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5 Awesome Underappreciated Female Singers

Updated on March 20, 2015
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Reminiscent of Tori Amos, Sarah Mclachlan, and Ani Difranco

Tori Amos, Sarah Mclachlan, and Ani Difranco gained fame by being talented, strong female musicians. Tori Amos is known as much for her red hair and the way she plays the piano as for her exceptional piano playing, poetic lyrics, and unique voice. Sarah Mclachlan gained fame in mainstream music through melodious, at times haunting, songs, and Ani Difranco defied the mainstream by creating her own record label and producing dozens of albums that feature her raw lyrics and folk inspired guitar-playing.

Many amazing artists with similar talent have not yet garnered the fame of these three. Here are five female musicians with plenty of talent, strength, and musicality. Whether you love the girl with the piano, the melodious songstress, or the righteous babe, you will be sure to want to add the following artists to your playlist as well.

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1. Noe Veneble

A San Francisco native, Noe Veneble has been impressing fans for nearly two decades. Her melodious music, combined with a clear, beautiful voice, makes her easy to love. I first heard her when I saw her open for Ani Difranco over a decade ago, and I enjoyed her opening act nearly as much as I enjoyed Ani's performance. Sometimes haunting, sometimes just fun, Noe Veneble's music is sure to please.

Listen for yourself. Here is the official music video for "Ice Dragons" off her 2007 album, The Summer Storm Journals.

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2. Rachael Sage

Rachael Sage's music often features strong, meaningful lyrics, which are frequently identifiable and poetic, as well as a sweet, melodious voice which can convey humor, sorrow, warmth, and fear with equal ease. In her earlier songs, she is often accompanied by a guitar, making her slightly reminiscent of Ani. Later albums, however, make more use of the piano. Pandora, that handy internet radio, played a Rachael Sage song for me years ago, and before the song finished, I was looking up more of her music.

See what you think. Here is "Vertigo" off her 2008 album, Chandelier.

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3. Ingrid Michaelson

A friend introduced me to this artist a few years ago, and it took me awhile to realize why some of her songs sounded so familiar. Ingrid Michaelson's songs have been featured on numerous television shows, such as Grey's Anatomy and The Vampire Dairies, as well as in several commercials. Unbelievably, she is still not a household name. With a unique, honest voice and captivating melodies, Ingrid Michaelson will have you listening to "just one more song" for hours. She definitely did for me. You will probably even come across one or two you recognize.

But don't just believe what I say. Here is Ingrid Michaelson singing "Keep Breathing" off her 2008 album, Be OK.

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4. Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor has been compared continually to Tori Amos, and it isn't just because a piano tends to accompany her vocals. The poetic quality of her lyrics and her natural, slightly quirky charm are also reminiscent of Tori. She has her own flare though, which makes her distinct from the red-headed siren of fame. I first saw her purely by accident on VH1 when flipping through channels, and I was immediately hooked.

Take a listen for yourself and see. Here is Regina Spektor singing "Blue Lips" off her 2009 album, Far.

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5. Sara Bareilles

I first heard Sarah Bareilles on So You Think You Can Dance? Season 5. Two of the contestants danced to her song, "Gravity," with a heart-wrenching passion that could make even non-dance lovers appreciate dance. The talent for the dance goes completely to the dancers (Kayla Radomski and Kupono Aweau) and the choreographer (Mia Michaels). The song, however, did not need the dance to make it heart-wrenching or amazing. Most closely resembling Sarah Mclachlan, Sara Bareilles infuses a bit of Ani Difranco's raw vulnerability with Tori Amos's siren song to make her an artist worth listening to.

Don't just take my word for it. Here is the song I fell in love with, "Gravity," which appears as the first track on her 2004 album, Careful Confessions, and the last on her 2007 album, Little Voice.

What do you think?

After listening to these awesome singers, who do you most want to listen to again?

Whose your favorite of these awesome singers?

See results

Bonus Video!

Here is the amazing dance that Kayla and Kupono did to Sara Bareilles's Gravity.

Choreographed by Mia Michaels.

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    • Jacky Blue profile image

      Pepper McGowan 

      2 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      In grid snuck up on me in the CD player a friend forgot to take the disk out after I lent her my car. It was near Christmas and I just drove around the city alone listening to it twice before I could get the nerve to see what it was. It was just like my life n thoughts were carefully selected a soundtrack. It felt like being in my head movie. I just ended a long tour with my own music. I was burned out. I would have chosen static over intimate acoustic proximity but her genuine quality of voice and how she didn't have the same "I work at my craft" but rather her muse used her and she moved in its grasp seamlessly. It was like breaking skin I'd been growing over my feelings all month. She's not going to have to try or work at being what was flowing through so naturally it would be like saying to Jennifer Aniston why don't you try to find a role where you play an actress that's 47, and had a public breakup, and people keep saying you're not pregnant yet? And also the character is named jen." Do or not do there is no try (yoda) and in grid brings it up to the table.

      I love a few Regina songs. I don't hear much tori in her style save for quirky lyrics though tori ' s later stuff wasn't even that.....it seemed random or tangential compared with Regina telling a story more linear...it may be from the point of view of a pickle or a mom with cancer or a yuppie in mid life crisis but it's still more storyline. I toured with Rachael sage in Indiegrrl twice. We have the same birthday six years apart. Kim Fox is another piano alternative gal I recommend. Her birthday is two days before Sage. My ex husband is in the middle. All 1969s. I hope you would like my stuff if you ever heard it. A lot of energy and thought went into the piece you wrote here. And it's my first article as a new hub member. ;-)

    • profile image

      karen-ball 

      6 years ago

      Although these aren't my normal style of music. The article and videos helped me to appreciate these a little more.

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