Author Topic: 21 Great Gay Moments In Music  (Read 863 times)

Offline CellarDweller

  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • ********
  • Posts: 33,832
  • A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.
21 Great Gay Moments In Music
« on: June 28, 2012, 08:47:59 pm »
21 Great Gay Moments In Music

by Billboard Staff  |   June 20, 2012

Adam Lambert Glams Up "Idol," Debuts at No. 1

While Adam Lambert didn't make his sexuality a major talking point while competing on "American Idol" -- he later came out in a "Rolling Stone" cover story -- "Idol" viewers and fans at home knew there was something special about the flamboyant contestant. Lambert was out in his personal and professional life well before he hit the "Idol" stage and made his mark as the contestant to watch. On the show, he fired up audiences with his glam rock stylings, sexed-up stage persona and multi-octave range. Though he finished the 2009 season of "Idol" in second place, he remained the season's breakout star and has since worked to become a role model for LGBT tens. His major label debut album "For Your Entertainment" earned him a Grammy Award nomination for the No. 10 Hot 100 hit "Whataya Want From Me," and his sophomore set, "Trespassing," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 earlier this year.  -- Keith Caulfield

Jay-Z and Obama Support Same-Sex Marriage

After Barack Obama publicly endorsed same-sex marriage, Jay-Z voiced his own support in an interview with CNN. "I've always thought it as something that was still holding the country back," said the rapper. "What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination, plain and simple." Other stars, from Lady Gaga to Alicia Keys, also backed the president's words. -- Sarah Maloy

Against Me! Singer Comes Out as Transgender

Against Me! singer Tom Gabel made headlines in May after telling Rolling Stone that he was transgender. Born with what is clinically known as gender dysphoria -- "The cliché is that you're a woman trapped in a man's body, but it's not that simple. It's a feeling of detachment from your body and from yourself," the rocker told RS -- 31-year-old Gabel came out publicly and was met with overwhelming support from fans. Now living openly as Laura Jane Grace, the punk rock singer is on tour with her bandmates, wife Heather, and young daughter. "I've been completely blown away by the majority of people's reactions," Grace said to MTV News in her first interview since announcing she's transgender. "They've been more than respectful and more than supportive, and it's been, for me, completely humbling." --Sarah Maloy

'Glee' Puts Gay Teens on Primetime

Since we were first introduced to Kurt Hummel -- as he was being thrown into a dumpster on the series premiere of "Glee" -- the Fox show has tackled gay issues big and small, bringing LGBTQ storylines to the forefront. In 2010, Kurt met the swoontastic (and equally out) Blaine Anderson, causing the audience to cry "squee!" into their Tumblrs and Twitter accounts at the same time. Blaine and the Warblers serenaded Kurt with Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," and the "Glee" cast earned its best single sales week for a download with the song's release (214,000) -- a record the cast has yet to break. Meanwhile, Brittany and Santana were struggling with their sexuality, and the two expressed their feelings through a duet of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide." The cheerleading duo has since become an official couple, deemed Brittana by the fans. "Glee" also featured a much-lauded bullying storyline, which culminated when Kurt's former bully, David Karofsky, attempted suicide after his classmates mocked him for being gay. Most recently in season 3, "Glee Project" contestant Alex Newell joined the cast as Wade Adams, a transgender character who performs with the rival glee club as a woman, Unique. --Sarah Maloy & Keith Caulfield

Ricky Martin Reveals All in 'Me'

From fresh-faced Menudo sweetheart to "Latin explosion" leader, Ricky Martin has spent much of his career dodging relentless scrutiny over his sexuality. Martin finally put the circus to rest in 2010 and declared himself a "fortunate homosexual man" in an intimate letter to his fans that eloquently described the fear that keeps so many potential gay role models like himself in the closet. "Many people told me: 'Ricky it's not important,' 'it's not worth it … all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse,'" he wrote. Martin ignored the naysayers and discussed his struggles with his sexuality in his 2010 autobiography 'Me,' which quickly became a New York Times best seller. Martin and his longtime boyfriend Carlos Gonzales are now open and raising twin boys, born to a surrogate in 2008. -- Monica Herrera

Enrique Iglesias Embraces "G-A-Y" Fans

Many female pop stars openly embrace their LGBT fans, but only a few straight male singers are comfortable enough to play to the gays. Enrique Iglesias proved that his appreciation for his fans is not specific to gender or sexual preference in June 2007 during his performance at London's G-A-Y nightclub. During the show, Iglesias brought a boy on stage serenaded him with his ballad "Hero." Iglesias confidently hugged, caressed and kissed the swooning fan and, as the viral video made its way around the world, sent a message to male pop stars everywhere that they shouldn't be afraid to embrace their LGBT fans -- literally or figuratively. -- Erika Ramirez

