the off-Broadway production of The Drunkard. Manilow gained popularity with “Mandy,” and throughout the early 1980s, he had a number of successful singles and albums. Manilow came out as gay in 2017 after rumors of his marriage to Garry Kief became well known.
8. Ma Rainey
Ma Rainey worked at the Springer Opera House while she was a child growing up in Georgia. She began performing there for the talent competition A Bunch of Blackberries. Mommy of Blues Ma Rainey started performing blues music much before the 1920s boom.
In the 1920s, as a black woman living in the rural south, she was able to capture the spirit of what it was like. The song “See See Rider,” which would go on to be recorded by 100 additional musicians, was initially performed by Rainey. Ma Rainey went out as bisexual, which was very controversial at the time.
She started out in the band Crisp as the lead singer. She moved from Australia to London and changed producers frequently. We Are Born, her album, was a huge hit in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Australia. She intended to concentrate completely on songwriting after that, but she eventually returned to the industry. Sia has dated both men and women and self-identifies as gay. She has performed at and made donations to charity and LGBT center fundraisers.
10. Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X and his mother lived in Atlanta housing projects when he was 6 years old. He relocated to Georgia with his father after three years. He has claimed that making this choice was vital in enabling him to avoid Atlanta’s “wrong crowds. “He became well-known as an online personality, particularly on Twitter.
Nasarati, his debut mixtape, was made available on SoundCloud in 2018, although not much attention was paid to it. Lil Nas X publicly came out as gay in 2019. He gave those who are having identity issues hope by coming out in the rap and country scenes, which do not readily accept this sexuality.
11. Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko has always had a passion for music. She started writing and selling drum charts when she was 6 years old, and at age 8 she created her first song. She established and oversaw a step club in high school. When former pop artist Vitamin C signed her to The Stunners, Kiyoko got her start in the music industry. Kiyoko first came out in public as a lesbian in “Girls Like Girls.” She wants to debunk stereotypes and normalize lesbian partnerships because she identifies as one.
12. Tegan and Sara
Canadian twins Tegan and Sara started composing songs and playing guitar together at the age of 15. When this group opened for Hayden in 1998, the world first became aware of them. 2009’s Sainthood debuted at number 21 on the Billboard 200 list and sold 24,000 copies in its first week on sale.
They took home three Juno awards in 2014, which are given to Canadian performers. Both girls identify as lesbian, and they frequently give away their earnings to LGBT-related causes and minority rights organizations like Equality North Carolina.