2008 Year in Review: Music

2008 saw even more lesbian and bisexual women making a splash in the music world then ever before – and more straight women trying to capitalize on the media’s obsession with bisexuality.

Several bisexual and lesbian musicians released new music this year, and increasingly utilized digital resources to promote their work. Whether it’s recording their own video blogs, or blogging on their MySpace pages, artists are clearly getting the hang of the internet marketing revolution, bringing them closer to their fans, and helping them reach new ones.

Here’s an overview of some of the year’s most notable releases, trends, music and moments related to lesbian/bi musicians.

The Katy Perry Syndrome

Despite the positive technological advances in artist promotion, other trends were all too familiar, such as the borrowed use of lesbianism for songs like Katy Perry‘s hit single, “I Kissed A Girl.”

Hotly debated since it premiered, Perry’s debut as a pop-rock singer utilized the kitsch of being a straight woman “gone bad” by singing, “I kissed a girl and I liked it / Hope my boyfriend don’t mind it” and “Don’t mean I’m in love tonight.”

By trivializing the kiss of another woman in the hugely commercially successful song (which was nominated for a Grammy in early December), Perry became the poster woman for bisexuality. Unfortunately, the song, as catchy as it may be with its electro-synth beats and major chord chorus, portrays bisexuality as a drunken moment of naughty behavior.

This concept was furthered by Perry’s statements to the press that largely consisted of jokes about who she might kiss had she have the chance, ranging from 16-year-old Miley Cyrus to “I like to kiss boys, but there is no doubt in my mind if Angelina Jolie or Gisele Bündchen came a callin’, who wouldn’t pucker up?”

In the same vein, the performer often speculated to be bisexual, Pink, raised eyebrows when she divorced her husband and engaged in a lesbian lip-lock with herself a section of her music video, “Sober.”

Scenes from Pink’s “Sober” music video

Symbolism aside, it was an odd choice for someone who has in the past touted her relationships with women, but more recently went on the record to declare her straightness. In October, she told the press, “I’m not gay so I guess I would not try a relationship with a woman. I didn’t say I haven’t experimented but I love men too much to make it a permanent thing.”

It would appear, then, that Pink has utilized her butch aesthetic to drum up interest and shock from the mainstream public, which also happened to bring her a lesbian fan base.

Hit songwriter Lady GaGa debuted her first album, The Fame, in 2008 with the club track “Just Dance” garnering a lot of applause from the gay community.

In an interview with HX Magazine, GaGa said she was boy and “girl-crazy,” saying “It really depends on where I am. I love men, I love women and I love sex, but I’m actually pretty introverted right now because I’m so enveloped in my work, and it’s hard to let anybody near that.”

She has yet to discuss her sexuality further, despite being interviewed several times in both the gay and mainstream press.