Whoever said only men could be rock stars was mistaken – women can rock out just as hard! Here’s a spotlight of just a few of hundreds of female rock musicians who have influenced the music scene, as well as a Spotify playlist of more that we weren’t able to include on our list.
Famous Female Rock Musicians
Known for: The bands Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Evil Stig, and The Runaways, the songs “Cherry Bomb,” “I Love Rock ‘n Roll,” and “Bad Reputation,” and 2000’s Broadway production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Known for: The band Blondie, the songs “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me,” “One Way or Another,” and “Maria,” Andy Warhol’s muse, solo work, and the 1988 film Hairspray.
Known for: The band The Pretenders, the songs “Brass In Pocket,” “Talk of the Town,” “Back on the Chain Gang,” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” guest vocals, solo work, the autobiography Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, and animal rights activism.
Known for: The band Hole, the songs “Miss World,” “Doll Parts,” “Violet,” and “Celebrity Skin,” influential figure of the 1990s grunge scene, the films The People vs. Larry Flint, Man on the Moon, 200 Cigarettes, and Trapped, solo work, visual art, and philanthropy.
Known for: The songs “You Oughta Know,” “Hand in My Pocket,” “Ironic,” You Learn,” and “Head over Feet,” the musical Jagged Little Pill, guest vocals, the film Dogma, guest appearances on Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and stage plays.
Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson
Known for: The bands Heart and the Lovemongers, the songs “Magic Man,” “Crazy on You,” “Barracuda,” “These Dreams,” and “Alone,” the scores to the films Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous (Nancy), and solo work.
Known for: The songs “Criminal,” “Shadowboxer,” “Sleep to Dream,” “Parting Gift,” “Fast As You Can,” “Paper Bag,” “O’Sailor,” and “Shameika,” album guest appearances, and philanthropy.
Known for: The band No Doubt, the songs “Just a Girl,” “Spiderwebs,” “Don’t Speak,” “Ex-Girlfriend,” “Hollaback Girl,” “Cool,” the 1990s ska revival, solo work, the music competition show The Voice, and her fashion line.
Known for: The bands Garbage, Angelfish, and Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, the songs “Stupid Girl,” “I’m Only Happy When It Rains,” “I Think I’m Paranoid,” and “Special,” solo work, and appearances on the television shows Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Top Wing.
Known for: The band Big Brother and the Holding Company, the songs “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Cry Baby,” “Down on Me,” “Ball and Chain,” “Summertime,” and “Mercedes Benz,” solo work, appearances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock, and the psychedelic era of the 1960s.
Known for: The duo “Ike & Tina Turner,” the songs “A Fool in Love,” “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and “Better Be Good To Me,” solo work, her history-making music comeback, appearances in the films Tommy, Mad Max Beyond Thunderstorm, and Last Action Hero, and her biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It, adapted from her autobiography.
Known for: The bands The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, the songs “Somebody to Love,” “White Rabbit,” “We Built This City,” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” solo work, appearance at Woodstock, visual art, and the psychedelic era of the 1960s.
Known for: The songs “Gloria,” “Pissing in a River,” “Because the Night,” “Dancing Barefoot,” and “Redondo Beach,” her memoir Just Kids, guest appearance in the film Song to Song, and her artwork.