Culture

The Greatest Gay Icons in Music 

Celebrity Lists
Updated June 14, 2019 62.7k votes 7.7k voters 360.9k views 65 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. 

Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY
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: Dec. at 45 (1946-1991)

Birthplace: Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania

Are they iconic?

More Freddie Mercury 

All About Mary Austin, The Love Of Freddie Mercury's Life #1 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #897 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

Elton John is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY
Elton John is arguably the most popular gay musician in the world. He first came out as a bisexual in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, and in 1988, he announced that he was comfortable being gay. John has been in a relationship with David Furnish since 1993, and the couple has two children together.

Age: 71

Birthplace: Pinner, London, United Kingdom

Are they iconic?

More Elton John 

The Best Elton John Albums of All Time #4 of 311 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #94 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

RuPaul is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY
3
Drag queen/actor/musician RuPaul has been a beacon of empowerment since she first emerged in the music industry with the hit "Supermodel (You Better Work)." RuPaul has since dedicated her life to promoting LGBT causes.

Age: 58

Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States of America

Are they iconic?

More RuPaul 

The Greatest Drag Race Contestants of All Time, Ranked #1,704 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #123 of 262 Celebrities Who Should Run for President

David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Gay Icons in Music
Photo: Metaweb/GNU Free Documentation License
David Bowie was embraced by the gay community when he revealed his androgynous alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. In 1976, Bowie told Playboy magazine 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. Bowie has been married to supermodel Iman since 1992.

Age: 72

Birthplace: Brixton, Eurasia, South London, United Kingdom, London, + more

Are they iconic?

More David Bowie 

The Best David Bowie Songs of All Time #6 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #83 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time