Women rock – here’s why


To narrow all of the most significant women that have left their impact and mark on the history of rock
and roll is indubitably a sin. However, think of this list as an opinion list of rock’s greatest hits across the
decades vs a definite judgement list.

First, we must start with Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

It goes without saying that there have been a multitude of women that have left their mark on rock’s
formidable years, such as names like the late, great, Wanda Jackson. However, born Rosetta Nubin in
Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Sister Rosetta Tharpe had the iconic distinction of influencing not only Elvis
Presley, Keith Richards, and Jeff Beck but had a profound impact on an entire subgenre of music.

Tharpe would be one of, if not the first to use distortion on electric guitar. Influencing the entire
landscape of British blues back in the 1960s. Tharpe would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame recently and posthumously in 2018, cited as an early influence.

Next, Linda Ronstadt.

Without any question there hasn’t been any woman more relevant in the genre of rock’s 20th century
than Ronstadt. Consistently one of the greatest female vocalists of all time, Ronstadt had a natural talent
for not only rock but would put out successful releases in the genres of country, Latin, the great American
songbook and even light Opera.

Throughout all her crossover achievements, it’s easy to forget how historic Ronstadt was as a woman in
rock. When Linda’s fifth studio album ‘Heart Like A Wheel’ came out in 1974, Ronstadt would become
one of, if not the first ‘arena class’ female rock stars and setting records throughout the 1970s as ‘The
First Lady of Rock’.

Her rock and roll image was so prevalent during this time period that she would
appear on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine six times. Ronstadt would be inducted into the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

Of course, Stevie Nicks.

The reigning Queen of Rock and Roll is undeniably Stevie Nicks. Nicks, who is still touring major festivals
and arenas today was named one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time and one of the 100
Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone.

Born Stephanie Nicks in Phoenix, Arizona, Nicks would join her first band attending Arcadia High School
in California. Her senior year she would meet future band mate and boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham
where they would shortly attend college together before dropping out, pursuing what would ultimately
become Fleetwood Mac.

By 1975, Fleetwood Mac would reach international success with the group’s self titled album, which
would be on the backs of the song ‘Rhiannon’ that Nicks wrote years earlier. “Rhiannon” would ultimately
be voted as one of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone.

The 90’s songbird, Alanis Morissette.

From the ‘Queen of Rock and Roll’ to the ‘Queen of Alt Rock’. Alanis Morissette changed the landscape
of rock forever when she put out 1995’s Jagged Little Pill. Although not her debut, it would be the release
that catapulted Morissette’s career to superstardom as it would go on to sell 33 million copies globally,
earn her a Grammy award, and even be made into a Broadway show which would in itself earn fifteen
Tony awards.

Jagged Little Pill would spawn six singles however Alanis’ legacy goes far deeper beyond the album
itself. She was the youngest artist to be certified diamond and was a direct influence for many female
artists who felt they could talk about relationships in a way that was in the past, considered taboo. Many
contemporary voices like Pink, Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry consider Alanis to be a direct influence.

The rock icon, Taylor Momsen.

Perhaps there is no woman that is more relevant in rock today than Pretty Reckless frontwoman Taylor
Momsen. Momsen, has been a sneaky veteran in the world of rock and roll, having put out hit after hit for
nearly a decade and a half now. In the process of this, doing what she can, shedding her once squeaky
clean image as the child star that played Cindy Lou Who in 2000’s ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’
starring Jim Carrey.

Momsen has said that: “Music is where I can be me”, stating that “acting is easy. I’ve been doing it for so
long and I totally love it. But you’re playing a character instead of yourself. Music is more personal
because you’re writing it and you’re involved in every step of it.”

It is easy to see why she feels extremely comfortably in the music space, as her most recent studio
album ‘Death by Rock and Roll” was named as one of the best rock/metal albums of the year by
Loudwire magazine. In addition, the release would soar to number one at the Top Albums Sales charts

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