Some of the globe's best-loved singers and composers are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Here, we celebrate some of the makers of music of all time who proudly flew the flag for the LGBTQ community. Many people have experienced anxiety and self-doubt due to being a member of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history. While some countries have begun embracing diversity in sexuality and gender, biases still exist.
Here is a list of some super talented, creative, and extremely popular people from the music industry who came from the LGBTQ+ community.
Sir Elton John
At four, Sir Elton John, the legendary English singer, songwriter, and composer, began playing the piano. Since then, he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. His hit tunes' Tiny Dancer,' 'Your Song,' and 'I'm Still Standing' have become music lovers' favourites. In 2019, Welsh actor Taron Egerton portrayed the singer in the musical biopic Rocketman, based on Sir Elton's song of the same name.
"Just be yourself," the 74-year-old singer told Variety what message he would give young LGBTQIA+ persons dealing with their sexuality or gender identity. It's fantastic to be homosexual. Being gay is something I enjoy. I genuinely believe that. I don't think I would have done it.
George rose to prominence as a member of the 1980s pop group Wham!, whose hits included "Last Christmas" and "Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)." George's blonde coiffed hair and puppy-dog eyes rapidly won him fans worldwide. It wasn't until he became a solo performer, with his shorter haircut and stubble, that he became a true icon.
His solo hits "Freedom" and "Careless Whisper" catapulted him into the limelight of the music industry, and he swiftly established himself as a household figure. George was more than a lovely face; he was also known for his enormous generosity. He volunteered for organisations, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity. Regrettably, George died on Christmas Day, 2016, of that year.
Freddie Mercury, well-known as the main singer of the British rock band Queen, wowed audiences with his frenetic performances and four-octave vocal range. His creative prowess was undeniable, with successes like 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'We Are the Champions,' and 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' all reaching the UK top ten.
Freddie was involved in relationships with both men and women over his illustrious musical career, despite his preference not to name his sexuality at the time.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Tchaikovsky began his very first singing session at the age of 21 at Russian Musical Society. Many gay men empathize with the hunger and sorrow depicted in Peter Tchaikovsky's melodies. Therefore, his music has always had a particular resonance with them. Tchaikovsky (May 7, 1840 – November 6, 1893) was influenced by his same-gender relationships, dedicating symphonies to them. He wrote some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the current classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Biographers have generally agreed that Tchaikovsky was homosexual. He sought the company of other men in his circle for extended periods. His first love was reportedly Sergey Kireyev, a younger fellow student.
Halsey started her musical journey at the age of 17. In 2012, the electropop artist took to social media to showcase her music, which quickly attracted the attention of other YouTube and Tumblr users, notably a parody of Taylor Swift's 'I Knew You Were Trouble.' Halsey's chart-topping albums, including Room 93, Badlands, and Manic, have sold over a million copies since then.
Regularly donating to pro-LGBTQIA+ communities, Halsey often winds her bisexuality into her tune and speaks out about the challenges that come with this, such as erasure and the misconception that it's just a phase.
During a GLAAD Media Awards speech in 2018, she said: "I'm a young, bisexual woman, and I've spent a large part of my life trying to validate myself – to my friends, to my family, to myself – trying to prove that who I love and how I feel is not a phase. It's not part of some confusion that's going to change or could be manipulated."