Tylt Recs: Ultimate pride anthems by LGBTQ+ artists of this era
Pride Month has ended, but we still have our pride. During the month, we’ve celebrated LGBTQ+ artists who have made an impact in mainstream music, repped the LGBTQ+ communities, ascended to gay icon status and, hence, gave us some of the greatest pride anthems of this era!
We've featured some of the most revered anthems by LGBTQ+ artists of this era in a bracket. Thanks to you all, we have a winner and ranking based on how you voted, in order from the bottom spot to the top. Check out our user-voted ranking below for “Ultimate Pride Anthem by a Mainstream LGBTQ+ Artist of this Era” title.
16. Tove Lo’s ‘Disco Tits’
Bisexual pop star Tove Lo sung it best on “Disco Tits.” “No, I don't, I don't have a type, take a hit. Come on over tonight, take a hit.” The bop is all about being ready to live in the moment with…whomever. While this bop is beloved within the gay community, it unfortunately places at no. 16! “Disco Tits” only got 26 percent of the vote against Troye Sivan’s “Bloom” in the first round. Ugh! Still, take a listen via Spotify, but just be prepared to dance!
15. Miley Cyrus’ ‘Bang Me Box’
Miley Cyrus came out as pansexual in 2015 and dropped “Bang Me Box,” which is explicitly about lesbian sex, on her album “Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz.” The sexually explicit song only places at no. 15 on this list with 32 percent of the vote against Janelle Monáe’s “Pynk” in the first round. But you know you’re curious about this one, so go take a listen via Spotify.
14. Years & Years’ ‘Sanctify’
Frontman Olly Alexander of Years & Years is openly gay and declares “Sanctify” to be about religion and Britney Spears, but the song really has a deeper meaning by positively proclaiming that queer sex is an act of sanctity and not a sin. This bop places in at no. 14, but at least garnered 41 percent of the vote against Kim Petras’ “Malibu” in round one. Take a listen via Spotify right now.
13. Adam Lambert’s ‘Superpower’
Adam Lambert is an out and proud rocker. His queer anthem “Superpower” is all about being yourself and taking back your power. This what I call an anthem! Unfortunately, this self-declarative bop places in at no. 13, gaining 43 percent of the vote against Lil Nas X’s “C7osure (You Like)” in the first round. Still, if you need some dance-rock and motivation in your life, take a listen via Spotify.
12. Frank Ocean’s ‘Forrest Gump’
Frank Ocean came out as bisexual in a Tumblr post in 2012, expressing his love for another man and his first, true love. His coming out became a groundbreaking moment in the hip-hop and R&B musical space. Furthermore, he expresses his same-sex love on “Forrest Gump,” which references the 1994 movie and is told via the perspective of Gump’s love interest, Jenny—creating a double meaning for the iconic, smooth bop. It was a close race, but Frank’s “Forrest Gump” lost against Sam Smith’s “HIM” with 45 percent of the vote in round one. So, this iconic fan-favorite is definitely still worth a listen. Go to Spotify now.
11. Kehlani’s ‘Honey’
Kehlani identifies as pansexual and also does not hide her queerness in her music. “Honey” is all how Kehlani likes her women, singing, “I like my girls just like I like my honey; sweet.” “Honey” and its remix are such bops! Even though, this R&B superstar lost against Halsey, Lauren Jauregui’s “Strangers” with 46 percent of the vote in round one, check it out via Spotify.
10. Panic! At the Disco’s ‘Girls / Girls /Boys’
Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie identifies as pansexual. And the pop-punk band’s “Girls/Girls/Boys” is all about the exploration of bisexuality, just like the lyrics say, “Girls love girls and boys (Sophisticated, manipulated)[…]But girls love girls and boys, and love is not a choice.” This anthem scored a little over 46 percent of the vote against Hayley Kiyoko’s “Girls Like Girls.” So because this face-off was so close, take a listen via Spotify.
9. Todrick Hall’s ‘Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels’
Mother Ru is clearly an influence on entertainer Todrick Hall, who makes pride bops in his own right. “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” is a declaration of being “THAT B————” for the gurls, honey! So it only makes sense that Todrick lost against LGBTQ+ pioneer RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk” in a tight race—coming in with 46 percent of the final vote in the first round. There’s no denying “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” bops though. So listen via Spotify.
