Rina Sawayama at Radio 1's Big Weekend 2022 on May 29, 2022.
These LGBTQ+ Artists Should 100% Be On Your Pride Playlist

They’re changing music and making hits.

Originally Published: 
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Though Pride Month is officially celebrated in June, it’s important to show love for and uplift the LGBTQ+ community year-round. Whether you’re loud and proud or an ally excited to support your bestie, a solid first step is to educate yourself on LGBTQ+ issues, experiences, and culture. This list should help!

Solidarity also entails making a conscious effort to support LGBTQ+ artists. Research by Nielsen and GLAAD in 2016 revealed that artists who speak out on LGBTQ+ issues earn a mostly positive response from fans; however, LGBTQ+ artists are still fighting for inclusion, acclaim, and accurate representations of their experiences.

So, whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or simply recognize the importance of creating a more equitable world for marginalized individuals, save space in your music library for these 20 LGBTQ+ artists of various genres, identities, and popularity.


Indie-soul artist Raveena made huge waves in the alternative R&B space with her debut album Lucid in 2019.

If you need something to listen to while taking a bubble bath or vibing with your boo, Raveena’s music is essential. The songstress' intersectional identity as a first-generation Indian American makes her art even more compelling. Not only have Raveena’s music videos depicted LGBTQ+ love beautifully and authentically, but her music and visuals also frequently pay homage to her Indian roots. Raveena reportedly said in 2019 that her South Asian heritage and her bisexual identity are sometimes “like oil and water.” However, inspiring other LGBTQ+ people to come out to their families and friends is something she’s grateful for.

Raveena’s sophomore album, Asha’s Awakening, dropped in February.


K-pop tastemaker Go Tae-seob’s stage name is Holland, which is a nod to the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Despite having a petite catalog, Holland consistently delivers poignant earworms worthy of putting on repeat. His song "I'm Not Afraid" is a bold proclamation of his identity as a gay man. The music video for his 2018 debut single, "Neverland," proudly showcases romance between him and a male lover despite the prevalence of homophobia and lack of anti-discrimination laws in Holland's home country of South Korea.

While there’s a lack of LGBTQ+ representation in K-pop, Holland is determined to be the change he wants to see in the industry. "When I was younger, there wasn’t a Korean idol singer who had openly come out or revealed their LGBTQ+ status," he told British Vogue in 2020. "So during my schooling years, when I was going through a tough time, I was influenced a lot by Western LGBTQ+ pop artists. I knew we needed a similar figure in Korea...I believe my music is playing a role in broadening this conversation."

His most recent single, “Ocean Like Me,” dropped in April.


It's not common to see LGBTQ+ Black women in the rock music space, but WILLOW is carving a path of representation for them. The singer-songwriter has come a long way since 2010's radio-friendly "Whip My Hair," and one of her 2021 singles, "Transparent Soul," featuring Travis Barker, earned praise for its unique direction and punk-rock sound. She’s since collaborated with pop-punk icons like Avril Lavigne and YUNGBLUD.

WILLOW's authenticity doesn't end with her music. For years, she's remained honest about her identity as a bisexual woman who's open to polyamorous relationships. "I love men and women equally,” WILLOW said on Red Table Talk in 2019. “There are so many different types of people in this world and so many people to learn from, and I don’t see the benefit in not putting myself in a position to learn as much as I possibly can from as many people as I possibly can.”

Her recent single, “Memories,” with YUNGBLUD, dropped in May.

Hope Tala

Known for creating mellow soul with bossa nova flair, singer-songwriter Hope Tala is the indie darling you didn't know you were missing out on. The U.K. artist’s first two EPs, Starry Ache and Sensitive Soul, struck a chord with indie music lovers in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

It’s a good thing they did, because Tala is part of the growing community of LGBTQ+ musicians who can represent the LGBTQ+ community at large. "There’s such a great music community in the LGBTQ+ world and that’s so amazing to see because when I was 14 that didn’t exist in the same way,” Tala told Gay Times in May 2021.

Her latest single, “Party Sickness,” dropped in February.


