The Grammys are going to be pretty queer this year

The Grammys are going to be pretty queer this year
Sam Smith in the "Unholy" video Photo: Screenshot

Last week, the Recording Academy announced the first group of performers scheduled to take the stage at this year’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards on February 5. Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Sam Smith, and Kim Petras will all perform live at the Arena in Los Angeles for the ceremony, which will air on CBS and stream live on Paramount+.

On Sunday, Harry Styles was also confirmed to be performing at this year’s Grammys.

The roster is notable not just for including some of the biggest names in pop music, but being almost 50 percent LGBTQ+. Four of the nine performers announced so far identify as part of the queer community.

Smith and Petras, whose groundbreaking hit single “Unholy” is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, identify as non-binary and trans respectively. “Unholy” reached the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 in October, making it the first single by out non-binary and trans artists to earn the No. 1 spot on the chart. Smith previously won four Grammys in 2015, including Best New Artist and Record of the Year for their song “Stay with Me (Darkchild Version).”

Out singer-songwriter Carlile, meanwhile, already has six Grammys and is up for seven more this year. Her song “You and Me on the Rock” is nominated for Record of the Year, Best Americana Performance, and Best American Roots Song. Her 2021 release In These Silent Days is nominated for Album of the Year and Best Americana Album, while her song “Broken Horses” is up for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

Openly bisexual singer-songwriter Steve Lacy has previously earned two Grammy nominations for Best Urban Contemporary Album, first in 2016 with his band The Internet for their album Ego Death, and again in 2020 for his debut solo album Apollo XXI. This year, he’s up for another four awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance for his single “Bad Habit,” and Best Progressive R&B Album for Gemini Rights.

Aside from the out talent, Lizzo, Styles, and Bad Bunny are all allies with big LGBTQ+ followings and have occasionally hinted at fluid sexuality in interviews—sparking accusations of queer-baiting for Bunny and Styles.

More performers will likely be announced ahead of the Grammys this Sunday, but the show is still shaping up to be pretty queer.

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