8. Lil Nas X’s ‘C7osure (You Like)’
Lil Nas X’s “C7osure (You Like)” is all about pushing forward regardless of fear, and according to him, if you also listen carefully to the lyrics, he declares his gayness. The pop superstar came out as gay on World Pride Day in 2019. While the hit dominated the first round, it only gained 34 percent of the vote against Hayley Kiyoko’s “Girls Like Girls” in the second round. But still check it out via Spotify.
7. Kim Petras' 'Malibu'
Kim Petras made her empowering declaration and breakthrough with "I Don't Want It at All.” But she really came through in time for summer 2020 with “Malibu.” While the lyrics compare a lover’s kisses to Malibu, the song is already being adopted as a pride anthem, and the music video features an array of queer and transgender stars. While “Malibu” only scored 33 percent of the vote against RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk” in the second round, it got more votes than Lil Nas X’s “C7osure (You Like)” in the first round, meaning this song ranks just one spot higher. So check it out via Spotify.
6. Halsey, Lauren Jauregui’s ‘Strangers’
Halsey and Lauren Jauregui both identify as bisexual and teamed up for an anthem about two women who meet and instantly fall in love—”Strangers.” While “Strangers” rocked the first round, in the second round the bop lost with 45 percent of the vote against Sam Smith’s “HIM.” Still, worth listening to the dance bop via Spotify.
5. Janelle Monáe’s ‘Pynk'
Janelle Monáe gave us a Black feminist and queer declaration of an album with “Dirty Computer,” exclaiming her sexuality as pansexual. “Pynk” is both a feminist and queer anthem, proclaiming vaginal power. But it’s not the only anthem that recently explored sex and sexuality. Dang! What a tight race against Troye Sivan’s “Bloom” in the second round, but “Pynk” lost with 48 percent of the vote. “Pynk” is clearly still a worthy anthem. So go listen to it!
4. Sam Smith’s “HIM”
Sam Smith came out as nonbinary in 2019, and uses they/them/theirs pronouns. While “Stay with Me” was revered as a pride anthem for highlighting the looniness of being a queer and actually wanting a one-night-stand to stay, it was their ballad and sophomore album’s gem “HIM” that centers around the struggles of coming out and being queer in love. “HIM” is a tearjerker of a ballad, which made it to the top four. Unfortunately for fans, the ballad lost to Hayley Kiyoko's “Girls Like Girls” in the semi-final with 29 percent of the vote. Still, it’s clearly a ballad worthy of your time, so take a listen via Spotify.
3. Troye Sivan’s ‘Bloom’
Troye Sivan’s “Bloom” definitely has its sexual undertones and is revered as a “bop for bottoming.” While Troye’s fans really did show up for him here, this bop places in at no. 3 after a tough race between RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk,” scoring 44 percent of the vote in the semi-final. Check out “Bloom” via Spotify.
2. Hayley Kiyoko's 'Girls Like Girls’
Hayley Kiyoko had sung it best with “girls like girls, like boys do, nothing new.” “Girls Like Girls” is about a girl attracted to girls with boyfriends, while also empowering and normalizing lesbian attraction. “Girls Like Girls” really slayed the competition throughout the bracket, but came up short in the end, losing with 41 percent of the vote in the final. Still, this bop holds so much significance…clearly. So go check out our runner-up via Spotify.
1. RuPaul's 'Sissy That Walk’
And the winner is…
The World’s Most Famous Drag Queen!
Glamazon RuPaul reached a new peak with the hit “Supermodel (You Better Work)” in the ’90s, and instantly became a gay icon. But Mother Ru’s pride anthem “Sissy That Walk” proves he has longevity as a pop icon, as well. In the end, RuPaul snatched the crown with 59 percent of the vote in the final! Only fitting for a queen to wear this crown! Take a listen here via Spotify.
Review the ranking below!
Check out this episode of Fiercely Fandom with Deron. where host Deron Dalton and special guest—rising music star and entertainer Jayse Vegas—kiki about their favorite gay anthems and revered gay icons. This dynamic duo also discuss the ranking of the ultimate pride anthems by mainstream LGBTQ+ artists of this era! And also, Deron interviews Jayse about what is "the gay agenda"!