The 50 Most Important Queer Women in Music


29 Jennifer Knapp

The first Christian singer to publicly come out, Jennifer Knapp is a Grammy-nominated performer that has dual citizenship in America and Australia. Her most recent album was her first outside the Christian genre, and aimed to reach the adult contemporary and folk markets instead. The album, Letting Go, debuted at #73 on the Billboard charts.

28 Otep Shamaya

An out lesbian at the center of a metal band named after her, Otep has been at the forefront of LGBT and equality politics in the metal music community since 2000. The band’s first two albums were with Capitol Records, but Otep has since moved to indie label Victory. Their 2009 album, Smash the Control Machine, peaked at #47 on the U.S. charts and the band was also nominated for a GLAAD Award.

27 Electrelane

Before disbanding in 2007, the all-girl band had four queer members (Mia Clarke, Emma Gaze, Verity Sussman and Ros Murray). They recorded four albums and were critical darlings, often singing politically-flavored tunes and often toured with like-minded groups such as Le Tigre and Arcade Fire.

26 Romy Madley Croft

As the lead singer of Mecury Prize winners the xx, Romy is part of one of 2009-2010’s hottest new bands. At only 19, she is the frontwoman of a group that hit number 3 on the UK Billboard charts and has released three hit singles. Though she doesn’t talk about her sexuality in interviews often, Romy is out about having a girlfriend, a photographer who lives in England.

25 Brandi Carlile

Straddling the line between country and folk rock, Brandi Carlile has recorded three successful full-length albums, two with major label Columbia Records. Her single “The Story” peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and her 2010 album, Give Up the Ghost, debuted at #26. She’s had several songs used in TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, and has recorded with the Indigo Girls and Elton John. Though she’s always been out, Brandi didn’t talk about her sexuality “on the record” until 2009, when according to Carlile, was the first time she was ever asked about it.

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