Chely Wright Comes Out, Gets Engaged

Country music has boasted stars of every age, race and gender, but the genre had long been conspicuously heterosexual. Countrified pop chanteuse k.d. lang -- who famously graced a 1993 cover of Vanity Fair in a barber chair being amorously "shaved" by model Cindy Crawford -- fired the first salvo in shattering that unspoken barrier when she opened up about her sexuality in the early '90s. Almost two decades later, country singer Chely Wright carried the conversation into the 21st century when her coming out made headlines in 2010. Wright faced death threats and declining record sales following her announcement, but rather than take a lower profile, the "Single White Female" singer told the world of her engagement to LGBT activist Lauren Blitzer this spring. The couple plan to wed in August. --Jessica Letkemann

Lance Bass Gets in Sync With His Sexuality

Lance Bass may not have emerged from the closet during *NSYNC's boy-band reign , but the singer's 2006 coming out was still nothing less than bold. In a People magazine cover story, Bass declared that he's "not ashamed" of his sexuality. "I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this," he added. Following his coming out, Bass was award the 2006 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award. He later outlined his life's story and struggle with his sexuality in "Out Of Sync," his coyly-titled autobiography released in 2007. Since then, Bass has taken his place in the LGBT community by working with GLAAD and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. -- Jillian Mapes

Synth-Pop Gets Political

Bronski Beat wasn't the only LGBT-friendly synth-pop group of the '80s. But back when bands like Pet Shop Boys and Erasure were only making veiled references to their sexualities, falsetto vocalist Jimmy Sommerville and co. were adorning their album covers with pink triangles and writing political, gay-empowering club tunes that left no room for misinterpretation. 1984's "Smalltown Boy" was trio's most celebrated hit, and the song's video was one of the first of any genre to address the issue of violence against gays. -- M. Tye Comer

Lady Gaga Fights for Gay Rights

With her equality anthem "Born This Way" and…well, nearly everything she says, does and wears, Lady Gaga has proven herself to be this era's gay-friendliest pop star. But Gaga goes well beyond celebrity gestures and digs her paws into real political action. First came her rallying cry at the National Equality March on Washington in March 2009. The 2010 MTV VMAs followed, where U.S. service members affected by the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy accompanied her on the red carpet. Most recently, she appealed to her 11 million-plus Twitter followers to ask the New York State Senator to vote yes for the Marriage Equality Act. If you don't think legions of Little Monsters are dialing Congress right now, you've underestimated their Mother's influence. -- Monica Herrera

Sylvester Dons a Dress, Feels Mighty Real

Long before RuPaul sashayed onto the Billboard charts in the early '90s, drag diva Sylvester was paving the way for queens everywhere with his hi-energy club tracks. Best known for his 1978 anthem "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," Sylvester James found his calling and adopted his one-name moniker after moving to San Francisco to peruse music just a couple of years before New York's Stonewall riot launched the national gay liberation movement. It was via the welcoming world of disco that the out, loud and proud soul singer found worldwide acceptance. Though he tragically died of AIDS in 1988 at age 41, Sylvester's flamed burned bright during his brief life: In his '70s & '80s heyday, Sylvester earned 10 top 10s on Billboard's Dance/Club Play Songs chart (including two No. 1s) and a place on the dancefloor for evermore. --Jessica Letkemann

Christian Chavez Fights for 'Libertad'

Christian Chavez came out of the closet back in 2007 while he was a member of wildly popular Mexican teen pop group RBD. But in March 2011, Chavez fully demanded his own liberty through song. In the provocative video for "Libertad," the Latin-pop singer uses a sexy narrative about two gay lovers who meet in a club to make a stance for gay rights and sexual freedom. Spliced between flashing images of Harvey Milk, RuPaul, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others, Chavez and his new flame go in for the kill with a kiss that has helped the video garner millions of YouTube hits and wide applause. - - Jillian Mapes

Rob Halford Makes Metal History

Studs, leather and rough talk are de rigeur accoutrements in mainstream metal, but the machismo-driven genre had always been worlds away from the slice of the gay male spectrum that shares its fashion sense until Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford came out during a 1998 MTV interview. "I've been a gay man all of my life," Halford told the network on camera. "It's only been in recent times that it's been an issue that I've been comfortable to address… This is the moment to discuss it." The Grammy-winning singer went on to say, "A lot of homophobia still exists in the music world, in all kinds of music… But that's something we have to address in our own lives." Then he added with a smile, "If you want to go through your Priest collection, you'll be surprised how many innuendoes and how many metaphors are used. That was my way of getting my message out [then] for the people who cared to explore that." --Jessica Letkemann

