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Lyricists
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Adam, Margie
A pioneer in the women's music movement, Margie Adam helped create a new political music genre that celebrated lesbian love and the changing lives of women.
Ashman, Howard
Award-winning lyricist and playwright Howard Ashman collaborated with Alan Menken on projects as diverse as the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors and the animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast.
Bell, Andy
Singer and lyricist Andy Bell, half of the synth-pop duo Erasure, is one of the few openly gay, high-profile rock musicians.
Christian, Meg
Women's music pioneer Meg Christian was among the first performer to address lesbian and feminist issues in her songs.
Coward, Sir Noël
Accomplished playwright, actor, composer, and lyricist, Sir Noël Coward was also a singer and cabaret performer; he dominated the British stage between the world wars, then reoriented his career in the direction of America.
DiFranco, Ani
Openly bisexual singer Ani DiFranco, described as "the thinking person's acoustic punk feminist," has drawn on an eclectic mixture of musical traditions to create a distinctive style.
Durang, Christopher
A fiercely comic playwright, as well as actor and screenwriter, Christopher Durang often incorporates gay themes and characters in his plays.
Fernie, Lynne
Canadian filmmaker Lynne Fernie has had a varied career in the arts, but is best known as the co-director of the celebrated 1992 documentary Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives.
Ferron (Debby Foisy)
Canadian folksinger Ferron (Debby Foisy) is a pioneer in women's music who has been compared to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
Finn, William
Playwright and composer William Finn, best known for his Tony Award-winning musical The Falsettos, speaks with understanding about confronting life in all its complexity with sadness and joy, dilemmas and hope intermingled.
Gordon, Ricky Ian
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon, often seen as an heir to the musical legacy of Stephen Sondheim, has been praised for the lyrical quality of his music and for bridging the worlds of theater and art song.
Gore, Lesley
One of the few successful female solo artists during the era of the "girl groups," singer Lesley Gore is also a successful songwriter; in 2003, she came out publicly and hosted an episode of In the Life.
Hart, Lorenz
Despite having written lyrics as witty as any sung on the Broadway stage before or since, Lorenz Hart is best remembered for his songs of unfulfilled desire and failed romance.
Herman, Jerry
A proponent of the "diva musical," Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman made homosexuality the undisguised subject of La Cage aux Folles but he did so just as gay culture lost its need of a diva to voice its concerns.
Hoffman, William M.
Playwright, librettist, and educator William M. Hoffman is best known for his ground-breaking play As Is, one of the first theatrical works to focus on the AIDS epidemic.
Hunter, Alberta
Blues singer, lyricist, and actress Alberta Hunter, one of the top recording artists in the 1920s and 1930s, experienced a dramatic comeback in her old age.
Ian, Janis
Nine time Grammy Award nominee Janis Ian uses her artistry as songwriter and performer to further the cause of social justice.
Kander, John (b. 1927) and Fred Ebb (1932?-2004)
Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are the musical poets of the poymorphous perverse; their works glorify the creativity inherent in sexual ambivalence and celebrate unorthodox forms of political activism.
Keenan, Joe
Best known for his work as a writer and producer for the hit television show Frasier, Joe Keenan is also the author of richly comic gay-themed novels.
LaChiusa, Michael John
Composer Michael John LaChiusa, identified as a heir to Stephen Sondheim's legacy in the American musical theater, creates works that demand intellectual involvement on the part of the audience.
Larson, Jonathan
Although apparently heterosexual, musical theater composer Jonathan Larson wrote sympathetically about a diverse community of artists, many of whom are glbtq.
McKuen, Rod
The poems and songs of the amazingly prolific Rod McKuen express a bittersweet, aching tenderness that has endeared him to millions of fans.
Merritt, Stephin (b. 1966?) and the Magnetic Fields
Featuring an openly gay singer-songwriter and an openly lesbian accompanist and chanteuse singing songs about love in all its permutations, Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields have produced some of the most critically acclaimed queer-themed popular music in recent memory.
Michael, George
Popular singer and songwriter George Michael, who confirmed his long-rumored homosexuality after an arrest for "lewd behavior" in 1998, has devoted much effort to AIDS charities since 1992.
Ndegeocello, Meshell
Singer, songwriter, and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello is a notably eclectic artist whose music confronts social and sexual issues, including racial identity, same-sex attraction, and homophobia.
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