Culture

The Greatest Gay Icons in Music  

Celebrity Lists
54.1k votes 6.9k voters 338.7k views 66 items

List of the Greatest Gay Icons in Music, ranked by fans. Gay icons come in all shapes and sizes. Some are fiercely bold divas, while others are openly gay and work to promote LGBT-centric issues, like gay rights and same-sex marriage. Gay music icons have had successful careers in rock, pop, disco and dance music. Several gay music icons have been making great music for decades.

Who is the most famous gay icon in music? Madonna? Elton John? Britney Spears was embraced by the gay community from the moment that she emerged as a pop star, but the "Toxic" singer didn't notice until her second tour. She told Advocate Magazine, "I began to realize there were a lot of gay people coming to the shows, and they were just having so much fun, laughing, and really enjoying themselves." Britney Spears is straight and has been married twice, although she famously shared a kiss with Madonna back in 2003. Other divas who are gay music icons include Lady Gaga and Barbra Streisand.

David Bowie was embraced by the gay community when he revealed his androgynous alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. Bowie told Playboy magazine in 1976 that he was bisexual, but he later declared that he was just a closet heterosexual. He is rumored to have had a sexual relationship with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Elton John is arguably the most popular gay musician in the world. He first came out as bisexual in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stoneand in 1988 he announced that he was comfortable being gay.

Have a favorite gay singer? Check out the list of icons below and vote up your favorites. You can also vote any down if you don't think they should be near the top. 

back to page 1
Prince is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
5
Prince embraced his androgyny and sexuality in a way that made it cool for others to follow suit. 

Age: Dec. at 57 (1958-2016)

Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

More Prince

#16 of 2171 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #20 of 1071 on The Best Singers of All Time featuring The Best Prince Songs of All Time The Best Prince Albums of All Time

Are they iconic?
see more on Prince
Cher is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: via Twitter
6

Cher has been a gay icon throughout her career, and her flamboyant style has been emulated by thousands of drag queens. She also starred as a lesbian in the film Silkwood, and she became even more involved with supporting gay rights after her son, Chaz, came out as transgender.

Age: 72

Birthplace: El Centro, California, United States of America

More Cher

#74 of 1071 on The Best Singers of All Time #37 of 1003 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever featuring Cher's Outfits Through the Years, Ranked The Best Cher Albums of All Time

Are they iconic?
see more on Cher
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
Madonna was going to gay bars from the time she was a teenager, and she was later named "The Greatest Gay Icon" by The Advocate.  She has fought for gay rights and same-sex marriage all over the world.  She says, "I wouldn't have a career if it weren't for the gay community."

Age: 60

Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan, United States of America

More Madonna

#64 of 468 on The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers #43 of 2171 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time featuring The Best Madonna Albums of All Time The Best Madonna Movies

Are they iconic?
see more on Madonna
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: via Imgur
Lady Gaga became a gay icon by promoting individuality and acceptance.  She would rather not be called a "gay icon" - instead, she prefers to be considered a "gay supporter." She currently has a boyfriend, but Gaga has stated that she is bisexual.

Age: 32

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

More Lady Gaga

#10 of 468 on The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers #29 of 1071 on The Best Singers of All Time featuring 14 Surprising Facts About Lady Gaga When She Was Just Stefani Germanotta The Best Lady Gaga Music Videos

Are they iconic?
see more on Lady Gaga