2009 Year in Review: Music

Although less high-profile in the mainstream press than Lady Gaga or Fergie, Tegan and Sara have been very out for the last few years. This was particularly true in the press for their 2009 album Sainthood. In it, Sara talked openly about how her songwriting was influenced by the dissolution of her long-term relationship with a girlfriend, and Tegan expressed being inspired by a new relationship of her own.

Sainthood sold 22,665 copies in the first week, debuting at #21 on the Billboard 200 and at #1 in Canada.

Another band with two openly lesbian members that has reached mainstream and major label success (and, therefore, visibility) is the Gossip. Music for Men reached only #164 in the U.S., but was an international hit reaching #5 in France, #3 in Belgium and winning high rankings on the charts in Europe and Australia.

The Gossip, like Tegan and Sara, are press darlings, although singer Beth Ditto is regularly singled out as the focus of the paparazzi. Her statements about her size, queerness and fashion have gained her notoriety and extensive coverage in glossy magazines. All the while, she’s remained a hero to the LGBTQ community that embraced her and the band in their early days, when the trio toured and recorded on smaller labels like Kill Rock Stars.

Two new bands with out frontwomen include Telepathe and The XX. Both the electronic-dance duo and the (now) three-piece UK band released critically hailed LPs in 2009. Alongside new albums from Mirah, Tara Jane O’Neil, The Sounds, Girl in a Coma, and metal band OTEP, these debuts had a strong presence in the pop and rock categories for people of all of sexualities.

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