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JoJo Siwa Did NOT Invent “Gay Pop”: Here’s A Playlist of Artists Who Did

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCU chapter.

For better or for worse, many of us are aware that JoJo Siwa has just released a song and music video titled “Karma” to kick off her edgy rebrand. Everyone has lots of opinions about the song, video, and rebrand as a whole, but today I’m here for another reason. In a recent interview with Billboard, JoJo stated “I said [to my label], ‘I want to start a new genre of music.’ And they said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s called ‘Gay Pop.'”

Considering she went on to site Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga as inspirations later in that very same interview, it’s probably likely that JoJo isn’t really claiming to have invented the genre. That would be crazy (and still somehow the least crazy thing she’s done throughout this rebrand). However, her words did inspire me to collect a playlist of my favorite gay pop girlies and nonbinary folks. From legends like Gaga to newer artists like Towa Bird, these songs are all certified bops with not-always-subtle subtext. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the artists featured, how they’ve been dominating the “gay pop” genre lately, and what songs of theirs I recommend!

Chappell Roan

Chappell is absolutely having her moment right now and it has been so exciting to watch. If you’re not familiar, she opened for Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS tour, with addictive hits like “Red Wine Supernova” and “HOT TO GO!” that have gained her many new fans. Her songs are raunchy, energetic, and always celebratory of queerness. Her style can only be described as campy glam and she is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, choosing local drag queens to open for her throughout her tour for her debut album, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. She also takes donations of friendship bracelets at every single one of her shows, which are resold and the profits are donated to various LGBTQ+ charities. If you don’t already love her, t’s time to get on board, because I fear Chappell Roan will take over the world of pop within the next few years.

Song Recs:

“Red Wine Supernova”


“My Kink is Karma”


“Good Luck, Babe!”

“Pink Pony Club”

Boygenius (Collectively and individually)

Supergroup boygenius had an absolutely enormous year last year and they hold a very special (i.e. parasocial) place in my heart. The band includes queer icons Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, who all have very successful solo careers as well. After years of being on hiatus, boygenius dropped their first album titled the record and dropped everything to tour, spreading queer joy wherever they went. Yeah, they were constantly kissing on stage. It was amazing. The record is a phenomenal album, and their 2018 self-titled EP is also an excellent body of work. The group’s music is decidedly indie-rock, however, it is also a staple in the “sad girl” genre. So, be warned. I’ll recommend some more upbeat tracks below. As long as you don’t read the lyrics too closely, you can almost believe they’re happy songs! Okay, so I like sad music, sue me. Doesn’t make boygenius any less, well, you know. Genius.

Song Recs:

“Not Strong Enough”


“True Blue” “Leonard Cohen”

“Bite the Hand”

“Salt In The Wound”


Another trio which this playlist would not, nay, could not be complete without has to be MUNA. Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson form this queer pop group, and if you were lucky you might’ve seen them opening for Taylor Swift at The Eras Tour. They have a very poppy, yet distinct sound that has them stuck in my head constantly. Katie, lead vocalist has a hypnotic voice that she manipulates in new ways on every track, and their self-titled 2022 album is just fantastic. They have always strived to make their concerts a safe and joyful space for queer folks, and they continue to speak and advocate for queer and social issues. Oh, and check out their podcast “Gayotic” when you get the chance — it always has me laughing out loud.

Song Recs:

“Silk Chiffon”

“What I Want”

“Home By Now”

“Anything But Me”

“Number One Fan”


Reneé Rapp

If you see me out and about and I don’t bring up Reneé Rapp, that wasn’t me and you had better call the cops and report an identity theft. You might recognize her from the recent Mean Girls reboot, featuring songs from the Broadway musical in which Rapp originally starred. Or that video of her belting while holding her leg over her head. Or from The Sex Lives of College Girls on Max. Damn, what hasn’t she done? I’ll tell you what Reneé does do consistently: serves VOCALS. She is a musical theater kid at heart and it really shows. Her voice is unbeatable and her poppy beats are the most fun to dance to. Reneé Rapp is such a star and I just can’t wait to see what she does next.

Song Recs:

“Not My Fault (ft. Megan Thee Stallion)”

“Pretty Girls”

“Talk Too Much”

“Snow Angel”

“Poison Poison”

Maude Latour

Guys. She was the cover story of Her Campus’s Fall 2022 Music Issue. Why are we still sleeping on Maude Latour?! I have been a fan of Maude since her very first EP in 2019, Starsick EP. When I tell you that she has never made a song that I don’t like, I mean that with my entire being. As far as I’m concerned, Maude has always been at the top of the gay pop game, and I need to hear some more recognition for this wonderful woman. She has put out a few more EPs since 2019 and is now teasing her debut album, which I think is going to rock the pop music world. If you go listen to anyone after reading this article, let it be her. Her melodies are so funky and addictive, her lyrics inspire me into dazed existential pondering (she majored in philosophy at Columbia), and her energy is the absolute sweetest.

Song Recs:

“One More Weekend”

“Walk Backwards”

“Ride My Bike”

“Block Your Number”




“Too Slow”

In ConclusioN:

There are so many amazing queer artists out there, and it’s impossible to nail down a comprehensive list. However, I hope my playlist can be a good place to start. I do not doubt that JoJo, you, and I will all have more to discover in our journeys through the “gay pop” genre.

I am currently a Graphic Design major at Texas Christian University. I love reading, making art, being outdoors, and Taylor Swift!