Women Who Rock

There is an excellent new docuseries on Amazon Prime called "Women Who Rock".

This series goes pretty much back to the beginning and continues through today.

Highly recommended!!!


Must be a short series because let's face it, there are only 4: Chrissie Hynde, Ann Wilson, Joan Jett, and Blondie (Deborah Harry)!

Sinead O'Conner, Bjork, Sheryl Crow, Annie Lennox, Fiona Apple, Kathleen Hanna, Stevie Nicks,Sarah McLachlan, Chaka Khan, Alanis Morissette, Kate Bush, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Grace Slick, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Bonnie Raitt, Pat Benatar, Courtney Love, Tori Amos, Joan Armatrading ect. ect.


Sheesh, there are sure some with shallow roots and/or short memories.


Sister Rosetta Tharpe (a fantastic guitar player)

Rose Maddox (Rockabilly, Hillbilly)

Ruth Brown (a hero of Bonnie Raitt)

Etta James (ditto)

LaVerne Baker

Irma Thomas

Mavis Staples

Wanda Jackson (a red hot Rockabilly singer)

Brenda Lee

Arlene Smith (of The Chantels. Listen to their amazing "Maybe")

Ronnie Spector

Tina Turner

Jackie DeShannon

Darlene Love

Dusty Springfield

Janis Joplin

Merry Clayton (she sings "Rape! Murder!" in "Gimme Shelter". Hair-raising!)

Linda Ronstadt

Bonnie Raitt

Lou Ann Barton


That’ll do for starters


@bdp24...most of your list is talked about on the docuseries.

Not sure where this thread got off track, but I didn't ask for a list of Women Who Rock, I just wanted to share the info on the docuseries...

Yet another weird, inexplicably segregation-keen (gender-wise) thread.  
Female”-this, “women”-that… 
I never see “male”-this, or “men”-that threads here. Why?  
It seems like “male” artists are seen as…artists.  
However, it seems like female artists are seen as…”female artists.” Why?  
Gender has never once played a remote factor in determining what music I like, how I listen to music, or anything like that. 
What is all this about?

@larsman  Instead of, “artists,” people will often insert (irrelevant descriptor) before the word, “artist.”

Because woman aren’t usually thought of as performing Rock ’n’ Roll, but of Pop music, or if really good Blues or Country. What’s the harm in celebrating woman who Rock? Kind of a fun topic imo. Don’t take everything so seriously ;-) .

I regularly separate artists by ethnicity (I prefer to use that term rather than race. We’re all in the human race). If blacks and whites are considered together, we whites don’t stand a chance. Blacks have an unfair advantage ;-) . Whatta ya think---will this post be removed?


@tylermunns - indeed, and if they are good with it, so am I, and it often applies to more than just artists, too. 

@bdp24 Well, at least you admit it. Essentially saying, “It’s fun to segregate things based on biological factors people don’t choose.” Knock yourself out, I guess.

I was asking a legit, good-faith question. That’s kind of the essence of this entire forum. I don’t understand this proclivity to separate artists by gender and/or race.  It doesn’t make sense to me.

A description of this inquiry as, “a guy taking himself too seriously” says more about the responder than the inquirer.

“Whattya think — will this post be removed?” - Don’t flatter yourself with a contrived position of martyrdom

Barbara Streisand, Betty Middler and Liza Minelli. After that female rock was dead.

I spit the milk out my mouth when I saw someone list Miley Cyrus. Boy how far this forum has fallen. 

Oops, my 4:00 post neglected to include Jazz with Blues and Country. And then there’s Opera!

@sgreg1: I took that as a joke. I hope I wasn’t mistaken!

First off, I'm not overly enamoured of the concept of "women who rock.


@sgreg1 - Miley Cyrus absolutely rocks. I don't buy her stuff but she does rock, especially live.

More specifically, on topic, Strange Kind of Women are an excellent Deep Purple tribute band who, by definition, rock and in practice, do too.

What happened to any kind of sense of humor on this site. The Miley Cyrus mention was hilarious. Mine was in much worse taste lol.


Women who "rock". Rock being the operative word. So far, at least half of those mentioned can not in any way be considered rock and roll artists. My list would include... Amy Lee, Grace Potter, Loise Post and Nina Gordon from Veruca Salt, Sandra Nasic from Guano Apes (awesome band from Germany) and lets throw in Maria Zardoya of the Marias for good measure. Any more from this century that could be added would be interesting.

