In rock ‘n’ roll, the glory usually goes to men. Even though it may appear as if it’s a man’s world, head banging and screaming guitars aren’t only reserved for the men. Unfortunately, history books don’t usually show the women making noise. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sorely lacking of women, and in 2016, only two women, among the possible 15 inductees, received nominations.
Women In Rock ‘N’ Roll Rock
Gorgeous women who are tough-as-nails have been causing quite a ruckus throughout the history of rock ‘n’ roll and it’s high time these ladies get the attention that they deserve – from Stevie Nicks’ powerful voice to Kim Gordon’s amazing guitar solos. Women are capable of what boys do, and these iconic women prove it. See who has made our list for music’s top rockin’ babes.
Dolores O’Riordan Is The Voice of The Cranberries
The fierce-as-anything Dolores O’Riordan was the front woman of the Cranberries, the popular ’90s rock outfit, and her vocals helped define the sound of the band and gave them mainstream rock success. The singer’s sexy style surely didn’t hurt, but it was her writing chops that cemented her status as one of rock history’s hottest front women. O’Riordan basically made the Cranberries the Cranberries and she wrote the biggest and most recognizable hits of the band, “Zombie” and “Linger,” which showcased her awesome voice perfectly and cemented the signature sound of the band. Sadly, O’Riordan passed away suddenly at a hotel in London on January 15, 2018, with her cause of death not immediately available, though her publicist reported everybody was devastated and shocked by the news.
Gwen Stefani Is Just A Girl
What’s a list of rock ‘n’ roll’s hottest women without Gwen Stefani? Prior to her foray into reality TV and pop music, the singer was the front woman of the band No Doubt. The music of No Doubt became an inspiration for a generation of young ladies, from the heartfelt approach of the single “I’m Just A Girl,” about the struggles young women have in a world dominated by men, to the record-breaking, ska-tinged “Don’t Speak.” Gwen Stefani won two Grammy awards for the record Rock Steady. Her experimental style, wild hair colors, and signature voice helped create an image for her band that is lasting and without her, it may not have been possible for No Doubt to rise to the extremely high level of fame they have now.
Debbie Harry Is Blondie
Blondie was undoubtedly groundbreaking and they became famous and successful mostly because of their too-hot-to-touch vocalist and songwriter Debbie Harry. Blondie was definitely one of the leaders of the new wave revolution, and Harry’s charisma and voice are at the forefront. She has been featured on the cover of the magazine Rolling Stone and her sexy, cool style and her hair that is bleach blonde got so synonymous with the band that people just started referring to her as Blondie (though she told everyone that her real name is actually Deborah Harry). What’s more, she is an accomplished actress whose career spans over 60 movie roles and quite a few TV appearances.
Stevie Nicks Is One Talented Woman
Stevie Nicks being often considered as the rock ‘n’ roll queen is not without reason. The front woman of the Fleetwood Mac is among the all-time best-selling musical acts ever as Nicks has sold more than 140 million records throughout the world and produced more than 40 chart-toppers. She has received a whopping eight nominations for the Grammys and a couple of American Music Awards for just her solo work while her work in her band has landed her one Grammy award and five nominations, so if these things don’t make a person hot, we don’t know what does. On top of all of that, Nicks is a multi-talent as well, with the legendary songstress having landed several acting gigs including a part in the popular series American Horror Story on FX.
Grace Slick Does Not Mince Words
Another classic rock ‘n’ roll icon is Grace Slick, who is a forerunner for women in rock. The music career of the Jefferson Airplane front woman spans four decades with many credits including being the singer of the mega hits “We Built This City,” “White Rabbit,” and “Somebody to Love.” Slick may have gone into retirement saying, “All rock-and-rollers over the age of 50 look stupid and should retire,” but even when she was in middle age, the icon succeeded in smashing records. At the age of 47, the songstress broke age stereotypes and beat her own record as the oldest female singer on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1985 and 1999.
The Legendary Shirley Manson
Grunge goddess Shirley Manson’s haunting mystique is the trademark of the aesthetic of her band, Garbage, and this beautiful rocker is blowing age stereotypes, kicking ass and taking names. Even at 50 years old, she still performs with Garbage, whose most recent album Strange Little Birds was released in 2016. Quite frankly, Manson’s I-Don’t-Care attitude is what created the legacy of her band and lets her continue performing today because what’s hotter than an absolutely confident woman who could care less about the obsession society has with youth? The band’s most massive hit remains to be “Only Happy When It Rains” and it can still be heard on the radio up to this day.
Cherie Currie Isn’t Afraid Of Controversy
Joan Jett may be known for being the face of the band Runaways due to her tremendous commercial success with her band Blackhearts, but the lead singer of the Runaways was actually Cherie Currie, whose punk spirit has changed rock ‘n’ roll forever. Currie has proven that teen girls are also powerful – and their voice is something worth listening to. What’s more, she isn’t afraid of controversy and it showed whenever she sang songs such as “Cherry Bomb” because the certainly not-of-legal-age rocker would dance around despite only wearing lingerie. Even though Currie has gone down in rock music history, she has never given up on art even in retirement and she currently makes chainsaw wood carvings – definitely as spunky as always!
Avril Lavigne Has Gone Down In Canadian Rock History
Avril Lavigne showed that tomboy teenage girls can be pop stars too and it’s okay, but she has always had a hand firmly planted on hard rock. She rocks her very own solo projects like it’s nobody’s business – this front lady is in charge, as she should be. As a teenager, she rose to fame with her songs “Sk8r Boi” and “Complicated” in 2002, then she garnished her decades-long career with album sales of more than 40 million. She holds the title for the second all-time best-selling female artist from Canada, just behind the legendary singer Celine Dion, and Lavigne totally patented the rather epic combo of a tie and t-shirt.
Susanna Hoffs Sings In The Buff
Susanna Hoffs, who is one of the founders of the popular band The Bangles, is quite the shredder and has helped set the stage for female artists in rock music. Back in the ‘80s, it was really unusual for a rock band to be made up of all women, yet Hoffs and her bandmates in The Bangles did it anyway. In 1984, having been signed to Columbia Records, the rock band released All Over The Place, their first full-length record and two years later, they released their breakthrough album Different Light, which includes their hit single “Walk Like an Egyptian.” Hoff’s immense talent definitely adds to her hotness, but the unique recording style that she has certainly doesn’t hurt, as she has revealed that she recorded her band’s biggest-selling single “Eternal Flame” completely naked.
Jenny Lewis: Successful Indie Darling
Jenny Lewis, with her long and fiery red hair, which we’re totally jealous of, may have been a child actor in the beginning, but her ultra-sexy voice and musical talent has turned her into an indie darling success. She was the front woman of Rilo Kiley, the band who made waves during the early 2000’s with the single “Portions for Foxes” and who released their major record label Under The Blacklight with Warner Bros. Despite her band’s breakup, things didn’t end for the creative singer/songwriter, who has become a famous and well-respected solo artist, with A.V. Club, NPR and Spin declaring her album Voyager to be among the records of the year. Jenny Lewis has collaborated with some amazing artists, including Elvis Costello, Bright Eyes and Brandon Flowers, by lending her vocals to them.
Alexis Krauss Confidently Plays With Guns
A new breed of rockers can be represented by the voice of Alexis Krauss, with her punchy vocals helping to define her band’s disjointed and punk sound and her powerful music throwing femininity into a sound that is otherwise masculine. The singer is the frontwoman of Sleigh Bells, an electro-punk band, and found immense commercial success when her songs were used in… commercials. Krauss smashes gender barriers, adopting a style that is sexy and vintage pin-up while screaming into some microphone, because she’s adorable in a way that seems like she would be able to beat the boys when it comes to drinking. In the music video for her song “Comeback Kid,” she embraces this style by jumping around on the bed while carrying a shotgun – scary yet admittedly, she looks good!
