Illustration by Lauryn Alvarez
L to R: Jonah Xiao, Niña Dioz, Mabiland, Georgel, Villano Antillano
5 LGBTQ+ Latinx Artists You Need To Know
Ricky Martin, Kany García and Joy from Jessie & Joy aren't the only LGBTQ+ artists bringing visibility to the community, here are five more artists on the rise you should know about
Artists in the LGBTQ+ community aren’t just continuing to break ground in pop music’s heavily heteronormative landscape, they are making moves towards the forefront. A turning point in the past decade was Lady Gaga, who is openly bisexual, taking her queer anthem "Born This Way" to the top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart in 2011. Lil Nas X is the latest artist to bring queerness to the masses through his performance on Saturday Night Live last month. The openly gay singer and rapper brought the unapologetically queer music video for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" to life onstage at Studio 8H with a stripper pole and a team of all-male dancers. Artists like Lil Nas X are helping queer representation reverberate through the music industry and it's something we're seeing within the Latin music world, too.
More Latin artists in the LGBTQ+ community are embracing the ways their identities intersect with their culture, despite the machismo embedded in its roots. A major cultural touchstone for the community was when Ricky Martin, a massive global pop star who began his career singing in Spanish with Menudo as a child, came out as a gay man in 2010. The GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY winner has continued to crank out hits, including the Billboard Latin Top 5 smash "Vente Pa’ Ca" with Maluma, after that personal revelation, showing that Latinx communities may be becoming more open to the LGBTQ+ community. While more space is being created for LGBTQ+ folks within Latinx communities, there's still a ways to go for the culture and Latin music industry as a whole—more needs to be done to dismantle the machismo that has historically put down women and queer people and continues to inhabit the industry. Since Ricky Martin’s coming out, many more artists like Puerto Rico's Kany García, Jesse y Joy's Joy Huerta and Spanish pop star Pablo Alborán, have become public about their sexualities, and there seems to be much hope for a more inclusive future in the industry.
Case in point: it was incredible to see the big three categories, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year, at last November's Latin GRAMMY Awards filled with entries from Martin, Huerta, García, and Alborán. The LGBTQ+ Latinx representation was strong and we're continuing to see more of it this year with younger artists like Demi Lovato, who intersects both the pop and Latin music worlds and recently came out as non-binary. In honor of Pride month, here are five more Latin music artists in the LGBTQ+ community to look out for.
Mabely Largacha, who professionally goes by Mabiland, is an emerging singer/songwriter and rapper from Colombia. She hails from Quibdó, the capital of Chocó region that has a predominantly Afro-Colombian population. Her breakthrough came in 2018 with the release of her debut album 1995 in which the lead single, "Cuánto Más," blends hip-hop, R&B and reggae, and tells the story of an intense romance that leads to heartbreak. There's no limit to the music that Mabiland makes as she gives reggaeton a soul music twist with the help of Colombian acts like Crudo Means Raw, Piso 21, and CIAN. In the highly male-dominated Latin hip-hop genre, Mabiland is representing intersecting identities in the industry as a Black, queer woman. And as a star in the MTV Latin America series Latin Flow, this month she will bring that intersectionality to the world.
In Puerto Rico's Latin trap scene, Villano Antillano is an emerging queer voice. The rapper from Bayamón identifies as non-binary, meaning that they don't subscribe to the gender binary of male or female. In the music video for "Pájara," Antillano can be seen presenting both masculine and feminine gender expressions and they look fierce doing it. In the queer trap anthem, Antillano reclaims derogatory Spanish terms like "Pájara" which are used to put down the LGBTQ+ community, turning those words into an empowering moment in rap. Making music in a genre that has a history of machismo, Antillano's breakthrough came in 2018 when they released the response song "Pato Hasta La Muerte" to a rapper that used a queer slur in their diss track. Expect Antillano to bring more color to Puerto Rican rap with their next single "Muñeca" that's due out later this month.
