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...
6. Emily Estefan
Miami-based singer Emily Estefan has never shied away from her sexuality, sharing her relationship with Gemeny Hernandez openly with her fans for years. The daughter of Cuban-American stars Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Emily brings a distinctly free-spirited essence to her music, combining elements of jazz, rock and Latin music. Though she’s still building her career, Estefan has been studying music her whole life and played nearly every instrument on her debut album, “Take Whatever You Want.” She’s certainly one to watch.
“I just want to tell my stories, put out good energy and love into the world, and not be afraid to be my true self in my music,” Estefan says of her art.