With queer visibility and acceptance on steady rise, pressure for LGBTQ musicians to maintain a "universally relatable" (aka straight) image in order to appeal to a mainstream audience remains. Luckily, an increasing number of artists are starting their careers by actively avoiding that trap.
The impact this has on fans, particularly young, LGBTQ fans, cannot be overstated. These six artists may create music that's hard to compare, but they share a fearlessness to harness their passions to challenge heteronormativity in their careers. And they're making it that much easier for the next wave of artists to follow suit.
Scroll through to meet the Pride50 music honorees...
5. King Princess
There still aren’t a ton of overtly queer love songs out there, but don’t blame King Princess, aka Mikaela Straus. The Brooklynn-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist doesn’t mince her words. Her breakthrough single “1950” offered a story of distinctly queer love, and followup tracks like “Talia” and “Pussy Is God” only cemented her place as an artist with much to offer straight and queer fans alike. King Princess released her debut full-length, “Cheap Queen”, in 2019, earning a spot on the Top 20 of the Billboard Top Alternative Albums chart.
Reminding fans and fellow artists you don’t have to conform to anyone else’s standards to find success, here’s the title track from “Cheap Queen”: