The latter half of the 20th century was a flourishing time for women in the rock music genre, but what about today? Women are still pushing for more representation in the traditionally male-dominated genre, and these top female rock singers have been key players in the fight for recognition.
#10 – Tarja Turunen
Representing the world of power and symphonic metal, Turunen’s stunning vocal range allows her to hit those wailing high notes as easily as the haunting lows. After leaving the band Nightwish, she’s carved out her own solo career with her unique operatic sound.
#9 – Imogen Heap
Known for her genre-blending defiance of convention, many consider Imogen Heap to be more of a pop musician, though much of her early work falls firmly in the alternative rock camp. That’s not a stage name, by the way: her full name is Imogen Jennifer Heap.
#8 – Laura Jane Grace
Grace is one of the few pure punk vocalists to hold a place among the top female rock singers of the modern era. True to the genre’s roots, Grace leads an active political life, and her band Against Me! recently preformed at a rally for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
#7 – Florence Welch
Almost anyone listening to music in the late 2000s and early 2010s had at least heard of the enigmatic band called Florence and the Machine. Fronted by Welch, their distinctive style made the band and their music one of the most acclaimed acts of the indie rock genre.
#6 – Lacey Sturm
After founding the much-acclaimed Flyleaf, Sturm left the band to transition into a solo career. Her debut solo album topped the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart in 2016, making Sturm the first woman to hold the spot with a solo album.
#5 – Hayley Williams
Another legends of 2000s-era rock, this lead vocalist for the band Paramore is easily one of the top female rock singers of her generation. Sporting charisma on top of talent, Williams is equally well known for her vast vocal range and vast spectrum of hair colors.
#4 – Avril Lavigne
This is another controversial pick, but it’s hard to debate that Lavigne is one of the most recognizable names in pop punk—or rock, for that matter—in the past 20 years. Her influence within the music world has proven as impactful as it is long-lasting, ranging from early 200s skater punk to modern-day emo rap.
#3 – Maria Brink
Dominating the metalcore scene throughout the 2010s, In This Moment has distinguished themselves from rival bands through the eerie charisma of their lead vocalist. In addition to her harsh vocal style, Brink’s artistic flair is part of what makes her such an unforgettable performer.
#2 – Amy Lee
Love them or hate them, Evanescence was instrumental in defining the rock genre in the early 2000s, and you can’t have Evanescence without lead singer Amy Lee. Known for her clear vocals and gothic aesthetic, it’s nearly impossible to have been online over the past two decades without at some point hearing Lee’s vocals on “Bring Me to Life.”
#1 – Lzzy Hale
The undisputed queen of hard rock during the 2010s, the Halestorm frontwoman is well-known for her confrontational lyrics and vocal style. Her talent is apparently quite the hot commodity in the rock world, as she’s featured on songs for over a dozen other performers.