Lzzy Hale And Modern Metal
Lzzy Hale has been riding high in the world of modern metal since she formed Halestorm, the hard rock band, in 1997. This super hot singer has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and was voted among the 25 Hottest Chicks in Metal in the magazine Revolver. Hale has a lengthy track record of collaborating and singing with quite a few of the biggest acts in hard rock and she’s done some guest spots with Alter Bridge and Amy Lee from Evanescence. What’s more, she used the good looks she has and posed in Hottest Chicks calendar of Revolver, which we really shouldn’t mind because it doesn’t seem to bother her showing off what she has got.
Alison Mosshart Is A Pioneer
People may know the fearless and gorgeous haired Alison Mosshart as the front woman of the band The Kills although she has had a career that is longer and far more influential than some may have realized as she got her start by being the vocalist of Discount, the innovative punk band. Despite the fact that they disbanded back in 2000, Discount set the stage for other female-led punk bands such as The Donnas and Paramore. In the past few years, when Mosshart is not performing with The Kills, she spends her time hanging out with Jack White, the indie rock legend. She’s an important member of the Dead Weather, White’s group which also includes his other bandmates Jack Lawrence and Dean Fertita.
Courtney Love Is An Icon
Not a lot of women are quite as iconic as Courtney Love when it comes to the grunge scene in the ’90s. Courtney fronted Hole, an alternative rock band, and even though she is known for her baby doll dresses, bleach-blonde hair, and her much-publicized marriage to Kurt Cobain (and the two had a beautiful daughter out of it), she is, in fact, a rather prolific songwriter. Courtney and the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan have writing credits for Celebrity Skin, the most commercially successful album of her band Hole since millions of copies were sold and the record has led to a Billboard Music Awards performance in 1998. On top of all of this, Courtney, as an actress, has been nominated for a Golden Globe.
Juliana Hatfield Is Talented
Many know Juliana Hatfield for her collaboration with the Lemonheads although she’s also the awesome frontwoman of The Juliana Hatfield Three, the ’90s alternative band. Hatfield started her music career with the Massachusetts alternative rock band Blake Babies. Even though the band never really saw mainstream success, Hatfield began working with Evan Dando, her collaborator, and she eventually joined the Lemonheads as they recorded the groundbreaking It’s A Shame About Ray. Actually, Hatfield’s biggest success was her very own project, the band The Juliana Hatfield Three, and the group’s 1993 single “My Sister”, which made its way into the top spot of the Modern Rock Tracks chart, in addition to being played on MTV regularly.
Nina Persson’s Signature Vocals Are Definitely On Point
The soft-singing and gorgeous Nina Persson fronts The Cardigans, a powerpop band who has become an international sensation and had immense success with the song “Lovefool,” which was included in the soundtrack for the film Romeo + Juliet. Persson still continues to do her thing and is smashing stereotypes of older women not being able to rock because after a hiatus of five years, the Cardigans began touring again back in 2012. 12 million copies of the band’s albums have been sold worldwide, which is not a small feat, and a lot of this is owing to Persson’s signature vocals. She isn’t like anyone else and this really helped her band achieve massive success.
Beth Ditto Is Breaking Barriers
Beth Ditto broke down beauty barriers when the singer proved you don’t need to be stick-thin to be really hot. Many know her best for being the frontwoman of Gossip, the extremely chaotic rock band, but for her, she is a “Fat, feminist lesbian from Arkansas.” Despite the fact that Ditto can be seen on stage wearing skimpy outfits, the singer has had commercial success for her solo work. In collaboration with MAC Cosmetics, she created her own line of makeup in 2012 and she continues to be an advocate for more plus-sized representation and diversity in mainstream fashion magazines.
Brittany Howard’s Life-Changing Voice
The Alabama Shakes became really popular when they were nominated at the Grammy’s for best new artist back in 2012 for their record Boys & Girls. The front-woman of this group is Brittany Howard and her voice is life-changing, the kind which you only need to hear once to see what we mean. The band’s live show is electric and festival-ready, and after Boys & Girls, Sound & Color became their first ever number one album in 2015. It wouldn’t be right to not include them in this list since more success is coming their way every time they drop a new project.