With artists like Gera MX and Alemán, Mexican rap is making more noise around the world this year. Niña Dioz is a queer pioneer in Mexican rap who hails from Monterrey. Her career spans over a decade since making her live debut at South by Southwest in 2009. Dioz expanded her reach in 2018 when she teamed up with Nacional Records for her breakthrough album Reyna. In honor of Women's History Month in March, she released her latest LP Amor, Locura y Otros Vicios. With hip-hop's history of excluding women and queer people, Dioz more than makes up for that. With Mexican pride, she teamed up with Mexican rapper Hispana in "Mezcal" that gave the rap a ranchera music twist. In the music video for "Último Perreo," Dioz spotlights people in the LGBTQ+ community who are living their best lives in the club.
Along with Mabiland, Georgel is another queer artist who is pioneering the Latin R&B movement. The two collaborated on his song "Demasiado Bueno 2.0" for this year's Claro EP. He dropped his debut EP on Valentine's Day after a year of releasing R&B bops en español like the sensual "Adrenalina" with Colombian rapper Nanpa Básico and the serene "Casa" with indie artist Katzù Oso. In 2019, Georgel teamed up with Mexican act Raymix and Colombian singer Esteman and became a part of a queer summit of Latin artists. The trio of openly gay artists covered Mexican flamboyant icon Juan Gabriel’s classic track "El Noa Noa" with the late Celso Piña and the Mexican Institute Of Sound. Georgel recently teased his next EP Oscuro with his recent single "Desilusionándome" featuring Immasoul and Ferraz.
Jonah Xiao is one of the newest artists in the LGBTQ+ community who is making a splash in Latin music. The singer/songwriter hails from Chile and on his father's side and also represents the Chinese community that's prominent in the northern part of the country. In his debut single "Inhala Inhala," Xiao blended '80s-inspired synth-pop with elements of Latin trap. In a major moment for queer representation in Latin pop, Xiao teams up with fellow queer Chilean singer Dani Ride for his latest single "California Santiago." The dreamy duet is accompanied with a music video that features Xiao and Ride sharing romantic moments along the coast of Chile’s capital. There’s no doubt sky's the limit for this recent Warner Music Chile signee.
Universal language: Why humans need music
Learn why music is truly a common language that is key to human development and evolution
There's no doubt music finds a way into nearly every moment of our daily lives, whether it's marking milestones such as a first dance at a wedding, the soundtrack to our favorite movie or singing in the shower for fun. In fact, it's hard to imagine times when we are more than an ear-length away from hearing another song.
But why does music mean so much to us? A powerful form of communication that transcends all barriers — music is our common language, but why?
A composer and educator with a lifelong fascination for music, Adam Ockelford has traced our connection with music back to infants and caregivers. Infants are unable to follow words, but they are developmentally primed to trace patterns in sound, such as through the songs a caretaker sings to them. Therefore, understanding music is intuitive for humans, even at a very young age, and it encourages healthy development.
In addition, there may be another evolutionary purpose for music. Music provides a sense of sameness between humans — if you can copy the sounds someone else makes, you must be an ally. This synergy plays a role in human survival because it evokes empathy and understanding, a lesson we still learn from music in today's culture.
"Music is central to the notion of what it is to be human, and spans cultures, continents and centuries," writes Ockelford. "My music, your music, our music can bind us together as families, as tribes and as societies in a way that nothing else can."
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/VMN19/Getty Images
Taylor Swift Plots 2020 World Tour With U.S. Dates For Lover Fest East & West
Following dates in Europe and South America, Swift will land in the U.S. for Lover Fest East and West, where the pop star will open Los Angeles' brand new stadium
Taylor Swift will be spreading the love in support of her hit album Lover.in 2020, but it may or may not be in a city near you. The GRAMMY winner announced plans for her summer 2020 tour in support of her seventh studio album, including two shows each in Foxborough, Mass. and Los Angeles for Lover Fest East and West respectively as the only four U.S. dates announced so far.
