MUSIC

Happy #LesbianVisibilityDay: 10 Queer Musicians Who Are Changing the Industry

They make up just a fraction of the many lesbian and queer musicians who are revolutionizing the industry, but you should definitely know each one of the artists on this list.

Friday was Lesbian Visibility Day, but lesbians deserve representation every day of the year—after all, they're not only around on April 26.

Here are 10 incredible queer musicians to know, each of whom has contributed to music and culture in hugely significant and inspiring ways.

1. Hayley Kiyoko

Hayley Kiyoko's exuberant pop has propelled her to the top of the charts and has made her a religious icon of sorts for queers everywhere. With her unabashedly gay lyrics and imagery, she's carving out space for a confident brand of sexuality that has long been relegated to ambiguous lyrics of even openly queer musicians.

Hayley Kiyoko - SLEEPOVER www.youtube.com

2. Hurray For the Riff Raff

Fronted by the Bronx-born Alynda Segarra, Hurray for the Riff Raff has created a blend of Americana so sophisticated that it merits dozens of listens, and each time it will inevitably offer up different bits of wisdom. Segarra, a former punk of Puerto Rican descent, has always traversed political and personal themes and is one of the strongest voices in protest music today. Her music explores the complexity of the queer, mixed-race experience, delving into politics and mixing English and Spanish into pure poetry. Her music does justice to its complex themes, while also maintaining a sense of hope and idealism. With her album The Navigator, she took on a David Bowie-type alter ego with her own twist. "I learned I could create a character, the Navigator, who would stand at the intersection of all these identities and weave in and out," she told The Times. "And I related to being the alien. I began to take that as a badge of honor."

Hurray For The Riff Raff - Pa'lante (Official Video) www.youtube.com


3. Janelle Monae

Sometimes it seems like there's nothing Janelle Monae can't do. She rose to the fore with her gender-bending, androgynous appearance, only to cast off even that label in exchange for truly fluid shifts from the silver screen to the largest festival stages. About a year ago, she told Rolling Stone that she identified with elements of bisexuality and pansexuality. "I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you," she said in an interview. "Be proud."

Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer [Emotion Picture] www.youtube.com


4. Julien Baker

Now practically legendary in the indie folk circuit, Julien Baker made waves by speaking openly about her experiences growing up queer and Christian in Tennessee. Since then, her ingenious methods of looping, drawing spare melodies out of her Telecaster, and spinning pain into reverent poetry have made her a prominent and critically acclaimed solo artist in her own right. Plus, boygenius, the trio comprised of Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers (both of whom also identify as queer), is one of the best supergroups of our modern era.

Julien Baker: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert www.youtube.com


boygenius @ Brooklyn Steel | Pitchfork Live www.youtube.com


5. King Princess

Producer-songwriter King Princess has never been shy about her identity as a lesbian—her first tour was called "Pussy is God," and she's referenced a variety of historical and contemporary queer themes in her music. Her best song, "1950," may be referring to the Lavender Scare, when homophobic paranoia reached a peak and many queers had to hide their identities in order to keep their jobs. Despite its heavy inspiration, "1950" is full of electric joy; though its political undertones are very intentional. "I want to get to a place where the story is less about me and my face and more about what the fuck's going on this world. How I can be an active voice for gay people but also the music industry," she said to Rolling Stone. "This is the art we need right now. This is what we need right now. We're in a renaissance, and we need people to rebel, come forth and bring messages into art."

King Princess - 1950 www.youtube.com


6. LP

LP's voice sounds like a mix of Bob Dylan's and Stevie Nicks'—which would be enough to merit a listen on its own—but she's also a masterful songwriter and artist, as well as an open lesbian. Having written hits for Christina Aguilera and the Backstreet Boys, she's now taking the music industry by storm with her infectious, sophisticated brand of folk-rock. Not only does she shred on the ukulele she also wears sunglasses at night and has mastered the art of suit-wearing, so if you're looking for someone to fall in love with, look no further.

