Good evening all!
The 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD) may have passed but there’s no time limit on celebrating amazing women in music.
For decades, the music industry has seen some remarkable and influential women develop a community to empower women to seek awareness, equality, diversity, heritage and opportunities.
Women have long dominated the Rock music genre, but they have not necessarily been acknowledged for their achievements. The industry has seen women perform predominantly as singers across all music styles particularly during the 1950s and 1960s decades.
I’m celebrating Women in Rock! But, let me take you back to the 1970s and 1980s to an era, where, in my humble opinion, the façade of the music scene was changing! A woman playing an instrument as a bandleader wasn’t seen or heard of; that is, until some incredible and talented individuals appeared! So, I’m paying tribute to five inspiring female musicians: Suzi Quatro, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett, Siouxsie Soux and Joan Armatrading for their prominent leadership, bold stage presence, outstanding vocals and their iconic image.
Suzi Quatro was one of the few prominent women instrumentalists and bandleaders when she launched her career in 1973. She found fame during the age of Glam-Rock as a singer and bass-guitarist and when she emerged onto the Rock scene, there was no other prominent female musician working as a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter and bandleader. In 2010, she was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame.
Chrissie Hynde has been an inspiring figure on the rock scene since 1978. As frontwoman of The Pretenders, she has consistently stood out as one of the best female Rock singers, especially with her distinctive contralto vocals. She has collaborated with celebrated artists such as Cher and Frank Sinatra. Hynde was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, as a member of the Pretenders.
Dubbed the “Queen of Rock’n’Roll, Joan Jett found fame and success with her band, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Their celebrated album,’ I Love Rock n’Roll’, achieved huge success in 1981. A talented singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has knocked down the door, paving the way for many more female rockers to follow suit, making her a pioneer in the genre. In 2015, she received a long, and overdue accolade, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her work with The Blackhearts.
Having watched a recent documentary of her life and outstanding achievements, three-time Grammy Award nominee Joan Armatrading CBE, has an impressive recording career spanning nearly fifty years. She has released nineteen studio albums, has been nominated twice for Brit Awards for Best Female Artist and has received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996.
One of the most influential female Rock singers in the music industry, known professionally as Siouxsie Sioux, as lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees. A talented songwriter in her own right, she remains an enigmatic figure and a cult icon. Her song writing on controversial topics such as sexual abuse and mental illness has made her an effective musician and leader in her field. In 2011, she was awarded Outstanding Contributions to Music at the Q Awards. In 2012, she received the Inspiration Award at the Ivor Novello Awards.
As a final word, these inspiring female icons ripped up the rulebook and threw it away. They had to work hard, fight hard and play hard to be accepted into a male dominated industry. They have redefined and reinvented all music genres and continue to be a positive influence and inspiration for generations of females.
For your earworm, I’ve chosen well known tracks from each artist. Enjoy!
Until next time!
Suzi Quatro – Can the Can (1973)
Pretenders – Brass In Pocket (1979)
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – I Love Rock N Roll (1981)
Siouxsie & the Banshees – Spellbound (1981)
Joan Armatrading – Drop the Pilot (1983)