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The Best Female Rock Singers of All Time

best female rock singers
The best female rock singers. Image by Christopher Brown on Unsplash.

Last updated on February 8th, 2023 at 06:19 pm

Rock is a genre that is typically dominated by men, but occasionally, an amazing woman will break onto the scene. These women are some of the best female rock singers of all time. After all, how else would they garner such a following in a man’s genre?

Rock is such a diverse genre it was hard to pick between classical, punk, and symphonic rock stars, so we’ve made a list of top 15 singers to grace the genre as a whole. Read on to learn all about the best female rock singers.

The 15 Best Female Rock Singers


15. Avril Lavigne

The first entry on our list of best female rock singers is Avril Lavigne. While she originally started out singing country songs, it quickly became clear that her voice was meant for a different genre.

Her song “Sk8er Boi” was an instant hit in 2002 and she hasn’t looked back since.

Related: The 23 Best Songs from the 2000s


14. Courtney Love

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have Courtney Love, who started out as a punk rock singer but then switched to alternative rock.

As the lead singer of the band Hole, Courtney rose to fame, even as she suffered marriage issues in her marriage with Kurt Cobain.  

Related: What Happened Leading Up to Kurt Cobain’s Death?


13. Pat Benatar

There is no rock fan on this earth that doesn’t know Pat Benatar.

While she started out wanting to be a singer, reality won over, and she worked as a bank teller until producing her debut album in 1979.

Today, people all over the world know the words to her hit songs “Heartbreaker” and “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by heart.

Related: The 30 Best 70s Songs: Classic Rock, Punk, Disco, and Some Serious Wild Cards


12. Lita Ford

Next on the list of the best female rock singers is Lita Ford, who was once the frontwoman of the band The Runaways.

While the band didn’t last, she continued to produce hit songs like “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Close My Eyes Forever,” and she would even star in her own music videos, which was uncommon for a rock star at the time.


11. Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde is the front woman of The Pretenders and is known for her collaborations with other famous stars like Frank Sinatra. Chrissie was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.  


10. Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt is one of the best female rock singers of all time, and she has the Grammy’s to prove it.

To date, she has 11, but not all are in the rock genre, as she has also won Grammy’s for country, Latin, and opera numbers.


9. P!nk

One of the only modern female rock stars to make our list, P!nk deserves a mention based on the fact that she has sold over 135 million records all over the world.

Known for her unique style and availability to change genres as she pleases, there’s no telling what she will release next!


8. Ann Wilson

The lead singer of the band Heart, Ann Wilson, is one of many female rock singers that everyone knows even if they don’t know her name.

All you have to do is start playing the song “Barracuda” and you’ll know why she made this list.


7. Patti Smith

Another Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Patti Smith, is one of the most influential singers of the 20th century.

“Because the Night” and “Dancing Barefoot” are some of her most popular songs.


6. Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the band Blondie, is next up as one of the best female rock singers of all time.

Known for her global hit “Heart of Glass,” Debbie Harry busted the normal female rock singer image by also being a playboy bunny.  


5. Joan Jett

Joan Jett, another member of the female rock band The Runaways, also makes this list of best female rock singers.

After The Runaways fell apart, she went on to form her own band, which released the song “I Love Rock and Roll,” which is currently a platinum record with over 1 million sales worldwide.


4. Tina Turner

Tina Turner wasn’t called the Queen of Rock and Roll for nothing. Born in 1939, she paved the way for female rock singers around the globe.

To date, she has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame not once but twice.


3. Janis Joplin

Anyone who knows rock knows Janis Joplin.

Although she quickly rose to fame in the 60s, she, unfortunately, died when she was just 27 years old, ending her career much too soon.

She did join the infamous 27 club, however.

Related: What is the 27 Club?

Related: How Did Janis Joplin Die?


2. Etta James

Etta James is more in the classic rock and blues genres, and she also has songs in the jazz realm, but she truly paved the way for many of the artists on this list and deserves a mention.

With songs like “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” in her repertoire, there is no denying that she earned her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


1. Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks, the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac, is perhaps the best female rock singer of all time.

Her most famous song, “Rhiannon,” is listed as one of the best songs of all time.

Although the artist is now well into her 70s, she still continues to perform her music around the world.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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