I’ve been following the rock & alternative music scene for a decade now and it has occurred to me that there are fewer female than male musicians within this genre.
Looking through my rock playlist, which consists of over 2300 songs, approx. 98% of the bands and artists are male and only 2% are female or include female members. I think, personally for me, I just prefer the sound quality of male rockstars. There could be a whole collection of talented rock chicks out there who I’m still yet to discover. In my current collection, I can count six female rock bands and musicians:
Hayley Williams from Paramore
Paramore are an American punk-rock band formed in 2004. They have released 5 studio albums over the past 10 years. Hayley Williams is the lead vocalists and original member of the band. She is accompanied by male guitarist and drummer who have changed over the years. The current members are guitarist Taylor York & drummer Zac Farro. Hayley’s voice is powerful and blends well with the strong, fast-paced guitar riffs and drums. I’ve been lucky enough to see Paramore perform live twice at Reading Festival 2012 & 2014.
Lizzie Hale from Halestorm
Halestorm are a six-piece rock band from America. Lizzie Hale is their lead singer and guitarist. I only discovered this band after they were suggested to me about 5 years ago. I was told to listen to their album The Strange Case Of… and I immediately fell in love with it. The record has a great mixture of heavy and alternative rock. Lizzie’s voice is mind-blowing and the lyrics are so emotive and passionate. Halestorm are definitely on my bucket-list of bands to see perform live one day.
Taylor Momsen from The Pretty Reckless
The Pretty Reckless are a hard rock American band consisting of seven members including lead singer and rhythm guitarist Taylor Momsen. I discovered this band on BBC Radio 1 while I was at school. Like Paramore & Halestorm, they play both heavy and acoustic music. I particularly enjoy their debut album Light Me Up which was released in 2010. I also saw the band perform live at Reading Festival 2017, but was surprisingly disappointed with their set. Maybe they’ll sound better at one of their own shows.
Lucy Spraggon is the only British female artist I actually like. She is an acoustic singer-songwriter who first entered the spotlight when she appeared on The X Factor. I did not watch it but came across her later when she released her debut album Join the Club. She has a unique, distinctive voice and her songs are so simple, moving and heart-warming. They illustrate the reality of everyday life such as love, loss, friendship, behaviour, home, crime, money, politics, travelling & dreaming. I was hoping to see her live at Victorious Festival 2018 but due to poor weather, her set was cancelled. I still aim to go see her perform in the near future.
Alecia Beth Moore, professionally known as Pink, is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter from America. Although her music could be placed in multiple genres, she has an incredible alternative rock style to some of her work. Songs I love include Don’t Let Me Get Me, Just Like a Pill, Family Portrait, Trouble, Who Knew?, U + Ur Hand, Dear Mr. President, Sober, Raise Your Glass, Just Give Me A Reason, F****** Perfect and her unltimate rockstar track, So What. I did try booking tickets for her show at Wembley Stadium in June 2019 but was unsuccessful.
Avril Lavigne is a Canadian singer-songwriter who I’ve loved since the age of 10. Over the latter years she has become more of a pop princess but her early material is rock chick gold in my opinion. Her debut album Let Go includes the singles Complicated & Sk8er Boi and her second album Under My Skin includes rock-heavy tunes Take Me Away, Together & He Wasn’t plus the singles Don’t Tell Me, Happy Endings & Nobody’s Home. Although her setlist may carry a lot of pop tunes, I’m still keen to see her live one day and make my childhood dream come true.
I am aware there are a few well-known alternative-indie female artists such as Blondie, Florence + the Machine and newcomer Jade Bird. However, for me, I see them as more pop artists than rock artists.
This blog post is not a campaign to have more female rockstars but just to share my curiosity as to whether there are limited female rockstars or are there more in the industry than I first thought and I’m looking in the wrong places?
Do you know any other female rockstars I may have not mentioned? Or are you a female musician who performs rock music and would like to share your work on my blog? Please get in touch via the comments box or on social media.
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