Best Female Rock Singers: An Essential Top 30 Countdown

Women have long dominated the rock scene, whether they’ve been acknowledged for it or not. Here are some of the best female rock singers to grace the stage.

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Photo: Brian Cooke/Redferns

Women have long dominated the rock scene, whether they’ve been properly acknowledged for their achievements or not. While countless women have shaped the history of music, here we’ve highlighted 30 of the best female rock singers. From Debbie Harry to Karen O, Stevie Nicks to PJ Harvey, see how these musicians’ vocals, songwriting and values have made them stand out in the music industry.

While you’re reading, listen to our Female Rockers playlist here.

30: Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten didn’t get widespread recognition until her third studio album, Tramp, landed in 2012, but when she did, she had the kind of viral success most singer-songwriters are rarely afforded. Stunning listeners with her emotional candor, Van Etten sang songs about abusive relationships, love and self-discovery. She has since grown as a musician, moving into scoring and blending cinematic elements with rock music. Her 2019 album, Remind Me Tomorrow, which was released earlier this year, proves she’s more than arrived on the rock scene.

29: St. Vincent

The only thing more agile than St Vincent’s legendary guitar playing is her exquisite vocals. For over a decade, Annie Clark has traversed different styles and sounds, and is equally at home in singer-songwriter mode as she is recording avant-rock concept albums with David Byrne. A musical shape-shifter, Clark takes on a new persona with each album. On 2017’s Masseduction, she completed her evolution from singer-songwriter to indie darling to rock star.

St. Vincent - "Los Ageless" (Official Video)

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28: Hayley Williams (Paramore)

In the male-dominated pop-punk scene, Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams felt like she was starting a revolution with her music and attitude, inspiring other girls and women to play in bands. Now five albums deep into her 15-year career, Williams has grown up and become more eclectic in her tastes with the group’s 2017 release, After Laughter, bringing 80s synth-pop into the mix. But her rebellious spirit and deep connection with her fans has never waned.

27: Kate Pierson (The B-52s)

As one of the founding members of The B-52s, Kate Pierson’s infectious pop-rock vocals made party tracks such as “Love Shack” and “Roam” what they are today. Alongside her vocal prowess, the singer-songwriter’s campy image and charming persona has made her one of rock’s beloved cult icons. When not touring with The B-52s, Pierson has also fostered a stellar solo career, earning her a place among the best female rock singers.

26: Donita Sparks (L7)

In 1992, L7’s Donita Sparks threw her bloody tampon at festival-goers after they berated the band onstage. In her career with the pioneering all-female group L7, she’s always defied expectations both inside and outside of music. It doesn’t get any more rock’n’roll than that.

25: Alice Bag (The Bags)

As one of the only Latina musicians from the first wave of 70s LA punk, Alice Bag became an icon and an inspiration. As lead singer of The Bags, she has used her platform to bring representation center-stage, sending messages to survivors of abuse and addressing the detainment of immigrants.

24: Gwen Stefani (No Doubt)

Before Gwen Stefani branched out into pop stardom, she was known as the alluring lead singer of early 90s ska and punk-rock band No Doubt. With early songs “Just A Girl” and “Spiderwebs,” from their breakthrough record Tragic Kingdom, Stefani proved she wasn’t going to play by the rules and quickly became one of the best female rock singers of the decade. Her impeccable vocals remain unparalleled.

No Doubt - Sunday Morning

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23: Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries)

With her lofty Limerick accent, Dolores O’Riordan made some of the greatest rock songs of the 90s with her band, The Cranberries. From “Linger” to “Zombie,” O’Riordan’s emotive range and Gaelic lilt made the band stand out. What made her even more of a rock star? Speaking openly about her battle with bipolar disorder in 2017. The outpouring of emotion that followed her death, in 2018, was unprecedented.

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22: Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes)

As lead singer for Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard is best known for her soulful, blues-tinged vocals. Since the Shakes took off, Howard started Bermuda Triangle, a side project with Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser. Being the badass she is, Howard is also lead singer of rock band Thunderbitch, who rarely do live appearances. An unstoppable force among the best female rock singers on this list, Howard’s vocals can stand on their own.

21: Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley)

While she got her start over 20 years ago as the frontwoman of Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis has gone onto have an even more esteemed solo career. The actress-turned-musician is a master of storytelling, praised for her vulnerable songwriting about love, sexuality, relationships, and coming of age. Lewis has garnered a cult fanbase for her lyrical wisdom, sense of style, and cool-girl attitude, but mostly she’s an insanely talented vocalist and guitarist who can’t be ignored.

20: Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!)