Madonna Teaches Straights How to "Vogue"

Madonna had already established herself as an advocate for LGBT rights and causes in the '80s, but she took her gay-positive message to a different level when she introduced mainstream America to vogueing, a flamboyant style of dance which dated back to the 1960s underground drag-ball scene. Released in 1990, "Vogue" soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and came with a striking black-and-white video that taught the world how to strike a pose. More than 20 years later, you'll still find everyone from fratboys to grandmas giving good face whenever the song is played. -- Keith Caulfield

Stars Pay Tribute to Freddie Mercury

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury never wore his sexuality on his sleeve, though the flamboyant performer openly had relationship with both men and women during the band's popularity. In November 1991, Mercury revealed to the world that he had contracted HIV, and -- upon his passing one day later --became the first major rock star to die of AIDS. In April 1992, the remaining members of Queen staged The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness to celebrate the life and legacy of Mercury and raise money for AIDS research. The concert, which featured performances by Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Metallica, David Bowie, Guns N' Roses and also U2 among others, was broadcast live to 76 countries, had an estimated viewing audience of 1 billion people, and was instrumental in bringing awareness about the disease to a generation of music fans. -- M. Tye Comer

Elton & David Tie the Knot

In the '70s, Elton John was famously slippery about his sexual preferences. But the singer set aside all ambiguities on December 21, 2005 when John celebrated England's recognition of same-sex civil partnerships and wed his longtime partner, filmmaker David Furnish. The couple, who have been together since the early '90s, held a small ceremony in Windsor in which both sets of parents acted as witnesses. Five years later, John and Furnish adopted a baby boy, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, who was born to a surrogate. -- Jason Lipshutz

Tom Robinson is 'Glad to Be Gay'

In 1976, British songwriter Tom Robinson penned the tune "Glad to Be Gay" for a London gay pride rally that year. Inspired by the in-your-face posturing of punk bands like the Sex Pistols, the song's lyrics were bold and brave, especially considering the climate towards homosexuals at the time. Some 40 years later, the song still serves as Britain's national gay anthem. -- M. Tye Comer

Rufus Wainwright, Friend of Dorothy

In 1961, Judy Garland made a comeback at Carnegie Hall that is revered as one of her most legendary performances. The campy magic of that night was recreated by singer Rufus Wainwright, who paid homage to the gay icon by recreating the her show in June 2006. In 2007, Wainwright took the act to Britain's Glastonbury festival, where he donned lipstick and heels for a performance that declared his friendship with Dorothy. Over the rainbow, indeed. -- M. Tye Comer

Melissa Etheridge Says "Yes I Am"

While out rocker Melissa Etheridge had experienced a good deal of success on the charts in the late '80s and early '90s, it wasn't until her 1993 album "Yes I Am" that she hit paydirt. The album -- whose title served as an answer to questions about her sexuality -- spent 138 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart and has sold 4.4 million copies in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set spawned the Hot 100 top 40 hits "Come to My Window" (No. 25), "I'm the Only One" (No. 8 ) and "Like the Way I Do/If I Wanted To" (No. 16) and helped make Etheridge a household name. -- Keith Caulfield

Jill Sobule Kisses a Girl

Long before Katy Perry catered to male fantasies by singing "I kissed a girl and I liked it," singer-songwriter Jill Sobule made the same declaration in earnest. Her 1995 hit reached No. 75 on the Hot 100 chart in spite of -- or perhaps because of -- its overt declaration of lesbianism. The subversive song struck a chord as a character-driven narrative, giving voice to sexual exploration in a way rarely touched in pop. -- Jillian Mapes

Rapper Lil B Goes "Gay"

Hip-hop aficionados were left dumbfounded when heterosexual MC Lil B announced that his forthcoming album was to be called "I'm Gay." The Oakland rapper's announcement, made during his performance at the 2011 Coachella festival, came days after Hot 97 DJ Mr. Cee was controversially arrested for lewd conduct with another man. "No matter what you do, it doesn't matter," said Lil B. "We only have one life to live. Be happy. F*ck the hating, baby." After months of receiving death threats, Lil B is sticking with the title -- although the album cover unveiled in June shows the title to be "I'm Gay (I'm Happy)." Diluted message or not, Lil B's stand for individuality is an admirable and a potentially groundbreaking move that is bringing the discussion gay issues into the largely homophobic world of hip-hop. -- Erika Ramirez

Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!