GLAAD Media Awards: Britney Spears to Be Honored With Vanguard Award
The pop icon follows previous honorees Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Janet Jackson and Demi Lovato.
GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, has announced that it will honor Britney Spears at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Los Angeles Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 12. The pop icon will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, which has previously been awarded to Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Janet Jackson and Demi Lovato, among others.
Spears is a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community. In 2017, the singer participated in Billboard’s viral Love Letters to the LGBTQ Community project, sharing that, “Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”
In 2015, she released a Spirit Day video and promoted participation in the anti-bullying campaign by organizing a meet-and-greet for LGBTQ fans, washing her stage at Planet Hollywood purple, and providing anti-bullying materials to concertgoers. She also joined a lineup that included Selena Gomez, Pink, RuPaul, Troye Sivan and Halsey in “Hands,” a track written with GLAAD to remember the 49 lives taken in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting.
The musical tribute was written by Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Blood Pop. Last year, Spears joined nearly 150 leading entertainers including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Laverne Cox, and Whoopi Goldberg to speak out in an open letter against two anti-LGBTQ bills, which targeted transgender youth in Texas and were later defeated. Most recently, Spears sparked global attention when she wore a T-shirt stating, ‘We Are All Dreamers,’ and called on Congress to pass the Dream Act via Instagram.
“An irrefutable icon, Britney Spears has entertained the world while also embodying the spirit of GLAAD’s Vanguard Award by speaking out on significant issues that face her fans — from the Dream Act to anti-transgender bills in Texas,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “She is a force in the music world who has used her global platform to share messages of love and acceptance, something that the world needs today more than ever.”
In January, GLAAD announced the nominees for the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The nominees for outstanding music artist include: Miley Cyrus (Younger Now), Halsey (Hopeless Fountain Kingdom); Honey Dijon (The Best of Both Worlds), Kehlani (SweetSexySavage), Kelela (Take Me Apart), Kesha (Rainbow), Perfume Genius (No Shape), Sam Smith (The Thrill of It All), St. Vincent (MASSEDUCTION) and Wrabel (We Could Be Beautiful). RCA is the sole record label with two nominations, for Miley and Kesha. GLAAD also announced a special recognition award for Jay-Z’s song and music video “Smile,” featuring his mother, Gloria Carter, who used the song to come out as a lesbian.
Billboard, which launched a Billboard Pride vertical and corresponding Facebook page with its viral Love Letters to the LGBTQ Community project last June, received a nomination for outstanding magazine overall coverage. Nominees can be found at www.glaad.org/mediawards/nominees. Additional special guests and honorees from the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles will be announced in the coming weeks.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.