Pride Month | 20 essential songs to celebrate diversity

Originally published June 9, 2020.

And our special Pride Month continues!

This time we will be migrating from the film scene to the music scene – after all, over the years, several artists have positioned themselves in favor of the LGBTQIA + community through songs that have won the mainstream industry and sour lyrics. of respect and against prejudices we face every day.

The biggest work was therefore to reduce the incredible number of iterations that could integrate this story. However, our simple list will include the 20 greatest queer anthems in history (whether explicit or re-appropriated), stepping back in time and bringing Culture Club names to Janelle Monáe.

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Like many other musical productions, Swedish band ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” was not originally on the queer community. However, the song was re-appropriated as one of the famous representatives of LGBTQ + culture, functioning as a celebration of all the queens and kings who have lived in secret for so long and now have the opportunity to speak out.

The original fluid genre pop icon Boy George has never stopped moving away from binary normativity – and since the 1980s, while still a member of the famous group Culture Club, he has provoked spirits conservatives and reactionaries of those who listened to him. him. With “Karma Chameleon,” George uses his moving voice to talk about the fluidity of sexual orientation – ending up saying that the idea of ​​gender is just a social construct.

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When Ed Cobb wrote “Tainted Love” in 1964, he couldn’t have imagined it would resonate so strongly two decades later. In 1980, the sultry and futuristic song came to represent the fear of the LGBTQ + community at the start of the AIDS crisis. His best-known version (and indeed the best of them) took the stage in 1981 by the voice of Marc Almond, becoming an unprecedented success.

There is no one in the world who has never heard a version of “It’s Raining Men”, the most famous song of the Weather Girls. Co-written by Paul Shaffer and Paul Jabara, the surrender was rejected by none other than Donna Summer for its “blasphemous” content. Ultimately, it was left to Martha Wash for the title of a spectacular, almost deictic performance of one of the greatest anthems of the 1980s – and even the 20th century.

16. THE JEAN GENIE, David Bowie

David Bowie’s spectacular career is constantly being honored by artists of the new generation – after all, he came to inspire the legendary Lady Gaga in all of her performative and musical aesthetic. And “The Jean Genie” continues as one of its most astonishing and touching iterations, subtly and metaphorically letting country-rock flirt with its androgynous character and bisexuality.

Australian artist Kylie Minogue realized she had become an LGBTQ + icon in the late 1980s, a few years after she started hitting the world. Today, Minogue has some essential songs to listen to during Pride Month – and one of them proves her status as the queen of the dance: “All The Lovers”, a mind-boggling synth ballad with spectacular video which speaks of real love. And if you’re looking for a revolutionary anthem, we also have the iconic “Get Outta My Way”.

14. I WANT TO FREE myself, Queen

Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest vocalists and songwriters of all time and, alongside the band called Queen, he has delivered memorable and immortalized performances in a variety of ways. The electro-rock of “I Want To Break Free”, released seven years before his death, emerges most unexpectedly as a declaration of liberation and love (“I fell in love for the first time” and ” I want to be free “) which dialogues even with his bisexuality.

The irreverent group Village People has always played with the male stereotypes of American society of the 1970s. Created by Jacques Morali, the sextet has as one of its main songs the dancing “YMCA” – which alludes to the hidden sexuality of its limbs and a place where sexual orientation would not be a cause for shame. The musical bang has resulted in no less than 10 million copies sold worldwide – and a legacy that shows at every wedding party or festive gathering.

Janelle Monáe delivered one of the best albums of the past decade with “Dirty Computer” – and the anthem “Make Me Feel” is just one of the many critical stories available. Modernizing R&B with impeccable talent, the music is a statement of your pansexuality with dancing and immersive clarity, inviting us onto the dance floor in a memorable performance.

11. BORN NUDE, RuPaul

RuPaul Charles is the world’s most famous drag queen and has been a part of the queer art scene since the first time she climbed a pair of high heels. Throughout her long career – which includes numerous protests in support of the LGBTQ + and black community – she has given us a few songs of maturing and overcoming adversity, including the pop rock “Born Naked” alongside Clairy Browne. The song is governed by the principle of “we are all born naked and the rest is dragged” as a way to show that we are all equal, regardless of our sexual orientation and artistic preferences.

