Photo: Courtney Cox of the Iron Maidens (Getty Images)
Rock ‘n’ roll is at its best when women are at the forefront. Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, and Joanie Mitchell are just a few goddesses that have transformed the genre. Not only have there been a large group of female rockers to carry on the torch for this generation, but, thankfully, it appears there are more women than ever who are ready to rock.
According to a recent study by Fender, at least half of all new guitar players have been women. And that’s awesome. Want proof? Just take a look at the ladies who have truly rocked us to our core over the last 25 years.
19. Alanis Morissette
Of course, she’s first on the list. Anyone alive in the ’90s knows that Jagged Little Pill wasn’t just a hit record but a movement. Her lyrics were honest, raw, and Morissette wasn’t afraid to punch anyone in the face with them.
18. Avril Lavigne
Another Canadian to follow Morrissette, Lavigne was the go-to punk-rock-pop princess of the turn of the century. She’s sold more than 40 million albums and only trails Celine Dion and Shania Twain as the best selling female artist in Canadian history.
17. Malina Moye
She can shred nearly every sub-genre of rock, including blues and soul. In fact, Guitar World magazine named her among the “10 Female Guitarists You Should Know.” She’s also a lefty who plays her guitar upside down. Unreal.
16. Courtney Cox
The Iron Maidens have a pair of the best female rock guitarists in the world. Cox (not the actress of the same name) is one of them. She started playing guitar at 13 and was touring by 18. She will straight up melt your face.
15. Nita Strauss
Strauss is the other power-shredder with the Iron Maidens. Guitar World named her among the “10 Female Guitarists You Should Know.”
14. Alecia Beth Moore
You know her simply as “Pink.” She has seven platinum records and has sold over 100 million records. She also writes her own songs. Mad respect, Alecia.
13. Allison Robertson
The guitarist for The Donnas, Robertson can shred with the best of them. Not too surprising considering she put out her first album before she graduated high school.
12. Hayley Williams
The Paramore front-woman doesn’t just have some of the best pipes in rock, she’s also a songwriter and keyboardist. While still a teenager, she helped her Tennesee band blow up in 2007 with what is still one of the best pop-punk songs to go mainstream.
11. Bibi McGill
This Denver native started taking guitar lessons at age 12. Now she can rock nearly any genre and is only the guitarist for Beyoncé. Mmmhmm.
10. Marnie Stern
This singer-songwriter is known best for her tapping style guitar play. She’s also a member of the 8G Band from the show Late Night with Seth Meyers.
9. Kaki King
This Georgia native fuses jazz, punk, and folk in her rare percussive technique that creates a very unique style. She’s been named a “Guitar God” by Rolling Stone and has teamed up with the likes of Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl. She’s so good she’s even done a Ted Talk.
8. Annie Clark (St. Vincent)
Another singer-songwriter, Clark plays multiple instruments and studied at Berklee College of Music before joining Sufjan Stevens’ touring band. This guitarist now has a tremendous solo career.
7. Meg Myers
One of the best alternative rock stars currently writing and performing her own material, Myers has a voice and persona that millions are falling in love with. “Lemon Eyes” is her best hit thus far.
6. Tina S
This French guitarist (whose full name is Tina Setkic) can shred everything from Pink Floyd to Van Halen. She’s internationally known for “metalizing” classical music from Beethoven, Paganini, and Vivaldi. Yup, total badass.
5. Amy Lee
You know her as the voice and co-founder of Evanescence. She’s a singer-songwriter and pianist who has contributed to millions of record sales and whose band has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards. She also plays the harp and was named “Rock Goddess of the Year” in 2012 by Loudwire.
4. Joanne Shaw Taylor
This British blues-rock guitarist was discovered at age 16. You’ll hear why below.
3. Orianthi Panagaris
Known as simply “Orianthi,” this Australian started her pro career at age 15. She’s jammed with Eric Clapton and Steve Vai and has been hired to play for Carrie Underwood and Michael Jackson. She’s widely considered to be one of the best in the biz.
2. Gwen Stefani
Is she better with No Doubt or as a solo artist? It’s debatable. What’s not is the fact that she’s one of the best female rockers of our generation. She has five platinum records to her name.
No definitive list like this could be complete without including the best power-belter of our generation. Truly the voice of a goddess, Adele was discovered at age 19 shortly after her demo was posted on Myspace. Something tells us she would have broken through regardless of a crappy social media site.
Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who is passionate about rock n’ roll.