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MTV – Top 10 Music Artists 2021

In alphabetical order

This category is for LGBT+ community’s favourite music artists and looked for musicians who are either LGBT+, or who have proven to be strong advocates of the LGBT+ community.

ANNE-MARIE

In the words of her hit single Perfect: ‘I’ll love who I love, because this love is gender-free.’ Anne-Marie has long focused her art to an inclusive audience, and shares LGBT+ love and experiences with her audience through her music. In an article for GAY TIMES, Anne-Marie made it known that she is not only a proponent of LGBT+ issues, but is a member of the community herself. Anne-Marie’s longstanding music career has most recently seen her collaborate with Youtube star and rapper KSI.

HARRY STYLES

While Harry Styles may have begun his career through One Direction, he has since skyrocketed to another level of celebrity through his work in the fashion industry and his solo music career. His unapologetic approach to gender fluid fashion and his frequent references to inclusivity in the music industry has marked him out as an icon for young queer generations. Styles also branched out into the film industry. His most recent role will see him play a gay police officer in period drama, My Policeman.

JOJO SIWA

From Dance Moms to YouTube to the top charts, Jojo Siwa has made a name for herself across many areas of influence. Most recently, she has gained recognition both as a member of the LGBT+ community (Jojo posts frequently about their same-sex relationship online), but also as an activist for LGBT+ issues. Jojo’s coming out as gay is particularly important for the younger generation. Her popularity with a young audience has acted as an opportunity for the next generation to be exposed to conversations about the LGBT+ community in a positive manner, and to help pave a way for a more inclusive future through their very own queer superstar.

KIM PETRAS

German teenager Kim Petras made history in 2009 when she became the youngest person to have gender affirmation surgery at the age of 16, opening the door for European teens to transition earlier. At the time, she told This Morning that she wanted to be an international pop star, and after raising money to move to Los Angeles by writing a jingle for a detergent ad, she secured a record deal. She became disillusioned with the focus on her gender rather than her music and launched her own independent label, BunHead Records. Her debut album, Clarity, was critically acclaimed, as was her recent tour.

LIL NAS X

Lil Nas X wrote the country rap single Old Town Road which went viral on Tik Tok 2019 before reaching number one on the US Hot 100 charts. During the press tour for his global hit, Lil Nas X came out as gay, the first person to have done so while at the top of the charts. He was also the first LGBT+ artist to win a Country Music Association award. Over the past year, Lil Nas X has taken on a leading role in the LGBT+ community, and it is no mystery why. He recently took the internet by storm with his unapologetic anthem, ‘Montero (Call me by your name) which was applauded by the LGBT+ community, and once more shot to the top of the Hot 100.

LIZZO

A champion of great music, mental health issues, body positivity, and LGBT+ issues; platinum recording artist Lizzo is proactive in her approach to these conversations. Named by Queerty as one of the Pride50 Stonewall Riot commemoration’s ‘trailblazing individuals’, Lizzo has a strong LGBT+ following – and for good reason. From performing at Pride concerts, to having open conversations and interacting with her ‘Lizzbian’ fanbase, Lizzo has marked herself out over the past few years as a true advocate for the LGBT+ community.

The 1975

Lead singer of the 1975, Matt Healy has been open about his allyship to members of the LGBT+ community throughout his career. The 1975 have been active in protests involving the community, in particular, protesting against Dubai’s anti-gay laws. As part of the 1975, their shows frequently pay tribute to the LGBT+ community. The hit single, ‘Loving Someone’ has become somewhat of an anthem for the band’s LGBT+ fans, as is performed live with a 30ft pride flag on stage.

MNEK

British singer-songwriter MNEK has been involved in LGBT+ activism throughout his career, even hosting a song writing camp for the LGBT+ community’s musicians in association with Pride in Music. In 2021, he appeared on Drag Race UK as a vocal coach for the infamous ‘UK Hun.’  As of March this year, it was announced that he would be launching a podcast Proud Radio with MNEK on Apple Hits Music, which will combine both a diverse repertoire of music with conversations with LGBT+ and ally celebrities.

RINA SAWAYAMA

Musician and model Rina Sawayama has been applauded for her bracing and modern approach to both the music she creates, but also for bring outspoken about LGBT+ issues. Since first opening-up publically about her sexuality in a 2018 Broadly article, Rina has become an advocate for issues facing the community, particularly in discussions of conversion therapy. In July 2020, Sawayama signed an open letter to Liz Truss, the UK’s Equalities minister, calling for a ban on the practice. Rina has juggled her music career and activism alongside multiple university degrees. In April of this year, Rina announced a musical collaboration with Elton John, releasing a ‘Chosen Family’ remix.

SAM SMITH

British singer-songwriter Sam Smith hit the big time in the 2015 Grammy Awards, winning Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year and Song of the Year for Stay With Me. They co-wrote Writing’s on the Wall with Jimmy Napes for the James Bond film Spectre, which became a number one single in the UK and won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award in 2016. Sam came out as gay in 2014, and as non-binary in 2019, telling Jameela Jamil: “Non-binary genderqueer is that you do not identify in a gender. You are a mixture of different things, you are your own special creation. I’m not male or female.”