Against Me! founder and lead singer Laura Jane Grace has dominated the punk scene for over 20 years. Tackling sensitive topics like class issues and making hidden references to gender dysphoria in her music, in 2012, she became one of the most prominent musicians to come out as transgender, and she’s been using her platform to make a difference ever since.

19: Melissa Etheridge

Kansas-born Melissa Etheridge paid her dues the hard way, dropping out of music college and gigging solidly in California before a deal with Island Records came her way. She first tasted stardom when her self-titled 1988 debut spawned the hit “Bring Me Some Water,” but her confessional lyrical style and seductively raspy, Janis Joplin-esque delivery aligned to perfection on the multi-million-selling album Yes I Am, which spawned signature hits “I’m The Only One” and “Come To My Window” and earned Etheridge a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocalist in 1995.

Melissa Etheridge - Come To My Window (Live at The Kodak Theatre)

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18: Kim Deal (Pixies, The Breeders)

Kim Deal first emerged on the scene in the late 80s as the bassist and co-singer for indie rock icons Pixies before starting her own band, The Breeders, with her sister Kelley Deal. From “Gigantic” to “Cannonball,” her voice is behind some of the most enduring hits in 90s rock. Embodying the DIY ethos of indie rock while retaining a true rock star’s magnetism, who else can make maneuvering intricate basslines while delivering impassioned vocals look easy?

17: Siouxsie Sioux (Siouxsie And The Banshees)

Not only one of the best female rock singers in music, as leader of Siouxsie And The Banshees and The Creatures, Siouxsie Sioux is one of the most influential British singers in rock. But it was her songwriting that made her an even more affecting musician, meditating on sexual abuse, mental illness, and crippling anxiety. The breadth of her talents led her to collaborate with Morrissey and John Cale over the years and she remains an enigmatic figure and cult icon.

Siouxsie And The Banshees - Happy House (Official Music Video)

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16: PJ Harvey

During the heyday of 90s alt.rock, Polly Jean Harvey’s otherworldly voice and avant-garde theatrics helped her stand out from the pack of female singer-songwriters of the era. Her unflinching lyrics are only matched by the rawness of her music, and she continues to be not only one of the best female rock singers in music, but one of the most interesting artists in rock today.

PJ Harvey - This Is Love

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15: Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

As the boisterous lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O ruled the early 00s indie rock scene with her contagious howls and ostentatious style. The success of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ song “Maps” paved the way for O to become one of New York’s favorite musicians, and her influence can be felt both in the current wave of female singer-songwriters as well as the art and fashion worlds, thanks to her Christian Joy-designed creations and her unhinged energy.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Date With The Night (Official Music Video)

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14: Shirley Manson (Garbage)

Working without a filter, Scottish singer Shirley Manson has undoubtedly become one of the coolest women in rock. Beyond being known for her unmistakable vocals and angsty lyrics, the Garbage frontwoman is a feminist icon who sticks up for women and underrepresented communities. With hits such as “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” and “Why Do You Love Me,” Manson has consistently been able to showcase her impressive vocal range, oscillating from snarls to an airy lilt without fuelling too much melancholy.

Garbage - Only Happy When It Rains

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13: Courtney Love (Hole)

For more than four decades, Courtney Love has been a force to be reckoned with in the grunge scene. Her stint as the lead singer of alt.rock outfit Hole cemented her status as one of the best female rock singers in history: she was praised for her introspection on Celebrity Skin and continued to impress as a solo artist on America’s Sweetheart. Love’s wild antics and passion for style, art, and the punk scene have helped her remain more than relevant after all these years.

Hole - Violet (Official Music Video)

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12: Pat Benatar

While she remains best known as an MTV staple for her feisty hits “Love Is A Battlefield” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” Pat Benatar first took the rock world by storm with her 70s debut album, In the Heat of the Night. She’s managed to maintain that grit and over the course of four decades, gifting us countless hits such as “We Belong” and opening the door for future female solo stars who didn’t need a band to make themselves heard.

Pat Benatar - Love Is A Battlefield (Official Music Video)

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11: Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre)

A pioneer of the riot grrrl scene, Kathleen Hanna found fame as both a feminist and a punk icon. Fronted Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and, most recently, The Julie Ruin, Hanna captivated audiences with her snarl and penchant for pushing societal norms. Between her activism and role in helping to create third-wave feminism, Hanna is regarded as one of the most influential women in rock.

10: Lita Ford (The Runaways)

Having burst onto the scene as the main shredder for female rock pioneers The Runaways, Lita Ford quickly established she was frontwoman material after the group flamed out and she embarked on a hugely successful solo career. During the heyday of hair metal, Ford was one of the few women to star in her own videos rather than appear as a prop. She could go toe-to-toe with any of her male peers on the axe and had the pipes to pull off all those power ballads, all while doing it in six-inch heels. “Larger Than Life,” indeed.

Lita Ford - Playin' with Fire

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9: Janis Joplin (Big Brother And The Holding Company)

First gaining recognition as a member of the psych-rock band Big Brother And The Holding Company, Joplin quickly ascended from being one of the best female rock singers of the 60s to become one of the best rock and blues singer-songwriters of all time. After two records with The Holding Company she pursued a solo career, adding songs such as “Mercedes Benz” to a legacy that already included “Down On Me” and “Ball and Chain.” While she died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27, Joplin’s voice has never been forgotten; she was posthumously inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995.

8: Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders)

As the frontwoman of The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde has been a fixture on the rock scene since 1978 and, throughout the decades that followed, has consistently stood among the best female rock singers. Over the course of her career, Hynde has collaborated with everyone from Cher to Frank Sinatra, and, as part of The Pretenders, was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2005. Her bold stage presence and feminist energy have made her an inspiring figure in the music industry.

7: Ann Wilson (Heart)

With their band Heart, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson were behind some of the biggest rock anthems of the 70s and 80s, including the scorcher “Barracuda.” With her bombastic vocal range and edgy look, Ann Wilson easily transitioned to the 80s, releasing hit power ballads such as “These Dreams.” While never formally taught, Wilson has one of the most distinct voices in rock – no wonder it’s so hard to hit those notes at karaoke.

Heart - "Barracuda" (1977)

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6: Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane)

Since joining the pioneering psych-rock group Jefferson Airplane in 1967, Grace Slick became a formidable force in rock. Earning her stripes as one of the best female rock singers in history, she embodying the sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll lifestyle and out-partied all her male contemporaries. With a mouth like a sailor and charisma for days, Slick was a disarming presence and became the poster child for the Summer Of Love. She would continue with Jefferson Airplane through various guises over the decades, and is behind some of the group’s most iconic hits.

5: Tina Turner

Throughout her career, Tina Turner has perfected the art of blending pop with soul-filled rock music. She crossed genre and racial lines at a time when no one else could, and, with her signature raspy vocals and unstoppable energy, she makes each song her own. Whether she’s crafting arena pop classics such as “What’s Love Got To Do With It” or giving The Rolling Stones a run for their money at Altamont with her cover of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” Turner remains an inimitable talent among the best female rock singers.

4: Joan Jett (The Runaways, Joan Jett And The Blackhearts)

Dubbed “The Queen Of Rock’n’Roll,” Joan Jett’s legacy stems from founding The Runaways with Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox and Sandy West, and then her band Joan Jett And The Blackhearts. A staunch feminist, Jett made her mark in music with songs such as the guitar-punk “Bad Reputation” and The Blackhearts’ rendition of The Arrows’ song “I Love Rock’n’Roll.” In 2015, she received a long-overdue accolade: an induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for her work with The Blackhearts.

3: Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)

From her start in Fleetwood Mac to her solo releases, Stevie Nicks has become rock royalty. Known for her mystical persona and concert storytelling, Nicks has been lauded as one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in history. While she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1998 as a part of Fleetwood Mac, her status as one of the best female rock singers of all time was underlined when she entered that HOF as a solo artist in 2019.

2: Debbie Harry (Blondie)

As the lead singer of Blondie, Debbie Harry become a punk icon in the New York City rock scene. Touting sexuality, style, and spunk, she was also responsible for some of the most legendary hits of disco’s heyday, among them “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture.” While Harry went solo for a while and Blondie has been on and off hiatus for years, the group recently reactivated to tour in support of their 2017 release, Pollinator.

Blondie - Heart Of Glass

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1: Patti Smith

Punk poet Patti Smith needs no introduction. Her blending of rock and poetry on her 1975 debut album, Horses, made her an iconic figure in rock, particularly the NYC punk scene. Generations of fans venerate her as one of the best female rock singers of all time, while Smith has also become an author lauded for her many literary works, especially her memoir, Just Kids. Like so many of the greatest rock musicians, Smith was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and continues to be an icon for all aspiring musicians.

Looking for more? Discover the best female guitarists of all time.



  1. Aerial

    March 11, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Surely Chrissy Amphlett deserves a mention .

    • Greg Andrew

      March 16, 2020 at 8:09 am

      I was about to type Chrissy Amphlett

    • Danielle Gnidziejko

      March 22, 2020 at 4:20 am

      Yes, but when they talk about Heart (who I feel should be closer to number one), they say Ann sang “These Dreams” in 1985. It was not. It was her sister Nancy’s first big hit.

      • TheShape

        April 3, 2021 at 4:43 am

        Ehh nice popularity contest!!!
        I’ve got two names and two names only that pretty much puts at least half the women on this list to SHAME…….

        …..Johnette Napolitano……..

        Concrete Blonde’s front woman who has a set of lungs like no other

        Also….where in the hell is…….
        ……… Annie Lennox!! You’ve heard of The Eurythmics, yes??
        Another woman that puts more than half these women on this list to SHAME!!!
        And SHAME on you for not remembering or knowing these two names

        But now you do……. you’re welcome

    • Michael Lewandowski

      April 3, 2021 at 12:16 pm

      Linda Ronstadt was better than most everyone on this list

    • Steve Seeds

      April 20, 2021 at 1:49 pm

      How could u leave Bonnie Raitt out?! Tsk, tsk ..

  2. Quonk

    March 11, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    The opening line, “Women have long dominated the rock scene…” Huh? Dominated? Oh yeah, I forgot about the women in The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Yes, Traffic, CCR, The Eagles, Yes, Tom Petty, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, STP, Sabbath, Metallica…and the early rockin’ women like those in Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Chuck Berry’s band, those on stage with Elvis, Little Richard, The Temptations, James Brown, etc. Wouldn’t a better line be something like, “Women have played a signifiant role in…” or “countless talented women have helped develop the history of rock and roll?” So many of the women listed here are certainly talented and amazing but to say they have dominated is quite the exaggeration.

    • Stodo

      March 12, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Completely agree! What about Mama Cass? Karen Carpenter? Linda Rondstat should be #1 and she didn’t even make the list. What a joke this is and makes one think it’s about skleen.

      • Rick Henry

        March 12, 2019 at 2:44 pm

        Mama Cass, Karen Carpenter and Linda Ronstadt are all pop singers – none of them are rockers – not even close.

        • Stonge

          March 12, 2019 at 5:04 pm

          They are played on rock radio – that’s why I memtioned them (some ‘softer’ than others no doubt).

          • Mikey

            September 29, 2019 at 1:09 am

            You forgot Johnette Napolitano from Concrete Blond

        • Michael

          March 16, 2020 at 8:49 pm

          Linda Ronstadt is as much a rock singer as half the women on this list with songs like: It’s So Easy, That’ll Be the Day, When Will I Be Loved, You’re No Good. If she’s not a great rock singer, than the Eagles are not a great rock band.

    • Juan Camilo Arango

      March 21, 2019 at 5:14 am

      What about Sandy Denny who did an important role in an important Led Zeppelin tune ?

      • Lynne

        January 6, 2020 at 3:10 am

        Thank you! She actually had a great career, well beyond the one-off tune with Led Zeppelin, singing and writing for The Strawbs, Fairport Convention, Fotheringay (her own band), and on her own. Her most outstanding work is not really singing with Robert Plant, but singing her beautiful composition “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?”

  3. Jim F.

    March 11, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Where is Linda Rondstat?

    • Karen Belk

      July 14, 2020 at 12:20 am

      EXACTLY! Linda Rondstad should be on here!

    • Murray Sisler

      January 11, 2021 at 3:33 am

      Where are Kim Darby, Holly Woods, Amanda Marshall, Carole Pope and Allanah Myles ?

      Oh yeah – primarily known in .

      Should all be on this list.

  4. hvhh

    March 11, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    what a bunch of crap list???
    half of them have awful rock voices!

    • Roguebama

      August 29, 2020 at 5:50 pm

      I know Right!!!! Whoever put this list together has no idea what “Rock” means!!! Friggin Pathetic!!!

  5. Inthesix

    March 12, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

    • Chris N

      March 21, 2021 at 1:42 pm

      Yes to Johnette!!
      “God is a Bullet” live or “Dance Along the Edge” for those who’d like to sample her.

  6. John H.

    March 12, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    I agree that Lina Rhondstadt was a major ommission. So are Kate Bush and Madonna.

  7. Lemmy

    March 12, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    No Joni Mitchell? She’s only been performing for 50 years with over 25 releases. Big albums, hits, and a crystal clear voice. I agree with the other comments that Madonna, Rondstat, and Kate Bush were glaring omissions. While I like Patti Smith, is she really deserving of the top spot? I don’t think so.

    • Brian Patrick

      March 17, 2020 at 6:13 am

      No way she deserved the top spot. That most certainly belonged to Ann Wilson. Heart broke so many barriers and sounded incredible doing it. So many top 40 hits and top tens too. No one they have listed as ranked better than her deserved to be above her on the list. Not even Stevie who I would put at the number two spot.

  8. Drodb

    March 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    No Christie McVie?

    • Lynne

      January 6, 2020 at 3:14 am

      Yes, she has such a lovely voice! Her singing of “I’d Rather Go Blind” is so intimate and painful.

  9. newwavepop

    March 12, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    its great that you mention the B52’s Kate Pierson and she is spectacular, but Cindy Wilson the other girl in the band may have an even more amazing voice and she has sung more leads on their albums than Kate and she is one of their main songwriters as well. and when they harmonize with each other is is a thing of absolute glory.

    also its really awesome you mention Alice Bag she never gets any credit she deserves.

  10. Chris Yates

    March 12, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Heart was not behind any rock anthems in the 60s. Jeez, get your facts straight!

  11. Rich

    March 17, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Lesley Rankine, Kat Bjelland
    Courtney Love, PJHarvey and
    Sleater Kinney are the top5…easy#!

  12. Chrissyjay

    March 17, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Polly Styrene
    Liz Fraser

  13. Chrissyjay

    March 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    Sinead O’Connor

  14. Tgagnon

    March 18, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    I dont inderstand Patti Smith is anyone even talking about her anymore? Pretty sure Stevie Nicks should be #1 since shes making Rick History as a female….

  15. Saint

    April 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Sinead and Amy Lee ????????

  16. Andrew Montgomery

    April 24, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Chrissy Amphlet /Divinyls, from Australia. One of her many hits is (I touch myself).

    • Lynne

      January 6, 2020 at 3:15 am

      Great call!

  17. Scott MacNicholl

    April 24, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Candy Givens (Zephyr)
    Genya Ravan (Ten Wheel Drive)
    Lydia Pense (Cold Blood)

  18. Rich

    May 26, 2019 at 1:19 am

    How is Amy Lee of Evanescence not in the top 5 on this list???? How is it Amy Lee is not on this list at all???? Way to invalidate your list.

    • Tampa John

      March 29, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      Agreed! Amy Lee should definitely be in the top five! Any list that has Courtney Love on it, should have Amy Lee far ahead. Amy has a powerful voice and is the most consistent as well.

  19. MrMe

    May 27, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Paramore is Trash Garbage, Patti is a great songwriter but shes not a top singer, more of a rock Poet, certainly not higher than Stevie, Kathleen Hannah from Bikini Kill is Trash, shes just a shittier version of Belinda Carlisle. Kim Deal did one fucking song on that Pixies album, good writer not a great singer I mean shes ok but fuck you hipsters are idiots. The B 52s?, just keep your GenZ shit out of this list and in the trash where it belongs, St. Vincent is ok but GREAT I dont think so, basically you just put a bunch of GenZ Lesbians on a list and put Stevie Nicks and Benatar in the mix to make it look legit, this list is shit, trash, garbage.

    • Yeradumass

      March 25, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      You might be one of the biggest ignoramuses on the face of this planet. Kim Deal contributed to more than one song in the Pixies, and she had four albums with the Breeders. The B-52s are Boomers, not “Gen Z”. Oh, so close, you were only off by three generations. And if you think any of the artists you mentioned are hipsters, you’ve got your head up your ass. Also, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar are every bit as overrated as St. Vincent is. And man, that “GenZ Lesbians” comment…jesus you are a worthless inbred. I’ll bet you lick handrails on the subway.

    • Bear

      March 8, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      LOL! The B-52’s are not gen Z the started in the 70s. They are boomers themselves and part of the Gen-x Music.

      But since you obviously do not like this list maybe you could offer some nominations.

  20. Warren

    July 9, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    No Ronstadt?Great pipes, great bands – so she had dozens of pop hits -still a rock chick. Patti Smith was/is a pretentious bore – coasting on her one decent album and relationship to others downtown.

    • Don

      January 1, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      Linda Ronstadt had the absolute finest voice and vocal style in multiple genres. The super star among superstars. Huge voice and a beauty to boot.

  21. Frozen

    July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Not as terrible as most of these charts but you have to admit that those first 30~27 girls are just honorable mention because there are no contemporary girl or no girl rock singers that are any good or bands in the first place. And Smith was always just a quasi-intellectual political activist/groupie larping as a singer. You cold go worse by putting Yoko Ono instead but not by much. Insult to injury is putting someone so pretentions and full of shit as No.1

  22. Kelly

    August 3, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Courtney Love is on this list? Shameful. Have you heard her isolated tracks??

  23. Jes

    August 5, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Missing Floor Jansen from Nightwish and Amy Winehouse (both on top three), and maybe Suzi Quatro.

    • Jeff

      October 9, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      Floor is #1 on any list; most of these singers wouldn’t even go on stage after Floor performed.

  24. ted

    August 11, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Where is Linda Ronstadt ?

  25. Tracy

    August 11, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Where’s P!nk?