LP - Girls Go Wild (Official Video) www.youtube.com


7. ROES

Formerly known as Angel Haze, ROES has just released one track— "Brooklyn"—and if their future releases are anything like that one, we're going to be hearing a lot more from them. The song is a dreamscape, evoking the likes of Frank Ocean as they layer their vocals and bars over brooding electric guitar. The rapper-singer openly identifies as pansexual and has said that they don't consider themselves any particular sex or identify with any particular pronouns, and they prefer to keep their music ambiguous so that everyone can relate to it. They've also been a staunch advocate for mental health. "If I can't say how I feel I go crazy," they told The Fader recently. "Every day I wake up and I'm like 'goddamn, you lived. You're alive again.'

Brooklyn www.youtube.com


8. Tash Sultana

The virtuosic polymath gained fame after their YouTube videos took off, and they've been touring steadily ever since. With their blend of guitar, effortless vocals, and psychedelic grit, they should be on everyone's live show bucket list. Open about their experiences with drug abuse and queerness, they also identify as non-binary, use they/them pronouns, and have often spoken about the ways music has helped them overcome challenges.

Tash Sultana - Can't Buy Happiness (Official Video Clip) 4K www.youtube.com


9. Tish Hyman

A formidable talent in the R&B and hip hop spheres, Hyman has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business. Having cut her teeth on battle rap in the Bronx, she moved to Los Angeles, worked as Lil Wayne's tour manager, and started writing with the likes of Alicia Keys and Kanye West before going solo. Her vocals have drawn comparisons to Lauryn Hill, and her first release, "Subway Art," is a tribute to the twists and turns of life in the big city.

Tish Hyman - Subway Art (Official Video) www.youtube.com


10. Young M.A.

The Brooklyn-raised rapper has always been committed to being authentically herself—the M.A. in her name stands for "Me, Always"—and it seems to be paying off. She sold out her North American tour with 21 Savage, opened for Beyoncé, and her first album Herstory is a triumphant reclamation of her queer black feminist identity. She's always been openly proud of her sexual orientation, telling Vogue that once she came out, she felt she was able to move forward with her career. "I held in being sexually attracted to women for so long that once I got that out of me, the music became easy," she said.

Young M.A "Stubborn Ass" (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com


Honorable Mentions: Let us give thanks to our queer foremothers—to Tegan and Sara, Tracy Chapman, and all the many others who paved the way.

Tracy Chapman - Fast car www.youtube.com



Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.


POP⚡DUST | Read More...

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As a veteran adult actress it’s pretty much a given that Jenna Jameson has faked a thing or two on camera over the years.

And, it seems the 40-year-old is continuing to hone her acting skills, this time for the benefit of Couples Therapy viewers—as a source tells Popdust exclusively that Jameson is totally feigning her “troubled relationship” with John Wood, 34.

According to the source, who has known Jameson for twenty plus years, not only are the retired porn star and the MMA coach pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes—including VH1 executives—when it comes to their supposed relationship woes…in reality, they’re not even in a relationship….

“Jenna and John are totally faking it,” the source says. “They’re not even dating each other, let alone fighting, or concerned about their future together—pure and simple, it is all for the money.

“Jenna was bragging that she got $250,000 to be on the show, and although that’s probably an exaggeration, it’s likely she did actually get somewhere around the $200,000 range.

“John and Jenna did have a couple of drunken hook-ups back in the day, after she found out Tito was cheating on her with John’s ex, Amber Nichole, but the only reason that happened was because she thought it would fuck off Tito—and that plan didn’t pan out well at all. Tito couldn’t have given less of a shit if he tried—in fact, he was relieved to have Jenna off his back, albeit for a brief time.

“Jenna made the decision to fake a relationship with John for monetary and publicity reasons, she’s absolutely desperate for cash and publicity. It’s crazy when you consider how much she was worth back in the day, but she’s totally hurting for money right now—her life is spiraling out of control and she will do pretty much anything if the price is right.”

As Popdust previously reported, Jameson has been struggling to keep it together since losing custody of her twin sons to Ortiz last year, following her arrest on DUI charges—fast forward a year, and she’s not finding it any easier.

“Jenna’s an absolute mess right now,” the source says. “Each time I’ve seen her recently she’s been totally wasted—she’s really not coping. I would put money on Tito’s accusation that she’s hopped up on Oxycontin, she’s certainly displaying all the signs, and she’s eating Xanax like candy.

