Critic and composer Virgil Thomson was a pioneer in creating a specifically American form of classical music that is at once "serious" yet whimsically sardonic.
A powerhouse performer noted for her no-nonsense stage presence and a penchant for cross-dressing, blues singer and songwriter Big Mama Thornton not only established a signature style of her own, but also inspired mainstream rockers.
One of the most prominent American conductors of his generation, Michael Tilson Thomas may be the first gay conductor to achieve such eminence without masking his sexuality.
English composer Sir Michael Tippett became one of the most respected figures in British classical music despite his pacifism, unabashed homosexuality, and incorporation of homosexual themes in his operas.
Siegfried Wagner, the son of composer Richard Wagner, was himself a prolific composer and conductor; his bisexuality was the source of both scandal and also of elaborate attempts to erase it from histories of the Wagner family.
Singer and songwriter Rufus Wainwright, dubbed the "thinking gay man's sex symbol," has built a successful career with witty lyrics and rich melodies.
Composers and lyricists Robert Wright and George "Chet" Forrest, partners in life and art, specialized in adapting themes from classical music into engaging tunes for movie scores and stage musicals.
The first winner of the British Pop Idol talent show, Will Young has gone on to achieve success as a recording artist and actor, while also using his celebrity to advocate for good causes.