Gladys Definitely Led The Pips
Gladys Knight’s voice was like that of an angel and her great vocals together with The Pips, her male backup singers, contributed to molding Motown’s sound in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We know what you’re thinking, “Are they rock?” If they’re not rock, they definitely helped influence a number of the favorite rock bands people have, and we can confidently say that is just as impactful as the rock song people learned to love. The group’s song “Midnight Train to Georgia” became an instant classic and hit and their run carried on long after the song.
Roxette Really Rocked On
They have the looks and more noticeably, the pop rock duo’s Marie Fredriksson has all the essentials that are needed to be the group’s lead vocalist. Roxette was practically unstoppable during the late ’80s as they dropped hits such as “Listen To Your Heart” and “The Look.” Marie surely breathed life into those songs and they were even better because of the prom dances she did throughout the decades. The duo were good, practically audio cocaine, and their fans always wanted what the two had to offer, but it definitely helps that they had already been established artists prior to forming a duo.
Amy Lee Leads Some Serious Guitar Chuggers
Evanescence was founded in Little Rock, although they are quite far from being little rock. The American rock/metal band who were led by pianist and singer Amy Lee served as rock music’s shining light in the mid-2000s. “Bring Me To Life” is the hit song which started their musical reign. A track that brings enough hype to push you to get going in the mornings and enough positive vibes which let you play the song in the car even if your grandparents are around.
Hayley Williams Boosts Her Pop-Rock Crew
This band from Franklin, Tennessee was formed back in 2004 and they’ve gone through quite a few changes yet that didn’t get in the way of them becoming much more popular. Their debut record All We Know Is Falling was released in 2005 but it only reached number thirty on the billboards. Luckily, their second album went platinum in America and by the time their self-titled album was released in 2013, they had gotten into their stride and began selling out arenas. “Ain’t It Fun” is their biggest hit to date and Hayley Williams lent her vocals, which is perfect for the sound they have.
The Women Of Haim
If you have not been acquainted with the women of Haim yet, no need to worry because you’ll soon know and fall in love with these lovely ladies that hail from Los Angeles and make up the group. Danielle Haim is the lead vocalist and plays the guitar, Este Haim is on bass, and Alana Haim plays the guitar and keyboard, and they got signed by Roc Nation, with their debut album Days Are Gone being released back in 2013. This pop rock band has been slowly getting more and more attention and recognition through the years, and they continue to kill their sets at music festivals. Their most recent record, Something to Tell You (2017) has an awesome vibe to it.
Sydney Sierota Sings Front And Center
“I wish that I could be like the cool kids. Because all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.” Most likely a lyric which every middle school and high school student who tried to be liked while they were or are at school sang along to or sang to themselves with utmost swagger, hoping that they could indeed be cool. This group is from Los Angeles and they are another band that consists of all siblings, led by Sydney Sierota. Even though they released their first album Talking Dreams in 2013, they only really broke out back in 2014 with their hit song “Cool Kids,” which was released after they spent years doing shows and building some fan base.
The Pretty Taylor Momsen And The Pretty Reckless
This band from New York was formed in the year 2009 and Taylor Momsen serves as lead vocalist. If you didn’t know, Taylor used to be an actress who is known for playing the character Jenny Humphrey on the TV show Gossip Girl. The other members of the band are Jamie Perkins, Mark Damon and Ben Phillips, who all do different things with their own individual skill set. The band has toured with acts such as Evanescence, Marilyn Manson and Nickleback, and it’s safe to say they have been doing quite well, especially Taylor Momsen, even if the subject matter in their songs is a little anti-Christ.
