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The 12 Best Songs By Queer Artists in 2022
These Are the Best Songs by Queer Artists This Year
The state of queer music is bold and strong in 2022. With the amount of LGBTQ+ talent in the game right now, it's a packed race for the top tier. Queer stars Lil Nas X, Steve Lacy, Brandi Carlile, Jake Wesley Rogers, and Lizzo put out purely great music this year, and sapphic pop has never been better. Artists like FLETCHER, Zolita, and Muna are putting out some of the best pop music on the market. So, after much deliberation, here are our 12 best songs by LGBTQ+ artists this year:
12. "C'mon Baby Cry" by Orville Peck
The gay "yeehaw" agenda is going strong on Orville Peck's latest album Bronco, which features the heart-achingly beautiful "C'mon Baby Cry." Peck displays his mournful baritone voice in this classic country song about longing. The singer has proven himself to be an artist that we can continuously expect great things from.
11. “You’re Not My Friend” by Semler
Semler's straightforward and unflinching songs -- including this one about an actual former friend of theirs -- kicked open doors for queer artists on the Christian charts this year, after their song hit number one on the iTunes Christian Chart. This song flips the narrative on Christians who preach love but ultimately choose judgement. In this song, Semler says they hope their homophobic friend finds Jesus-- she's the one who really needs him.
10. “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” by Elton John and Dua Lipa
True legends never die. Elton John made his way back to the top of the pop charts this year with this wonderfully danceable duet with Dua Lipa. Using a super fun interpolation of his classic song "Rocket Man," John proves that he's still a master of his craft -- as the song continues to be a hit at dance clubs everywhere.
9. “All the Good Times” by Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen's first album since coming out, Big Time, is an instant classic. It's soaring and triumphant, slow burning and sumptuous, and we can really see how Olsen feels free to be her best self. In this twangy vintage country throwback, the artist sings about heartbreak and transformation. It's the best song on one of the best-reviewed albums of the year.
8. “Persuasive” by Doechii
Doechii is here to stay. The 24-year-old rapper just released her sophomore EP she/her/black bitch, proving that she's one of the most exciting young voices in music. Whether it's her original version or the remix with SZA, "Persuasive" is the sexiest song about marijuana in years. Weed may be persuasive, but I'd listen to anything Doechii told me.
7. “Just Another Song” by Kelechi ft. Vincint
Dance and disco are timeless sounds on the endlessly fun,1980s-style pop hit full of synth and vocal reverb. With a beat you can't help but dance to and a hook that makes you want to sing, these two queer artists came together to make a song that would be a perfect fit at any '80s-themed dance party. They sing "this is just another song for another lonely heart," but it's not just any song -- it's a bop!
6. “For the Girls” by Hayley Kiyoko
Lesbian Jesus did it again this year, releasing Panorama, her second and best album yet. It features standouts like "Deep in the Woods" and "Sugar at the Bottom" -- but this particular banger had us singing all summer long. When we talk sapphic pop, this is the pinnacle -- Kiyoko has perfected the art form. It's celebratory; it revels in what's great about being gay; it's got a beat you can dance to and flirt with a girl to. What more can you want?
5. “Altar” by Kehlani
Technically "Altar" came out at the end of 2021, but it was the first single from Kehlani's terrific album Blue Water Road that released this year -- and, as one of our most listened to songs of 2022, it belongs near the top of this list. This is baby-making music at its best -- a sexy beat and even sexier lyrics and vocals.
4. “Booty” by Saucy Santana ft. Latto
In this banger, Saucy Santana uses the same sample Beyonce did for "Crazy in Love" -- the Chi-Lites' "Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)" -- which were big shoes to fill, but "Booty" pulls it off. It's so fun, so exciting, so sexy, so funny, and so, so good. Latto also brings her A-game to this song celebrating the BBL and all things bootylicious.
3. “29” by Demi Lovato
Wow. Lovato's "29" is a scathing indictment of her relationship with Wilmer Valderrama, whom she started dating at 17 when he was 29. Now that she's 29, she looks back on the relationship with clear eyes. Lovato's always been the queen of Gay Wrath Anthems ("I Really Don't Care," "Sorry Not Sorry") and this is her best yet. "Finally 29, 17 would never cross my mind, thought it was a teenage dream but it was yours, it wasn't mine," she sings. Few songs have lyrics that hit this hard. It's great to see Lovato in top form, expressing her truth so powerfully.
2. "Unholy" by Sam Smith and Kim Petras
photo credit: Tasos Katopodis for Getty Images
Sam Smith's highest charting song since "Stay With Me," and Kim Petras' debut on the Hot 100 couldn't be better. The global hit combines Smith's smooth vocals, Petras' glitzy pop, a sexy but menacing bass line, sultry lyrics about infidelity, a choir of singers, and one of the best hooks in years -- all into one song. This song is a bold departure for Smith, with minor chords and Middle Eastern-inspired progressions. "Unholy" is a vibe, a mood, a moment -- and perhaps the dawn of Smith's super villain era.
1. “Boyfriend” by Dove Cameron
Dove Cameron took the internet and mainstream radio by storm with this sexy and deeply sapphic anthem. The artist preaches that regardless of gender, she can be a better boyfriend than someone who doesn't treat their girlfriend right. Cameron is so strong and confident in this song, you can't help but feel like being a queer woman is the coolest thing in the universe. This is the kind of song that is a cultural reset.