In a genre dominated by male acts, it is often hard to pick out the 10 best female lead singers. However, over the years, a number of women have made their marks in bands. Some of the women have been in all-girl bands while some were the only female in a band otherwise dominated by men. Regardless, all ten of these women left their marks on the world of rock ‘n roll.
- Ann Wilson, Heart – Heart has been a hard rock band since 1973, and Ann Wilson has always been the female lead singer while her younger sister Nancy played guitar. Eight Heart albums went platinum and the band released their thirteenth studio album in 2010.
- Shirley Manson, Garbage – Shirley Mason is the female lead singer of the grunge band Garbage. The band debuted in 1995 and won an MTV award for Breakthrough Artist in 1996. The band released four studio albums before disbanding. In 2008, Manson began acting in the television series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”
- Debbie Harry, Blondie – Debbie Harry was the female lead singer in the punk band Blondie in the seventies. She hit it big with a number of singles including “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me” and “Rapture.” She also had minor success as a solo artist and appeared in movies like “Videodrome” and “Hairspray.”
- Amy Lee, Evanescence – Amy Lee is the female lead singer in the Nu-Metal band Evanescence. The band’s debut album in 2003 won them two Grammys. Despite the early success, the band has only released two studio albums since 2003.
- Gwen Stefani, No Doubt – No Doubt is a situation where a talented female lead singer used the success of her band to propel herself into a solo star. No Doubt received ten Grammy nominations, while winning two over their career. Stefani stepped up and released two solo albums, both going platinum. Stefani is married to Bush front man Gavin Rossdale.
- Linda Perry, 4 Non Blondes – Linda Perry is the female lead singer of the all-girl band 4 Non Blondes. While the band only released one album, their biggest hit “What’s Up” was a huge success, reaching No. 14 on the Billboard charts. Perry has since written songs for performers such as Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Pink.
- Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac – Stevie Nicks became the female lead singer of Fleetwood Mac in 1974. Nicks sang lead for Fleetwood Mac off and on until 2004 and began a successful solo career as well.
- Joan Jett, The Runaways – The Runaways regained popularity thanks to a 2010 movie showcasing their rise and fall. The most popular members of the band were Joan Jett and Lita Ford, but the original female lead singer was Cherie Currie. Currie left the band due to drug problems and Joan Jett took over lead vocals. Jett became the most successful member of the band when she left and started her own band, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
- Courtney Love, Hole – Courtney Love was an aspiring musician but turned to acting when she failed to get a band off the ground. In 1989, Love became the female lead singer of Hole and the band began to gain popularity in the Pacific Northwest. It was at this time she met Kurt Cobain. Hole’s sophomore album came out days after Cobain’s suicide and Love began to experience her first taste of mainstream success. Hole has released four albums as of 2010.
- Dolores O’Riordan, Cranberries – The Cranberries are an Irish rock band that made their debut in 1989. Dolores O’Riordan became known for her unique style as a female lead singer. The band’s biggest hit was the No. 1 single “Zombie.” They released five albums from 1993 to 2001.
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