Already known as a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community in country, rising star Lily Rose broke some more new ground over the weekend. On Saturday (April 2), she became the first ever LGTBQ+ female country artist to win Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist at the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
Held in Los Angeles, the annual awards recognize public figures who help shine a positive light on the LGBTQ+ community, and this year, Rose fits that bill better than any other new artist. Her award honors her debut album, Stronger Than I Am, and her continued representation in the country music space.
“I’ve known I was part of the LGBTQ community for 15 years now, but to be nominated with a GLAAD Award in country music is something I’m really really proud of,” Rose told GLAAD VP of Communications & Talent Anthony Ramos just before she won. “[There are] things that we all have our eyes on in some capacity, but there are ones that are really important, and that’s what’s making me emotional. How important this is. I’m really thankful for people like Shane McAnally and Brandi Carlile and so many other folks, even Ellen in entertainment in general, that walked so we could run. We still have a long way to go, and this right here is a huge win. A huge win for country music. I’m humbled.”
Rose broke out in 2021 with the help of a viral TikTok hit, “Villain,” and followed up with other tracks like “Know My Way Around” which feature fresh sounds and smart storytelling — as well as some of the first depictions of female-female relationships in country. Her current single “I Don’t Smoke” is out now, and climbing the charts at Hot AC radio.
After the win, Rose noted she “couldn’t be prouder,” but in fact she’s not the only country artist making inroads in LGBTQ+ acceptance. Fellow riser Brooke Eden came out of the closet in 2021, and recently delivered a standout performance at the 2022 ACM Awards with Parmalee and Blanco Brown. And on Sunday (April 3), Brothers Osborne won the Grammy award for Best Duo/Group Country Performance for “Younger Me,” which lead singer TJ Osborne explained was written in response to his own coming out last February.
Rose was one of 16 GLAAD Award winners announced at the Los Angeles ceremony event on Saturday, which will begin streaming on Hulu April 16, and the remaining winners will be announced at GLAAD’s New York ceremony at the Hilton Midtown Hotel on May 6. Longtime LGBTQ+ ally Kacey Musgraves was also honored with the organizations Vanguard Award.