Bonnie McKee's Pride Playlist: Cher, Savage Garden, Big Freedia & More
As part of our 30 Days of Pride initiative, we've asked LGBTQ stars to create playlists to show what "pride" means to them. Singer and star songwriter Bonnie McKee offered up a mix of classic confidence-boosting anthems and newer hits.
"Celebrating Pride is important for so many reasons. It's about recognizing the struggle that the LGBTQ community has endured, celebrating the freedom of proudly being yourself, and hopefully encouraging others to do the same," McKee tells Billboard. "In flying the rainbow flag, we are reminding the world that we're all human, and we all deserve to express ourselves and our different identities proudly, and publicly."
Give McKee's playlist a spin below, and read on to learn why she chose each track.
1. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith - "Latch"
Hearing Sam Smith wail in his signature falsetto is refreshing and fun!
2. George Michael - "Freedom! '90"
One of my favorite George Michael songs. It's sexy, strong and liberating.
3. Savage Garden - "I Want You"
This was one of my favorite songs in 5th grade...I learned all the rapid fire lyrics to impress all my friends! Nailed it.
4. Madonna - "Vogue"
Can't make a pride playlist without the queen of pop! Madonna introduced the mainstream to the underground culture of vogueing -- and we haven't stopped striking poses since!
5. Queen, David Bowie - "Under Pressure"
I knew Queen had to make an appearance on this list, and when I went through their catalog and saw this gem, I felt like it was two birds, one stone -- a gay icon and the definition of a boundary-pushing artist challenging our ideas about gender and art.
6. Lady Gaga - "Born This Way"
One of the most directly LGBTQ friendly songs ever released, Gaga joyfully celebrates the community, and anyone who was born a little bit different.
7. Cher - "Believe"
Icon. Just... icon.
8. Tegan and Sara - "Closer"
I love this song cuz a) it's a bop, and b) I love the blatant references to same-sex relationships.
9. RuPaul - "Supermodel (You Better Work)"
As a kid, this was just the ultimate anthem for fabu.
10. Peaches - "Fuck The Pain Away"
I love Peaches' fearless and brutally honest approach to discussing sex and pushing the boundaries of gender roles.
11. Fischerspooner - "Emerge"
Bop and a half.
12. Scissor Sisters - "Let's Have A Kiki"
The LGBTQ community has always had a knack for coining sticky phrases that your mom eventually ends up using. Love a Kiki!
13. MIKA - "Grace Kelly"
One of the most intricate, exuberant hooks of the past 20 years, Mika was a rare openly gay solo artist, which was rather uncommon in pop music at the time this song came out.
14. Adam Lambert, "Ghost Town"
I love the raw, emotional performance given by Lambert, combined with the excellent dance worthy track. Beautiful juxtaposition.
15. Katy Perry, "Roar"
Proud to have co-written this empowering anthem -- written for anyone who needs a little encouragement to stand up and tell the world who you are!!
16. Frank Ocean - "Thinkin Bout You"
I wanted to include Frank Ocean for his strength -- it's not easy coming out at all, much less to the often homophobic urban community, and he handled it with pride and grace, opening up the conversation within the genre and at least cracking the glass ceiling.
17. Britney Spears - "Work Bitch"
Once again, another banger borrowing from the ever-evolving LGBTQ dictionary. YAAS!
18. Ricky Martin, "Livin' la Vida Loca"
A powerhouse performer and shaker of Bon bons across the world.
19. Culture Club - "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me"
Boy George was a pioneer in bringing queer culture and style to the masses, a true chameleon.
20. Big Freedia - "Booty-Whop"
I love this song and this artist! Big Freedia is who she is and gives zero fucks and I love her for that!!
21. Sam Sparro - "Black and Gold"
The song that everyone wanted to rip off from the day it came out -- Sam is a talented songwriter and vocalist, and this track exudes cool.