February 20, 2024

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The 10 Best Pride Albums of 2023 So Far: Staff Picks

7 min read
Kelela, Christine and the Queens, Boygenius, Kaytranada, Arlo Parks

From beach party bliss to total reinventions, our staff picks their 10 favorite albums from LGBTQ artists in 2023 thus far.

When reviewing our favorite queer albums of 2022 back in December, Billboard noted the backslide that occurred throughout the year when it came to LGBTQ acceptance in society at large. We’re six months into 2023, and it’s safe to say that the situation has worsened dramatically. With record-setting numbers of brazen anti-LGBTQ bills being introduced around the country, as well as rising numbers of hate crimes being committed against the community, 2023 has become a scary year to be queer.

The attacks being levied against members of the queer community have also, to varying degrees, found their way into the LGBTQ music space. Drag performers have seen numerous states attempt to limit or ban their ability to perform publicly; queer and trans artists attempting to showcase edgier art have been targeted by online campaigns deeming them “demonic”; and musicians have even had to pick sides when it comes to the beer that they drink because of rampant transphobia.

Yet one thing has not been diminished by the current wave of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric: the proliferation of excellent albums from queer artists. Throughout the first half of 2023, LGBTQ performers have continued to prove that they are leaders when it comes to crafting inventive and expansive bodies of work beyond simple soundbites from your TikTok feed. In some cases, these artists doubled down on the themes their fans had come to love; in many others, they flipped their own scripts to bring something fresh and exciting to their listeners.

So, which of those albums stand out against the pack? Below, Billboard staffers pick our 10 favorite albums from LGBTQ artists released in the first half of 2023.

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