Drawing from the likes of Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Joan Jett, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Patti Smith and others, the following artists have ushered the Rock and Roll female into the 21st century, and dare we say, cranked it up a notch! In their honor, here’s our list of the Top 5 Women Who Rock!
1. Lzzy Hale (Halestorm)
Lzzy Hale is a somewhat new-comer to the scene, that doesn’t mean the Halestorm front-woman hasn’t been chasing her dream of being a rock star for many years.
The singer, who hails from Red Lion, PA, began writing music when she was just 13 years old, and eventually went on to form Halestorm with her younger brother Arejay in 1998. Joe Hottinger and Josh Smith were later brought on to round out the lineup.
Lzzy and the band have since released two studio albums, 2009’s Halestorm and 2012’s The Strange Case Of…, the latter of which featured the song “Love Bites (So Do I)” which won them their first Grammy award this past year for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.
Additionally, the band has released two live albums and several EPs, two of which are made up of Halestorm’s covers of popular Rock songs.
And Lzzy Hale is just as loved and respected by her fellow artists as she is by fans of Halestorm! Over the past few years, Hale has collaborated with the likes of David Draiman (Disturbed/Device), Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, Seether and Adrenaline Mob, among others.
2. Meg White (The White Stripes)
Meg White, drummer for The White Stripes, formed a duo with now ex-husband Jack White back in 1997; a group which Jack has said Meg was the inspiration for.
The blues-rock group began by playing small clubs in Detroit. By 1999, they had released their self-titled debut album, but it wasn’t until their third album, White Blood Cells, that they became established with their hit "Fell in Love with a Girl."
Meg is known for her simplistic and straightforward playing style that both contrasts and compliments Jack’s rich guitar work.
As a band, The White Stripes have charted six albums in The Billboard 200, including three in the top ten. They have also won four Grammy Awards – three for Best Alternative Music Album and one for Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group.
3. Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth)
Kim Gordon is viewed as a renaissance woman in Rock and Roll. Her contributions to the genre are widespread and not tied exclusively to her talent as a singer.
Gordon formed Sonic Youth in 1981 with fellow bandmates Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore. She was the bassist of the band for 30 years until their official disbandment in 2011. Sonic Youth’s first commercial hit was Goo, which was released in 1990, and their next ten albums all placed on The Billboard 200.
Not just a vocalist, Kim Gordon assisted in the production of Hole’s “Pretty on the Inside” on their first record, which peaked at No. 73 on the charts.
She also helped direct the “Divine Hammer” and “Cannonball” music videos for The Breeders in 1994.
4. Amy Lee (Evanescence)
Amy Lee rose to fame as the lead vocalist for Evanescence. When she was only 19 years old, she had teamed up with Ben Moody, a hometown friend to release the band’s first album, Origin.
They officially broke onto the scene in 2003 when they released Fallen, a record that would reach No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album featured their most successful single ever, “Bring Me To Life,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Since then, Evanescence has released three more albums, with 2006’s The Open Door and 2012’s self titled album both topping the charts with Lee's powerhouse vocals always at the forefront.
5. Courney Love (Hole)
Courtney Love is well-known for being the wife of late Nirvana legend Kurt Cobain, she is certainly a rock star in her own right, with her musical prowess and sometimes outlandish behaviors.
Love founded the band Hole in 1989, and the group released their debut album, Pretty on the Inside, in 1991.
Though the album failed to make the charts, but they quickly rebounded with Live Through This in 1994, not too long after the deaths of Cobain and Hole bassist Kristen M. Pfaff.
Hole has issued five LPs in all, including 1998’s Celebrity Skin, which peaked at No. 9 and was their final release until 2010’s Nobody’s Daughter.
Love also has one solo album to her credit, America’s Sweetheart, which peaked at No. 53. She has also returned to the stage over the course of this year and has a memoir due out in early 2014.
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