Grammy-winning country music star Kacey Musgraves, a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community, will receive the Vanguard Award at the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards April 2 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, GLAAD announced Tuesday.
GLAAD's Vanguard Award is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. Previous honorees include Beyonce and Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Kerry Washington, Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Patricia Arquette, and Antonio Banderas.
"From speaking out against anti-LGBTQ legislation in her home state of Texas, to raising awareness about bullying affecting LGBTQ youth, to uplifting the work of LGBTQ artists, Kacey continues to raise the bar for what it means to be an authentic ally and to inspire her fans to do the same," GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release.
Musgraves's 2013 single "Follow Your Arrow," which she co-wrote, contains the lyrics "make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls if that's what you're into ... just follow your arrow wherever it points." She fought to have it played on country radio, and it became an LGBTQ+ anthem. She performed it at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York in 2014, becoming the first country artist to perform at the ceremony.
Then her 2018 Grammy- winning album Golden Hour included the song "Rainbow," for which the video featured a young queer man in conflict with his parents, with Musgraves joining as the accepting peacemaker. She has collaborated with numerous LGBTQ+ artists, including Troye Sivan, MUNA, and King Princess, and she has been a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race. She has spoken out for LGBTQ+ rights and has authored a love letter to her LGBTQ+ fans, saying, "To my friends in the LGBTQ community: thank you. While the career stuff is great, it's fleeting. You changed me as a human."
GLAAD also announced that Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield will present the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Michaela Jae Rodriguez. GLAAD announced Rodriguez's honor last month. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an LGBTQ+ media professional who has made major progress in promoting LGBTQ+ acceptance. Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Laverne Cox, Jim Parsons, Wanda Sykes, Troye Sivan, Ruby Rose, Chaz Bono, Stephen Warren, Melissa Etheridge, and Sir Ian McKellen.
The ceremony will be hosted by the stars of We're Here, Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O'Hara, and DJ "Shangela" Pierce. Special guests will include JoJo Siwa, Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, Jasmin Savoy Brown (Yellowjackets, Scream), Liv Hewson (Yellowjackets, Bombshell), Meredith Marks (TheReal Housewives of Salt Lake City), Ronen Rubinstein and Rafael Silva (9-1-1: Lone Star), Nico Santos (Superstore, Crazy Rich Asians), writer and comedian Zeke Smith, and cast members of RuPaul's Drag Race.
The GLAAD Media Awards honor fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ+ people and issues. In addition to the Los Angeles ceremony, there will be one May 6 at the Hilton Midtown in New York City. There are 246 nominees in 30 categories.