If you're going through a breakup or just need some anthemic, emo bops to sing along to, then New Jersey-born singer-songwriter Fletcher is your go-to girl. Penning emotionally charged lyrics backed by edgy pop production, she started putting out music independently in 2015.

Today, her hard work as an indie artist has paid off: She's signed with Capitol Records and has three popular EPs: Finding Fletcher, you ruined new york city for me, and The S(ex) Tapes (2020). Fletcher told Teen Vogue in 2020 she wants to be "the artist I needed when I was a little kid.”

Her most recent single, “Cherry,” with Hayley Kiyoko, dropped in December.


Kehlani, who uses she/they pronouns, is hands-down one of the most beloved singers in contemporary R&B. Not only are they an amazing performer whose honest lyrics are perfect for just about every mood, but they’ve also been totally open about discovering their own LGBTQ+ identity. Their 2017 hit, "Honey," is an illustration of LGBTQ+ love, for example.

In April 2021, Kehlani came out as a lesbian after years of identifying as queer. The star also addresses intersectionality in the LGBTQ+ community regularly, acknowledging to NME in 2021 that they have numerous privileges as a “cisgender-presenting, straight-presenting” individual. In a December 2021 interview with Byrdie, Kehlani said that although they “don’t mind” when others address them as “she,” being referred to as “they” feels “really affirming.”

Their third album, Blue Water Road, dropped in April.


Delivering electro-R&B bops with so much swagger, Haitian Canadian music producer Kaytranada is required listening for anyone who loves hip-hop and soul infused with funk, disco, and dance vibes. Although Kaytra's debut album, 99.9%, is a masterpiece, his sophomore LP, BUBBA, earned him the award for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2021 Grammys.

As a Black gay man, Kaytra's openness about his sexuality is inspiring, particularly because being out in a space as historically homophobic as hip-hop can be challenging. However, Kaytra has expressed how wonderful it is to see hip-hop become increasingly accepting. "I just saw Nas with Lil Nas X onstage at the Grammys," he told GQ in 2021. "Like, [Nas is] a rapper who has probably said homophobic stuff, but just seeing them balancing each other and singing their song? I thought it was amazing.”

His latest EP, Intimidated, dropped in November.

Kim Petras

German pop princess Kim Petras introduced herself to the music world in 2017 with her single "I Don't Want It All.” Since then, she's taken the world by storm with her refreshingly timeless music through two albums, several EPs, and many iconic singles. Featuring irresistible elements of trap, synth-pop, and glam rock, Petras' 2019 debut album Clarity is an amazing intro to her discography. Aside from her solo work, she’s also collaborated with other pop sensations beloved by the LGBTQ+ community, like the late SOPHIE and Charli XCX.

Petras told HuffPost in 2018 that she wants to see that "a transgender person can be known for anything but being transgender."

Her latest EP, Slut Pop, dropped in February.

King Princess

King Princess, the stage name of Mikaela Mullaney Straus, made her debut in 2018. Her first single, "1950," was an indie-pop smash. Her 2019 debut album, Cheap Queen, didn’t disappoint either, earning acclaim from critics and fans for its sonic diversity.

As a gay, genderqueer person, King Princess is part of a group of LGBTQ+ individuals particularly underrepresented in the music industry, but voices like hers are so necessary. “Pop music is a lot more interesting when you got gay people," she told them. in 2018. “It's always been, you know? It's been about queer people. It's been about people of color. It's been about trans people. It's like, we need that...this world is ready."

Her latest single, “For My Friends,” dropped in March.

Victoria Monét

Multi-hyphenate talent Victoria Monét certainly isn't new to the music industry. For years, she's written songs for artists like Ariana Grande and Fifth Harmony; however, only recently has Monet risen to prominence as a solo performer. Her 2020 EP, Jaguar, is the perfect place dive into her impressive discography of funk, soul, and disco-inspired R&B.

The EP's bold closing track, "Touch Me," is a spicy ode to the sexual connection between her and another woman. "[Over the years], [queer] people got brave and everyone saw they were just fine," Monét told Gay Times in 2020. “And it gave [others] the courage to be honest. Hopefully, this cycle keeps going, because I know there are some people who may feel and identify this way, but aren’t ready to let the world know."

