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ARTISTS ANNOUNCED FOR GLAAD & SONY MUSIC GROUP’S “ICONS” SERIES
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
New York, NY – Monday, March 6, 2023 – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, in partnership with Sony Music Group, today announced the artists who will partake in “ICONS,” an intimate and powerful three-part series that seeks to advance LGBTQ representation in music and within the industry at large.
The first of its kind series and collaboration tackles brave conversations about the deeply personal connection that exists between queerness and craft, how LGBTQ artists and creators have shaped music across generations and what it takes to break through as a queer music artist in our world today. Watch the series teaser here.
“ICONS” debuts on GLAAD’s YouTube starting Friday, March 10th, featuring these rising LGBTQ artists in the music industry:
Isaac Dunbar (He/Him), premiering Friday, March 10
Isaac Dunbar is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer based in New York. Isaac’s keen emotional intuition and artistic acuity belie his age, and at just 19 years old, he has asserted himself as the rare talent who gleefully defies genres, rules, and eras all at once and has received recognition from various media outlets such as TIME, Billboard, and The FADER. He has released several projects, including the 2022 Banish The Banshee EP via RCA Records, which explores themes of self-love and healing. Inspired by musicians such as Lady Gaga and David Bowie, Isaac uses his music to inspire others to be themselves. He is nominated for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist.
INIKO (They/Them), premiering Friday, April 14
Iniko is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. Known for their cosmic music and unique style, Iniko makes music for soul searchers. By fusing sinewy vocals, the musicality of a poly instrumentalist, and their adventurous imagination, their music tackles themes of anxiety, damaged romance, and philosophy with warmth and whimsy. Their song “The King’s Affirmation” went viral on TikTok and represented their growth as an artist. Iniko identifies as nonbinary and wants to use their music to stand up for their peers in the queer community. They are currently working on a new project that reflects both their journey and experiences with others. Iniko has 2 million TikTok followers and is signed to Columbia Records.
MK xyz (She/Her/They), premiering Friday, May 12
The 25-year-old triple-threat R&B artist from Jacksonville, Florida, is known for her unique expression of individuality and refusal to be labeled. Born to dancer parents, she has been performing since age three and drew inspiration from famous entertainers such as Chris Brown, Ciara, Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, Sade, and Michael Jackson. Dubbed by Wonderland as a rising R&B star “for her fierce lyricism and captivating dancing ability,” MK xyz is undoubtedly an artist to watch. After releasing her debut single “Pass It” featuring G-Eazy, MK xyz has received critical acclaim from outlets such as Wonderland, Flaunt, Bustle, Lyrical Lemonade and more. MK xyz is signed to EPIC Records.
“ICONS,” through a multi-generational lens, brings together LGBTQ musicians, songwriters, and producers for culture-driving discussions about the history of LGBTQ inclusion in music, where we are today and the bold future of the music industry and everyone it touches.
QUOTE FROM GLAAD’S SENIOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, TONY MORRISON:
“The impact of queer artists across history and their influence to shape the landscape of music and the industry at large is undeniable. It’s as important to honor the trailblazing legacies of LGBTQ icons in music, as it is equally imperative that we elevate new voices in music who have unique backgrounds and stories to tell. ‘ICONS’ establishes this path forward to increase the visibility of queer artists and Sony Music Group continues to be a valuable partner to help lead the way for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging throughout the music industry.”
QUOTE FROM SONY MUSIC GROUP’S TIFFANY R. WARREN:
“We’re thrilled to announce the continuation of our partnership with GLAAD through the launch of ‘ICONS.’ This interview series will be a powerful platform for raising awareness and inclusion of LGBTQ artists and songwriters and their contributions to music,” said Tiffany R. Warren, Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Sony Music Group. “We believe that by exploring the impact that LGBTQ artists and songwriters have had on music, we can foster a deeper understanding of what it takes to break through as an LGBTQ artist. “This series is a testament to our commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion while breaking barriers in the music industry. We’re excited to bring this series to the world.”
GLAAD and Sony Music Group previously announced a new partnership to strengthen LGBTQ visibility in music and amplify LGBTQ voices across the music industry. The unique partnership includes several initiatives to advance LGBTQ advocacy and inclusion at Sony Music Group and within the broader music industry including consultation and education for Sony Music Group’s campaigns and programs by the GLAAD Media Institute.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
About Sony Music Entertainment:
At Sony Music Entertainment, we honor the creative journey. Our creators shape movements, culture, communities, even history. And we’ve played a pioneering role in music history, from establishing the first-ever music label to inventing the flat disc record. We’ve nurtured some of music’s most iconic artists and produced some of the most influential recordings of all time. Today, we work in more than 100 countries, supporting a diverse and distinctive roster of talented creators at every level and on every stage. Situated at the intersection of music, entertainment, and technology, we bring imagination and expertise to emerging products and platforms, embrace new business models, and employ breakthrough tools—all to support the creative community’s experimentation, risk-taking, and growth. And we form deep, trusted, cause-based partnerships to uplift and empower communities around the world. Sony Music Entertainment is part of the global Sony family. Learn more about our creators and labels here.
About Sony Music Publishing:
Sony Music Publishing (“SMP”) is the leading global music publisher, home to the world’s greatest songwriters and many of the most iconic songs ever written. Headquartered in New York with an international network of 38 offices, Sony Music Publishing supports the vision, artistry, and goals of its songwriters by amplifying opportunities, fostering collaboration, and defending their rights. SMP represents classic catalogs including The Beatles, Queen, Motown, Carole King, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Leiber & Stoller, Leonard Cohen, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, as well as contemporary superstars such as Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Olivia Rodrigo, Calvin Harris, Daddy Yankee, Gabby Barrett, Jay-Z, Luke Bryan, Luis Fonsi, Maluma, Marc Anthony, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Sara Bareilles, Sean Love Combs, The Kid Laroi, Travis Scott and many more. Sony Music Publishing is a part of Sony’s suite of powerful entertainment brands. Learn more about SMP here.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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