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TRANScendent Sounds: Ryan Cassata & Hello Noon Perform "Hold On, You Belong (People Like Us)" And Send A Powerful Message To Trans Youth
Ryan Cassata

Photo: Asher Phoenix

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TRANScendent Sounds: Ryan Cassata & Hello Noon Perform "Hold On, You Belong (People Like Us)" And Send A Powerful Message To Trans Youth

With "Hold On, You Belong (People Like Us)," Ryan Cassata and Hello Noon share support to young trans people who are struggling to find acceptance.

GRAMMYs/Jun 29, 2022 - 05:09 pm

Earlier this year, indie rocker Ryan Cassata teamed up with alt-folk group Hello Noon to deliver an important message for young trans people: hold on, you belong.

In the final episode of TRANScendent Sounds — GRAMMY.com's three-part series celebrating trans artists while also putting a spotlight on the continuing social roadblocks faced by the trans community — watch an intimate rendition of their collaboration "Hold On, You Belong (People Like Us)," performed in front of a live audience.

The song's lyrics extend a hand to trans youth who are facing a lack of support from their loved ones, families or communities. Cassata brings his own journey to the forefront, as a message to those who may be earlier on in the process of coming out or transitioning. 

"Hold on, hold on, you belong, you belong/ I once was scared like you," he sings, backed by soaring strings. "And I held on so tightly, I told them off politely/ And the going, it gets easier the longer you push through."

That message is front and center in this performance, which fits in to both Cassata and Hello Noon's artistic identities. In addition to his career as an artist, Cassata is an activist, filmmaker and public speaker, and he visits high schools and universities to discuss gender dysphoria, bullying and his own personal story.

Meanwhile, Hello Noon — whose Facebook bio explains their mission statement of combatting negativity and furthering social change — frequently works in the fields of mental health, sexual identity and more. They regularly volunteer at homeless shelters and perform at correctional facilities, and have worked with organizations like the SoCal Special Olympics, the Best Buddies Foundation and Mattel Children's Hospital.

Press play above to watch the full performance of "Hold On, You Belong (People Like Us)," and check out more TRANScendent Sounds performances — including 2022 performers Lucia Lucas and Mila Jam — on GRAMMY.com.

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Listen To GRAMMY.com's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022 Playlist Featuring Elton John, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, Ricky Martin, Rina Sawayama & More
(L-R): Janelle Monáe, Pabllo Vittar, Lil Nas X, Lady Gaga, Rina Sawayama

Source Photos (L-R): Cindy Ord/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue; Mauricio Santana/Getty Images; Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella

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Listen To GRAMMY.com's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022 Playlist Featuring Elton John, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, Ricky Martin, Rina Sawayama & More

For LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022, GRAMMY.com presents a genre-spanning playlist of emerging and established artists you should know, including RuPaul, Janelle Monáe, Kim Petras & many more.

GRAMMYs/Jun 1, 2022 - 07:19 pm

Now more than ever in the music industry, artists are out, proud and loud about being open members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Across all genres and music of different languages around the world, musicians are joyfully embracing their queer identities while creating much-needed visibility for their queer-identifying fans. As calls for LGBTQIA+ fairness and equality continue, artists throughout the world are amplifying the voices of the global LGBTQIA+ community.

In honor of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022, GRAMMY.com has put together a playlist celebrating 50 artists across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum from throughout the decades and across all genres.

Listen to GRAMMY.com's official LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022 playlist below and follow the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and PandoraPlaylist powered by GRAMMY U.

Among the queer icons who paved the way for representation in pop music and culture are Elton John, Queen's Freddie Mercury, and George Michael of Wham! In the '90s, drag queen superstar RuPaul took the world by storm and would soon lead a drag revolution of her own. Into the 2010s, Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin kicked down the proverbial closet door and led the way for more Latin and queer Latin acts to follow in his footsteps. Lady Gaga took queer culture into the stratosphere with her global Pride anthem, "Born This Way." Frank Ocean created waves through R&B and pop as a Black queer innovator with the release of his breakthrough single, "Thinkin Bout You."

The last decade has welcomed more openly LGBTQIA+ artists than ever. South Korean singer Holland has led the way for queer voices in K-pop, Kim Petras has become a pop beacon for trans representation, and Lil Nas X remains one of the biggest rappers and singers in the world today. Also, legendary musicians like Lesley Gore and Chavela Vargas opened up about their queer identities later in their lives.

As LGBTQIA+ representation continues to grow across the music industry, may more artists and music fans keep living their truths and expressing themselves openly and safely.