    • Yeradumass

      March 25, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Serving fries at McDonalds

  26. Stephen D Armstrong

    October 10, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Where is Linda Ronstadt–should be #!

  27. Christopher Nowak

    October 20, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    What about JUNE MILLINGTON from FANNY?!
    She is not a bad guitarist either.

    • Christopher Nowak

      November 14, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      She is not a bad bassist either.

  28. me

    October 26, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Ann Wilson is way better than Stevie the goat Nicks. This list is trash!

  29. Edgar Montes

    November 11, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Where Isela Annie Lenox…..?!

  30. Neil

    November 15, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Seriously, what idiot wrote this? With a career spanning 45 years and still going, 18 Albums, plus 1 live and 18 compilation albums offering over 50 singles, Regular TV appearances and the following awards,
    Bravo Otto
    1973 Gold for female singer
    1974 Gold for female singer
    1975 Bronze for female singer
    1978 Bronze for female singer
    1979 Bronze for female singer
    1980 Silver for female singer
    In April 2009, BBC TV selected as one of twelve Queens of British Pop.
    Awarded honorary doctorate at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK on October 19, 2016.

    Credited with being the first lead female Bass player and one of the most influential Rock chicks by most recognised authorities

    Suzi Quatro should be NUMBER ONE

  31. Paul lefort

    November 15, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    What no Olivia Newton John ,what a trash bin list

  32. Noah Mead

    November 22, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    NO Amy Lee? What?

    • Mark Carbaugh

      January 20, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      I agree!

  33. Otto Mattic

    December 7, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Lzzy Hale – Halestorm

    If you love GREAT female rock singers, not knowing this name is a tragedy.

  34. Marc

    December 16, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Forget the greatest of the 70s. LINDA RONSTADT!!!!!

  35. Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

    January 18, 2020 at 12:34 am

    CHRISSIE POLAND!!!!! Check this out:

  36. johnny sain

    February 21, 2020 at 3:09 am

    Ann Wilson is above all of these… far….1 and 2 are ridiculous here.

    (and Nancy Wilson sang ‘These Dreams’)

    • Michael

      March 16, 2020 at 8:19 pm

      I 2nd that. How can you rank these singers and then give an example she doesn’t even sing.

  37. Yeradumass

    March 25, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Why do the biggest dumb asses with the least knowledge of music always work in music journalism?

    You mention Alice Bag (which is great), but then neglect Patricia Morrison (aka Pat Bag also of The Bags and Sisters of Mercy)?

    This list is also missing Kate Bush, Nico, Exene Cervenka, Poly Styrene, Kim Shattuck, Corin Tucker, Kat Bjelland, Lene Lovich, Bjork, Kim Gordon, Johnette Napolitano, Ari Up. Any of these would be FAR better picks than Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Pat Benatar, or any of those newer artists you listed. Just because an artist got in the charts with lowest common denominator crap, doesn’t mean they are actually any good.

    Bottom line is: Do your homework before making an “essential” list kid.

  38. Susan Brown

    April 1, 2020 at 6:10 am

    Janis Joplin without a doubt. She paid her dues and did not even see her album so sucessful.

  39. JW

    April 22, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Come on, Linda Ronstadt should be #1 on this list. Not even on the list?

  40. Zooly

    July 4, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    This list is totally dumb. Whoever compiled it must not’ve been alive in the 70s, when almost NO WOMEN were in rock-n-roll. Pat Benatar should be in the top 3, along with Ann Wilson. They were TOTAL pioneers in the industry. Very few of the other women listed have the pipes or the rocking sound like Pat or Ann in their early years… Joan Jett at #3? Yes, she plays guitar, but WTH, the woman had what, 3 major rock and roll hits? And Patti Smith #1? Um,NO.

  41. Galo

    August 30, 2020 at 4:06 am

    Where is Alanis Morrissette? And Janis Joplin influenced ALL the women in the list, therefore, she should be number 1

  42. DMOC

    September 15, 2020 at 6:07 am

    No Linda Ronstadt? This list shit without her. Hes is top 3 AT LEAST. To not be on the top of any female singer list is a complete travisty.

  43. Arthur Audet

    September 19, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Lzzy Hale def belongs on this list- maybe top 10…

  44. joe

    October 19, 2020 at 3:31 am

    Kate Bush should be number 1, and she’s not even listed?

  45. Tad

    November 7, 2020 at 3:35 am

    Haha Ann Wilson not even in the top 10??!!!! LMAO Jesus where’s Linda Ronstadt and Suzi Quatro? Even Cindy Wilson and Belinda Carlisle should have a shout.

