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10 LGBTQ+ Eurovision Artists From the Past Decade You Should Listen to

10 LGBTQ+ Eurovision Artists From The Past Decade You Should Listen To

If you’re getting ready for Eurovision 2024 on May 11, make sure your playlist has these LGBTQ+ artists from the past decade on it…

By Stephan Petar

At Eurovision 2024, eight LGBTQ+ artists will be competing for the glass microphone trophy and the chance to bring the world’s largest music event to their home country.

LGBTQ+ singers have been at Eurovision since its early days, though not openly out. In fact, Iceland’s Paul Oscar was the first openly gay competitor at the contest when he competed in 1997.

In the past decade, four LGBTQ+ artists have won the glass microphone trophy including reigning champion Loreen. There have been plenty of amazing LGBTQ+ artists that have qualified to compete at the song contest, but we’re giving you 10 songs that made the Grand Finale in the past decade for you to add to your playlist.  

Country: Sweden | Year: 2023 + 2012 | Song: Tattoo Euphoria Placement: Won, with 583 points + Won, with 372 points

Loreen is the second artist and first woman to win Eurovision twice. The singer and actress identifies as bisexual and makes music with messages of inclusion and representation. The Stockholm singer’s journey to Eurovision started on Sweden’s version of Idol, where she placed fourth. She then had a career as a segment producer and director on various reality shows before entering Melodifestivalen 2011, which is Sweden’s national song competition to select their representative. While she lost that first time, she came back the following year with Euphoria and the rest is history.

Country: Norway | Year: 2023 | Song: Queen of the Kings Placement: 5, with 268 points. 

The Italian-Norwegian singer wowed audiences with Queen of the Kings, a song about self-love and one that explores her experiences as a bisexual woman. The BBC describes the tune as a “self-empowerment anthem that fuses Lady Gaga’s synth-pop with Norse mythology,” and we couldn’t agree more. The singer was born in Italy and only moved to Norway a few years ago to be closer to her grandparents. While the original version of the song is already great, we highly recommend also adding the Italian version and the Garby Ponte remix. 

Country: Belgium | Year: 2023 | Song: Because of You Placement: 7, with 182 points 

While Gustaph has performed on the Eurovision stage before as a backup singer for Hooverphonic (2021) and Sennek (2018), 2023 was his first solo performance at the song contest with Because of You, which won the Belgium national selection by a single point. The artist has been making music since 2000, but originally went by the name Steffen. In interviews he has revealed he came out at 14. 

Country: Italy | Year: 2022 | Song: Brividi Placement: 6, with 268 points 

Mahmood has never defined his sexuality saying, “It makes no sense to make distinctions anymore.” However, we cannot deny the power his duet with Blanco called Brividi (or “Chills” in English) made during the 2022 song contest. The New York Times stated “The love song, and its video showing the artist Mahmood embracing another man, has been well received in a nation with a spotty history on LGBTQ rights.” Many assumed a wave of pushback for the song, similar to when Mahmood received anti-immigration pushback when he won the Italian song selection for Soldi in 2019, but it didn’t. When asked about the song Mahmood said it “normalizes what should have always been normal.” He told the Eurovision blog the song is about “…two different generations, with the same fears about exposing your feelings to someone that you love…The power of the song is freedom.”

Country: Italy | Year: 2021 | Song: Zitti E Buoni Placement: Won, with 524 points 

This four piece rock-band won the contest during its COVID-19 return. The Grammy-nominated group formed in 2016 and competed in the Italian version of X Factor where they placed second. Today, they’re not only Eurovision winners, but also taking over the world. Bassist Victoria De Angelis has said she is bisexual and has been very outspoken about her experience dating the same sex in Italy, a conservative country, noting how at times she felt uncomfortable. 

Country: Netherlands | Year: 2019 | Song: Arcade | Placement: Won, with 498 points 

Duncan took home the top prize while competing in Tel Aviv in 2019 and is the longest reigning winner of the song contest as the following year was cancelled due to COVID-19. Arcade is now the most streamed Eurovision song according to the song contest and the first to surpass one million streams. Though achieving that status was slow. It wasn’t until 2020, when the ballad was featured on a TikTok that it went viral and started becoming a massive hit internationally, becoming the first Eurovision song to chart on the US Billboard 100. Duncan, who identifies as bisexual was born in Spijkenisse, Netherlands which is about a half-hour car drive from Rotterdam where Eurovision 2021 was held. Also the duet version of the song with FLETCHER is a must listen.

Country: Norway | Year: 2019 | Song: Spirit in the Sky | Placement: 6, with 331 points 

Singer and songwriter Tom Hugo is one-third of Norway’s KEiiNO who formed in 2018 and then went to perform in Eurovision the following year. The band has been noted for their unique blending of electronic pop, Nordic folk melodies and joik (a song type of the Sámi people, an Indigenous people from northern Scandinavian countries and parts of Russia). Tom wrote the Eurovision hit with his bandmates and his partner Alexander Olsson. 

Country: France | Year: 2019 | Song: Roi | Placement: 16, with 105 points 

This singer, songwriter and social media personality, was only 19 when they represented France at Eurovision. Bilal prefers the term gender fluid and uses she/he pronouns. Roi, translated to King in English, is a song “about self-acceptance and being unashamedly true to oneself.” Sadly, the singer faced a barrage of homophobic harassment even before winning the French national selection, but luckily the support for the artist outweighed the negative.

Country: Finland | Year: 2018 | Song: Monsters | Placement: 25, with 46 points 

This singer is no stranger to audiences appearing on The Voice of Finland, the U.K. version of X Factor and as a judge on Finland’s X Factor. She tried to represent Finland twice before at Eurovision in 2011 and 2016, but placed second in her national finals both times. In 2018, the Finnish people selected Monsters as their choice to represent the country in Lisbon. While the song won the hearts of Finnish fans, it only got 46 points at the song contest. Saara has been called an inspiration to many as she has been forthcoming in discussing the pressures she faced in the music industry after coming out.

Country: Austria | Year: 2014 | Song: Rise Like a Phoenix  Placement: Won, with 290 points 

It has been 10 years since Conchita Wurst won the contestbecoming an international symbol for tolerance and artistic freedom. The performance was iconic and unforgettable. Conchitca stood solo on stage, long-haired and bearded, holding a microphone as a single spotlight shined down for the first half before changing to a red hue with fire graphics appearing on the screen and pyrotechnics to close the show. Born Tom Neuwirth in Gmunden, about an hour from Salzburg, Neuwirth first performed as Conchita Wurst in 2011 during the talent show Die große Chance. 

*** BONUS ***

Country: Luxembourg | Year: 1961 + 1981 | Song: Nous Les Amoureux C’est Peut-être Pas L’AmériquePlacement: Won, with 31 points + 11 with, 41 points

Yes, I understand the parameters of a decade, but a special shout out to Luxembourg because this will be the first time since 1993 that the small European country will be competing in the song contest! French comedian, actor and singer Jean-Claude was the country’s first winner with the song Nous Les Amoureux. The song was about a thwarted lover that many believe was about a gay couple. Jean-Claude was said to have identified as a gay man. 

Canadians can watch the broadcast live on the official Eurovision YouTube channel starting at 3:00 p.m. EST or 12:00 p.m. PST.

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