(Reuters) - Singer and actress Demi Lovato is to be honored by a leading U.S. gay rights advocacy group for speaking out on behalf of gays, lesbians and transgender people in her songs, music videos and media interviews.
The group GLAAD said on Thursday that Lovato, 23, would receive its annual Vanguard Award, which is given to straight people in the public eye who have "made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance."
The former star of Disney Channel's "Sonny with a Chance," has celebrated her late gay grandfather, who came out in the 1960s, and she filmed the music video for her 2013 hit "Really Don't Care" at an LGBT pride event.
She has also campaigned for GLAAD against bullying, and played a lesbian character in 2103 on the TV show "Glee," saying she hoped it would inspire people to love and accept who they are.
"She is an extraordinary ally who is committed to helping young people embrace who they are and live the lives they love," GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.
The Vanguard award will be presented to Lovato at a ceremony in Los Angeles on April 2. Previous honorees include Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Kristin Chenoweth.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)