Her latest single, “Coastin,’” dropped in August.

Kevin Abstract

Beloved by fans of alternative hip-hop and indie-R&B, Kevin Abstract earned himself comparisons to established alt kings like Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator. Doubling as both a solo artist and one of the vocalists in the alt-hip hop collective Brockhampton, Abstract consistently delivers raps as moody as they are catchy. With two albums, 2016’s American Boyfriend and 2019’s Arizona Baby, he’s already delivered numerous hits, like “Big Wheels” which elaborates on his experience as a gay man in the spotlight.

Despite being hailed a LGBTQ+ icon by fans, Abstract simply wants to be seen as a hip-hop artist. “I don’t want to be a queer icon,” Abstract told NME in 2019. “I want to be an icon. In order to make a change, I have to exist in a traditionally homophobic space such as hip-hop. If I were to just be this queer rapper, who only spoke to queer kids...I don’t think I could as effectively make a change for another young, Black queer kid growing up in Texas.”

His latest single, “DEAR MISS HOLLOWAY,” with easy life dropped in May.

Rina Sawayama

With Elton John’s approval (who she’s already performed with, NBD), Rina Sawayama is taking the pop world by storm. Though she’s delivered bops since 2013, the Japanese British singer-songwriter left indie-pop lovers shook in 2017 with her debut EP, Rina. Sawayama continued impressing critics and fans with her introspective lyrics, distinct voice, and cinematic instrumentations. Her 2020 debut album, Sawayama, is an addictive amalgamation of Y2K-inspired pop, rock, and R&B, featuring songs about consumption, identity, and friendship.

One standout was the penultimate track, “Chosen Family,” an ode to the artist’s LGBTQ+ best friends. “[The song] is a very special song for me,” Sawayama told NME in 2020. “The concept of a chosen family is, to me, a queer one — people are often kicked out of their homes or ostracized by their family, friends, and community after coming out. This can be an incredibly painful experience that can be remedied by finding a new ‘chosen’ family.”

Her sophomore album, Hold the Girl, drops on September 2, featuring the lead single “This Hell.”


Eclectic and energetic, Shamir is a genre-bending artist who killed the indie game back in 2015 at just 19 years old. His debut LP, Ratchet, housed his most popular track to date, “On The Regular.” It’s a house banger that’s impossible to not dance to. Over the years, his discography has grown into a diverse array of bops for just about everyone to enjoy.

Shamir also has a knack for thinking outside the box of his gender presentation without conforming to gender expectations. “I always find it amazing that people get mad because they can’t figure out my gender,” he told The Guardian in 2015. “Even though my only job here is to create art, I think being a genderless shakes people. And when that happens it makes me feel like I’m doing my job...I never felt like a boy or a girl, never felt I should wear this or dress like that. I think that’s where that confidence comes from, because I never felt I had to play a part in my life. I just always come as Shamir.”

His latest album, Heterosexuality, dropped in February.


In January 2021, news of SOPHIE’s death devastated the LGBTQ+ music community. An unforgettable purveyor of electronica and experimentation, the 34-year-old talent made waves in both the music industry and the LGBTQ+ community with her infectious personality and fresh take on artful pop, inspired by her identity as a trans woman.

SOPHIE will be forever remembered in the LGBTQ+ community. “[She] was the cartographer of so many of our trans journeys, offering us guidance through coded lyrics and safe passage through sounds that vibrated with the badass bubble gum immateriality of our souls,” wrote them. writer Wren Sanders. “She approached every topic with the love, care, and intensity of someone who has truly lived,” said musician A.G. Cook, who was also a close friend of SOPHIE’s.

From DJ'ing and production to singing and songwriting, SOPHIE’s artistry inspired an entire generation of LGBTQ+ individuals to continue discovering themselves and did so with style, creativity, and authenticity. SOPHIE is missed by her community and music lovers alike. Her iconic 2018 album, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, including the groundbreaking singles “It’s Okay To Cry” and “Faceshopping,” will be enjoyed for an eternity.


