Our Favorite Gay Musicians
1. Ricky Martin
This Puerto Rican popstar first started out in the boy band “Menudo” before going solo and taking the world by storm with his hit song, “The Cup Of Life,” which became the anthem for the 1998 Soccer World Cup in France. Since then he’s been “Livin’ la Vida Loca” as a multi-platinum selling artist winning several awards including, a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Lo Nuestro Awards in Miami, Fla., a Latin Recording Academy Person of the year award by the Latin Recording Academy, as well as a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star. Ricky Martin has two children and in March 29, 2010 come out on his website stating “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man.”
2. Clay Aiken
The multi-platinum selling artist got his start on the show “American Idol” where he placed second but needless to say went on to an extremely successful career in music. His debut album “Measure of a Man” went multi-platinum and has released three other albums since then. He made his Broadway debut in January 2008 in Monty Python’s “Spamalot.” In a September 2008 interview with People magazine Aiken disclosed that he was a homosexual man.
3. Michael Stipe
Best known as the leader singer of the band R.E.M., Stipe has never officially declared himself a homosexual man but chosen instead to label himself a “queer artist” believing that this titled encompasses more of the gray areas. However, in May 2001 Stipe told Time magazine that he had been in a relationship with a man for three years. His band’s hits include “Losing My Religion,” “Everybody Hurts,” “End Of The World As We Know It,” and “Shiny Happy People.” The band has been regarded as the defining point between post-punk and alternative-rock. In 2007, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
4. Neil Patrick Harris
Starting his career as a child actor, he’s probably better known now as the womanizer Barney Stinson in the TV show “How I Met Your Mother.” Aside from acting, Harris has appeared often in Broadway musicals including: “Sweeney Todd,” “Proof,” “Cabaret,” and “Assasins,” Harris has that he is “…quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest.”
5. Kele Okereke
The lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the British alternative-rock band Bloc Party, Okereke came out as gay in Butt Magazine article and was later named Sexiest Out Gay Male in 2010 by music website LP33.
6. Rob Halford
Arguably one of the biggest influences in heavy metal rock, Halford is known as the lead singer of Judas Priest. His band has sold 35 million albums worldwide and won a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance. One of their best known songs is the rock classic “Breaking The Law.” Halbert came out as gay in 1998 in an interview on MTV News.
7. Tegan and Sara
These identical twins are both lesbians and both write amazing music. Their best known songs probably are “Walking With A Ghost” and “Back In Your Head.” The duo has had their music featured on such shows as 90210, Grey’s Anatomy, The Hills, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, and Veronica Mars and have won several awards in their native country of Canada.
8. Melissa Etheridge
A famous musician and gay rights activist, Etheridge has been married twice and recently divorced her second wife Tammy Lynn Michaels. After Proposition 8 passed in California, Etheridge announced that she would not pay her state taxes as an act of civil disobedience. Etheridge has won two Grammys for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a female artist and has been nominated 13 other times.
9. Rufus Wainwright
This is a gay man who has a an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to list the awards and nominations he has received. Wainwright plays piano and guitar and has a rich and warm tenor voice that can go from poppy to downright operatic. Our favorite songs by him include “Instant Pleasure” and his cover of “Hallelujah.”
10. Joan Jett
What did you think she meant by not giving a damn about her “Bad Reputation”? Although she hasn’t officially come out of the closet, Jett has had sexual relations with women and has never revealed which team she plays for. Despite this, we’d like to salute her as one of the first female rock goddesses and an inspiration to those who are told that they can’t accomplish something because of either their sex or sexual preference or to those who simply just “love rock and roll.”
Although the lesbian act was only a gimmick, this Russian duo managed to put an openly lesbian love song on mainstream radios and for that we salute them. “All The Things She Said” and “Not Gonna Get Us” have become lesbian love anthems for the teenage masses and we think this is a good thing. “All the Things She Said” has sold more than two million copies around the world despite their lesbian relationship being a fake, the affect they had was real.
12. Freddie Mercury
You kind of have to smile at the irony when one of the most famous sport anthems “We Will Rock You,” which is frequently chanted during times of great machismo, was made famous by a gay man. Mercury had an amazing four-octave and was the singer and front man for one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Queen (also ironic). His talent and charisma made fans of homos, homophobes and homo friendlies alike and for this he deserves his status as a rock god.
13. Adam Lambert
Another gay artist who’s career started as an American Idol runner-up, Lambert has become, according to The Times “the first openly gay mainstream pop artist to launch a career on a major label in the United States.” We’d like to believe that Lambert is a symbol of hope that America is becoming more accepting of homosexuals and that someday sexual orientation won’t even be an issue.
14. George Michael
He originally hid his homosexuality because he was afraid of what his mother might think. This mega star has sold over 100 million records worldwide and is one of the most successful openly gay musicians. Not to mention “Last Christmas” is one of our favorite Christmas songs.
15. Lance Bass
In July 2006, the former member of ‘N Sync revealed that he is gay in a cover story for People magazine. Bass is not only a great vocalist and businessman but he was actually certified by the NASA and the Russian Space Program to go up in space, although this dream never materialized due to lack of financial backing.
16. Chely Wright
As a country artist Wright has released seven studio albums, and has charted more than 15 singles on the country charts. She’s also written songs for Brad Paisley, Richard Marx, Mindy Smith and Clay Walke. According to Newsweek, Wright “is now the first openly gay performer in country music.” She came out May 5, 2010.
Special Note- Elton John was not listed because we felt that we would give more lesser known homosexual artists a chance to fit on this list, instead of one of the greatest ever.