You can’t celebrate Pride without playing songs from our favourite singers who have blessed us with bops over the years. From dancefloor-ready earworms pumped out by Mother Monster, to epic hits courtesy of Lil Nas X, these songs from the 2010s unabashedly celebrate the queer community. Some are already classics, and some will be down the line (trust us!), but regardless, get ready to turn the volume up and get down with these queer anthems!
Related: LGBTQ+ Canadian-owned businesses to support during pride (and beyond).
Lady Gaga — “Born This Way”
We couldn’t kick off this list without Lady Gaga! The bisexual popstar co-wrote “Born This Way,” which is iconic for the LGBTQ2+ community because it’s such an outspoken declaration of loving yourself regardless of your sexuality, gender, race etc. Gaga has also been outspoken about queer rights for years, appearing in human rights campaigns and supporting political leaders who promote equality.
Related: A style icon is born: Lady Gaga’s style evolution.
Janelle Monáe — “Make Me Feel”
Grammy-nominated pansexual singer Janelle Monáe channeled Prince on this funky anthem and the results were epic. She told The Guardian, “It’s a celebratory song. I hope that comes across. That people feel more free, no matter where they are in their lives, that they feel celebrated.” We couldn’t agree more!
You may also like: Janelle Monáe comes out as nonbinary on ‘Red Table Talk’.
Tegan & Sara — “Closer”
Twin lesbian Canadian icons Tegan and Sara gave us “Closer” back in 2012, and we haven’t stopped dancing to it since. Tegan, who did most of the writing on the song, told Rolling Stone: “All I intended was to write something sweet that reminded the listener of a time before sex, complicated relationships, drama and heartbreak,” she said. “In short, I was writing about my youth.” The result was a synth-pop masterpiece, which went on to deservedly take home a Juno for “Single of The Year.”
Related: 11 ways to be a respectful LGBTQ2S+ ally.
Hayley Kiyoko — “Girls Like Girls”
Fans of Hayley Kiyoko call her “lesbian Jesus,” and with catchy songs like “Girls Like Girls” and her LGBTQ2+ advocacy, it’s easy to see why. The singer-songwriter told Us Weekly that the song was inspired by people stealing lovers. “I loved the idea of how all these guys always are stealing other guys’ girls and I was like, ‘There’s no female anthem for a girl stealing another guy’s girl,’ and that is the coolest thing ever,” she said.
Related: The richest LGBTQ2S+ celebs in 2022.
Ariana Grande — “No Tears Left to Cry”
Ariana Grande always delivers on vocals, and when it comes to making pop hits she crafts bangers upon bangers. A few months after the release of “No Tears Left To Cry,” she wrote a touching letter to her LGBTQ+ fans to celebrate Pride and stated: “My music being embraced and celebrated by the LGBTQ community is all I ever truly cared about when I thought about my career goals early on.”
See also: God is a woman: Ariana Grande’s style evolution.
Lil Nas X — “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)”
Lil Nas X made history as the first openly LGBTQ2+ Black artist to win a Country Music Association award with his 2019 smash “Old Town Road.” Since then, he’s continued to churn out catchy tunes. On the explicitly gay anthem “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” he yearns to stop faking it with his significant other and act on a first-name basis. The track is the first single off of his upcoming album, due later this summer. The queer AF music video rocked the internet when it was released, and featured the singer pole dancing and epic outfits. He didn’t let the haters stop him from doing his thing, and it’s safe to say we are OBSESSED.
Related: LGBTQ+ celebs leading the way for positive representation.
Disclosure ft. Sam Smith — “Latch”
Before Sam Smith came out as non-binary, they teamed up with electronic duo Disclosure in 2012 on this catchy club-ready song. Originally a sleeper hit, “Latch” blew up two years later in 2014 when everyone couldn’t stop blasting the love song on repeat. In an interview with KISS FM UK, Smith revealed, “I remember hearing ‘Latch’ and I didn’t even know whether it was good or not, because I didn’t know electronic music or dance music. It just wasn’t for me.” Thank goodness they decided to do it anyway and give us this addictive track.
Related: Celebrity coming out stories that will make you cry tears of pride.
Demi Lovato ft. Cher Lloyd — “Really Don’t Care”
Demi Lovato, who came out as non-binary earlier this year, gave homophobia the middle finger when they released their confident breakup anthem “Really Don’t Care” with Cher Lloyd. The colourful music video was filmed at Los Angeles Pride in 2014, and Lovato addressed haters before starting to sing: “You don’t have to hate, because my Jesus loves all!” they said. Featuring happy couples, dancing parade-goers and a ton of rainbow confetti, it’s ultimately a euphoric, colourful celebration.
Related: Demi Lovato comes out as non-binary.
Kaytranada ft. Kali Uchis — “10%”
Canadian DJ and producer Kaytranada, who identifies as gay, teamed up with bisexual singer Kali Uchis for this danceable bop, which earned both musicians a Grammy win in 2021. Although the song is still on the newer side, we can already sense a classic on our hands thanks to Kaytranada’s catchy beats and Uchi’s flawless vocals.
Related: 10 of the most misunderstood things about bisexual women.
Kehlani — “Honey”
OK, so this one is more mellow than some of the other tracks on this list, but nonetheless, it’s a great song. “Honey” marked the first time Kehlani, who identifies as lesbian, outright sang about her attraction to women, and it’s stunning to say the least. “All the pretty girls in the world/but I’m in this space with you,” she sings to her lover. We are swooning over how sweet this is!
Related: Kehlani acknowledges her straight-passing privilege as a queer musician.