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Behind The Board: Producer/DJ Spencer Brown Explains How Embracing His Sexuality Changed His Creative Process
Spencer Brown

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Behind The Board: Producer/DJ Spencer Brown Explains How Embracing His Sexuality Changed His Creative Process

As an openly gay artist, Spencer Brown strives to make his fans feel accepted by keeping one goal in mind: "to bring as much love and peace and good energy as I possibly can."

GRAMMYs/Jun 30, 2022 - 11:03 pm

Spencer Brown certainly wears an array of hats as a DJ and producer. But if you ask him, he'll tell you he plays just one role in this life — however broad.

"The easiest way to describe what I do is just: artist,'" he says. "I produce music; I DJ my own music; I DJ, digging through other people's music that people maybe don't know. But artist, I think, is the easiest way to do it."

As he describes in the below video, his mission as an artist is simple: bringing joy. "My ultimate mission with my music is to bring as much love and peace and good energy to people as I possibly can."

Brown — who came out as gay in 2020 — has used dance music as an outlet of many sorts since he was young. In a special episode of Behind The Board for Pride Month, Brown details how his creative process changed once he embraced his sexuality. "When I was a kid, and I wasn’t out of the closet, I was very uncomfortable, growing up, with myself. Once I really started to learn and understand myself, I could really be in tune with my creative side even more. And I feel like my music significantly improved."

He also offers a helping hand to those who might be struggling to find acceptance within themselves or their community. "I never had an LGBTQ idol growing up," he adds. "If someone is struggling and they really like my music, I want to connect with them on that."

Brown also describes the flow state conducive to creativity, how he shows up to DJ gigs with a "blank slate," and why he avoids "by-the-books" sounds. Check out the insightful video above and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more episodes of Behind The Board.

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Global Pride 2020 Announces Lineup Additions, Will Focus On Black Lives Matter: Todrick Hall, Adam Lambert, Kesha, Leann Rimes And More Confirmed

Attendees at 2019 Pride Parade in New York City

 

Photo: Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Global Pride 2020 Announces Lineup Additions, Will Focus On Black Lives Matter: Todrick Hall, Adam Lambert, Kesha, Leann Rimes And More Confirmed

Taking place June 27, the inaugural 24-hour online LGBTQ+ pride event will also feature speakers like former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker Of The U.S. House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others

GRAMMYs/Jun 15, 2020 - 02:00 am

Global Pride, a newly launched worldwide 24-hour online LGBTQ+ pride event, has announced additional speakers, performers and guests for its forthcoming inaugural celebration, which takes place June 27. 

Newly added artists include Adam Lambert, Kesha, Natasha Bedingfield, Leann Rimes, Pussy Riot, Village People, Mel C of Spice Girls, Calum Scott and Mary Lambert. They join previously announced artists like Pabllo Vittar, Ava Max, Olivia Newton-John, Deborah Cox and several others. 

The event will also include newly announced speakers like former U.S. Vice President and current Presidential Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Speaker Of The U.S. House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pussycat Dolls, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha and others from the worlds of music, entertainment, advocacy and politics.

Singer, songwriter, actor and director Todrick Hall will host. 

According to a press release announcing the news, the event will "amplify black voices" and will center on the Black Lives Matters movement; Global Pride organizers are working in conjunction with the organization's founders for the event.

"As a Black woman in the LGBTQIA+ community, I feel we must confront the systemic racism and violence facing my Black brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings, in the larger culture and within the LGBTQIA+ community. I could not think of a larger platform than Global Pride to do this," Natalie Thompson, co-chair of the Global Pride organizing committee, said in a statement. 

“I am proud to work beside so many diverse colleagues from around the world," she continued. "Our community knows well that we must confront hate and prejudice head-on. We have been watching an epidemic of violence against trans people of color – mostly women – in the past decade and this larger discussion must be inclusive and all encompassing. All Black Lives Matter.”

Billed as the "world’s biggest ever LGBTI+ Pride event," per the event's website, Global Pride is a 24-hour livestreamed event comprising music, performances, speeches and messages of support. The event will be available to watch on host Todrick Hall's YouTube channel, iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and on the Global Pride website.

Produced by Pride organizations from around the world, including InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association, two of the world’s biggest international Pride networks, Global Pride 2020 was launched in response to the more than 500 Pride events that were cancelled or postponed worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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5 LGBTQ+ Latinx Artists You Need To Know

L to R: Jonah Xiao, Niña Dioz, Mabiland, Georgel, Villano Antillano

Illustration by Lauryn Alvarez

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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

GRAMMYs/Jun 2, 2021 - 04:24 am

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.

Mabiland

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.

Villano Antillano

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.

Niña Dioz

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.

Georgel

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

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.

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