10. YOU MAKE ME FEEL (MIGHTY REAL), Sylvester

Sylvester is perhaps known to have an extremely pristine and expressive falsetto – even reaching the level of Prince. The singer, openly gay and one of the icons of the fluid, non-binary genre, rose to prominence for his disco rendition of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, which has captured the ears of generations to date . His ode to happiness at a time when homosexuality and transsexuality were considered illnesses only turns the song into an important declaration of love for life.

The duo of Canadian sisters Tegan and Sara showed the purest portrayal of queer friendship by describing in elegiac lyrics that love between two people exists not only in the sexual realm, but also in the most sentimental sense. “Closer”, one of the main singles from the famous EP “Heartthrob” is a production that could not be excluded from our Pride Month list.

8. BELIEVE, Dear

As a patron of pop music and one of the goddesses of the music industry, Cher is one of the most powerful icons in the LGBTQ + community and has never failed to take a stand. With “Believe” restructured for the present, the song is a hymn of hope for those who don’t believe in the power of love – or even who are destined to find it in someone. Released in 1998, the promotional track from his eponymous album is one of the most important of his career.

Despite the familiar (and somewhat boring) beat, “Let’s Have a Kiki” is one of the most LGBTQ + slang songs of all time. Led by eccentric and adorable band The Scissor Sisters (whose very name hints at the queer community), the song is accompanied by a timeless and entertaining instructional video that’s been popular from its release to the present day.

Gloria Gaynor, the queen of disco music, is the voice behind masterpieces from the phonographic sphere – including “I Will Survive”. Although the real motivation came from personal tragedies, Gaynor recognized the importance of overcoming his anthem for the queer community, as his uplifting lyrics began to be recited and repetitive as an infusion of strength to move forward and face the toughest adversities.

Madonna put her career on the line defending LGBTQ + in a time of neglect and stigma. In 1990, he brought ballroom transexual culture to the mainstream with “Vogue” topping the charts around the world. Accompanied by a black and white art-deco video evoking the cinema icons of the 1920s and 1930s, the music is an evasive and haughty interpretation accompanied by a flawless lyricism worthy of the best constructions of the queen of classical pop. .

4. DANCE ALONE, Robyn

Considered to this day one of the greatest songs of all time, Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn’s heartwarming electro-disco ballad with synthesizers has been claimed by the queer community with extraordinary force. In fact, if we take the impeccable romantic elegy that she writes, we have a protagonist who represents marginalized and isolated people dancing alone instead of hiding in their homes.

3. TRUE REBEL OF THE TRANS SOUL, Against Me!

In her 2016 memoir, “Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout,” Against Me !, band leader Laura Jane Grace recalls when she began to transition between the sexes – disappearing into Motel rooms for practicing wearing dresses and hoping no one has her. It was these days that inspired the acclaimed song “True Trans Soul Rebel”, a punk-western interpretation whose lyrics are about trans women struggling for a living.

2. I’M OUT, Diana Ross

Legendary Diana Ross is known for her impeccable discography and some of the greatest hits of all time. Always in favor of the LGBTQ + community, the dance-music anthem “I’m Coming Out” has been relaunched as a majestic soliloquy of empowerment, whose well-known lyrics are essentially an ode to accepting who we really are and not not hide from us (no wonder the title serves as a currency when we are queer).

Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.

It was not until 2011 that the recording industry finally began to talk about multiple sexual orientations that moved away from binarity. And the self-esteem statement would come with none other than Lady Gaga, one of the biggest names of the 21st century and one of the greatest LGBTQ + activists in history.

Since her rise to fame in 2008, Gaga has been extremely grateful to the queer community, never failing to include them in respectful monologues and speeches. But it is with “Born This Way” that the artist will prove his gratitude: the foray into dance-pop, contemporary and classical at the same time, will not use metaphors and allusions, but sufficiently clear verses. to exhibit everyone are equal and we deserve respect and opportunities.

“It doesn’t matter gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgender I’m on the right track, I was born to survive.” In fact, there is no phrase that better represents this constant and increasingly strong and approved struggle to exist in such a hypocritical and prejudiced society.

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