Are you starting to get bored by your own Spotify playlists or are you struggling to find some new music? Well, in that case, you’ve come to the right place. Everyone loves listening to music. It’s a way to escape your everyday life or a way to spice it up. Who doesn’t love walking down the street pretending you’re in a movie while music plays through your headphones?
However, as a lesbian, I can’t always recognize myself in songs, which is why I love listening to lesbian artists. Their wlw songs are relatable in a way that other songs are just not. Listening to a lesbian musician sharing her own experiences with other women just hits on another level. Besides that, it always feels good to be seen and recognized.
This list exists 20 queer female and lesbian singers, but I assure you there are many more and this list could go on forever (lucky us, we live in exciting times!).
Lesbian Artists You Should Listen To
- Hayley Kiyoko
Perhaps one of the most famous lesbian singers at the moment is Hayley Kiyoko. I mean, who doesn’t know Lesbian Jesus? If you don’t, that’s totally fine. I’m just revoking your gay card. I’m only kidding, don’t worry. You might actually know her from the film Lemonade Mouth (2011) instead.
Hayley has been singing and acting from a very young age. She was discovered when she was five, which coincidentally was around the same time she found out she likes girls. Hayley found out she was a lesbian when she was only six years old.
Her music is mostly focused on her personal story and the emotions that she’s experienced while coming to terms with her sexuality. This lesbian musician also wants to normalize lesbian relationships in a music industry that is still very heteronormative.
Kehlani’s career started as a member of the teen pop band PopLyfe when she was only 14 years old. Some of you have probably seen her in the sixth season of America’s Got Talent where the group finished in fourth place. In the next years, she was essentially homeless and went through a rough time. She stole iPhones to sell to get by. Her life got completely turned around when she dropped her first solo track on SoundCloud named “ANTISUMMERLUV”. Nick Cannon bought her an apartment in Los Angeles and studio time.
In 2017, Kehlani dropped “Honey“, a song about being in a relationship with another woman, after she came out as queer. Kehlani says her art mimics her life, which is why it only makes sense for her to also sing about these topics.
In 2018, Kehlani felt like she had to come out again as queer in a series of tweets because her sexuality was put on the spot after she made out onstage with Demi Lovato.
- Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge is definitely the oldest famous lesbian singer on this list. She might be a lesbian musician more for the older generations, but what’s a list about lesbian artists without her on it?
Melissa’s career started in the late 1980s, playing pop-based folk-rock in lesbian bars in LA. Naturally, because of this, there were rumors about her sexuality from the start. So in 1993, Melissa decided to come out. Back then there was still so much taboo around homosexuality, but she stood her ground and also became a big LGBTQ+ activist in the following years.
In 2011, she got a well-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Today, Melissa is 59 years old and still makes music. By being so open about her sexuality from very early on in her career, she definitely paved the way for a lot of gay female singers today.
“I’m the Only One” was on her album that was released the same year as she came out.
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- girl in red
Marie Ulven, or better known as girl in red, is a Norwegian indie-pop singer-songwriter. She started writing songs and playing the guitar when she was 14 years old. All of this happened in her bedroom, which she still does today.
Her first song “I wanna be your girlfriend”, that came out in 2016, immediately gave away that she’s a lesbian music artist and she doesn’t shy away from this at all. She is mostly known among young teenage lesbians, who can very much relate to her songs about mental health and loving girls.
In 2019, she was named a queer icon by Paper Magazine, which, personally, makes me really excited about her future. Recently, some of her songs have gained more popularity because they’re being used on TikTok.
My personal favorite gayest song of girl in red is “girls“.
- Brandy Clark
One genre of music that generally isn’t seen as something of queer people is definitely country music. This genre of music is about telling stories of ordinary people and that feeling of coming home, which isn’t something that all of us can feel connected to. However, there are quite some lesbian country singers out there.
Brandy Clark is a lesbian country singer, who is actually a very well-respected gay female country singer among the country music fans. Before releasing her own album, she wrote many hit songs for people like Kacey Musgraves and Sheryl Crow. Her own songs are about home, small towns, and heartbreak.
Brandy has always been an out lesbian. And if anyone was surprised by the amount of love and support she received from the country music community, it was the lesbian artist herself.
You can listen to her song “Love Can Go To Hell” from her Grammy-nominated album Big Day in a Small Town here.
- Young M.A
Katorah Marrero, better known as Young M.A, is a rapper and entrepreneur. The M.A in her name stands for Me Always. From the start of her career in 2012, Young M.A has been open about her sexuality and being one of not many black lesbian music artists. However, in 2019 she decided to no longer self-identify as a lesbian and stated that she doesn’t do labels, although she wouldn’t date men.