“It’s a truly sad state of affairs, and she’s doing a really good job of isolating and pushing away all and everyone who has ever genuinely cared about her. I don’t know how this is going to end for Jenna, but I have a sinking feeling that it’s not going to be good.”

Meanwhile, according to a well placed VH1 source, Jameson and Wood aren’t the only faux couple currently undergoing therapy courtesy reality TV doc Jen BermanTodd “Too Short” Shaw is also allegedly faking it for the cameras, pretending he wants to rekindle his romance with ex-girlfriend, Monica Payne.

The source claims show producers flipped a lid recently after it became apparent they had been duped by the rapper, who was paid a whopping $200,000 for his appearance.

Trashy reality TV is back with a vengeance, thanks to the new season of Couples Therapy—which, three episodes in, already promises to be one of the best/worst/same same no difference.

This week, Dr. Jenn Berman, got all up in Jenna Jameson’s grill after she advised Nikki Ferrell (The Bachelor star, Juan Pablo Galavis’ “fiancee”) to tell show producers to “suck a cock”—thereby setting herself up for an ironic boomerang. Right in the facial…. I mean face.

How anyone could be shocked by the veteran adult actress doling out such advice is mind-boggling, but the esteemed doctor put on her very best show of righteous indignation and anger.

“You Jenna, I think you are sabotaging Juan Pablo and Nikki,” Berman railed, pointing a manicured nail in the direction of Jameson, before continuing, “When you sit there and you tell her to tell the producers to suck a cock, when you tell the producers, when you tell her to tell a producer to suck a cock, it’s the same as telling ME to suck a cock, and it’s the same as telling the therapeutic process to suck a cock.”

The therapeutic process? Hahahahaha!! “Sabotaging Juan Pablo and Nikki”? Hahahahaha!!

OK, here’s the back story to Cock-sucking-gate:

The episode had kicked off with Ferrell getting all agro with camera operators for like, trying to film her while she was on set. HOW DARE THEY! SHE’S NOT ON A REALITY TV SHOW TO BE FILMED!!

The acrimony escalated further after Nikki complained about Juan Pablo filming an interview for the show in their bedroom, for, like two hours.

Dr. Jenn, in a Machiavellian moment of PR wizardry, explained that the cameras are necessary to the therapy process, as they force the couples to stay "accountable" for their actions. Right, because the goal here is to help people. Not to score ratings and….oh, maybe make some money.

Dr. Jenn eventually wrangled all the couples together for a sit-down, during which she scolded Nikki for hurling a number of profanity-laced tirades at producers.

Nikki seemed suitably contrite, so Dr. Jenn attempted to re-focus Nikki's attention off of the production crew and onto her relationship woes.

However, sister-supporting team player that she is, Jenna—who appears to have thrown an arm around all the ladies in the house—quickly butted in, rallying to Nikki’s defense, and insisting that she was within her rights to be pissed off at show producers if they intruded on her privacy.

That’s when the aforementioned cock-sucking boomerang flew right back into the porn star’s face—and a fistfight broke out, which culminated in a three-way lesbian kiss. Sadly, that footage has been lost. Or never existed cuz I just made it up.

Tune into VH1 Wednesday nights at 9/8c for all new episodes of Couples Therapy.

Courtney Stodden has spoken, and you better be listening.

The Teen Bride is opening up about cheating; the reckless, promiscuous, wild oat sowing days following her split from Doug Hutchison; and how ultimately, God saved their marriage.

Stodden—who shot to fame after marrying then 51-year-old Hutchison when she was just 16—spilled all in her blog for British newspaper, The Daily Star.

In the post, titled, “‘I wanted to be reckless and promiscuous’ Courtney Stodden on wild single life” the now 20-year-old sets the record straight on all those rumors she cheated on Doug, the authenticity of their marriage, and how she is NOT a gold digger.

“Ever since I appeared on the Couples Therapy Reunion Show on VH1 last week, there has been a lot of speculation about the authenticity of my marriage as well as accusations that I cheated,” she writes. “I’m here to set the record straight.

“I’m very much in love with Doug. Our marriage is stronger than ever and I look forward to renewing our vows together. And, though I had relations with other men after our break-up, I never snuck around and cheated.”