  46. True

    December 9, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Dolores O’Riordan is easily the best female rocker EVER

  47. H.S.

    February 15, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Sad list no one on that list cept maybe Joan Jet is worthy of drinking Floor Jansen’s piss

  48. MichaelBauers

    February 25, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Lists are always criticized, but I really like Johnette Napolitano ( Concrete Blonde.)

  49. Bear

    March 8, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Without Suzi Quatro at #1 this list is moot. ESPECIALLY if we are talking about rock.

    Also Wanda Jackson was slinging guitars while many of these people were in diapers.

    And Linda Ronstadt sold more records in the 70s alone than most of the women mentioned here.

    Also as a die The B-52’s fan everyone knows you put Kate and Cindy together.

    Also as a die hard New Wave fan Tina Weymouth….

    • Bear

      March 8, 2021 at 9:55 pm

      Oh and while I’m being pissy Bonnie fucking Raitt.

      And I don’t tell me she ain’t rock because neither is Siouxsie Sioux or for the matter Kate Pierson and many others on this list.

  50. Bruce R Grossberg

    March 10, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    What a horrible fucking list. Where are Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown, Lavern Baker, Etta James, Linda Jones and Martha Reeves?

  51. Simon

    March 23, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Where’s Wendy O Williams? Penelope Huston? Dinah Cancer? Julianne Regan (all About Eve)? Lisa Kekaula? Gitane Demone? Danielle Dax? Florence Welch? Exene Cervenka? Annie Lennox? Inger Lorre? Poly Styrene? Pauline Black? Kirsty MacColl? Texas Terri? Texacala Jones? Tina Lucchesi? Suzi Quatro?

  52. Thomas Hyatt

    March 24, 2021 at 4:12 am

    WOOOOW,I hope that that this not this authors day job!At first I thought that it might just be his ears,but when I got to number9,number9 (sorry)I realized it was also a soulless taste.Chrissie Hynde,Joan Jet and Stevie Nicks all ranked higher than Janis,Ooooouch!

    • RichC

      March 25, 2021 at 3:00 pm

      Linda Ronstadt definitely an oversight. Also Carole King a major songwriter of the 60s and 70s as well as singer.

  53. juanito

    March 25, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    “Woman” number 20 used to pee standing up.

  54. Robert

    April 15, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    Seems ridiculous that some are classified as “Rock”…. Apart from that, in my opinion Floor Jansen (of “Nightwish”) is the best… She can do EVERY vocal style perfect!

  55. Bill

    August 8, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Anybody on this panel heard of Beth Hart, listen to, Get Your Shit Together, then Joan can Jett off with the B52s can’t believe she’s not there. Won’t be taking any info you shove out seriously

  56. Damian

    October 5, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Deborah Anne Dyer, aka Skin from Skunk Anansie needs to be on the list!!

  57. Paul Armetta

    January 9, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    Pat Benatar # 1
    Close second Anne Wilson
    Stevie Nicks too far down the list.
    Linda Ronstadt and Christine Mcvie should have been included.

  58. Kevin

    January 17, 2022 at 11:44 pm

    Some of these are closer to pop singers than Rock singers where is Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Tarja Turunen (Formerly of Nightwish), Anneke van Giersbergen even the lead singer of Earlyrise (I don’t know how well know they are) has a better voice than some of the ladies on this list

  59. Kevin

    January 17, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    Some of these are closer to pop singers than Rock singers and these lists are always the same singers the only newer addition to this list is Hayley Williams but she has a great voice so totally deserves to be on here but where is Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Tarja Turunen (Formerly of Nightwish), Anneke van Giersbergen even the lead singer of Earlyrise (I don’t known how well know they are) has a better voice than some of the ladies on this list.

  60. Rochelle

    March 5, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    Ann Wilson #7 ranked below funky ass Stevie Nicks? You’ve got to be kidding me. This is clearly a popularity contest cause there’s no way that goat sounds better than Ann. There’s no way.

  61. Doug

    July 17, 2022 at 8:33 am

    Sorry, without Annie Harlem, and near the top of the list, I can’t take this list seriously. And Ann Wilson is a definite top three.

  62. Etak

    August 29, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Some of these are the most ignorant comments. Seems lots of people don’t know what rock music is. For instance, Kate Bush, imho, is one of the best all time singer songwriters but she’s not a rock star, nor is Madonna (not one of my favourites but she’s been suggested a couple of times). Lots of people with very little knowledge and massive opinions haha thank you internet

  63. Etak

    August 29, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Joni Mitchell? A folk singer… come on

  64. Badassmotherfucker

    October 30, 2022 at 4:32 am

    This a list of women Rockers. While I love Against me and have seen them many times Laura Jane Grace is a man born Thomas James Gabel. With so many womrn you didn’t include Sinnea’d O’Connor or the singer for evanescence. A woman was pushed out for a man.

