2018’s Best LGBTQ Artists

Hayley Kiyoko, Troye Sivan, LP + more!

BY: Georgia Davis

Musical artists this year embraced their sexuality — and it was sexy! Hayley Kiyoko produced a steamy bathroom makeout scene with a questioning woman in one of her music videos, and Christine and the Queens “rebranded” as Chris and discussed her pansexual identity. The year was revolutionary for LGBTQ artists, and those two were not alone. Here are the best queer artists who graced us with their talents in 2018:

Janelle Monáe
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the “Make Me Feel” singer spoke out about her pansexuality. Monáe first identified as bisexual. Then she told the magazine: “but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.” Monáe’s 2018 album Dirty Computer is up for Album of the Year at the upcoming Grammy awards, solidifying her as a dynamo singer who can bring in the fans.

Hayley Kiyoko
In a raw interview with Paper magazine in 2016, the now 27-year-old opened up about her liking women, thus bringing her song “Girls Like Girls” to fruition. Since then, Kiyoko has not struggled with connecting with the many listeners who want to hear about her personal and sexual endeavors. In her music video for “Curious,” which was released earlier this year, she sings about being with a sexually curious woman. The video features an extremely hot bathroom scene that you don’t want to miss.

Troye Sivan
Talk about big years. Sivan, who is an active member of the LGBTQ community, released his album Bloom earlier this year. Sivan reached commercial success three years ago with the debut of his album Blue Neighborhood in which he openly sings about his sexuality. Two years ago, Sivan released a trilogy of music videos about a boy and his boyfriend.

Laura Pergolizzi, known by her stage name LP, has been in the music industry for years. She has written for names like Rihanna and the Backstreet Boys. In 2017, she gained recognition for her own song “Lost On You,” which was about a long term relationship she had with an English woman. On Dec. 7, LP released her album Heart to Mouth, but she tells Newsweek she doesn’t make the music to be an inspiration to the LGBTQ community: “I’m not looking for anybody to be like me. I don’t give a fuck. I just want to feel free. If someone feels inspired by it, then fine.”

Christine and the Queens
Born Héloïse Letissier, French singer-songwriter Christine and the Queens rebranded herself as Chris earlier this year with the release of the album of the same name. Along with her androgynous look, Chris is openly pansexual, meaning she is not bound by gender or sexual identity.

Sam Smith
Though the singer released his acclaimed album The Thrill of it All in 2017, Smith still had a big year. The openly gay artist collaborated with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris on the hit “Promises.”

Adrianne Lenker
The lead singer of Big Thief released the album abysskiss in October. The singer-songwriter and talented guitarist often speaks and writes about gender as a whole. She touches on masculinity, femininity and how gender is also non-binary.

Kevin Abstract
As one-sixth of the group BROCKHAMPTON, Abstract often speaks about what it’s like to be a young, black gay man in America. And as you might suspect, it’s not easy. But in an interview with Shortlist to promote the band’s album Iridescence, the frontman said this: “I don’t want to be a queer icon; I want to be an icon.”