The 20 Best Songs of 2023 From LGBTQ+ Artists (So Far)
Did your favorite song make the list?
As we go through the month of July, it's time to look back at the first half of the year in pop culture. We've already discussed our favorite LGBTQ+ shows and movies of the year so far, and now it's time to look at music.
2023 has been a terrific year for music (Morgan Wallen and Jason Aldean aside), and a lot of the best music has come from LGBTQ+ artists. Here are our twenty favorites from this year in descending order.
20. "Not Strong Enough" by boygenius
Supergroup boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus) is flying high this year, and on “Not Strong Enough” they channel rock legend Tom Petty at his best.
19. "Who He Iz" by Kaytraminé
The other supergroup this year is one that not nearly enough people are talking about, Kaytraminé. Consisting of Grammy-winning producer Kaytranada and rapper Aminé, their album is a perfect poolside listen. On “Who He Iz,” the duo doesn’t need a feature to show how great they are. It might not be the deepest album of the year, but it’s one of the most fun.
18. "Only Love Can Save Us Now" by Kesha
Kesha is once again refusing to compromise who she is or her values on her latest album Gag Order, and in this song, she shows off her strength and power with her soaring vocals, a choir backing her up, and a sinister beat.
17. "Sorry Not Sorry" by Tyler, the Creator
Tyler really is one of the truest geniuses in hip-hop and music overall, and in this song he addresses some of his former personas, even killing them off. Switching up his flow and the beat, Tyler shows off his versatility and remains a master of his craft.
16. "I'm Not Here to Make Friends" by Sam Smith ft. RuPaul and Jessie Reyes
Sam Smith won a Grammy last year with their Kim Petras collab “Unholy” and this year, we’ve been dancing to the disco hit “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” featuring RuPaul and Jessie Reyez. In the song, Smith laments about being put in the friend zone for being too fat and too femme, but they remind us all that they’re badder than the boys you're passing them up for.
15. "One That Got Away" by MUNA
MUNA continues to be the greatest band in the world with this terrific rock-pop track the year after releasing their opus of an album. Katie Gavin is one hell of a frontwoman, MUNA is one hell of a band, and this is one hell of a song.
14. "Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood" by Yves Tumor
Experimental music lovers have a new vanguard in Yves Tumor. Mixing rock, electronic, alternative, and R&B, Yves Tumor brings down the house with heavy synths, rocking guitars, and sky high vocals on this song. They’re our favorite arthouse band today.
13. "3 Boys" by Omar Apollo
Does anyone have a smoother voice than Omar Apollo? “3 Boys” is another smooth-as-hell bop from the singer we love. This song has a dreamy tune with even dreamier falsetto, and we could listen for hours.
12. "Sick to My Stomach" by Rebecca Black
In the last few years, former viral-hit-maker Rebecca Black has become one of the best artists in pop music, and this year, she released her consistently terrific debut album Let Her Burn. This track is one of our favorites off it, delivering dreamy pop and a story about queer heartbreak.
11. "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" by PinkPantheress ft. Ice Spice
Teaming up with UK singer PinkPantheress, Ice Spice announced herself as the biggest new name in music this year with this viral hit. Now, she’s teamed up with Nicki Minaj, appeared on the Barbie soundtrack, and is setting herself up for a Best New Artist Grammy. This infectious bop is both fun and chill, making it perfect for just about any situation.
10. "Red Wine Supernova" by Chappell Roan
Chappell Roan isn’t afraid to get sexy and sincere in her sapphic music, and “Red Wine Supernova” is a perfect example. She really knows how to write songs celebrating love of women, forget songs for sad girls, this is fun lesbian music
9. "Perfect For You" by Peach PRC
Lesbian pop singer Peach PRC interpolates Paris Hilton’s iconic hit “Stars Are Blind” in this new sapphic classic. The last few years have seen the rise of problematic sapphic pop songs like “Becky’s So Hot” by Fletcher and “Crazy Ex” by Zolita, and now “Perfect For You” joins those hallowed grounds. “She might want you, but I do too,” she sings. “If you only knew, baby I’m perfect for you.”
8. "Rush" by Troye Sivan
We definitely feel the rush and it is so good! Sivan’s latest song is the beginning of his horny era, leading up to the album Something to Give Each Other. The song, and video, are queer, sexy, fun and perfect for a party.
7. "I'm So Hot" by Chrissy Chlapecka
TikTok influencer Chrissy Chlapecka is the ultimate bimbo, and now, she’s one of our favorite pop stars! We weren’t expecting a lot out of the music from an influencer, but she really left it all on the table on this bop about self love and self confidence! Music can be fun!
6. "Oversized Sweater" by Shamir
With shimmering guitars and glimmering vocals, Shamir takes bedroom pop to a new level with “Oversized Sweater.” Written about the anxiety he experienced after getting out of a psych ward and quitting smoking and weed in 2020, Shamir gives a voice to anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed.
5. "Hungry Heart" by Hayley Kiyoko, Steve Aoki, and Galantis
Hayley Kiyoko flies to some of her highest heights in this song with superproducer Steve Aoki and Galantis. Kiyoko wrote the lyrics about her relationship with girlfriend Becca Tilley, and they’re some of her sweetest and most heartfelt. Put them over a killer dance beat, and you’ve got one of the best songs of the year.
4. "Dumbest Girl Alive" by 100 gecs
100 gecs released this absolute banger in which Laura Les sings iconic trans girl lyrics like “I took ten Advils today, I’ve got bruises on my thighs,” and “I did science on my face,” to prove she’s the “Dumbest Girl Alive” in this song. We loved 100 gecs before, but now we love them, and relate to them, even more.
3. "Kool" by Meet Me @ The Altar
Influenced by Paramore, Demi Lovato, Avril Lavigne, and Hillary Duff, Meet Me @ The Altar is pumping new life into emo pop-punk this year. On their track “Kool,” they introduce themselves as a force to be reckoned with who won’t back down and who is going to prioritize girls every day. If you see one band live this year, make sure it’s Meet Me @ the Altar.
2. "Flowers" by Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus released her biggest song ever this year, and the entire world stopped to listen. In her self-love anthem, Miley soars above her former relationships, proving that no one can love her like she can. She can buy herself flowers, but we also want to make sure we give her all the flowers we can!
1. "Lipstick Lover" by Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe released the sexiest (and best) album of this or any year with The Age of Pleasure, and this second single from it launched us into the perfect Sapphic Summer. “I like lipstick on my neck, leave a sticky hickey in a place I won’t forget,” they sing, and we all melted, and we’re going to keep melting all summer long.