Top 10 Greatest Female Rock Singers

In a male dominated industry that is Rock n Roll, these amazing female singers has given women their rightful place in music history. Here is a list of the Top 10 Greatest Female Rock Singers of All Time. Please leave your comments below and also feel free to vote in my online poll. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

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#1 Folk Rock Queen Janis

Janis Joplin was one of the most powerful singers to emerge from the psychedelic rock movement. Her amazing vocals and unique stage performances made her icon of her generation. Though she only lived 27 years, her very short musical career endures forever. She was listed by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. She was also once dubbed the Queen of Rock n Roll a well as the Queen of psychedelic Soul. Though her musical style was seen as folk & rhythm and blues, she became a staple in the white rock movement during the early 1960s era thus opening up many doors for female rock artists. For this reason, she is my number 1 pick for the greatest female rock singer ever.


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#2 Queen of Rock n Roll

Tina Turner is an American Rock n Roll singer and actress. She began her iconic career alongside her husband and band mate Ike Turner. Together they were known as Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

The duo released a string of successful hit records throughout the mid 1960s and early 1970s eras. Their many hits include the successful singles “Proud Mary” and “River Deep Mountain High” among numerous others.

After their divorce and split in 1978, Tina went solo and eventually became one of the greatest female rock singers of all time. The diva currently holds two Guinness Book of World Records, one for becoming the best selling solo concert ticket performer in history, having sold more concerts tickets than any other live performer and the other for the largest paying audience to see a live performer for a 1988 Brazilian concert in which the diva played in front of a crowd of 184,000. As one of the most successful female singers of all time, Tina redefined the rock aged and has since inspired numerous performers in her more than half of a century career. The Queen of Rock n Roll has sold more than 180 million records and singles worldwide. She was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame alongside her former bandmate and husband Ike turner in 1991. She was also given her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ms. Turner in recent years was honored by Former president Bush for her remarkable achievements in music. It is why I am naming her the 2nd greatest female rock singer ever.


#3 The First Lady of Rock

Linda Ronstadt is one the most successful female rock singers in history. She began her amazing career as a member of the Stone Poneys in the early 1960s. Ms. Ronstadt later became a solo performer who experimented with many different genres of popular music which includes country,r&b, jazz, opera and folk. She was once dubbed the Queen of Rock n Roll and the First Lady of Rock due to her remarkable trailblazing achievements as a female rock artist. During the early 1970s, she became the first woman of rock to have several multi platinum albums.

In her successful career, she has won 11 Grammy’s, two Country Music Awards and an Emmy. The diva has also “released over 30 solo studio albums and 15 compilations or greatest hits LPs” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Ronstadt). Her many hits include “Blue Bayou,” “You’re No Good” and the duet with Aaron Neville “Don’t know Much” among numerous others successful singles.

Linda Ronstadt have sold over 100 million records worldwide. It is why I am naming her the third greatest female rock singer ever.


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#4 Dark Angel Amy

Amy Lee is an American rock singer and songwriter who first rose to fame with the Goth metal rock group Evanescence. She along with her band have sold over 20 million albums and singles worldwide. Ms. Lee is one the greatest female rock singers ever. In my honest opinion, if Whitney was the supreme voice of pop, this diva is likewise the supreme voice of rock. Her dark and powerful angelic sound has made her one of the most celebrated rock musicians of the new millennium.

The young rocker has yet to release a solo album but none the less, she has left an indelible mark on pop culture. Her many hits with Evanescence includes “Bring Me to Life” “Going Under” “My immortal” and “Everybody’s fool” among numerous other successful singles which have all redefined the new metal rock age. The diva’s Gothic and Celtic fashion forward attire is a signature to her ever more popular rock image.


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#5 Punk Icon Annie

Annie Lennox is a Scottish singer, songwriter and social and political activist. She first rose to international fame with her former boyfriend and band mate David A Stewart. Together they were known as the new wave punk group the Eurythmics. They released several hit singles including their biggest hit to date “Sweet Dreams" are Made of This”. In 1990, after her split with her then boyfriend and band mate Dave she went solo, releasing a string of hit records which includes the successful singles "Why" and "Walking on Broken Glass" just to name a few. During this same time period, she became a cultural icon for her gender bending style and amazing voice. Lennox is the most successful female British artist in UK history. She has been called “The Greatest White female Soul Singer Alive by VH1 and was also named as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Lennox). To date ,the diva has sold over 80 million records and recently won an Oscar for best original song for her work on the Lord of The Rings: Return of The King movie soundtrack. As one of the most amazing rock singers of all time, it’s only right that I name her the 5thgreatest female rock singer ever.

