The 29th GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Music Artist Nominees

Music has the power to change hearts and minds. As such, singers and songwriters have a major platform to promote equality and justice. Our ten Outstanding Music Artist nominees have proven themselves as advocates for the LGBTQ community, as well as extremely talented musicians. Take a listen:

Miley Cyrus, Younger Now (RCA Records)

Miley is a longstanding advocate for the LGBTQ community. One of her biggest projects was founding the Happy Hippie Foundation to support homeless and LGBTQ youth. In addition, Miley publicly came out as pansexual in 2015. Her album blends pop-rock influences with country and features single “Inspired” about promoting more love in the world, which she released during Pride month celebrations back in June.

Halsey, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (Astralwerks Records)

Halsey's album is set in a futuristic land (possibly known as the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom), and revolves around two families: Angelus and Aureum. The Angelus family rules over the kingdom, while the Aureum family lives among the common people. Halsey has long been open about her bisexuality, and regularly includes LGBTQ themes and storylines in her work.

Honey Dijon, The Best of Both Worlds (Classic Music Company)

The Chicago-raised DJ and producer Honey Dijon grew up on the city’s South Side and first snuck out to go clubbing when she was 12. She was inspired by the mix of genders, sexualities, races, ethnicities, and social classes in the club scene, and has a passionate belief in sound’s ability to connect people. The Best of Both Worlds, Dijon’s debut album, takes its inspiration from those experiences. Honey Dijon is transgender and has been a vocal advocate for trans rights.

Kehlani, SweetSexySavage (TSNMI/Atlantic Records)

Kehlani, a queer R&B artist from Oakland, is an advocate for the LGBTQ community, and regulalry promotes love and acceptance at her shows. Her most recent album title was inspired by TLC's album, CrazySexyCool, and she stated that it was "more fun and aggressive" than her earlier work.

Kelela, Take Me Apart (Warp Records)

In a press release, Kelela explained that the album expresses "an honest vision of how we navigate dissolving ties with each other and yet remain sanguine for the next chance at love," continuing: "despite it being a personal record, the politics of my identity informs how it sounds and how I choose to articulate my vulnerability and strength. I am a black woman, a second-generation Ethiopian-American who grew up in the 'burbs listening to R&B, jazz and Björk." Kelela also openly identifies as queer.

Kesha, Rainbow (Kemosabe/RCA Records)

Kesha, who is openly bisexual, says she has had a "very deep connection to the LGBT communities" since she was a young girl growing up in Nashville, when she felt like a "misfit" and hung out with "other social outsiders, many of them in the LGBT community." “For the past couple of years, color has been symbolic of hope for me,” she writes. “I don’t think it is a coincidence that it’s also symbolic for the LGBTQ community, a sign of freedom to be yourself and celebrate who you are no matter what anyone else thinks. I have been trying to bring more color into my life because that light brings me more happiness and more joy.”

Perfume Genius, No Shape (Matador Records)

Perfume Genius is the stage name for Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas. Growing up, Hadreas was the only openly gay student at his school.  In 2008, Hadreas set up a MySpace page under the name Perfume Genius, which is how his music career began. Hadreas's music explores topics including sexuality, his personal struggle with Crohn's disease, domestic abuse, and the dangers faced by gay men in contemporary society.

Sam Smith, The Thrill of It All (Capitol Records)

Sam Smith is an out singer/songwriter, and his latest album continues his trend of belting out frank and powerful songs about love and loss. Sam has never shyed away from his sexuality, and including that honest perspective in his music is what has made him so popular.

St. Vincent, MASSEDUCTION (Loma Vista Recordings)

Annie Clark, who goes by the stage name of St. Vincent, states: "I'm not one for gender or sexual absolutism in the main; I fully support and engage in the spectrum."  Her fifth studio album, MASSEDUCATION, focuses on themes of power, sex, drugs, sadness, imperiled relationships, and death. The album draws from electropop and glam rock influences to create a sound that is uniquely St. Vincent.

Wrabel, We Could Be Beautiful (Epic/Sony Records)

In July 2017, Wrabel released a song titled The Village, which is dedicated to show support for transgender people. The video shows a young trans boy living with his closed-minded family while the lyrics explain the difficulties in being transgender and a part of the LGBT+ community. The song was written in February 2017 after the removal of federal protections for trans students in public schools, and was quickly released after Trump tweeted about banning transgender individuals from the military. Wrabel is openly gay, and many of his songs deal with personal relationships and past difficulties.

The winner will be announced at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York at the New York Hilton Midtown on Saturday, May 5, 2018. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives. They also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBTQ community that build support for equality.