Chrissie Hynde Is Still With The Pretenders
For roughly three decades, one of the names that was most consistent in rock was The Pretenders. Between the years 1979 and 2008, the band was led by Chrissie Hynde and they practically couldn’t do anything wrong, taking only five years or less in between albums. Even though the band has seen several facelifts because of various reasons such like drug related deaths, Hynde remains to be the only member who has been through it all. Despite the fact that Hynde went solo for two years between the years 2014 and 2016, which caused the band to become dormant, when 2016 came, they went on tour as a band again.
Erika Wennerstorm Is The Heart In The Heartless Bastards
Erika Wennerstorm’s great vocals led this garage rock band from America and since the mid-2000s, the group has been playing at festivals, gaining respect. Since they were formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2003, the band has released five albums. Rolling Stone’s remarks about their debut album had been good and it was written, “The Heartless Bastards are a small-town band who are ready to show the big city no mercy.” What’s more, The Village Voice said, “Deadeye accurate in pitch and message… what we’ve got is a hard, gnarled voice singing simple-seeming melodies that feel archetypal rather than ordinary.”
Karen O And The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This Karen O-led American indie rock band was conceived in New York in the year 2000. During their live performances, the group is joined by one more guitarist, David Pejo, who became a touring member only in 2009. With a total of four records to their names, the band sure has gained a massive following since they hit the scene and their 2009 single “Heads Will Roll” definitely helped. They have experimented with different genres like post-punk, gospel and fuzz-rock but they still have succeeded in keeping their identity, which just goes to show how exceptional they are at what they do because not many can accomplish that.
Siouxsie Sioux Leads The Banshees
Formed in England back in 1976, this band was led by the soothing vocalist Siouxsie Sioux (thus the name Siouxsie and the Banshees). The group was initially associated with punk rock before their music evolved into post-punk discord. According to Billboard, “The intersection of rock music and avant-garde goth art pulses through the work of Siouxsie and the Banshees, with leader Siouxsie Sioux (born Susan Janet Ballion) becoming a crucial voice in the U.K. post-punk movement of the late ’70s.” They continued to write, “Every modern indie artist citing The Cure and The Smiths as major influences typically name-checks the unflappable Siouxsie and the Banshees as well.”
Alison Mosshart Is In A Rock Super Group
This band is what many would refer to as a rock super group since the members are from other great bands that have come together and decided to make great music. Having three studio albums under their belts, they first performed live at the opening event of the Nashville headquarters of Third Man Records, which is quite a big event to perform live at, especially if it is the first time. Billboard wrote, “In 2009, The Kills (another band that already made this list) saw singer Alison Mosshart lead a rock supergroup that included Jack White on drums, Queens of the Stone Age’s Dean Fertita on guitar and The Raconteurs’ Jack Lawrence on bass.” They continued, “The psych-rock project produced two albums, and rumblings of a third have recently begun.”
Marissa Leads The Screaming Females
Members Marissa Paternoster and King Mike formed a band back in high school and named it Surgery On TV, yet they most likely never thought they would get this far because of it. The band has seen quite a few lineup changes before they decided on sticking to three members only and changing the group’s name to Screaming Females. According to Billboard, “The raw energy of Marissa Paternoster has been serving as the fuel for Screaming Females, an indie-rock band hailing from New Jersey, for a decade.” It was also written that “Rose Mountain, the trio’s triumphant sixth album, was released in February 2015.”
Jill Janus Is One To Look Out For
Back in 2009, lead vocalist Jill Janus relocated to Los Angeles, where she met members of the metal band Professor. They then formed the classic heavy metal band Huntress and made songs that have a lot of screaming in them. According to Loudwire, “Although some social media comments have cast some doubt on their continued existence, Huntress made an undeniable impact on the metal scene in recent years with their aggressive, thrash-inspired sound and their confident stage presence, led by talented focal point Jill Janus.” Loudwire continued to write, “Though classically trained as an opera singer, Janus seems happiest when bellowing like a savage beast, to the terrified delight of metal fans everywhere.”
