5 Women Who Changed the Face of Rock and Roll

Here’s a guest post from Zac Green, editor-in-chief over at popular music blog ZingInstruments.com.

The stereotypical rock ‘n’ roller is often a long haired man, clad in leathers. However, as we’ll see in this article, women rockers have contributed just as much to the history of rock and roll music.

In this post we’ll showcase five women who have changed the face of rock and roll and shaped the landscape for those that would follow them. We will also provide a brief bio of each of these interesting and extremely talented female rockers, as well as some words detailing their rise to super stardom.

Pat Benatar

No list of women rockers would be complete without the name Pat Benatar. A former bank teller turned American rock star, Benatar is one of the first females to delve into the hard rock scene. Benatar’s success can be traced back to 1979, when she released her first album, In the Heat of the Night. This record was followed by her extremely successful Crimes of Passion LP and chart-topping mega-hit “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” which was regularly featured on MTV and won her the admiration of millions of fans on her rapid ascent to fame.

Joan Jett

An accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, Joan Jett and her band the Balackhearts burst onto the music scene in 1981 with their hit album and single “I Love Rock and Roll.” The immense success she earned from this LP came after nearly a decade of performing with her former band the Runaways, with whom she established herself as a one-of-a-kind rocker, musician and vocalist.

Janis Joplin

With music that was borne out of the mostly-male dominated 1960s rock and folk music scene, Janis Joplin broke the mold with her raspy sound that endeared her to music fans around the world. Known mostly for her raw rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee” and the song “Mercedes Benz,” Joplin got her big break in 1967 when, backed by the band Big Brother and the Holding Company, she performed at the Monterey Pop Festival. Her success at this performance led to an invite to 1969’s Woodstock Festival in New York, where she wowed the mostly-hippie crowd with her original voice and lyrics. Addled by drug and alcohol problems, Joplin died tragically of a drug overdose in 1970.

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks, a major vocal star and songwriter extraordinaire, first found success as the lead singer for the band Fleetwood Mac, who she joined forces with in 1975. While she was still (an ostracized) member of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks launched what would later become a hugely successful solo career in 1981, performing songs like the enormously popular “Landslide.” Many of today’s most successful female rock and roll artists cite Stevie Nicks as one of their primary inspirations for pursuing a music career.

Deborah Harry

The lead singer for the popular band Blondie, Deborah Harry boasted one of the most recognizable sounds of any female rock and roll artist since Janis Joplin—a sound artfully demonstrated in the band’s mega-hit “One Way or Another.” Although Blondie was officially considered a New Wave band of the 1980s, Harry, with her wide and beautiful musical range, steered the band into many different musical genres, including rock and roll and an extremely early version of what would later become modern hip-hop.

 

Miley Cyrus Launches ‘The Happy Hippie Foundation’

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By Gabriella Steffenberg

On Tuesday, May 5, Miley Cyrus officially launched her non-profit organization, The Happy Hippie Foundation. As stated in the organization’s official website, its mission is “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.”

Cyrus posted an official launching video on The Happy Hippie homepage featuring herself and Joan Jett covering “Different” as part of the Backyard Sessions that she will be updating to generate buzz for her organization. “And age is not in years, it sits between your ears, you see you’re different,” is crooned by Joan Jett, and is applicable to The Happy Hippie’s focus on having young people getting involved and making a difference in their communities.

The site highlights alarming statistics regarding homeless youth in the United States, and encourages donations and support through multiple outlets provided. Also featured on the site are resources which include 15 organizations that The Happy Hippie Foundation works with, including GLAAD, My Friend’s Place, and The Trevor Project.

Check out The Happy Hippie’s website here to learn how you can make a difference.

Joan Jett Says ‘There Should Be More Women’ in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (We Agree)

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By Gabriella Steffenberg

No one can dispute the undeniable mark Joan Jett has left on rock and roll. But, as Jett  said herself in a recent interview with Billboard magazine, there needs to be more women in the rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Jett will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 18, and offered some advice for fellow lady rockers, such as encouraging them to be themselves and to make music they enjoy playing; to have thick skin no matter how much rejection is faced; and to take pictures of their journey.

