Playlist: Five LGBTQIA icons to ring in the Pride Month
Queer musicians have established themselves in the music industry and are here to stay with powerful lyrics of their hit singles streamlining the LGBTQ current scenario while celebrating their identity. Appealing to audiences worldwide and creating an ever-growing fan base, they have always owned up to be their truest self and have emerged to be an inspiration to millions across the world. While Freddie Mercury and Elton John are amongst the renowned LGBTQ+ icons, there are many prominent musicians within the queer community that has evoked a feeling of pride through their soulful tracks. Here are 5 dynamic musicians that have paved the way for the queer community worldwide and have broken monotonies with their extravagant singles.
Regarded as one of the greatest lead singers in the history of rock music, The lead vocalist of Queen, Freddie Mercury was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range. Not afraid to publicly express his identity, Freddie remains to be a global LGBTQ icon and is admired for his bravery and stellar personality. Freddie’s quote “I’m as gay as a daffodil my dear” is still celebrated at pride parades across the globe. Tracks such as Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions are amongst his greatest hits and are ranked amongst the greatest all-time hits across music charts worldwide. Freddie Mercury’s life story can be witnessed in the Oscar-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody streaming on Amazon Prime Video in India.
Sir Elton John
Music maestro Sir Elton John is one of the very few to boast of having a stellar list of prominent awards such as The Grammys, Brit Awards, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and is ranked the most successful male solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists. Fans still groove to Elton’s greatest hits such as Tiny Dancer, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting amongst other hits decades after their release. Elton John came out about his bisexuality in a 1976 interview to Rolling Stone Magazine. When asked whether he is bisexual, Elton said, “There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex. I think everybody’s bisexual to a certain degree. I don’t think it’s just me. It’s not a bad thing to be. I think you’re bisexual. I think everybody is”.
Known as the king of ‘Latin Pop, Ricky Martin has been a worldwide bestseller with more than 70 million records being purchased. His albums such as Ricky Martin, Me Amaras, A Medio Vivir, Vuelve, Sound Loaded, A Quien Quiera Escuchar are still played at night clubs and people groove to his funky tunes. Ricky came out in 2010 with a bold statement on his official website stating ‘: "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am. These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I did not even know existed”.
Miley Cyrus is one of the most successful entertainers in adulthood who originated as a child star. Among numerous awards and nominations, Cyrus was included on the Time 100 list in both 2008 and 2014, named MTV's Artist of the Year in 2013, and was ranked 62nd on Billboard's Top 125 Artists of All-Time list in 2019. Miley came out to her mother when she was 14 and has quoted “I never want to label myself! I am ready to love anyone that loves me for who I am! I am open”. Cyrus is a supporter of the LGBT community Her song My Heart Beats for Love was written for one of Cyrus' gay friends, while she has since claimed London is her favourite place to perform due to its extensive gay scene. After her 2018 marriage to a man, Cyrus went on the record to state she still identified as queer.
LIL NAS X
New age sensational LIL NAS X came to international attention for his country rap single "Old Town Road", which first achieved viral popularity on the micro-platform video-sharing app TikTok in early 2019, and was diamond certified by November the same year. The song reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, following the first of several remixes, and remained at the top for nineteen weeks, the longest for any song since the chart debuted in 1958. Nas X also came out as gay. becoming the only artist to do so while having a number-one record. He came out to his father and sister initially and then to the world in 2019 with a cryptic tweet “some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure”.
This month of Pride, Vh1 India celebrates these sensational LGBTQ artists by airing their best singles in a specially curated show – Vh1 Pride airing every Monday at 8 pm.