  65. Frank

    January 16, 2023 at 5:43 pm

    If this list is about singers, to not have Linda Ronstadt in the top 5 is an absolute joke. You can put your cool guy names in there to be hip, but to even insinuate that Patti Smith was better singer than Ronstadt is comical at best. I’m familiar with all these performers, seen about 1/3 live and Ronstadt could out sing arguably all of them, including Tina Turner. Her cross over to pop music should never diminish that fact that she could sing ANYTHING and if you asked Stevie Nicks, Wilson, Harry and others, they’d agree. Leaving out Bonnie Raitt, Tanya Donelly, and Sinnea’d O’Connor and including some of these one off performers is disappointing.

  66. Penny

    March 11, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    Is this a list for people who used to be popular but are either aging or dead? Where th is Floor Jansen on this list? She’s got to be in the top ten worldwide – and she’s #1 for me!

  67. Rachel

    March 15, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Kat Bjelland never gets the recognition she deserves. Also how do you include Kate but not Cindy Wilson.

  68. Sylvain Simard

    March 15, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    Where is Suzi Quatro ????????
    What’s this stupid contest without her? It’s totally crazy


  69. Bob

    March 16, 2023 at 7:08 am

    What?! No Annie Lennox!!!

  70. theheepster

    March 16, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    Where are Beth Hart, Floor Jansen, Annie Lennox etc. This list sucks.

  71. M

    March 16, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    Jett and nicks in the top 5 renders this whole list useless and a joke.

  72. Darwin

    March 16, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    Ann Wilson is at the top of my list as well as PJ Harvey for sure. And Anne Clark (St. Vincent) for her stellar vocal choruses. But I’m surprised and disappointed that Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde) was not included here. She has one of rock’s most powerful voices!

  73. Chris McElrea

    March 17, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    “Ann Wilson easily transitioned to the 80s, releasing hit power ballads such as “These Dreams.””

    Really??? Someone gets an F in fact checking… If you’re gonna talk about a ballad in the 80’s that was sung by Ann and not her sister Nancy, maybe “Alone” would have been the better choice.

  74. Paul

    April 30, 2023 at 5:08 am

    Someone who for me is getting better and better is Suzuka Nakamoto, otherwise known as Sumetal.

  75. Shawn

    August 27, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    This list is trash. Most of them on this list don’t sing rock or even rock and roll.
    And to omit Lacey Sturm is ridiculous. Her voice is one of the most distinctive, engaging and powerful voices in rock.

  76. Burton Ogilvie

    September 9, 2023 at 5:36 am

    To put Janis Joplin as #9 is bullshit. She would put any of these women to shame with her talent. She could sing with such emotion and vocals that these women could only dream of.

  77. Ralph Darkrose

    October 19, 2023 at 8:54 am

    what about Alannah Myles, or Stevie Nicks, was not on the list. the singer Within Temptation she has a very powerful voice .lady from concrete Blond sings great,Is Cher Qualified

  78. I B

    January 11, 2024 at 10:50 am

    Sinead O’Connor, Amy Lee

  79. Greg Lusardi

    March 9, 2024 at 9:41 pm

    How you can put out a list like this and not include Joan Osborne is beyond me. She is at least a top 10 female vocalist for me.Listen to her work with the Grateful Dead, the Funk Brothers, her many great covers (Make you Feel My Love, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, Kiss and Say Goodbye); Her original stuff is excellent. She can hit the highest of notes and her raspy quality is amazing. NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED.

  80. Dan'l

    March 12, 2024 at 9:28 pm

    No Annie Haslam?

  81. Lance Rayburn

    March 12, 2024 at 10:25 pm

    Yeah. Cass Elliott’s my all-time favorite. And Motown vocalist Kim Weston (“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”), and always loved raunchy Bette Midler back in the ’70s, but…I understand: This list is strictly hard rock.
    So…where are Cyndi Lauper?!…Nina Hagen?!…Nona Hendryx?!

  82. Richard

    March 12, 2024 at 11:19 pm

    No Bonnie Raitt?

  83. Erick

    March 13, 2024 at 12:08 am

    No Floor Jansen? Rubbish list, eE

  84. Wolf

    March 13, 2024 at 11:35 am

    What? No Stevie Lange? Call yourself music journalists? Pah!

  85. Seaford Max

    March 13, 2024 at 12:27 pm

    I guess these narrow minded polls don’t consider Progressive Rock candidates:
    Renaissance’s Annie Haslam.
    Another reason I stopped reading articles like these years ago.

  86. bob

    March 13, 2024 at 5:09 pm

    This is the most ill conceived, out of whack list of this sort I’ve seen.

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