Stodden goes on to explain how she suffered a crisis of marriage faith while appearing on the British show, Celebrity Big Brother, after the epiphany that while she was getting her marriage license, other young teens were out there exploring the big, bad world and having fun.

“I married young and never slept around before saying 'I do' [I was a virgin on our honeymoon],” she continues.

“So, once I was in that CBB house – away from my home, away from Doug, away from my family for the first time ever – I felt as if I was thrown into a whole other world of partying, drinking, flirting, no rules or morals, as if I was thrust into an alternative universe experiencing the 'typical' teen years that got cut short.”

She then confesses to feeling the need to, “’sow my wild oats', so to speak, and experience what it would be like to be young, reckless and promiscuous.”

Explaining she was upfront and open about all of this to Hutchison, who, although “crushed”, allowed her the freedom to get it all out of her system, all while continuing to demonstrate “true selfless love”.

Luckily for poor old Doug, it appears his teen bride quickly tired of the single life after just a short six months of partying, drinking and hooking up with dudes—none of whom, she says, matched up to experienced, actor hubby.

“I learned very quickly that the dating world, especially in Hollywood, isn't all it's cracked up to be. And that promiscuity, in the end, is meaningless and unsatisfactory despite being exciting at first,” she writes.

And, when her experimental phase was over, good old Doug was there waiting for Courtney with open arms and they both lived happily ever after in wedded bliss (with a little help along the way from the big guy up there in the clouds)

“It took some time, a lot of healing, heart-to-hearts and getting back to God, but eventually Doug and I returned into each other's arms and we've never been happier,” Stodden shares, before concluding by setting the gold digger rumors to rest.

“Before Doug, and during our separation, I was wooed by producers, athletes, musicians/actors, doctors, lawyers, politicians, you name it. I was even pursued by an extremely wealthy Saudi prince,” Courtney explains. “None of them intrigued me in the least. None of them captured my heart.

“So trust me. If I were a true gold-digger, the gold mines out there are plentiful and I know how to wield a shovel. But me? I'd rather dig for a good man regardless of stature, regardless of bank account. I'd rather dig for things like character, kindness, honesty, faithfulness and strength.

“And I did. I just can't help but dig Doug!”

The Love Story of our generation is about to start a new chapter...

The cries of the masses have been heard! There’s a Part 2 of Couple’s Therapy Reunion in case you didn’t get enough of last week’s trash entertainment.

Things start off this week talking about Doug Hutchison’s rocky relationship with his teenage bride Courtney Stodden, who by the way, needs to grow back her damn eyebrows.

After the esteemed Dr. Jenn Berman recaps their time in the therapy house, Nik Richie and Doug immediately start going at it again. Basically, Nik and Shayne Lamas are grossed out that Courtney was such a slutty slut coming on to Nik in the house…IN FRONT OF DOUG. Or to quote Shayne, “Do you think I want my man looking at that while he’s eating his potatoes?” Umm, we're gonna vote no. Doug blames their portrayal on editing and everyone at the reunion simultaneously loses their shit. Courtney actually ends up apologizing and admitting that she was immature and out of line.

Shayne literally can’t believe what she’s hearing come out of Courtney’s mouth. She’s so happy that Courtney is owning up to her shenanigans that she apparently wants to hang out. “I gave you my number but you never called me,” she says in her most Clueless voice. Gag. Anyway, rest assured that according to Doug, Dourtney will be together FOR. EV. ER.

Meanwhile, Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra from Teen Mom fame, announced that they’ve set a wedding date for next year and SURPRISE they’re expecting a baby. Everything else they said was boring as hell until they started talking about Farrah Abraham’s alleged remarks that they’re making poor choices by having another baby. DING, here goes round one!

Tyler wants to know why Farrah went on the show in the first place, because he thinks her “relationship” was staged and it was all a set up for money. Farrah denies, denies, denies and says she didn’t need the money. To which Catelynn replied, “Yeah, because you sold your vagina!” And she literally HAS sold her vagina…or at least a rubber mold of it. As Popdust previously reported, the “entrepreneur” has a line of sex toys, an erotic novel trilogy, and let’s not forget her Christian parenting book. What the actual f*ck? Is this real life?

