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Lyricists
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Near, Holly
Activist, singer, and songwriter Holly Near has been a tremendous influence in the formation and promotion of the women's music movement.
Porter, Cole
Living the paradoxical life of an openly closeted gay man, songwriter Cole Porter introduced non-normative values and risqué double entendres into what was one of the most pedestrian and hackneyed of cultural forms.
Ray, Johnnie
Singer Johnnie Ray caused a sensation in the 1950s with energetic concert performances of hit songs, but his career was damaged by arrests for solicitation and gossip about his sexuality.
Robinson, Tom
British rocker and activist Tom Robinson was embraced by the gay rights movement in the late 1970s, but became the subject of controversy in the 1990s when he chose to live with a woman and become a father.
Russo, Renato
One of Brazil's most popular rock singers, Renato Russo challenged homophobia in his homeland by coming out as a gay man.
Scissor Sisters
The American pop band Scissor Sisters was spawned in New York City's gay club scene; frequently addressing issues of transgressive sexuality, the band has cultivated a large glbtq fan base.
Sendak, Maurice
An important voice in children's literature over the past half century, Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated books that both acknowledge the fears faced by children and celebrate the imagination with which they cope with them.
Shaiman, Marc (b. 1959), and Scott Wittman (b. 1955)
Composer Marc Shaiman and lyricist and director Scott Wittman, partners in life and collaborators in theater, film, and television projects, have a long list of credits in the entertainment industry.
Sondheim, Stephen
One of the most innovative talents of the musical theater in the second half of the twentieth century, Stephen Sondheim has only indirectly reflected his homosexuality in his work.
Stipe, Michael
Lead singer, lyricist, and composer for the rock band R.E.M., as well as a movie producer, Michael Stipe identifies himself as a queer artist.
Thornton, Willie Mae "Big Mama"
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.
Wainwright, Rufus
Singer and songwriter Rufus Wainwright, dubbed the "thinking gay man's sex symbol," has built a successful career with witty lyrics and rich melodies.
Williamson, Cris
Pioneering singer, songwriter, activist, and teacher, Cris Williamson has been at the forefront of the women's music movement--and a major presence in the lesbian community--for decades.
Wright, Robert (1914-2005), and George "Chet" Forrest (1915-1999)
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.
Young, Will
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.
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