10 Best Female Fronted Rock Bands

The 10 best female fronted rock bands broke a lot of barriers to get their music heard. In a male dominated genre, it takes a lot of talent to reach the top as a female singer. These ten bands not only made it to the top but were some of the most successful bands of their eras, men or women.

  1. Heart – Ann Wilson and her sister Nancy joined Heart in the 70s and reached great success in the 80s. The band was originally a male rock group but, after Ann and Nancy joined up, the band became one of the best female fronted rock bands. Heart went on to record classic songs like “Barracuda,” “What About Love,” “These Dreams,” “Who Will You Run To” and “All I Want to Do is Make Love to You.”
  2. Hole – Courtney Love tried to make it big in both music and movies before finding a comfort zone in the female fronted rock band Hole in 1989. The band developed a cult following and Love met musicians such as Michael Stipe and Billy Corgan. The year before Hole released their debut album, Love met her future husband Kurt Cobain. The band’s breakthrough album hit shelves days after Cobain committed suicide.
  3. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Joan Jett started her career in the all-girl rock band The Runaways but, after that band broke up, she started one of the best female fronted rock bands of all time with The Blackhearts. Joan Jett gained immortality when she released the rock anthem “I Love Rock ‘n Roll.”
  4. Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac has not always been a female fronted rock band but after Stevie Nicks joined up in 1974, the band reached new heights. The first album with Nicks reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and included Nick’s contributions “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.”
  5. No Doubt – Led by Gwen Stefani, No Doubt got their start in the 80s but didn’t get signed to a major label until 1992. The band didn’t hit it big right away but became one of the best female fronted rock bands after the release of “Just a Girl” in 1995. Stefani has since made a name for herself with a solo career.
  6. Garbage – Garbage was led by Shirley Manson and grew into one of the best female fronted rock bands when their debut album hit. Both “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When it Rains” became huge hits and the album went gold.
  7. Cranberries – The Cranberries became a unique sounding band thanks to the Celtic tinged voice of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan. The band started out in the UK Indie scene in the early 90s but broke out and became one of the female fronted rock bands when their song “Linger” became a hit and they soon followed with the No. 1 hit song “Zombie.”
  8. Evanescence – Amy Lee started her band in Arkansas at the end of the 90s as part of the same Christian music label that represented Creed. Evanescence became one of the best female fronted rock bands when the soundtrack for the movie “Daredevil” featured both “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal.”
  9. 4 Non Blondes – 4 Non Blondes may be a one-hit wonder but that one hit is enough to help label them as one of the best female fronted rock bands. Linda Perry sang lead vocals and the song “What’s Up” became a huge hit, reaching No. 11 on the Billboard charts while helping the album sell over six million copies. Perry left the band when she decided they became too pop sounding.
  10. Veruca Salt – Veruca Salt was one of the first female fronted rock bands to achieve success in the post-Nirvana era of grunge. The band became an instant success with the release of their first hit single “Seether.” The band remained popular and moved on to a harder rock sound for their next hit single “Volcano Girls.”
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