Just a thought:

Should men and women athletes compete with each other, or their abilities appraised separately? I know a gal who is an excellent pool player, but that’s not quite a sport. How about weightlifting? Lots of sports benefit from physical strength, so men obviously have the advantage.

Men’s and women’s singing voices are very different in nature, and imo must appraised by gender. The male range is of course lower than that of the female, so it’s easier for a woman to reach very high notes. Women’s hands are different from men’s, and in the playing of piano the longer span of a man’s hands affords a definite advantage. Conversely, when it comes to electronic assembly, women are highly valued. Smaller, more nimble hands and fingers than most men.

I’ve known a few female drummers, and their lesser physical strength (compared to males) is a definite disadvantage. But they often play with great sensitivity and taste. Very unmasculine ;-) .

Nandi Bushell is only 12 and she rocks harder than a lot of adult men. Look her up.

Aretha Franklin, Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads), Kim Deal (Pixies), Exene Cervenka (X), Poison Ivy (The Cramps)

donsimon76, finally someone posting real Rock women. Taylor Momsen of The pretty reckless sounds good too.

Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation

Nita Strauss

Bonnie Raitt

Nancy Wilson

Melissa Etheridge

Anne Clark (St. Vincent)

Susan Tedeschi

Ana Popovic

@mofimadness - thanks for the heads up!

@tylermunns - that's literally the title of the documentary he was recommending.  Personally, I wouldn't eschew any song based on its choice to use gendered words in title or lyrics.  When I sit down to listen, I usually don't stream or go totally random.  I may choose an artist based on gender, type of music, the feel of the music (music that rocked existed long before rock, which itself is predated by rock & roll), the specific instrument or instruments I feel like hearing or not hearing, the label, or other category that may be arbitrary in nature, but methodical in that moment.

I know you're an informed, serious poster.  If a thread is not of interest to you, why waste time stirring the pot?

Only ONE mention of Janis?  You ever SEE her perform live?

Where do you think all the others come from?

Oh, some of Joan's inspiration came from Suzi, by the way.



The entire 90s Riot Grrrl scene... Courtney Love, Grace Potter, Wilson Sisters, Kay Hanley, Chrissie Hynde, Deborah Harry, Nina Gordon & Louise Post, Jannis Joplin, Dusty Springfield, Stevie Nicks, Runaways, Meg White , Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson (H.E.R.) and on and on - so many, endless talent! 

Post removed 

Gotta throw in my top two modern ladies:

Amy Lee of Evanesense

Hayley Williams of Paramore

Ive seen both live in concert and can confirm that they rock!


                         you just beat me!! I was going to say Amy Lee of Evanesense, I saw them 3 times.  She's Amazing! 

Janis Joplin

I have to add Grace Slick, the first major rock star who was a woman.  I het the earlier women mentioned, but Grace was the first 60s female rock star.

There are quite a few mentioned who I would not consider rock singers (more like pop, alternative, or jazz) but at a minimum, I think Pat Benatar, Grace Slick (maybe the greatest female rock singer ever), and Janis Joplin have to be added to the bojack’s original list.

Y’all got it covered and tossed in a few that are not rock but that’s cool. 

This is Grace Slick singing White Rabbit (isolated to just her voice track).

Prior to Pro-tools!


Your welcome.



@blackbag20 - That's pretty funny! And it's the reason I never got into those early Rush albums. 

@petaluman  I’ve been seeing so many of these “female” threads forever now. I chose not to comment because I would just be a Debbie Downer. 
I just couldn’t help myself this umpteenth time.  
It’s sexist and dumb to have these ideas.

People consider a male artist an….artist.
A female artist is a…”female artist.”  

It’s just stupid.  
No one would make a thread of “best male vocalists” or “men who rock.”  
Because that would be dumb.

@tylermunns Thanks for your response.

I guess it's a difference of opinion.  To me, "best" is dumb.  Is Baroque better than Romantic?  Hip Hop better than Jazz?  Tom Waits better than Enrico Caruso?  I don't believe in judging musicians in bpm, and different kinds of music have entirely different goals.

When I'm ready to listen, I probably choose artist or type of music first.  Sometimes I'm going for a sound, though.  It might be blues tuba or Joni Mitchell ... or it could be a woman who rocks.  The interesting thing I find in that topic is whether rocks is limited to rock.  I say no.

I gotta throw in Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics. In my opinion the most 'tittilating" of all the women mentioned, although Grace Slick is one also..

Never saw Wendy live; she appeared in this forum recently as among the loudest shows people have ever attended.

I believe "spirit" has no gender, but that doesn't mean I compare my father and mother as sort of identical human beings.