Mlny Parsons And Her Thunder
Josh Weaver founded this band from Atlanta, Georgia back in 2004. The group’s main influence is ’90s grunge and classic rock, although there are other elements involved as well. Loudwire wrote, “As her curiously spelled name would suggest, Mlny Parsonz isn’t one to take the easy route to stardom, and her Atlanta-based band Royal Thunder has supported this presumption with an intriguing discography that melds heavy alternative metal with stoner and psychedelic ingredients.” It was also written, “But Parsonz’s powerful pipes are a force to be reckoned with, and it’s only a matter of time before Royal Thunder graduate from cult to headliner status.”
Anette Olzon And Her Mad Vocals
This amazing group is from Kitee, Finland. The band came together in the year 1996 and was previously led by Anette Olzon from the year 2007, but in 2012, the group made an announcement that they decided to part ways with her. According to Loudwire, “Singer Anette Olzon was plucked out of semi-obscurity (remember the band Alyson Avenue?) to fill Tarja Turunen’s very tall boots in symphonic-metallers Nightwish, but the diminutive Swede beat a reported 2,000 candidates for the gig, and duly rose to the occasion for two well-received studio albums.” It was also written that, “After breaking with the band, Olzon released her solo album ‘Shine’ in 2014.”
Kittie From Canada
Back in 1996, these lovely ladies from London, Ontario formed a band and they have since released six studio albums and they’ve done various other works like four extended plays. Even though they have gone through changes in their lineup, they are now set on being a group of three. According to Loudwire, “Kittie were able to break through in the male-dominated world of nu metal when they burst out of Canada with 2000’s Gold-selling debut album, ‘Spit.’ The oft-changing quartet led by singer/guitarist Morgan Lander has weathered the storm of the changing tides of metal and has enjoyed continued success over six studio albums released in the ensuing decade-plus.”
Simone Simons and The Epica
Mark Jansen founded this Dutch symphonic metal band after he left After Forever. This band has some gothic tendencies along with death metal influences. Loudwire wrote, “When guitarist Mark Jansen fell out with his bandmates in After Forever, he wasted no time assembling a new symphonic metal outfit called Epica, but his masterstroke was securing the services of Simone Simons as his lead singer.” It was also written that, “The duo hasn’t looked back since, releasing six albums and outlasting the now defunct After Forever, while Simons has proved her worth and become a minor celebrity in South America, Japan, and, of course, Europe.”
Lacey Sturm May Have It All
This rock band hailing from Texas was formed back in 2002. Flyleaf toured the U.S. in 2003 while preparing to release their debut album. According to Loudwire, “Lacey Sturm found fame as the frontwoman of Christian rockers Flyleaf, whose eponymous debut from 2005 had no difficulty crossing over to metal fans of all religious persuasions and selling over one million copies, in the process.” They continued to write, “Three more albums followed (2009’s ‘Memento Mori’ and 2012’s ‘New Horizons’), after which Sturm left the band to focus on family. She re-emerged in early 2015 with her debut solo album.”
Alice Merton Is An International Rock Child
The powerful voice of Alice Merton exploded into the music scene and her hit debut track “No Roots” which was released towards the end of the year 2016, talks about her nomad lifestyle. Merton was born in Germany, but she has also lived in England, the U.S., and Canada, and all of the countries she resided in have shown the artist love, with “No Roots” hitting number 2 in Germany and number 1 in France. It’s safe to say that Merton has quite a successful career in music ahead of her. She has already founded Paper Plane Records International, her very own record label.
ZZ Ward Has Been Killing It At Festivals
The sound of ZZ Ward blends multiple genres of music together. Combined with ZZ Ward’s smooth and at times bellowing voice, she belts out songs such as “Put the Gun Down” and “365,” which gets the audience clapping and stomping, and her songs actually have topics that women and girls can relate to, such as being trapped in a not so great relationship. Other artists also recognize the musical talent that ZZ Ward has, and a lot have collaborated with her, including artists like Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the Tantrums, and Fitz of Fitz. She has played at Bonnaroo and Coachella and was included in the top 30 artists who are a must-see at SXSW back in 2013.