Shayne makes the mistake of raising the subject of Abraham's porn tape, and is quickly corrected by Farrah. It was a sex tape, not porn, OK? “I don’t do porn!” Whoa, calm down Backdoor Teen Mom, but we think thousands of satisfied men would say otherwise.

Even with all of Farrah’s questionable choices, Catelynn and Tyler are very insistent that she’s an amazing mother who would do anything (and we do mean anything) to provide for her daughter. In the end Farrah and Catelynn hug it out, and all the couples live happily ever after in D-Lister paradise.

What did you think of Couple’s Therapy Reunion Part 2? Sound off in the comments below!

 

 

 

Part 1 of VH1’s Couples Therapy Reunion graced our television screens tonight. You know, that show no one watches, with the people no one likes, on the network that hasn’t been cool since 1997 when K-Ci & JoJo were popular.

First of all, they brought back people from a million different seasons who weren’t necessarily in therapy together. So you can imagine the intelligent, respectful commentary coming from the different couples. And by intelligent and respectful, of course we mean nothing but complete and total bullshit. Secondly, half of the air time was literally spent recapping what happened when the people were actually in therapy years ago. Hmmm, possibly because the producers figured no one would remember a damn thing about these D-listers?

Farrah Abraham Says She’s Better Than Kim Kardashian!

Dr. Jenn Berman starts off checking in with Nik Richie and Shayne Lamas, who despite their past problems, are probably the most stable couple in the bunch. Nik opens up about the tragic miscarriage Shayne suffered that almost took her life. Doctors were unable to save their son who was delivered extremely prematurely, and Nik brings everyone to tears describing himself talking to his tiny baby for the first and last time.

That event seems to have brought the couple closer together and showed them what is truly important in life. Shayne shares that even though she had a hysterectomy, with the help of miracle IVF specialist, Dr. David Smotrich of La Jolla, CA they were able to save her eggs and the couple is expecting another child via a surrogate.

Ok, buckle in kids, because every single thing that happens after Nik and Shayne is a trainwreck of epic proportions.

Next Dr. Jenn moves to JoJo (of K-Ci & JoJo) and Tiny Hailey. It becomes very apparent that JoJo’s R&B boy band days are long gone and he’s now a mean, chubby drunk. According to Tiny, he’s been hospitalized several times due to alcohol. Now JoJo claims to have “slowed his roll” and that he only drinks on appropriate occasions. Apparently Doug Hutchison thinks that this reunion is one such occasion and asks JoJo if he’s drunk. That sets JoJo off big time and he starts trashing Doug and his teen bride Courtney Stodden saying, “Y’all don’t know my life!” Dr. Jenn tells him that he clearly hasn’t hit rock bottom if he’s not willing to change his ways. Very observant, TV doctor. PS, are shrinks allowed to cuss at their patients?!

Now let’s jump over to Doug and Courtney's couch, shall we? Well shit, after the “I’m raising my wife” comment and getting kicked out of the therapy house because of Courtney’s lack of clothing, where can this couple go? To Celebrity Big Brother UK, that’s where! Courtney confesses that when she spent nine months in England doing the show, she basically lived as a single woman and dated other people while Doug was stateside. Everyone starts asking about their current relationship status, except for JoJo who doesn’t want to hear about that “f*cking pervert” and his “nasty ass shit.”

It’s at this point we hear from the Backdoor Teen Mom herself, Farrah Abraham, who chimes in with such nonsense it’s laughable. Basically she hasn’t had any screen time yet so she spouts out some bullshit about how everyone needs to be respectful of one another. Stick a dick in it, Farrah.

Anyway, Doug confesses that it was he who suggested the separation, but nobody’s buying it. Courtney starts her [sniff, sniff] revelation [sniff, sniff] about how much she loves Doug [cue tears] and how they’ll be together for the rest of his life. Bah! Doug then compares the “painful” life events that they went through to what Nik and Shayne went through, and their heads almost spun off their bodies. Really Doug?! You’re comparing your teenage bride cheating on you to a near-death miscarriage?! Keep it classy, Dourtney.

Tune in next week if you want to see Farrah get slammed some more…or just go watch her porno.

What did you think of Couple's Therapy Reunion part 1? Sound off in the comments below!