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From making fashion statements to groundbreaking voices women in music have claimed their spots in rock n’ roll history. With every generation women have expressed themselves through music and have captured the hearts and ears of millions.
These Divas and Queens fought their way to make their presence known in the male dominated music world. Here is a trip down memory lane that highlights the Diva’s that defined a new generation of history.
Aretha Franklin is known as one of the most important women in the Soul music genre and is referred to as the “Queen of Soul.” Franklin’s music ranged from gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, pop and funk. She reached success in her career in 1967 when her single “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.” Her second single was “Respect” which hit the number one spot on both the R&B and Pop charts which then established Franklin as an artist. According to RollingStones.com. Franklin's producer, Jerry Wexler, said that in the single, “The fervor in Aretha's voice demanded that respect; and more respect also involved sexual attention of the highest order. What else would 'Sock it to me' mean?"
“Respect” won Franklin’s first two Grammy’s. Franklin brought a spiritual passion to her music that inspired women to stand up. In her single “Respect” she is demanding and yelling for R-E-S-P-E-C-T for all woman, which was something different from the norm of women singers. Franklin has notably influenced Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, and Mariah Carey.
Janis Joplin first hit the scene of popularity in the late 1960s as the lead singer in the psychedelic-acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin later went on to her solo career with her soulful blues band. She is known as “The Queen of Rock and Roll” and “The Queen of Psychedelic Soul.” Some of her popular songs were “Piece of My Heart,” “Ball and Chain,” “Down on Me” and “Summertime.” Joplin’s most successful album was Pearl which had two of the most influential and powerful songs, “Move Over” and “Mercedes Benz.” Joplin was a soulful and inspiring artist. According to , Biography.com. Joplin said “You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That's what music is to me.” Joplin’s untimely death left her fans saddened but her music still lived on and inspired other performers.
Madonna is one of the most influential artists of all time. She is a force of nature that was able to be successful with any task given to her. Madonna’s style became a female fashion trend in the 1980’s. She reached global recognition with her second album Like A Virgin. Madonna is known for being the “Queen of Reinvention” as she constantly evolved through her music and throughout the years. Madonna defied the norms of expressing yourself as she embraced her sexual side and wad often judged for her freedom of speech. She is one of the iconic women in history and continues to inspire aspiring singers. There is no limit too high for Madonna to reach she is like a chameleon always adapting to change and succeeding.
Hole was an American alternative rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1989 and disbanded in 2002. The band was lead by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Courtney Love, who co-founded Hole with lead guitarist Eric Erlandson. Hole's rough obnoxious style of alternative rock was initially influenced heavily by punk rock and noise rock, though as they progressed they began to incorporate elements of pop punk into their sound. Hole was over shadowed by Love’s attitude and overall personality, and became more popular once she met Kurt Cobain. Their relationship has been one of the most tragic and notorious love stories in Hollywood. Love is known as one of the most controversial women in rock n’ roll history. Love not only experimented with her music, but made a statement through her fashion and makeup that inspired many girls to follow in her footsteps. Hole’s most successful album was Live Through This, which included popular songs “Doll Parts” and “Violet.”
The woman struggle to be considered an equal in the music industry is unique in its own manner because it can only be seen from an outside lens. Women experience these troubles on a daily basis oppose to men who only experience it half the time and not as extreme. Female musicians are able to describe this unique aspect in being a woman. These musical icons opened the door for the continuation of greatness of future Pop Divas and Queens of Rock N’ Roll.