Queer Artists that have paved the way.
Antony and the Johnsons
Antony and the Johnsons are an American Pop Group who were at the height of their popularity in the early noughties with their take on experimental pop. The group's name is an homage to the groundbreaking transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson; a frontrunner in the LGBTQI+ rights movement in America in the 1990's. Anohni; the groups' front woman has garnered impressive amounts of fame around the world with the likes of the late Avicii covering one of their better known tracks "Hope There's Someone". Outside of the group Anohni co-wrote one of 'Hercules & Love Affairs' most popular track. Although you may not recognise Antony and the Johnsons from these notable works, you may know them for their work on soundtrack scores. Most notably they have collaborated on the soundtrack for 'Sense 8', the ever popular show developed and brought to us by the Wachowski sisters', additional projects they have contributed to are; 'Sons of Anarchy', 'V for Vendetta' and 'The Hunger Games'. Anhoni earned herself an Academy Award nomination in 2016 for best song. Making her the second trans artist to be recognised by the academy.
Big Freedia has established herself in recent years as the leader of the Bounce genre. Bounce music is a style of hip-hop music that hails from New Orleans, like Big Freedia herself. Bounce music was made popular in the 1980's in the city's housing projects. Freedia has become a pioneer for the genre bringing it into the 2020's. Big Freedia got her start in the music industry as a back up dancer for her friend Katey Red; a transgender rapper who released their debut album in 1999 shortly after Hurricane Katrina. In 2011, we saw Freedia take to our screens with her reality show titled "Big Freedia Bounces Back" which followed her on her rise to fame. In recent years she has featured on some of the most popular tracks in the last 10 years; Drake's "Nice For What' and Beyoncé's "Formation"; easily two of popular culture's most well-known artists as well as covering Lady Gaga's 'Judas' for the Born This Way - 10 Year Anniversary Album. One of her first collaborations was with Ru Paul Drag Race Presenter "Ru Paul" while another with DJ "Diplo". Freedia has established herself as a pioneer for Bounce music as well as cementing herself as one of the most notable LGBTQI+ artists of the 21st Century!
Sir Elton John, was knighted on the 24th of January 1998 for his contribution to musical and charitable services, including his contribution to AIDS charities during the height of the epidemic.
Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey