2011 Year in Review: Music

The year in music was dominated by women, with Adele, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry at the top of the best selling charts. Out of the four, Gaga is the only out bisexual musician, but her 2011 offering Born This Way was a symbol of the forward-thinking things that happened for the LGBT community over the past 12 months. Gaga solidified her presence as someone who speaks out for us (even if you don’t always want her to) and when her album’s title song was covered on television shows and other performances, we looked to see who would sing out, “No matter gay, straight or bi. Lesbian, transgendered life. I’m on the right track, baby. I was born to survive.”

Gaga’s performance as her drag alter-ego Jo Calderone queered up this year’s MTV Music Awards. She spoke about herself as Gaga’s lover and performed “You and I” while simultaneously blowing the minds of her peers in the audience and people watching at home. It was an exciting performance all around, and likely the first time a drag king was on the MTV Music Video stage for more than 10 minutes — and opening the show.

The only other out women on the Billboard Top 100 this year include Fergie for her work with Black Eyed Peas and Ke$ha, who is arguably out as sexually fluid.

Out in the Public Eye

However, several other gay and bisexual-identifying performers were in the mainstream this year, including British songwriter-turned-pop star Jessie J, who came out as bisexual and released Who You Are to critical acclaim this year. After 2010 being a banner year for musicians coming out, Jessie J was one of the only new artists this year to be publicly out and proud — although she tweeted that she wanted people to know she’s never hidden her sexuality; it just became public knowledge as she became more well-known.

Australian musician Sarah McLeod was outed by a newspaper Down Under but laughed off the situation, embracing her newfound status as an out singer. She told us, “For all of five minutes and then i didn’t care so much. I tried to look at the bright side — at least now I get more action.” Sarah released a single cover of Bruce Spingsteen‘s “Dancing in the Dark” while readying her next solo album.