The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic. I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East + West! https://t.co/xw6YMN38WE pic.twitter.com/IhVPQ8DMUG— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) September 17, 2019
The tour kicks off in Belgium on June 20 and hits festivals in seven European countries before heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 18 then heading to U.S. Swift will then present Lover Fest West with back-to-back Los Angeles July 25 and 26 at the newly named SoFi Stadium. The concerts will serve as the grand opening of the much-anticipated NFL venue. The tour will wrap a double header at Gillette Stadiuim in Foxborough July 31 and Aug 1
"The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic," she tweeted. "I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East + West!"
Tickets for the new dates go on sale to the general public via Ticketmaster on Oct. 17.
Fleetwood Mac in 1975
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Poll: From "Dreams" To "The Chain," Which Fleetwood Mac Song Is Your Favorite?
"Dreams" experienced a charming viral moment on TikTok after a man posted a video skateboarding to the classic track, and now it's back on the charts, 43 years later
In honor of Fleetwood Mac's ethereal '70s rock classic "Dreams," which recently returned to the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to a viral TikTok skateboard video from Nathan Apodaca, we want to know which of the legendary group's songs is your favorite!
Beyond their ubiquitous 1977 No. 1 hit "Dreams," there are so many other gems from the iconic GRAMMY-winning album Rumours, as well as across their entire catalog. There's the oft-covered sentimental ballad "Landslide" from their 1975 self-titled album, the jubilant, sparkling Tango in the Night cut "Everywhere" and Stevie Nicks' triumphant anthem for the people "Gypsy," from 1982's Mirage, among many others.
Vote below in our latest GRAMMY.com poll to let us know which you love most.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Haus Laboratories
WATCH: Lady Gaga And Ariana Grande Team Up For "Rain On Me"
Grande enters the "Stupid Love" singer's futuristic world as the two pop sensations dance together in an out-of-this-planet setting
"I can feel it on my skin (It's comin' down on me)/ Teardrops on my face (Water like misery)/ Let it wash away my sins (It's coming down on me)," the global pop stars sing together on the chorus. "I'd rather be dry, but at least I'm alive/ Rain on me, rain, rain."
The song is an empowering track about being comfortable with letting tears fall. Gaga revealed the many layers behind the song in an interview with Vulture, sharing that some of the inspiration for it came from her relationship with drinking. "This is about an analog of tears being the rain. And you know what it’s also a metaphor for, is the amount of drinking that I was doing to numb myself," she said. "I’d rather be dry. I’d rather not be drinking, but I haven’t died yet. I’m still alive. Rain on me."
She added that the song also went beyond that. "Okay, I’m going to keep on drinking. This song has many layers," she said.
Grande enters the "Stupid Love" singer's futuristic world in the video released Friday, May 22, with the two dancing together in an out-of-this-planet setting. The video ends with them in a strong embrace.
Gaga has shared how much the collaboration with Grande means to her and thanked Grande for "reminding me I’m strong." Before the video's release, she tweeted out a special message to the "Stuck with U" singer.
"One time I felt like I was crying so much it would never stop. Instead of fighting it, I thought bring it on, I can do hard things. @arianagrande I love you for your strength and friendship. Let’s show them what we’ve got," she tweeted.
Grande returned the love with more love, revealing what sharing a track with Gaga means to her.
"one time ..... i met a woman who knew pain the same way i did... who cried as much as i did, drank as much wine as i did, ate as much pasta as i did and who’s heart was bigger than her whole body. she immediately felt like a sister to me," she tweeted. "she then held my hand and invited me into the beautiful world of chromatica and together, we got to express how beautiful and healing it feels to mothafuckinnnn cry ! i hope this makes u all feel as uplifted as it does for us both. i love u @ladygaga , u stunning superwoman !"
Watch the full video above. Chromatica is set to be released on May 29.