Move those hips to these essential queer songs. A well-assembled playlist with twenty memorable hits and clips for your personal party or pride: The Queer Top 20!
Madonna - Vogue
Of course, this list can only be kicked off by one person: Madonna. The Queen Of Pop has been adored by the gay scene from the very first start of her career. With her good nose for trends, she picked up a dance style from the underground gay scene, which resulted in one of her biggest hits.
Troye Sivan – Rush
Australian singer-songwriter Troye Sivan has grown into one of the most iconic gay artists of the moment. “Rush” is a pop-house banger, named after a famous brand of poppers, that treats sex and partying as an almost religious act. The song is full of pure ecstasy and so is the video.
Kungs - Never Going Home
Some say "queer" is equal to "camp". And oh boy: this song surely has written camp all over it. From the classic Italo-beats to the cheesy lyrics and - not to forget - the colorful crowd in the video. This song is camp as hell and catchy as f**k.
Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy
One of the greatest gay classics ever. Singer Jimmy Sommerville on the song: “It is about much more than me and my sexuality. I think many people don't want to be stuck in their environment. It was intended as a universal story. It could be related to anyone’s situation, not just about being gay."
Zedd & Ariana Grande – Break Free
Listen very closely to the lyrics and you will understand why some consider this a coming-out-song. “Tried to hide it, fake it: I can't pretend anymore”. And are those two kissing male aliens in the video purely coincidence?
George Michael – Outside
In 1998 George Michael was arrested for soliciting an undercover cop in a public restroom. Instead of hiding in shame, he came back with a song about outdoor sex and a video full of funny references to what happened. A total masterclass on how to turn humiliation into humour.
Britney Spears – Toxic
In the USA, Britney has often been called The Princess Of Pop and “Toxic” was credited for changing the face of dance-pop in the 2000s, introducing an influx of electro-pop. The video with her starring as a sexy flight attendant became just as much of a classic as the song did.
Calvin Harris & Sam Smith – Promises
The vocals of the non-binary Sam Smith together with the visuals of the ball culture and voguing make this a true queer clip. The intro with short interviews is touching and the entire video is one big celebration of the freedom of expression. Kudos also to Calvin Harris for this dancefloor classic.
Lil Nas X - That's What I Want
In 2019 this man smashed the record of longest-running number-one-song on Billboard, then had his “official” coming-out during the World Pride and was named as one of the most influential people by Time Magazine that same year. He keeps on pushing the boundaries and we love him for that.
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
This lady has been embraced by the queer community from the very first start. “Born this way” might have been the obvious choice here, but “Bad romance” is Gaga all the way. The video is raw, sex, art, fashion and fun. It’s the reason why we love her. Most probably forever.
Ultra Nate – Free
The success of a lot of nineties hits started in the club scene. “Free” was no exception to that. The gay community saw it as a song about empowerment and made it a huge anthem. It became one of those timeless classics that - even after 25 years - can draw people to the dancefloor.
Joel Corry & MNEK – Head & Heart
Pop seems to be Joel Corry’s middle name, while MNEK is extremely versatile as a singer and producer. The list of artists that MNEK has worked with is impressive, but this is his most successful collab. The catchy and uplifting song brought a bit of light in the darkness during the pandemic.
Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart
Toss the lyrics of three classics into a new song. Bring together the original - and legendary - performer and one of the hottest popstars of the moment. Add a few cool beats and some pleasant tunes. Et voila: a massive hit is born. This is what it sounds like when two stars become one.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
In the mid-eighties FGTH came out of nothing with a massive bang(er). The controversy around the lyrics of their debut single and the video (including drag queens and men in leather) was immense. It even got banned in some countries, but it could not stop “Relax” from becoming a worldwide hit.
Years & Years – King
It once started as a three-member-band, but ended as the solo project of Olly Alexander. Their/his sound has been described as electropop and “King” is the most successful example. Besides his musical career, Olly is also acting and had a leading role in the gay drama “It’s a sin”.
Freddie Mercury – Living On My Own
The world was in shock when the flamboyant front man of Queen died of AIDS in 1991. Freddie scored an impressive amount of hits during and even after his short life. This remix e.g. topped multiple charts around the world, two years after his death.
Kylie Minogue – Padam Padam
The Australian girl-next-door in the eighties, artistically struggling in the nineties, coming back better than ever before in the new millennium. The gay community loved her all along the way. And even 35 years after her first hit she managed to get the old ánd new generation hitting the dancefloor.
Clean Bandit & Zara Larsson – Symphony
They blend elements of classical and dance music into their songs, work together with a wide range of vocalists and they direct and produce their own music videos. The video for “Symphony” tells the touching story of a gay couple who encounter tragic circumstances. Try not to cry.
Todrick Hall – Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels
He is a singer, a songwriter and a choreographer. You might know him from American Idol, RuPaul’s Drag Race or his own YouTube-channel. He’s gay, he’s black and he’s proud of it. And he should. Todrick Hall aspires to be a role model for people of color and the LGBTQ community.
Katy Perry – Firework
This song is all about self-esteem and pride. The video was shot in Budapest and features a few situations in which people take a first step towards self-acceptance and personal pride. It matches perfectly with the inspiring lyrics. “You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine”.