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Your 2020 Pride Playlist

Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and more.

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Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande team up for their song “Rain on Me” (Twitter)

While Pride Month will certainly look different this year as many events have been canceled or moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn’t mean the party is over. We know the LGBTQ community will make the most of June. 

So, whether you’re celebrating with friends as bars continue to open or you’re in the mood for a bedroom dance party, here are our favorite Pride songs to get you in the groove this month.

“Rain on Me” – Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande

Most recently debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, this ’90s dance-pop, -inspired track is perfect for Pride Month. The song, which uses the metaphor of rain for hardship, is about persevering through the challenges of life. With catchy synth claps, steady funk guitar strums, and powerhouse vocals from Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, “Rain on Me” is a therapeutic bop.

“The Greatest” – Sia

Sia’s “The Greatest” is sure to have you and your friends putting your hands in the air with its poignant message. While the 2016 pop hit and its music video initially paid tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, it is time to bring the song back for this year’s Pride. With vulnerable vocals from Sia and a soaring, powerful chorus, this song is a surefire anthem.

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” – Whitney Houston

In these times, we are all yearning for connection. And what better way to feel the joy of human connection than by dancing to Whitney Houston’s 1987 classic hit? With tinkling keyboard effects and Houston’s unmistakable strong voice, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is a feel-good tune that we could all use right now.

“Upside Down” – Diana Ross

While many recognize “I’m Coming Out” as one of the greatest gay songs, Diana Ross had an entire career full of hits, and “Upside Down” is no exception. With Ross professing her undying love, the 1980 disco track is groovy enough to get any party started with a bang.

“Living on My Own” – Freddie Mercury

Even when Freddie Mercury briefly stepped away from Queen and started a solo career, his music remained just as catchy. Initially released in 1985 before being remixed in the early 1990s, “Living On My Own” openly talks about the loneliness we all feel. With relatable lyrics and an up-tempo, Euro-style dance vibe that will hit you over the head, it’s a perfect Pride anthem.

“Macho Man” – Village People

Before “Y.M.C.A” became a campy disco classic, the Village People dropped “Macho Man,” another disco banger that has since become a gay anthem. With its camp lyrics and a rambunctious sound, the song might be more comical than sexy, but that is exactly why it succeeds.

“Like a Prayer” – Madonna

Sometimes you need to pause and take a moment to reflect. What better song right now than Madonna’s well-known 1989 hit? With a euphoric gospel arrangement and background choir vocals, “Like a Prayer” is a sacred pop track that is sure to inspire strong emotions and leave listeners feeling like they’ve had a spiritual awakening.

“You Got the Love” – The Source, Candi Staton

In that same vein, “You Got the Love” is a soul dance track that will take you to church and make you dance your troubles away. The song’s positive message about love being the one thing that can keep hope alive in spite of life’s hardships will make you throw your hands in the air.

“Born This Way” – Lady Gaga

“I’m beautiful in my way ’cause God makes no mistakes.” With that simple line, Lady Gaga’s 2011 hit “Born This Way” became an instant LGBTQ anthem. Almost a decade later, the electro-pop track still remains as danceable as ever. With swirling synths and an ending that culminates in gospel vocals, this song is a must for any Pride playlist.

“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor

A song about defiance, survival, and loving yourself, “I Will Survive” has become synonymouswith the gay community. With lyrics tackling the challenge of personal growth after a tumultuous relationship, Gaynor’s classic remains relevant more than forty years later. 

Notable mentions: Kesha “Praying,” Cher “Believe,” RuPaul “Supermodel (You Better Work),” Scissor Sisters “Let’s Have a Kiki,” Tegan and Sara “Closer.”

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Connor Behrens

Connor Behrens is a communications graduate from the University of Houston. He has written for the Washington Post, Community Impact Newspaper and the Galveston County Daily News (the oldest newspaper in Texas). When he's not writing stories, he is likely watching the latest new release at the movie theater.

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