15 Best Gay Singers of All Time (Updated 2023)
Being openly gay is no longer as strongly frowned upon as it was before. We’re thrilled that there are now more LGBTQ+ role models in the entertainment sector than ever before.
It’s surprising to think back to a period when gay singers in pop bands were advised to keep their sexuality a secret out of concern for their careers, however, that time has passed.
This is still very much the case, even throughout a lot of the world. Therefore, we are incredibly delighted to see openly gay singers and actors succeeding in their industry.
Sir John Elton
Elton John, everyone’s favorite rocketman, wasn’t always the father of the gay music scene. He exuded sensuality and youthful appeal when he first appeared on the scene in the 1970s. Fans fell crazy for his uninhibited confidence and unfettered performing approach, frequently baring his hairy chest to throngs of thousands.
Even the harshest of detractors were won over by his cheeky grin and outrageous sense of humor, making him popular with those who would have otherwise viewed him as too much.
He identified as bisexual for a very long time and used to enjoy relationships with both men and women. He came out as a gay singer in 1988, is now married with children, and is still producing music at the age of 73.
|Place of Birth||Pinner, England|
|First Professional Song||“Scarecrow” and was recorded in 1967|
|Most Successful Album||“Candle in the wind” (1977), which sold over 33 million copies|
|Quote||“Don’t judge the picture by the frame. Not everyman is the same”|
|Top Hit||Candle In The Wind|
You Might Also Like: Inspirational Gay Love Songs
Your gay card must be instantly revoked if you don’t own a copy of Mika’s 2007 self-titled first album. Seriously though, Mika’s discography is dripping in LGBTQ+ culture.
Mika’s songs appeal to our community on a completely different level with their upbeat dance beats and pop culture-infused lyrics.
The 2020s still see the regular club play songs like “Grace Kelly,” “Love Today,” and “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)”. They still have the same contemporary and current vibe as they had then.
Mika is an astonishing 6 feet 2 inches tall. He is incredibly well-liked by both men and women due to his tall, lean build and chiseled features.
He openly came out in 2012 as a gay singer and he is dating Andreas Dermanis for over 10 years!
|Place of Birth||Beirut, Lebanon|
|First Professional Song||“Dodgy Holiday“, 2006|
|Most Successful Album||“Life In Cartoon Motion”, 2007|
|Quote||“Did you know, I’m still in love with this blue sky until forever and ever, eternally”|
|Top Hit||Kick Ass (We Are Young)|
Millions of little gay boys all across the world were awakened when Ricky Martin became a popular superstar in the early 1990s with his spiked hair and protruding hips!
Ricky Martin is the kind of man you’d want to bed and marry because of his beautiful body and boy-next-door grin.
His songs “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “She Bangs,” which have earned him the title of “King of Latin Pop,” appeal to audiences of all sexual orientations.
After spending the majority of his career in the closet, Ricky is now happily married and has children. He is a bright example of how gay men may succeed in all spheres.
|Place of Birth||San Juan, Caribbean|
|First Professional Song||“Livin La Vida Loca“, 1999|
|Most Successful Album||“Ricky Martin”, 1999|
|Quote||“During my sabbatical, I spent two years not listening to my songs at all”|
|Top Hit||Livin’ La Vida Loca|
You Might Also Like: Gay Icons All Time
George Michael (RIP)
When George was a member of the 1980s musical duet Wham!, the world initially fell in love with him, making hits like “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)” in the pop genre. He didn’t truly establish himself as an icon until he went solo and had shorter hair and stubble.
He was catapulted into the music industry’s global spotlight by his solo singles “Freedom” and “Careless Whisper,” and he soon became a well-known household figure.
George was well recognized for being incredibly generous, not simply a gorgeous face. The Elton John AIDS Foundation and Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity were only two of the organizations he was associated with. Millions of followers were devastated when George tragically passed away on Christmas Day in 2016.
|Place of Birth||East Finchley, United Kingdom|
|First Professional Song||“Careless Whisper”, 1984|
|Most Successful Album||“Faith”, 1987|
|Quote||“Be good to yourself ’cause nobody has the power to make you happy”|
|Top Hit||Careless Whisper|
Mashrou’ Leila is an alternative rock band led by Lebanese singer Hamed Sinno. Gay lovers love him because of his mustache in the 80s style and propensity for muscle shirts.
Additionally, he embodies what it means to be gay and to be from the Middle East, which is infamous for having some of the worst LGBTQ+ rights in the world.
In our opinion, Hamed serves as a bright example for the LGBTQ+ population in Lebanon, a nation that still maintains anti-gay laws.