#6 80s Superstar Pat

Pat Benetar was one the biggest female rock stars of the 1980s. She started her amazing career performing in local night clubs around Richmond, Virginia and eventually moved back to her hometown of New York where she scored her first major record deal in 1978. Her second studio album Crimes of Passion made the young diva a mega star with major hits such as “Love is a Battlefield”, Fire and ice and Shadows among numerous other successful singles. During this time period she became a staple on MTV and began winning numerous awards. Her signature mega hit single “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” earned the rock queen several Grammys and American music awards throughout her peak years from 1980-1986. She went on to become a cultural icon her with numerous gold and platinum albums and was recently “inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Benatar#Life_and_career). It is why I am naming her the six greatest female rock singer ever.


#7 Rock Queen

Ann Wilson has one of the most powerful voices music has produced. She began her career with the hard rock group Heart alongside her sister Nancy who played lead guitar in the band. Ann's group went on to conquer the 1970s and early 80s rock age with iconic hits such as "Crazy on You", "Magic Man", "Alone" and "Barracuda" among countless other successful singles. The rock diva showed the world that women can also truly rock.

With over 30 million albums and singles sold to date, Ann continues to break barriers for women in a male dominated world that is rock music. Known for her powerful voice she has been cited as a major influence among numerous young rock female performers. It is why she is my number 7th pick for the greatest female rock singer ever.

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#8 Punk Rebel

Avril Lavigne is a Canadian punk rock singer who first rose to fame in 2003 with her smash debut album "Let Go" which sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. Her sophomore LP Under My Skin was equally as successful. To date the young rock songtress has sold more than 30 million albums and is one of the best selling rock female artists in the United States with more than 10 million certified albums and singles to her name. Avril has won numerous awards in her nearly a decade long career. Her powerful and beautiful voice has made her one of the biggest female rock singers of the past decade. It is why I am naming her the 8th greatest female rock singer of all time.

#9 Latin Rock Diva

Shakira is an Columbian rock singer who made her American debut in 2001 with her bilingual album Laundry Service. The LP produced many successful singles which includes the #1 global hit "Whenever Wherever" which has gone on to reach #1 in over 30 countries worldwide. Other successful singles from the iconic CD includes "Underneath Your Clothes" and "Objection (Tango)." The album is Shakira's most outstanding LP to date selling more than 16 million copies globally and turning the Latin songtress into an international superstar. Over the past decade, Shakira has released several more successful LPs and has since become one the best selling musical artists in history with more than 70 million albums and singles sold worldwide. Her powerful Latin rock sound and amazing career has now given women of Hispanic descent a voice in popular music. Skakira is one of the most accomplished female rock artists ever. Her unique voice and dancing is truly a treasure. It is why I am naming her my 9th pick for greatest female rock singer.

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#10 Punk Queen Joan Jett

Rock innovator and visionary Joan Jett is a cultural icon who paved the way for female singers in rock music. She first formed the all girl rock band the Runaways in the early 1970s. They were immensely popular throughout Asia, Europe, and Australia. As a solo artist she became known as the Godmother of punk for her unique hard rocking voice and style. Joan's best known hit was her cover of the rock anthem “I love Rock n Roll which made her one of the biggest stars of the 1980s rock era.

Her other band called Joan and the Blackhearts were also hugely successful and their achievements continued to further her career as music icon. Many female rock artists have cited her as a major inspiration. It is why she is my tenth and final pick for the greatest female rock singer ever.


Which one of these female rock singers would you crown the greatest ever?

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Comments 32 comments

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I admire the women on this list for various reasons but I really like Pat Benatar and how she helped make MTV women friendly. Avril Lavigne's place on this list is questionable but of course her sales numbers say otherwise. I think the fact that she was marketed as the rock version of the Anti-Britney at the time she came out is why people don't warm to her as easily. That and the fact she seems too playful to be rock and roll at times. On the other hand, I feel like Amy Lee could have a solo career that would make a great impact. My Immortal is my favorite song with her vocals on it. Voted up, interesting, and awesome!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great list and I would have a hard time choosing the best....I might go with Turner just for longevity, but Wilson's voice is classic and Janis was in a different universe all by herself. Great hub!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Very awesome top ten list within this well thought out hub. From your list Janis would be my favorite,no one could belt out a song like her !

Vote up and more !!!


Patrick 4 years ago

One glaring omission. Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders.


frank 4 years ago

Debbie Harry and Stevie Nicks should be in that top ten !!!


bzirkone profile image

bzirkone 4 years ago from Kansas

Nice hub. Looks like you put a lot of work into researching the artists.


