Top 5 LGBT Artists that Changed My Life

1. Meshell Ndegeocello

And now… the goddess. Truly, Meshell Ndegeocello is the reigning deity in my musical universe. Everything she says, everything she sings, plays, does gets fused to my soul and I fall in love over and over and over ad nauseum.

Born into a military family, Meshell was born in Berlin in 1968. At the bold age of 17, she changed her surname from Johnson to Ndegeocello (which means “free as a bird” in Swahili). As with the artists on this list that precede her, Meshell never allowed her bisexuality to define her, always brushing that fact aside as nothing more than just a part of her makeup (much like her black hair or her brown eyes).

Her skills as a bassist earned her the reputation of being one of the baddest artists on the planet; however, it was her deep, sultry voice that carved a direct path to every inch of my body. It was a video shot in black and white that first made me notice her. Watching MTV with an older cousin of mine (without my parents around, of course) this black woman with rich lips and a voice sweeter than honey came on the screen. I later found out that this song was If That’s Your Boyfriend He Wasn’t Last Night.

I didn’t realize what I was watching then, but when I stumbled across her again at university… *EXPLOSIONS*

Seriously, everything about my love of music, my sexuality, my writing, EVERYTHING transformed and was dipped into this shade of grey-blue that I’d never experienced before. It was her album Bitter [1] that was the catalyst to my devotion to art and its intricacies. It was her soft spoken nature and lullaby of a voice that made music all the more penetrating for me — coming from someone who’s been immersed in music since she could hear sound, that’s a monumental event similar to the birth of a star.

Thus the current state of my musical elevation.


As unexpected as my path was to loving all things weird, more unexpected is my ability to get attention for writing about the stuff.

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