Chosen to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969, June is LGBT Pride Month.
The Stonewall Inn had been a heterosexual nightclub until three members of the mafia turned it into a gay club in 1966. During that time, it was the only gay bar in New York City where dancing was allowed.
Gay Pride parades began after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn had gone terribly violent in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969.
Today, events and activities all over the country are organized to fight for equal rights and celebrate self-affirmation and dignity for all LGBT people. This week we're joining in the celebration with a musical tribute to all things gay.
SONG OF THE monDAY
Written by Chic members Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, I'm Coming Out was released in August, 1980 as the second single from Diana Ross's album, Diana. Rodgers and Edwards wrote the song after seeing three drag queens dressed as Diana Ross at a New York City club. When Ross found out that it was intended for the gay community, she freaked out. Talked off the ledge, I'm Coming Out became a smash-hit for Ross, landing on the charts in seven countries and peaking at No. 5 on Billboard Hot 100.
SONG OF THE tuesDAY
Village People is a disco group formed in 1977 and named after New York City’s Greenwich Village, which was known for its gay population at the time. The group openly targeted disco’s gay audience by featuring band members dressed in costumes to represent American masculinity and macho gay-fantasy personas. The song Y.M.C.A. is their most popular hit. Released in November 1978 from the album Cruisin’, it reached No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100, blocked from the top spot by Chic’s Le Freak and Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?. Though the band publicly claim the song was actually about the YMCA, many believe it’s a double entendre celebrating the Y’s reputation, at the time, for being a popular cruising and hookup spot for gay men.
SONG OF THE wednesDAY
I Kissed a Girl is from Katy Perry’s second studio album, One of the Boys (2008). Though deemed controversial, it topped the charts in 17 countries and spent seven consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100. Earning nominations for both a Grammy and Kids’ Choice Award, the song is about curiosity and the beauty of women. Perry has performed I Kissed a Girl on countless shows, during the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show, and for her 2009 live album, MTV Unplugged: Katy Perry.
SONG OF THE thursDAY
Written by Melissa Etheridge, Come to My Window is from her 1993 album, Yes I Am. This was the first song Etheridge released after she had publicly announced that she was gay. The lyrics allude to the singer’s activism for the acceptance of same-sex relationships, but the singer almost didn’t put the song on the album. Good thing she did. It peaked at No. 25 on Billboard Hot 100 and earned Etheridge a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
SONG OF THE friDAY
I Want to Break Free was written by John Deacon and released in 1984 from Queen's album, The Works. An idea proposed by Roger Taylor, the music video was a spoof of the British soap opera, Coronation Street, where band members dressed as the female characters of the show. In the UK, viewers understood the joke, but in the US, it was not well received. It depicts Freddie Mercury as a housewife (Bet Lynch) who wants to break free from her routines.
SONG OF THE saturDAY
Born This Way is the lead single from Lady Gaga’s second studio album, Born This Way (2011). While on the road with The Monster Ball Tour, Gaga was inspired by 1990s music that empowered women and the gay community. In interviews, she has said it’s her freedom song. Released in February 2011, Born This Way hit the top spot in 25 countries and was her third No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100.
SONG OF THE sunDAY
Written by Paul Jabara and Paul Schaffer, It's Raining Men was first offered to Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Cher, and Barbra Streisand before The Weather Girls recorded it 1982 for their third studio album, Success. Originally billed as Two Tons O’ Fun, Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes-Armstead rejected the song at first but eventually agreed. Their version become an international hit, earned a Grammy nominations, is considered by many critics as one of the best songs of the 1980s, has sold over 6 million copies worldwide, and has become a staple song at gar bars all over the world.