Pablo 3 years ago

Where's Stevie Nicks!!


Joe Herald 3 years ago

These "best of" list are always influenced by the age of who creates them. We all think the music that was popular on our 18th birthday is the best music there ever was. BTW- Amy Lee yes. Stevie Nicks no? Really?


bzirkone profile image

bzirkone 3 years ago from Kansas

Agree, Joe.


jericho911 profile image

jericho911 3 years ago from Ohio

Great topic. However, perhaps you honestly don't know her, but Lacey Mosley-Sturm, formerly of FLYLEAF is more talented than most of that list. I love Amy Lee and Ann Wilson !


Chrysa 3 years ago

LOL,in which planet exactly Shakira and Avril Lavigne are considered rock?And you placed Joan Jett BELOW Shakira?They should send you home to listen the heavy metal riff of "whenever,wherever" and "la loba" again and again!


Lucas 3 years ago

Hey, but Avril Lavigne and Shakira are NOT rock singers! Avril Lavigne is nothing but pop-rock and Shakira is latin pop. You guys should replace Avril Lavigne with Alanis Morissette and Shakira with Cat Power, because these two ladies are true rock goddesses!


#1fanofevanescecse 3 years ago

Evanescence has been my most favorite ROCK in the hole entire world ever since I was five , all I had to do was listen to all her songs once and I knew all the lyrics . I really hope she wins the voting .


gsurvivor 3 years ago

Great list, but I feel Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac is missing :) A vote up nevertheless! :)


Rekade 3 years ago

Linda Ronstadt had more range and diversity than all these put together. Ann Wilson is at the top too. But Avril what's her name? Really?


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

I too think Stevie Nicks is better than most of the occupants of your list, and I might have included Alannis Morisette. But I suppose it's all opinion and we could debate this forever without making everybody happy. Nice work.


oldiesmusic profile image

oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

Nice choices, but I disagree with the inclusion of Avril Lavigne, and the absence of Debby Harry and Chrissie Hynde, they're more deserving to be in that list. Other than that, great work overall.


sherlock2k 3 years ago

Irene cara best singer of all time and Kelly clarkson


Fiona 3 years ago

Amy Lee, Avril, Shakira?? this is what rock is about? pathetic :P


Tom 2 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMF3oA6XKBs THIS IS AMY LEE Fiona, if you don't listen to Evanescence you would never know that its' progressive metal..


Diane 2 years ago

JOAN JETT....no one else comes close..... love Tina, Janis, Annie, Ann W but Joan is the best!


adren 2 years ago

I agree Amy Lee's voice is not suitable for rocking out. The first time I heard her had it not been for the music backing up her vocals I would have thought she was a pop singer.


John Mark 2 years ago

No, AVRIL DOESN'T EVEN BELONG HERE. I agree with Janis and Amy but WITH AVRIL?! NAH!


miki 2 years ago

Janis Joplin is nr. 1


trojan33 24 months ago

Tina Turner should not be above Linda Ronstadt or Ann Wilson. Love Annie Lennox, not sure if this is the right list for her to be on. Shakira ? NO.... Amy Lee and Avril Lavine are questionable. You should think of real rockers or rock singers. Allanah Myles, Suzie Quatro, Grace Slick, Patty Smith, Darby Mills (Headpins), Sass Jordon, (Lisa) Dalbello, Alanis Morrisette...even Bonnie Raitt would be better than Amy or Avril. Janis Joplin had nothing to do with folk music.. don't know where you are getting your info from ? She sang the blues and grew up in the blues clubs.


JD 22 months ago

A list like this without Chrissie Hynde and Grace Slick is no list at all.


JD 22 months ago

Trojan33 is sort of correct, though Bonnie Raitt is clearly a Folk/Country/Bluegrass crossover. Several members of this list are crossover artists whose true genre is really something else. Tina, R&B; Janis, Blues and Acid Rock; Ronstadt, POP (who was given the title "first lady of rock" by then boyfriend Jerry Brown's publicists to get votes); etc. If you're going to do that, then you need to insert Annie Haslam. She can SING.


Matt 21 months ago

Avril Lavigne is about as punk as Liberace. Otherwise, nice list.


Johnny Carbon 16 months ago

Where's Lzzy?


Me 12 months ago

Hayley Williams from Paramore


Yuri 3 months ago

My 3 top:

Ann Wilson

Stevie Nicks

Lisa Fischer


Joan Madou 3 weeks ago

Shakira and Avril Lavigne don t belong to this list . Will be more much better Etta James and Amy Whinehouse.

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