Dear Gay People,
It is time someone started a serious discussion on which diva should be crowned as the next female gay icon! Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand were some of music’s first gay icons. They were followed by Donna Summer and Cher who ruled the 1970s and 1980s respectively. The 1990s saw the rise of numerous divas ranging from Madonna and Mariah to Whitney and Janet. Then came the new millenium which brought with it a new crop of female gay icons in the form of Britney, Christina and Beyonce.
Now that it is 2015 and we are midway through the 2010s, it is time to take a look at the popstars dominating the current media landscape.
In no particular order, we present to you our assessment of 10 of todays biggest female singers to see who has what it takes to achieve gay icon status!
1. Taylor Swift
Currently the world’s biggest pop star, Taylor Swift has many traits that might endure her to the gay community. Just like one of the greatest gay icons Madonna, Taylor Swift is a rebel in her own right. She has refused to play by the rules and her decision to pull her music from Spotify and YouTube is evidence of that. In addition, she has broken up with so many men over the years and since all gay couples seem to do nowadays is break up, her lack of luck with love makes her very relatable to the gay community.
However, there is just something too white, too straight and too privileged about Taylor Swift that makes it unlikely for her to become a gay icon.
2. Lady Gaga
Despite only hitting the big time 7 years ago, Lady Gaga has already established herself as a highly revered gay icon. In fact she even made it to our list of the top 10 female gay icons of all time recently!
Although her star power has waned in recent years, her gay following remains intact and just like all the great divas before her, we are sure Lady Gaga will be able to pull off a spectacular comeback soon!
3. Ariana Grande
In an industry currently filled with feeble voiced popstars, Ariana Grande stands out exceptionally since she can pretty much sing circles around most of her peers. And if there is one thing gay men love, it’s a woman with a big voice!
Unfortunately for Ariana, her frequent comparison to Mariah seems to be doing her more harm than good. Mariah’s fans are constantly ridiculing Ariana for being a second-rate Mariah. And since Mariah commands such a huge gay fan base, it is unlikely that her legion of gay lambs will endorse Ariana anytime soon since Mariah herself seems to detest Ariana.
4. Katy Perry
Katy Perry tried very hard to appeal to the gay community with songs like ‘I kissed a girl’, ‘Ur so gay’ and ‘Firework’ and judging from the immense success she has enjoyed since her debut, it seems like her strategy paid off nicely. Her failed romance with bad boy Russel Brand and her penchant for rainbows and unicorns probably explains why she has a sizeable gay fan base.
However, she has been constantly labelled a fake advocate and criticised for using the gay community for her own personal agenda. Nevertheless, the fact that her songs are frequently played at gay bars and that her concerts are filled with gay men makes it likely that the gay community will eventually come to embrace her as one of their own.
5. Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea is arguably the biggest outcast in music today. Her whiteness, priviledged Australian background and inexplicable success has turned her into an outcast in her own genre. Just like many gay men, Iggy is often bullied by obnoxious heterosexual men (Snoop Dogg, Eminem etc). Her ostracism from the hip-hop community could thus help gay men relate to her.
However, her past homophobic comments have destroyed any chance of her attaining gay icon status. Furthermore, her style of music is unlikely to attract much gay fans.
Adele isn’t a party girl like Ke$ha, nor is she skinny like Britney or bootylicious like Beyonce. She doesn’t date hot Hollywood men and nor is she beautiful in a conventional way. And yet, against all odds, Adele has risen to become one of the biggest popstars of the decade.
In fact, her haunting melodies, powerful voice and ability to overcome all odds to reach the top has already earned her brownie points from the gay community. Her beautiful ballad ‘Set fire to the rain’ is already highly regarded as a gay anthem due to its tragic message of loss and longing. In fact, Adele was even voted the Pop Artist of the Year by the listeners of a gay radio station! If Adele continues to achieve phenomenal success with her subsequent albums, it is pretty much inevitable that she will achieve gay icon status.
7. Miley Cyrus
This pop star has come a very long way since her Disney days. Currently branding herself as the lesbian version of Britney with her provocative image and short hair, Miley is also an outspoken advocate for gay rights.
However, Miley doesn’t possess the likeability of Britney and so it remains to be seen whether she can clearly establish herself as a gay icon in time to come.
Rihanna is responsible for some of the decade’s biggest dance anthems and we all know how much gay men love their dance music. Fiercely unapologetic, Rihanna embodies the sassy diva persona that gay men have come to love.
However, Rihanna may come across as slightly too ghetto to attract a large gay fan base. Furthermore, the fans of gay icon Beyonce seem to all detest Rihanna so that doesn’t bode well either.
Nevertheless, Rihanna does still possess some potential for gay icon status and if her reign at the top of the charts continues, she might just make it after all.
One of the most talented singers of today, Sia has enjoyed relationships with both men and women.
However, the fact that she keeps hiding her face in a paper bag is unlikely to endear her much to gay men.
10. Lana Del Ray
Gay icons were traditionally tragic figures and Lana Del Ray is arguably the most tragic figure in pop culture today. Her songs are generally about longing and loss and she is frequently talking about death and depression in her interviews. Her song ‘Summertime sadness’ is also perpetually played in pretty much all the gay clubs regardless of the season.
However, Lana Del Ray is constantly criticised for being fake and carefully crafting her tragic image as a marketing strategy so that might work against her.
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