The sexual content of Hamed’s songs has caused controversy among conservative audiences. He exhorts his followers to be fearless and expressive, and they take him seriously when he says this.
Even to the point of getting into conflict with the law by flying rainbow flags during his performance, particularly in Cairo, Egypt, where it is not only against the law but also strictly enforced to promote homosexuality!
Simply because Sinno is an openly gay man, certain nations, including Jordan, have gone so far as to forbid him from playing there! However, he continues to be unafraid to express himself and be who he is. Everyone loves an activist who doesn’t pull any punches.
|Place of Birth||Beirut, Lebanon|
|First Professional Song||“Cavalry”, 2019, the first song he recorded in English|
|Most Successful Album||“lbn el leil”, 2017|
|Quote||“The first person I came out to was my girlfriend”|
|Top Hit||Queen of the fools|
Stephen Gately (RIP)
You probably had a soft spot for frontman Stephen Gately, whether or not you were a fan of the Irish boyband Boyzone. The tiny vocalist was seldom photographed without a smile on his face.
His shaggy middle section was very 90s, and all of his fans would swoon at his high angelic voice.
Given his manager’s advice to remain in the closet due to Ireland’s conservative views on LGBTQ+ persons, Gately made a brave decision in 1999 when he came out. Surprisingly, he had very little opposition.
The single “Better” was released by the band after their late 2000s reunion. In the music video for it, all of the boys can be seen dancing and having sex with their partners, including Stephen, who is spotted with another man. While on vacation in Spain in 2009, Gately tragically passed unexpectedly.
|Place of Birth||Sheriff Street|
|First Professional Song||“New Beginning”, released on June 10, 2000|
|Most Successful Album||“Brother”, released on March 5, 2010 in Ireland|
|Quote||“I got flowers and letters of support from Sir Elton John, George Micheal and The Spice Girls”|
|Top Hit||No Matter What|
The globe was split into two factions for the entirety of the 1990s. Backstreet Boys fans and NSYNC devotees! We both adore NSYNC, primarily due to our mutual passion for Justin Timberlake.
Our hearts were broken when the band disbanded in 2001, but we still have a soft spot for all of the members. That’s why it warmed our hearts, even more, when Lance Bass came out in an interview with People Magazine in 2006.
This disappointed many of his female admirers while exalting all of his gay ones, who were suddenly in with a shot. The Lance Bass Show is a podcast that Lance hosts today where he dissects all of the most recent Hollywood rumors and news.
|Place of Birth||Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America|
|First Professional Song||“Walking on Air“, 2014|
|Most Successful Album||“N Sync”, 1998|
|Quote||“You’ve got to have a sense of humour to keep your sanity”|
|Top Hit||Bye Bye Bye|
Markus Feehily was regarded as the quiet, reserved member of Westlife, another well-known Irish boy band. Despite his bandmates discussing their personal lives in group media interviews, he never spoke about his own. He didn’t dare to fully express himself until he came out in 2005.
He is the top performing LGBTQ+ artist on the UK charts with 15 number-one hits as a member of the band.
Markus has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in recent years, including his work to promote equal marriage in Ireland. In 2019, Markus and Cailean O’Neill got engaged. Later that year, the adorable couple revealed they were expecting a child through surrogacy.
|Place of Birth||Sligo, Ireland|
|First Professional Song||“Love is a Drug”, 2015|
|Most Successful Album||“Fire”, 2015|
|Quote||“I’m gay and I’m very proud of who I am. I’m not asking for any sympathy or to be a role model to anyone else”|
|Top Hit||Love Is a Drug|
Lambert first captured people’s attention during his appearances on American Idol thanks to his soaring vocals and commanding stage presence. He was notably well-liked by older women who flocked to him because of his dominant jawline and brow game.
He even once voiced his delighted astonishment at the attention he received from “cougars” all over the USA. His distinctive eyeliner and gelled black hair, which gave him a gender-neutral style, helped him become a queer icon, though.
He gained even more notoriety with appearances on Glee and RuPaul’s Drag Race, and his solo music has won accolades from all over the world.
The most astounding aspect of his performance is that he has toured the globe with Queen, singing lead. Only Adam Lambert could come close to filling in for the incomparable Freddie Mercury!
|Place of Birth||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America|
|First Professional Song||“A loaded smile”, 2009|
|Most Successful Album||“Trespassing”, 2011|
|Quote||“I’ve got nothin’ to hide. I am who I am”|
|Top Hit||Whataya Want from Me|
Steve Grand, an American lad, is one of the few gay country musicians. People constantly criticize hip-hop for lacking LGBTQ+ inclusion while ignoring the fact that country music suffers from the same problem!
He has played his music at several Pride events, and it deals with topics like romance and LGBTQ+ life.
