Since the dawn of time, women have been characterized as the weaker gender. Especially when it came to music. Music was stereotypically a male-only zone. In the early years, men were the rock stars, and women were the backup dancers. Times changed, and women began to pick up guitars and form bands…and they were really good at it!
Female musicians have changed the way we view the world…and the way we listen to it. Scroll on to discover some of the tough, brilliant and incredible ladies who changed the sign to read ‘ Girl’s…Allowed!’
Our first fearless female hails from the borough of Brooklyn, New York. Born in January 1953, Pat Benatar sang her first solo when she was just eight years old. As an adult, she traded her musical career for married life. She was working as a bank teller and a housewife. This life just didn’t seem to be the right fit for her, so she took an opportunity to join a cabaret. Her presence drove the band to success. The fans wanted more! She eventually divorced, but continued to work the club circuit.
As luck would have it for the young powerhouse, she caught the attention of a producer from Chrysalis Records. She signed a record deal with them not too long after. In 1979, she released her debut album with her soon to be husband, Neil Giraldo. You may recognize the hit songs ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘I Need a Lover’. All of this success was only a taste of what was to come for this rock star, because a year later she released ‘Crimes of Passion’ which featured three really big singles ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’, ‘Treat Me Right’ and ‘You Better Run’.
Time has done our girl well! Her resume boasts 10 platinum albums, eight number 1 singles, and four Grammy awards. These days, the 66-year-old is on tour with fellow rocker Debbie Harry , reliving the tunes of those fabulous 80s.
Singer Gloria Estefan was born in Havana, Cuba in 1957. Not long after her birth, communist dictator Fidel Castro began his rise to power. Her family chose to flea Cuba when Gloria was just a toddler. Early life for the family was wrought with her father’s military deployments. While in the Army serving during Vietnam, he developed multiple sclerosis from Agent Orange exposure. Gloria spent her younger days caring for her father and writing poetry. She has said that turning to music was her comfort during times where all she could feel was the weight of her family’s hardships.
Fast forward to 1975 and Gloria meets Emilio Estefan, who had his own band, The Miami Latin Boys. She began to sing as soprano with them, and just three years later, their partnership turned into romance. They were married in 1978, and had a son, Nayib just two years later. In March of 1990, the family took a trip together to the Pocono Mountains. It was there that they suffered a terrible bus accident. Their son Nayib had a fractured shoulder, and Emilio suffered minor hand and head injuries. However, Gloria broke some vertebra in her back,requiring surgery to realign her spine with implanted steel rods. Her doctors were unable to give Gloria a full recovery prognosis. She retired home in Miami to recover.
This was not to be the last we heard of this determined lady. She went through intensive physical therapy, and with the support of family and fans alike she made her come back in 1991. She would go on to release four albums along with a world tour. These days Gloria has turned her talents towards writing children’s books. She has also teamed up with her husband to work in Broadway! There is no stopping this woman.
Linda Ronstadt is unanimously considered to be the superstar of both pop and country music. She was born in Arizona in 1946. She first began to perform in the 1960s with a band called The Stone Poneys. Not very long after, she found astounding success as a solo performer. Her debut album ‘Heart Like a Wheel’ gave her her first Grammy award in 1974. This powerful woman could not only sing pop and jazz, but rock, country and Spanish too! She would eventually receive 11 more Grammy Awards for all of her hard work.
Linda’s career came to a sudden halt in 2013 when she announced she had Parkinson’s disease. She released a memoir Simple Dreams that same year. One fact remains, she will be forever be in the hearts of her beloved fans. She has earned her spot on our list of coolest musical ladies!
Lacey Sturm hails from Homestead, Florida. She confessed a long battle with suicide and atheism. She soon discovered spirituality and sought out a way to express it in a way she understood. So, with her small build and large voice, she rose to fame in the early 2000s as frontwoman for her band Flyleaf. She made female hard rock music lovers everywhere pump their fists, as Lacey’s voice sent shivers down their spines.
The distinctive rasp and growl of Sturm’s voice propelled Flyleaf into multinational success. She released three albums and one EP before amicably parting ways with the band. She hasn’t stopped yet, though! She has lent her talents to numerous projects, most notably the soundtrack to sci-fi movie Underworld: Awakening. She released her memoir in 2014, aptly titled “The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living.” The book covers topics many young women can relate to, and leaves the reader inspired. She became the first solo female to chart Billboard in 2016.
As of late, Lacey seems to be doing her own thing. She maintains a marriage to rocker Joshua Sturm and is raising three sons.
When is comes to pioneering women who are both artisitcally brilliant and adored, Alecia Moore AKA P!NK, tops the list. She was born in September of 1979. When Alecia was only 3, her parents divorced. She attributes her rebelliousness to the occurrence. She struggled to maintain friendships and found herself labeled as ‘a bad influence’ at a very early age. Like most frustrated young women do, she found solace in music. She soon found herself trying to navigate the crime and drug riddled scene of Philly’s club circuit, and she has famously admitted to an accidental drug overdose.
She turned her life around and got her GED. She soon began to sing at open mics all over Philly. A fateful day, she was noticed by an executive of MCA, who asked her to audition for an R&B band that was forming. The band never reached notable success. Undeterred, Alecia went solo. She changed her name to stage name Pink and began to record her own solo album. Can’t Take Me Home debut in 2000 and it quickly rose to smash hit status. It went double platinum and she soon found herself opening for bands like Nsync. Pink has continued well over a decade and is a household name. Her songs are famous for being edgy, relatable and gritty.
Currently, she tours with sold out venues regularly and has already released a greatest hits album! She continues to raise the bar and push limits. much to the adoration of her fans.
Everywhere one looks these days, there is a powerful, dynamic female artist making waves that will go down in musical history. Every single day is a chance for one more girl to make it to the top. And they tend to stay there. We hope you enjoyed the latest installment on Girls Who Rock.