As June is both African-American Music Appreciation Month and Pride Month, and today is the anniversary of the beginning of the landmark Stonewall Riots marking the unofficial launch of the gay rights movement, Good Black News today brings you a musical playlist celebrating some of the Black LGBT musical pioneers of the contemporary music era.
One year ago during Pride Month, in the middle of the song’s #1 run on the charts, Lil Nas X revealed himself to be gay and joined what has become a burgeoning scene of LGBTQ artists among the Gen Z crowd, many of them African-American.
So in today’s playlist, we are celebrating 15 significant, pioneering LGBT artists who got their starts between the late 1950s (when the contemporary pop/rock music era began) and the end of the 20th century.
We present the artists in roughly chronological order of their career prominence, and feature five songs from each – trying to include early work, a big hit or two and something recent if they are still making music.
Johnny Mathis – On the opposite end of the musical spectrum from Little Richard lies the smooth romantic vocals of Johnny Mathis, one of the most successful recording artists of all time, with over 70 albums hitting the Billboard charts between the late 1950s and his most recent release in 2017 (on which he covers Pharrell Williams, Adele, Keith Urban and R. Kelly, among others).