Young M.A raps about many of the same topics as the men in her industry do, such as sexuality, wealth, and violence. She also thinks that her music shouldn’t just be about her sexuality, but about bringing people closer together.
Besides rapping, she keeps being busy with other things too. In 2018, she directed her first lesbian porn film called The Gift. She is also the founder of the KWEENZ foundation, which helps people in East New York overcome trauma and grief that come with the loss of a loved one.
Her most popular song with more than 210 million streams on Spotify is called “OOOUUU”.
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- King Princess
King Princess, whose real name is Mikaela Mullaney Straus, rose to fame not so long ago. The 21-year-old was offered a contract at a music label at the age of 11, but she didn’t want to sign until she had a definition of her music.
In 2018, she found that definition, which is when the lesbian singer released her song “1950”, which is a tribute to the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, the LGBTQ+ community, and to queer love. Her song reached a wider audience when Harry Styles tweeted a lyric from the song.
King Princess doesn’t want her music to be placed in the “queer pop” box. Instead, she wants her lesbian music to be held to the same standard as straight artists, even when she sings about queer relationships.
Her gayest song is probably “Pussy is God”.
Fletcher was born as Cari Elise Fletcher and she began taking vocal lessons at the age of five. As an independent artist, she was added to Spotify in 2016, which catapulted her career into a success.
In 2018, she dropped the independent artist label and signed with Capitol Records. Her music video for “Wasted Youth”, which came out in 2017, got people talking about her sexuality. In the music video, she is seen hanging around on a night out with Shannon Beveridge. Shannon was Fletcher’s girlfriend, but they broke up in 2020. Straight people have said the relationship between the two women in the video is never defined, even though the two kiss. Newsflash: they’re not just gal pals.
Fletcher has said in interviews that she doesn’t label herself. She definitely identifies herself within the LGBTQ+ community, but she thinks that sexuality is a spectrum. And she feels more comfortable saying she loves who she feels like loving and who she’s attracted to.
Go listen and watch ”Wasted Youth” yourself!
- Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara are a Canadian indie pop lesbian band consisting of, surprisingly, Tegan and Sara. They are twins and both identify as lesbian.
They’ve been around for a while but I think it’s important to mention them because they’ve always been out as lesbian music artists ever since their career started, which was back in 1998. This was a few years after Melissa Etheridge came out, but homosexuality was still very taboo and not widely accepted. However, Tegan and Sara never shied away from their sexuality in their songs.
Their debut album already had songs written about what’s it’s like to be lesbians. In 2016, the two founded the Tegan and Sara Foundation that funds projects for queer women and girls, such as LGBTQ+ summer camps and counseling services for indigenous youth.
A song that many will probably recognize from the new series of The L Word is “Closer”. This is one of the lesbian bands you should definitely listen to!
PVRIS is an American rock band, whose lead vocalist is Lynn Gunn, who’s a lesbian. This lesbian band, or well lesbian fronted band, was started in 2013. The band has been described as many musical genres, such as alternative rock with electro-pop, post-hardcore, psychedelic, EDM, and synth-pop.
Lynn is a very visible lesbian rock artist. She came out to her parents when she was 18 by leaving a letter under her mom’s pillow right before she went on tour. From that point on, the gay female singer has always been vocal about her sexuality in the media. She said that she never had anyone to look up to herself and she wants to be that person for other people.
One of their most popular songs is “You and I”.
- Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe is a singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, and producer. She started her career back in 2005 when she appeared on the Purple Ribbon All-Stars album, as well as OutKast’s album Idlewild. Since then she has produced multiple albums and has acted in a long list of film and tv shows.
In 2011, she initiated rumors about her sexuality when in an interview she stated she only dates androids. The android was a reference to her musical alter-ego. She also added that she would talk about her own sexuality in due time.
That time came in 2018 when she came out as queer, bisexual, and pansexual in an interview. Although she also feels like she doesn’t need to label herself. Janelle has also said that she never felt the need to come out but wanted to for her fans who were struggling.
The song that was released a few months before she came out was “Make Me Feel”.
Muna is a queer girl band of three women: Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPerson. The three met while studying at USC in Los Angeles and they started working together in 2013. With their electronic pop songs, they discuss complex topics, such as self-worth, female identity, heartbreak, and rejection.
Their lyrics are often very relatable for many gay women. After their band got branded as a queer girl band, the three realized that by owning that idea, they could actually use their music to help inspire younger people to be comfortable with their identities. They fill the gap for many teenagers who feel like they’re lacking representation in music.
One of their songs you should have definitely listened to is “I Know a Place”.
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Dorothy Miranda Clark, who is better known as Dodie, is a singer-songwriter from England who started her career on YouTube. At the moment, she has over 1.9 million subscribers. She started her career by singing covers, supporting herself by playing on the piano or ukulele. Later, she also started posting her own songs.
