LGBT The Greatest Gay Icons in Music  

Celebrity Lists
20.2k votes 1.9k voters 169.3k views 67 items Embed

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.

What do you think qualifies someone as a gay icon? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
1
651 505

Madonna


Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: via Tumblr
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: 58

Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan, United States of America

Profession: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more

Credits: Madonna: Truth or Dare, Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, Evita

Also Ranked

#34 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#50 on The Best Singers of All Time

#21 on The Best Current Female Singers

#24 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

see more on Madonna
2
503 376

Freddie Mercury


Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: via Reddit
Freddie Mercury may not have spoken publicly about his sexual orientation, but many people believe that he was openly gay. He was the lead singer of Queen (a slang term for gay), and he was a powerful icon in the gay community. He died of complications with AIDS in 1991. 

Age: Died at 45 (1946-1991)

Birthplace: Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania

Profession: Record producer, Pianist, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer, + more

Credits: Metropolis, Ted, Shaun of the Dead, Moulin Rouge!

Also Ranked

#1 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#1 on The Best Singers of All Time

#1 on The Best Frontmen in Rock

#1 on The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

see more on Freddie Mercury
3
498 377

Cher


Cher is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: via Twitter
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 daughter Chastity came out as a lesbian and decided to make the transition to becoming a man.

Age: 70

Birthplace: El Centro, California, United States of America

Profession: Fashion designer, Record producer, Songwriter, Film Producer, Actor, + more

Credits: Mask, Moonstruck, Burlesque, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour

Also Ranked

#83 on The Best Singers of All Time

#90 on The Best Current Female Singers

#31 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#3 on The Most Iconic Celebrity First Names

see more on Cher
4
502 399

Lady Gaga


Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 4 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: 31

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

Profession: Fashion designer, Record producer, Businessperson, Singer-songwriter, Actor, + more

Credits: Lady Gaga Presents: The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden, Machete Kills, Lady Gaga: Paparazzi

Also Ranked

#81 on The Best Singers of All Time

#3 on The Best Current Female Singers

#29 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#36 on The Female Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

see more on Lady Gaga