Congratulations Joan Jett — you continue to be an inspiration to rockers around the world.

 

Joan Jett Appears on May 2015 Issue of Guitar World Magazine

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The May 2015 issue of Guitar World magazine features none other than female guitar bad-ass Joan Jett on the cover. According to our records, this makes for the fourth time the magazine features a woman on its cover in its almost 35-year history.

In 2013, Guitar World celebrated female guitarists and featured Orianthi on its cover.

Pick up the May 2015 issue of Guitar World here. Total collector’s item!

Joan Jett, Lorde, Kim Gordon and St. Vincent join Nirvana During Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony

Picture via The Line of Best Fit

Picture via The Line of Best Fit

Joan Jett, Lorde, Sonic Youth singer/bass player Kim Gordon and St. Vincent joined the remaining members of Nirvana to cover four tracks by the grunge band at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony tonight.

Jett sang “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Gordon covered “Aneurysm,” St. Vincent performed “Lithium,” and the youngest member Lorde took on “All Apologies” with bass player Krist Novoselic, drummer Dave Grohl and guitar player Pat Smear after the band was inducted by Michael Stipe of R.E.M.

Watch Lorde’s performance of “All Apologies” below:

Macy’s Kicks Out Joan Jett off Thanksgiving Parade South Dakota Float

joanAccording to the Associated Press, South Dakotans were not thrilled about having Joan Jett and The Blackhearts playing on the South Dakota tourism float in Macy’s iconic Thanksgiving Day parade.

The massive department store decided to kick Jett and her band off the S.D. float after receiving complaints from ranchers saying it wasn’t fitting to have a vegetarian and animal rights advocate representing their state.

“I’ve decided to switch from South Dakota to another float because people’s political agendas were getting in the way of what should be a purely entertainment driven event,” Jett told AP. “I will remain focused on entertaining the millions of people watching, who will be celebrating a great American tradition.”

The 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving event will take place Nov. 28, and will start on 77th Street and Central Park West, before heading to Columbus Circle, turning west on 59th Street/Central Park South, and heading south on Sixth Avenue to 34th Street, where it will make its final landing in front of Macy’s Herald Square at Seventh Avenue.

For more information on the parade, click here.

Read Joan Jett Q&A With Rolling Stone

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After playing a gig in Hollywood, Calif.’s House of Blues on Aug. 1, legendary rocker Joan Jett sat with Rolling Stone for an in-depth Q&A.

Jett talks about songwriting, the release of her upcoming album Unvarnished set for October release, and playing gigs on the Sunset Strip.

On how her songwriting has evolved, Jett said “it’s very different.”

“I wrote a lot about what teenagers write about: love, sex and partying and having a good time,” she told Rolling Stone. “As you grow up, things change. Like I was saying onstage, you have responsibilities and realize you’ve got to do stuff. I suppose you could run from that, but you’ve got to be there for your family and your friends.”

Read the full interview here, and learn more about Jett at joanjett.com.

Watch Joan Jett Debut New Single ‘Any Weather’ on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Aug. 8, where they debuted “Any Weather,” the lead single off Unvarnished – their first album in seven years – due Oct. 1.

They also performed their classic hit, “Bad Reputation.” Check both performances out below, and visit the band’s website here.

 Joan Jett and The Blackhearts – “Any Weather”

 Joan Jett and The Blackhearts – “Bad Reputation”

Miley Cyrus Lists Top Five Favorite Female Singers via Billboard

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Miley Cyrus talked to Billboard magazine about her top five favorite female singers.

Among her favorite are godmother Dolly Parton, L.A.-based singer-songwriter Beth Hart, and trailblazing rocker Joan Jett.

See who else made the cut in the video below:

Hollywood Reporter’s 15 Best Portrayals of Musicians in Movies Features Eight Women

By Pauline France

Hollywood Reporter recently posted a list of the 15 best portrayals of musicians in movies, and we’re happy to report that out of 15, there were eight very talented women.

Among the actors listed were Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It, Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James in Cadillac Records, Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There (yes, she played a man)and Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett in The Runaways.

We don’t know about you, but we might just make tonight a movie night.

See which other actors made it on Hollywood Reporter’s list here.