In 2016, she self-released her first own album. This was also the year that she came out as bisexual by posting a video on her YouTube channel. In the following year, she released a bisexual coming out for song pride month. Her songs are mostly known for their light melodies, while she sings very emotionally complex lyrics.
Listen to her bisexual coming out song!
- 070 Shake
Daniella Balbuena, who is better known as her stage name 070 Shake, is an American hip hop recording artist from New Jersey. She started her career in 2015 when she became part of the musical collective 070.
In 2018, she gained attention for her guest appearances on two of Kanye West’s songs. Most of her own songs focus on drugs, self-esteem issues, and sexuality. In her lyrics, 070shake has always used female pronouns when describing her lovers, which made people believe she’s a lesbian artist. However, in 2018 she said that she doesn’t really label herself as anything. She said: “I just like girls.”
Listen to “Guilty Conscience” from her debut studio album Modus Vivendi.
- The xx
The xx is another band that has a lesbian frontwoman. The indie-pop band from England has been making music since 2005 but had their big breakthrough in 2009 when they released their debut album.
The band is mostly known their distinct and minimalist sound that blends multiple genres of music. Romy Madley Croft, the lesbian lead singer, has slowly learned to talk about her sexuality.
In 2010, she came out as a lesbian when she did a joint interview with her girlfriend Rachel. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that she brought it up again. She said it’s not something she really talks about, but she also doesn’t want to hide it. She just doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it.
One of my personal favorite songs is “Islands”.
Clairo is an American singer-songwriter. At the age of 13, she taught herself guitar through internet tutorials and started recording covers. Many of the people around her told her a career in music wasn’t very likely, which is why in the first place she didn’t consider it as a way to make a living.
In 2017, the video for her song “Pretty Girl” went viral on YouTube, which led to multiple record labels offering her a contract. Her music is very lo-fi electropop.
In her songs, she sings for women, about women and her gay experience. She wants all of this to be celebrated. Clairo came out as bisexual on Twitter in 2018. She said her new friends in college who were openly gay helped her come out because she was inspired by their confidence.
Lionstorm is a Dutch queer/lesbian hip hop duo consisting out of Gale Rama and Sterresoet van Schooten. The two not only make music together, but they are also in a relationship, and they make art. They felt that there is still a lack of lesbian artists, and especially lesbian rappers, which is why they started making music themselves.
Their first single “No H8ro” was released in the Summer of 2019. With the song, they want to make it clear to their audience that they are not straight.
In their songs, they often rap about pop culture and its representation of queerness. The two want to be just as explicit about having sex with women and loving women the same way their male counterparts always do.
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- Beatrice Eli
Beatrice Eli is a Swedish lesbian musician. Ever since she was a child she was interested in music, she loved to express herself through dancing on music. Beatrice was raised by very strict religious parents who had something completely different in mind for her. However, they do accept her for who she is now.
In 2012, she released her first single “The Conqueror”. With her haunting pop beats, she sings about her feelings and about topics such as girls, drugs, and sex. In 2015, she said she prefers the term lesbian over gay.
She doesn’t want everyone to just focus on her sexuality though. But if she as a lesbian artist can give other people some comfort, pride, or power with her songs she does not mind at all.
Make sure to listen to her very gay song ”Girls”.
Alexandra Lilah Denton, or better known as Shura, is a British singer, songwriter, and record producer. She began playing the guitar when she was 13 years old and starting recording music when she was only 16. She released her first single “Touch” in 2014.
Her music is mostly focused within the genres of electropop and synth-pop. In her songs, she touches upon deep themes, such as missed opportunity, regret, and nostalgia. Shura has been out as a lesbian since she was 16 years old. However, in 2015 she publicly came out in an interview after her music video of “Touch” made headlines. In the video, various couples with various sexual orientations are seen kissing.
After the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016, the gay female singer realized she should be more outspoken about her sexuality and giving more visibility to the community.
- Carlie Hanson
Carlie Hanson was inspired to become a singer by Justin Bieber. At the age of 14, hoping to be discovered like him, she and her friend started posting covers on YouTube. In 2016, she entered a local iHeart Radio contest, which got her some attention and gave her the chance to record her single “Only One”.
Taylor Swift added her song to an Apple Music playlist of one of her favorite songs which is when her career took off.
Carlie came out on Twitter in 2018 and she’s stated in interviews she doesn’t really label herself. Gender doesn’t mean anything to her.
She is also always authentically herself in her songs, and she’s very open about her struggle with anxiety and depression.
ENJOY listening to these lesbian artists! And let us know which lesbian artist you like listening to most in the comments.
If you liked reading about these lesbian musicians, Make sure to send this post to your (lesbian) friends and share it on social media. Together we can spread the love.
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