Joesef has no shame in being an emotional romantic. Heartbreak and love are common themes in the Scottish singer’s catalog. With his soft croon, tender lyrics, and beautiful instrumentations, Joesef writes, produces, and sings all of his own music. Songs like "Comedown" and "The Sun Is Up Forever" are the perfect soundtrack to your chill yet in-your-feelings moments.

If his talent as a one-man band hasn't made you swoon, his comfort with his identity might. As someone who has "been with" both men and women, he's thankful for how open-minded his generation is when it comes to sexuality. “Honestly, it’s weird to be straight," he told Attitude in 2020. "It’s hard to find someone that hasn’t at least dabbled." His openness and positivity will hopefully inspire others to embrace their LGBTQ+ identity.

His single, “It’s Been a Little Heavy Lately,” dropped in February.


Mxmtoon, whose real name is Maia, is a LGBTQ+ artist that should definitely be on your radar. The star, who identifies as bisexual, has been releasing music since 2017 with songs like “1-800-DATEME” and “Life Online.” Both gained attention for their mellow acoustics and cleverly-written lyrics. Her breakout single came in 2019 with the release of “Prom Dress,” which featured on her debut album The Masquerade. Mxmtoon dropped twin EPs Dawn and Dusk in 2020.

She’s has also amassed millions of followers on social media, where she often uses her platform to raise awareness about important issues. “As a young bisexual woman of color from a family of immigrants, a lot of current events directly affect who I am,” she said in a press release, according to Flood Magazine in 2019. “I firmly believe it’s my obligation and opportunity to speak on issues that affect us all.”

Her second album, Rising, dropped last month.

Girl in Red

Marie Ulven, aka Girl in Red, is one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ artists around. Her songs touch on various topics, including love, heartbreak, and mental health. Her songs “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” and “We Fell In Love In October” are explicitly about loving women, and her music has become so synonymous with the LGBTQ+ community that the phrase, “Do you listen to Girl in Red” has become code for “Do you like girls?”

The star touches on her journey toward figuring out her sexuality in her 2018 single “Girls,” which includes the lyrics, “No, this is not a phase or a coming of age / this will never change.”

Her debut album, if I could make it go quiet, dropped last year.

Hayley Kiyoko

Hayley Kiyoko, who identifies as a lesbian, has been releasing bop after bop since 2013. She gained recognition with her 2015 single “Girls Like Girls,” which Billboard dubbed as one of the songs that defined the 2010s. The music video showed a love story between two women that started out as friends and eventually realized they had feelings for each other.

At the time of its release, Kiyoko hadn’t come out yet. She told Billboard in a November 2019 interview that she was afraid of “judgment” from people and being stereotyped. However, she’s since come into her own with singles like “Curious” and “for the girls.” In the music video for the latter, which dropped in May, Kiyoko starred as a lesbian Bachelorette. The video also features her girlfriend, Becca Tilley, a real-life Bachelor alum.

Rebecca Black

Rebecca Black needs no introduction. The star went viral at just 14 years old with her debut single “Friday,” breaking the internet with its release in 2011. Black went on to release a number of songs and a debut EP, RE / BL, before dropping her notable second EP, Rebecca Black Was Here, in June 2021.

Black opened up about her identity in an April 2020 interview with Billboard. “To me, the word ‘queer’ feels really nice,” she said. “I have dated a lot of different types of people, and I just don’t really know what the future holds. Some days, I feel a little more on the ‘gay’ side than others.”

Her latest single, “New Moon,” with MO dropped in April.

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers’ debut studio album, Stranger In the Alps, which dropped in September 2017, cemented her as a force to be reckoned with. The record received critical acclaim and featured her hit single “Motion Sickness.” Her follow-up album, Punisher, was released in June 2020 and earned Bridgers four Grammy nominations.

In an October 2020 interview with them., Bridgers said coming out as bisexual to her mom led to a fallout; however, her mother has since come to accept Bridgers’ sexuality. “Now my mom now has her pronouns in her Instagram bio,” the singer explained. “She’s fully embraced everything.”

Her latest single, “Sidelines,” dropped in April.

These 20 artists are definitely paving the way for up-and-coming LGBTQ+ artists, so make sure to give their music a listen.

This article was originally published on