Rock’s long history is peppered with influential female bandleaders, songwriters, singers, and instrumentalists.
Before rock fully became a genre in its own right, there were a host of artists, such as Elvis Presley, who set its foundation with their music. One of those artists was singer-songwriter Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who created driving gospel adaptations with electric guitar and a unique charisma that inspired many rockers that came after her. The video below provides a good example of that charisma:
By the late ’60s, rock had become both a fully-fledged genre and lifestyle, best illustrated by the many psychedelic and blues-influenced rock bands of the time period. With her dynamic, gritty vocal performances, Janis Joplin became an icon that set the bar higher for rock vocalists.
Through the ’70s and ’80s, rock branched out into a variety of subgenres, including new wave and punk. In the early ’80s, Chrissie Hynde formed the Pretenders, whose self-titled album produced a number of hits that are still representative of that style and era of rock.