It’s no news that pop music, and it’s royals, have always been present in LGBTQ+ culture. While our club spaces may have their doors closed at the moment, we decided to recall some of the songs that continue to make us reach for those high notes, even if only from our kitchens for the moment. Hit it!
1. Samantha Mumba – ‘Gotta Tell You’
‘Gotta Tell You’ was the debut single from Dublin-born pop star, Samantha Mumba that continues to serve up a slice of nostalgia whenever we hear it. It was an international smash reaching number one in Ireland and spending 22 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 songs. Samantha has just recently announced her return to music after a long break with new singles, ‘COOL’ and ‘Process’.
2. Kylie Minogue – ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’
With a driving disco bassline alongside the irresistible “la, la las”, Kylie’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ has been a staple in queer clubs for almost 20 years now – still sounding as fresh as ever. As of 2018, the track has sold over five million copies worldwide.
3. Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa, P!nk – ‘Lady Marmalade’
Everyone becomes a part of the cast of the Moulin Rouge when this comes on. The track first became a popular hit when it was recorded in 1974 by American girl group, Labelle. Though it was this 2001 cover that captured the imagination of a whole new generation – both on dance floors and private bedroom lipsyncs.
4. Whitney Houston – ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’
Whitney Houston was bound to appear on our list. While she provided us with so many hit songs through the decades, we chose this one in the spirit of those aching to get back onto a packed dance floor.
5. Madonna – ‘Hung Up’
Time goes by so slowly. A line that’s feeling too real right now. Madonna expresses her frustrations around a deadbeat partnership on 2005’s ‘Hung Up’ featuring the iconic instrumental sample from ABBA’s ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’.
6. Sylvester – ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’
Who can resist this track? Sylvester originally recorded it as a slow, piano driven gospel song, however after legendary producer Patrick Cowley saw a rehearsal, he offered to remix it. The result was this shimmering anthem whose impact will be felt by generations of club-goers to come.
7. Loreen – ‘Euphoria’
Sweden’s Loreen swept up the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2012 with this glossy synth-pop anthem. ‘Euphoria’ received the highest number of maximum points of any entry in the contest’s history with 18 countries awarding the song their top marks.
8. Moloko – ‘Sing It Back’
Ireland’s very own Queen of Disco, Róisín Murphy, hit us with this shimmering smash hit back in 1999. While originally recorded by Moloko, it was this remix by Boris Dlugosch that saw it soar the charts. Róisín has since gone solo with her latest album, 2020’s Róisín Machine, continuing to provide the soundtrack to kitchen parties across the globe.
9. Charli XCX – ‘Vroom Vroom’
Charli XCX is responsible for some of the 2010’s biggest floorfillers including ‘I Love It (ft. Icona Pop), ‘1999’ ft. Troye Sivan and ‘Fancy’ ft. Iggy Azalea. Though it was ‘Vroom Vroom’ that saw Charli hone in on her new, futuristic hyperpop sound with the help of the late transgender DJ and producer, SOPHIE.
10. Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
The ultimate emotional banger. ‘Dancing On My Own’ tells the story of Robyn finding the man she loves in the club dancing with another woman, while he is unaware of her presence. The inspiration for the track came from moments Robyn observed while on her previous tour and her favourite “inherently sad gay disco anthems”.
11. Cher – ‘Believe’
We thought we’d end our list of songs on an auto-tuned high. The lyrics of Cher’s club staple ‘Believe’, are filled with messages of self-empowerment and independence following a painful breakup. The decision to distort Cher’s vocals was a risk worthy of taking as, decades later, the legacy of ‘Believe’ lives on.
For even more queer anthems, check out The George’s very own Pop Playlist, on Spotify.
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