BEST SONGS TO CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH
HEATHER SMALL | PROUD (SAINT MIX)
Former lead singer of M People, Heather Small's song "Proud," is about looking at what you’ve done that makes you feel proud and encourages the listener to find freedom by doing something extraordinary. The intro to this song almost implies that you're about to go on a journey and its soaring gospel-infused chorus. Fans of the US Queer as Folk, filmed in Toronto, will know this song well. This song, especially the dance remixes, has become a pride anthem. I have added the original and a remix version to download.
LADY GAGA | BORN THIS WAY
This song is probably one of the biggest LGBTQ+ anthems of the past decade—and for a good reason. Not only has Gaga become a gay icon herself, but this song is all about celebrating who you are because it’s who you were born to be. At one point in the song, she sings, "Don't be a drag, just be a queen," an obvious salute to her many gay fans. It is a Pride anthem about realizing you are beautiful in your own way and that God makes no mistakes. Before its release, Gaga was already a gay icon, but this song cemented her legacy as a true ally.
TODRICK HALL | RAININ' FELLAS
Todrick Hall is a super talented singer, choreographer and LGBTQ+ legend, so it's no wonder his latest song made this list. The song itself is called "Rainin' Fellas," which is very much a 2000s take on The Weather Girls "It's Raining Men," a song that is now considered a gay anthem with the gayest of videos. The dancefloor-ready collection is a defiant statement of self-empowerment and self-described as an “open love letter to the LGBTQ community,” released in tandem and honour of Pride.
CHRISTINA AGUILERA | BEAUTIFUL
This haunting ballad, gorgeously sung by Christina Aguilera, a perfect LGBTQ anthem. Jonas Akerlund's video, featuring two men kissing and a transgender woman putting on make-up and a wig, was awarded a GLAAD Media Award for its positive portrayal of gays and transgender individuals. Nine years after the song's release, Stonewall, a UK LGBT rights organization, chose "Beautiful" as the most empowering song of the 2000s for the gay community.
RUPAUL | SISSY THAT WALK
In 2009 the drag world had become, some might say, passe. Gay venues across the UK, which had been drag’s home, were in decline and closing down at a phenomenal rate. In London, over 100 gay bars had closed since the year 2000. Then a somewhat forgotten drag queen star of the late 80s and early 90s launched a show that would change drag and its place in mainstream society. From that, RuPaul rose like a glittery phoenix and began releasing music. ‘Sissy That Walk’ came from her most successful album to date, "Born Naked." The lyrics empower some of the most marginalized in our community.
MELISSA ETHRIDGE | COME TO MY WINDOW
There was a renaissance of lesbian singles in the 1990s, and these three songs led the way. "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" is an impeccably produced ode to another woman. Hawkins described her sexual orientation as "omnisexual," which had created perhaps the first Top-40 hit that dealt openly with sapphic love. k.d.lang came out the same year her "Constant Craving" became ubiquitous on the radio. She and the openly gay Melissa Etheridge, whose iconic song "Come to My Window" would capture the charts a year later performed at the first-ever inaugural ball that honoured gays and lesbians in 1993, dubbed "The Triangle Ball."
SARA BAREILLES | BRAVE
A power-pop civil rights anthem, "Brave," was inspired by a friend of Bareilles who was struggling with coming out: "Don't run, stop holding your tongue/Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live/Maybe one of these days you can let the light in/Show me how big your brave is...". Bareilles said, "There are so much honour and integrity and beauty in being able to be who you are." And her fans roared with approval.
MARIAH CAREY | CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY (MARIAH'S THEME)
Despite not being a hit, Mariah’s theme is a strong reminder that she is, by far, one of the best female singer-songwriters of the 21st century. She teamed up with Diane Warren to write this most intimate of songs. The song’s lyrics speak about inner strength and not permitting anyone to tear you down and got me through some tough time personally, so it means that much more to me. Plus, the vocal run at the end is incomparable. The song is lifted from her 1999 album "Rainbow."