Music speaks to us, and often becomes our voice and source of empowerment. Here are the top ten songs from L Style G Style’s playlist that have inspired our community, encouraged our community, or just simply made us feel good over the years!
10. Supermodel (You Better Work) – Ru Paul 1992
You better work… because Ru Paul said so in his 1992 dance hit, Supermodel (You Better Work). This uptempo track climbed its way to #2 on the US dance charts, dubbing the single as Ru Paul’s most successful. LGBT audiences flocked to the dance club anthem in the 90’s and a lot of the single’s mainstream success can be credited to Ru Paul’s stunning drag queen image, popular amongst the LGBT community. Now, over two decades later, this dance track still has the power to make us all work. Sashay! Shantay!
9. Dontcha – The Internet 2013
The Internet has been the talk of the LGBT music community lately, namely because the lead vocalist is out and proud Syd tha Kyd. Her voice lends a sultry-soulful feel and most importantly, her and her band’s new-found dominance in the music industry is ground breaking (because it’s always awesome to see LGBT musicians soaking in the spotlight). Dontcha is for sure a feel good song, documenting Syd’s encounter with a woman she wants to get to know more, away from the dance floor. If you haven’t heard this one, it’s perfect for a ride through the city with the windows down, or a summer Friday night over cocktails and light and easy conversation.
8. Brave – Sara Bareilles 2013
When Brave was first written, it was meant to be fun and lively, nothing more and nothing less. But it began to take on a more personal meaning for singer/songwriter, Sara Bareilles, after witnessing a close friend’s struggle with coming out. And just like that, the song adopted an inspirational and supportive role in the LGBT community. Through her music, Bareilles was able to extend her support as an ally to our community and she has been representing her beliefs regarding equality very well. This song makes the top ten list simply because it lends our community the courage to be brave and be ourselves!
7. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls 1982
We’re all guilty of belting our hearts out to this one, with a little sass and class, of course. In 1982, The Weather Girls made a pit stop at the top of the disco charts with their classic dance anthem, It’s Raining Men. This song, like the others on our list, was quickly popularized due to its swift induction into the gay community’s basket of anthems (for obvious reasons). Barbara Streisand, Diana Ross, and Donna Summers were all offered this song and turned it down, but the good news is, it eventually fell into the right hands. Now, the song’s making its way to our LGBT playlist.
6. Born This Way – Lady Gaga 2011
Nobody knows how to make a statement like Lady Gaga can. She definitely did so in her 2011 single, Born This Way, encouraging self-empowerment amongst minorities groups, including the LGBT community. The song drew its inspiration from classics – 1990’s music that was created to empower women and the LGBT community. The song not only stormed its way into the club scene, but it also delivered a message of fostering a more accepting society and encouraging listeners to embrace their identifies. Not too long after the song was released, Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanatto, started the Born This Way Foundation, continuing the mission to foster acceptance in our communities, especially involving youth and minorities in the LGBT community.
5. True Colors – Cyndi Lauper 1986
Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors resonated with many when it first came out. True Colors is known as a song of acceptance, and has been a long-running anthem for the LGBT community, especially regarding the equality movement. An avid supporter of the LGBT community, Lauper eventually went on to become co-founder of the True Colors Fund, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and bringing an end to LGBT youth homelessness.
4. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor 1978
While this song is about a woman moving on after a bad break up, fans of the popular disco hit see this top-charter as one that can conform to many meanings. For anyone who has had to overcome any obstacles in life or has had to face difficult situations and survive past them, I Will Survive has been the go-to anthem. For many in the LGBT community, this song has been the source for encouragement and has uplifted many spirits, which is why it has made its way to our top ten list!
3. Vogue – Madonna 1990
Vogue dancing is the sleek and stylish child of the gay community, birthed in House Balls where gay dancers would wow the crowd with jaw dropping, intricate body movements and model-like poses. It wasn’t long before the dance craze impressed Madonna – so much that she released the popular 90’s single in honor of it. Inspired by the House of Xtranvaganza and others familiar with the New York Ballroom scene, Madonna set out to make a hit that would pay homage to the dance’s roots – the LGBT community. Believe me, every time you hear this House hit, you’ll want to strike a pose!
2. Same Love – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert 2012
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Same Love did more than pack a powerful message, but most importantly, proved that there can be progression and acceptance in the Hip-Hop community. The song was produced during the Washington Referendum 74 campaign (which ultimately legalized same-sex marriage in Washington State after its 2012 approval), highlighting Macklemore’s progressive stance on LGBT rights as well as displaying his ongoing support. While the song touches on the not-so-pretty issues surrounding LGBT rights, it has become known as a beautiful, empowering testament that reflects the heartfelt support of allies of our community. This uplifting hit definitely deserves its place on our LGBT playlist.
1. I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross 1980
What other song could stand as the #1 LGBT anthem decade after decade? None other than the one song we all sing along to within moments of hearing the familiar tune. Ms. Ross’ 1980 hit, I’m Coming Out, was inspired by a visit to a New York City gay bar, where co-writer Nile Rodgers would often hang out in search of fresh musical talents. Upon seeing many drag queens emulate Ross’ style, Rodgers decided that it was time to write a song that would speak specifically to the LGBT community that had embraced Diana Ross and her music. And while it’s said that Ross’ was a little suspicious about the content and whether or not it would prove to be successful, the single became a hit and seemingly, an everlasting anthem among the LGBT community.