Grand, a mashup of Bruce Springsteen and Shania Twain with sentimental lyrics and funky beats, is influenced by both artists.
|Place of Birth||Lemont, Illinois, United States of America|
|First Professional Song||“All American Boy”, 2013|
|Most Successful Album||“Not the End of Me”, July 6, 2018|
|Quote||“Control is as much an effort as a cause, and the idea that control is something you exert is a real handicap to progress”|
|Top Hit||All-American Boy|
Hip-hop was rocked with the release of Frank Ocean in 2012. An out hip hop artist is a major thing because hip hop music is regrettably infamous for its usage of homophobic lyrics.
All of that was altered by the ocean. Artists like Jay-Z and Kayne West praised Ocean for being so open about his identity, which led to the world falling in love with him.
Following the deadly nightclub incident in Orlando in 2016, Ocean has now spoken out against homophobia. In his open letter, he discussed how anti-gay prejudice runs in families and urged parents to be more careful about the morals they instill in their children.
|Place of Birth||Long Beach, California, United States of America|
|First Professional Song||“No Church in the Wild”, 2012|
|Most Successful Album||“Nostalgia”, 2011|
|Quote||“Work hard in silence. Let your success be the noise”|
|Top Hit||Moon River|
“In The Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith’s debut album from 2014, is entirely focused on a failed gay romance. We recall how enjoyable it was to hear a queer artist perform music that was less typically associated with LGBTQ+ artists – dance music – and more easy-listening or bluesy.
Sam wrote lyrics that were sincere and relatable, and that both gay people and straight people could identify with.
Smith announced in 2019 that they identify as non-binary and asked that they/them pronouns be used when referring to them. They were many people’s first exposure to a gender non-conforming individual on a significant platform, though hopefully, they won’t be the last.
Today, they offer far more positive aesthetics and music than they did in the past.
|Place of Birth||London, England|
|First Professional Song||“Lay Me Down”, 2013|
|Most Successful Album||“Lonely Hour”, May 2014|
|Quote||“I didn’t become successful until I became myself”|
|Top Hit||Stay With Me|
Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys)
We think about him constantly. When The Pet Shop Boys made their debut back in the 1980s, they immediately became popular with LGBTQ+ admirers. Not only were the two singers stunning, but they also had hit songs like “Go West” and “West End Girls.” the boys you wished to display as posters on your bedroom wall.
Particularly loved for his unruly hair and chiseled facial features were Neil Tennant. Since coming out in 1994, Neil has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
He advocated for equal marriage in the UK and pressured David Cameron’s administration to release Alan Turing, a scientist who was detained and imprisoned for being gay in 1952. A fantastic person in every way!
|Place of Birth||North Shields, United Kingdom|
|First Professional Song||“In a bad mood”, 1991|
|Most Successful Album||“The Crying Game”, 1992|
|Quote||” I didn’t want to wear a checked shirt and grow a moustache – that’s what you had to do and everyone did”|
|Top Hit||It’s A Sin|
Le1F (Khalif Diouf)
Le1F, a black LGBTQ+ hip-hop musician, has received praise from critics for confronting homophobia in the genre. While his music videos are homoerotic and audacious, his words are direct and honest. In “Wut,” one of his most well-known songs, the performer can be seen twerking while perched on the leg of a hot man without a shirt. He also takes pleasure in blending the masculine and feminine.
Le1F has talked about how liberating it feels to be acknowledged as an LGBTQ+ artist and his hope that other hip-hop artists would soon be outspoken about who they love.
|Place of Birth||New York City, U.S.|
|First Professional Song||“Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”, 2009|
|Most Successful Album||“Dark York”, April 2012|
|Quote||“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”|
Freddie had a magnetic allure that drew in millions of followers worldwide even though he wasn’t thought to be the most conventionally attractive man. His charismatic theatrical presence held the attention of the crowd to the point where no one could look away.
Anyone could fall in love with him because of his vocal range, which was superior to all others, and his capacity to make the listener feel the emotions he was singing about.
Offstage, Freddie presented a far more subdued and reserved image. Only his closest friends and family felt like they knew the real Freddie, so it was unexpected when he revealed to the public that he was suffering from AIDS.
One of the first well-known musicians to be linked to the illness, he made people aware of both its horrors and the glacial progress being made toward a treatment. Sadly, Freddie’s sickness led to his death in 1991.
|Place of Birth||Stone Town, Tanzania|
|First Professional Song||“Living on my Own”, 1985|
|Most Successful Album||“Mr Bad Guy”, 1985|
|Quote||“I won’t be a rockstar, I will be a legend”|
|Top Hit||Mr. Bad Guy|