The 50 Most Important Queer Women in Music


34 Emily Saliers

As one half of the Indigo Girls, Emily Saliers is an accomplished instrumentalist who makes solo appearances and performances when she and Amy aren’t on tour together. The Indigo Girls recorded “Dear Mr. President” in 2009 with Pink, and the single hit the charts at #101.

33 Sinead O’Connor

Though she’s always been controversial, Sinead O’Connor has inspired many artists, including Prince. The Irish singer-songwriter has been recording since the 1980s, gaining fame with her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. She came out as a lesbian in 2000, but has made statements since implying her lesbianism is on-and-off.

32 Maja Ivarsson

The Swedish singer of The Sounds is often referred to as a modern-day Debbie Harry. Her stage presence and trademark voice helped make the band a hit in Sweden and in the U.S. Their three albums have peaked in the top 100 in both countries, and earned them some famous fans like Dave Grohl, who wore their T-shirt in a Foo Fighters‘ video. Maja is openly bisexual.

31 Missy Higgins

The Australian-born musician has been nominated for 19 ARIA awards and won seven of them, as well as two APRAs and an MTV Australia Video Music Award. Her 2008 album, On a Clear Night, helped her cross over in the U.S. market, where her songs were featured on several television shows, including So You Think You Can Dance. She is openly bisexual and sings songs about relationships with women.

30 Lady Sovereign

The grime hip-hop MC signed to an indie label for her first U.S. release but was soon scooped up by Jay-Z‘s Def Jam Records in 2006. Her singles “Random” and “Love Me or Hate Me” did well, but Sovereign was eventually dropped by the label. She released 2009’s Jigsaw independently and came out as a lesbian later that year while on Celebrity Big Brother.

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