Since their inception in 1958, the Grammy Awards have made plenty of history — from first-ever wins for new artists to record-breaking nomination numbers, the annual event has earned its title as Music’s Biggest Night.
In the modern era for the annual ceremony, the Grammys have finally started to make history for queer acts as well as representation for LGBTQ artists and performers at the show has steadily risen. From Culture Club winning best new artist in 1984 (making Boy George the first openly gay man to win the award) to Sir Elton John becoming the first LGBTQ person to win the prestigious Grammy Legend Award, to the Grammys becoming the first of the major award shows to remove gendered categories, the annual affair has proven to be a huge night for queer artists around the globe.
This Sunday (Feb. 5), that representation for queer folks will stay on full display — out folk star Brandi Carlile is nominated for seven awards at the ceremony (including album and record of the year), while other stars like Steve Lacy, Omar Apollo and Anitta round out noms in the remainder of the Big Four categories.
But along with awarding LGBTQ artists with statues, the Grammys have also historically provided a stage for queer performers to give that love right back to their community. Sunday will feature at least four queer performers (Carlile, Lacy, Sam Smith and Kim Petras), further adding to a grand tradition of stars standing up for LGBTQ people through their performances.
Below, Billboard takes a look back at some of our favorite queer performances in Grammys history that helped to uplift the LGBTQ community, from Elton John to Lil Nas X.
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