A New Wave of LGBT Musical Artists
By Chris Astrala



Big names like Elton John, RuPaul, The Village People, Michael Stipe, Sylvester, Ricky Martin, Boy George, Melissa Etheridge, Andy Bell just a small handful of well-known gay music artists who have entertained us throughout the years.


Many brilliant but lesser known talents are coming up through the ranks and giving their style and sound to the music scene. Contemporary gay artists, underground gems, newer superstars on the scene and some older gay musicians finally getting the recognition they deserve. And though this by no means is a comprehensive list but just a sprinkling of these talented up and comers.


Sister Scissor

High camp and indie rock combine with Jake Shears and Ana Matronic’s band of largely queer musicians. The gang might be best known for their sillier songs (“Let’s Have a Kiki” and “Filthy / Gorgeous” come to mind) but their more contemplative songs are just as amazing.


Hannah Thomas

Hannah Thomas is bringing her own style of music to the roots rock world with a voice reminiscent of young Bonnie Raitt, grit and bravado that draws comparisons to Melissa Etheridge. Thomas has been playing professionally for more than a decade, touring with Indigo Girls and opening for or sharing the stage with Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Kristian Bush (of Sugarland), Terri Clark, Lydia Loveless, Chely Wright to name a few.


Steve Grand

Widely hailed as the first openly gay country singer (sorry Ty Herndon, you just missed it), Steve Grand is as much of a YouTube sensation as he is a singer. Not that that’s a bad thing, but with only a few singles out, it’s hard to tell if this internet celebrity will be able to keep up with all the speculation


M Lamar

This neo-classical artist uses gothic operatic drama to explore race and sexuality in American culture. With his strong counter-tenor vocals, M Lamar continues in the queer tradition of Klaus Nomi. Lamar clearly has the brains to back up his talent and was engaged in extended conversation with feminist cultural scholar bell hooks. Fun fact: He’s also Laverne Cox’s twin brother!



The original art-stars of the Electroclash scene, Fischerspooner’s musical endeavors started more as ambient music intended for experimental fashion shows but later evolved into fully realized hypnotic Kraftwerk-inspired psychedelic synth-pop. Three albums later, the duo (made up of Casey Spooner and Warren Fischer) are now working on releasing look books of some of their more outrageous visual stylings which were created concurrently with their music.


Jonte Moaning

Although better known as a choreographer for Beyonce, Jonte’ has released his fair share of mix tapes and pop songs. With a seemingly endless parade of high-energy international shows, Jonte’s endeavors in hip-hop and pop are pure fun. Never attempt his high kicks in the safety of your own home.


Big Dipper

Big Dipper is thick, hairy, and completely unashamed of his body. And why shouldn’t he be? With underground rap songs about the joys of sexual promiscuity, Big Dipper is the poster child for Baltimore Bear culture. Veering towards the silly instead of the expressive, Dipper’s ass-shaking production has made him a contemporary club kid icon.


AB Soto

AB Soto is a queer artist and musician whose work complicates the boundaries of fashion, performance and identity. Having grown up as a Latin boy in East Los Angeles, Soto’s music is heavily informed by both his ties to Mexican culture and his background in dance and fashion design. He plays around with styles of music that, in the past have been mainly for straight people or a specific race – whether it’s rap, whether it’s house, whether it’s salsa.


Kevin JZ Prodigy

Ballroom personality Kevin JZ Prodigy is only now beginning to be recognized by music journalists for his long list of contributions to the scene. His energetic brand of vocal stylings is never without growls, screams, rolled r’s, obscure movie quotes, and devastating commentary in the form of catchy rhyme schemes. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Prodigy featured on more mainstream EDM in the future.


Frank Ocean

Ok, we’re cheating on this one a bit. Frank Ocean is bi, not gay, but his presence as an LGBT artist is too important to ignore. As a member of Odd Future, Ocean’s coming out was seen as a groundbreaking triumph for a mainstream artist. His stylish and honest solo music compliments his trailblazing persona. And yes, we were definitely rooting for him in his feud against Chris Brown.


Joel Gibb

Continuing in the tradition of queer new wave artists like Pete Burns or Morrissey, The Hidden Cameras (led by Joel Gibb) make an interesting blend of moody synth-pop and anti-folk. Jokingly calling their songs “gay church folk music,” their live shows are of particular note for including

go-go dancers in balaclavas directly adjacent to full choirs and string sections.


Rod Thomas

Rod Thomas’ accessible combination of disco, house, and heartfelt pop has impressed the legendary Elton John, with whom he sang a catchy single. Emotional, earnest, and perhaps a little bit corny, Bright Light Bright Light (the singer’s repetitive stage name) has been steadily releasing albums since 2009, with bigger success in the UK than over on this side of the pond.



With military precision, Kazaky executes complicated dance numbers in the highest of high heels, all the while showing off their impeccable washboard abs. Their music is an idiosyncratic kind of Eastern European dance-pop with half-ironic sci-fi shades of the early 2000’s electro clash scene; all their lyrics delivered in an almost eerie deadpan whisper.


Jamie Stewart

Favorably compared to Robert Smith, Jamie Stewart’s lyrics have been praised for their combination of poeticism and violence. Extrapolations of the (post-) punk legacy of artists like Annie Lennox, Devo, and Bauhaus, Stewart’s works within the electro-punk genre are met with almost universal critical approval.


Nico Muhly

At the forefront of contemporary classical music, Nico Muhly is the widely acclaimed Phillip Glass collaborator with his own impressive discography of choral arrangements, operas, movie scores (including The Reader and Kill Your Darlings), and ensembles. Muhly’s best-known opera, Two Boys, tells the controversial true tale of a homoerotic online friendship which eventually resulted in murder.


So take a listen, who knows you might find yourself getting into some of these new sounds. As mentioned this is just a short list of the many newer artists out there who are waiting for their big break. Let us know what you think and if you know of an act that should be on this list.