Recently I decided to create a new playlist for my iPod which would consist entirely of female artists, musicians and singers. I didn’t think I’d have a long playlist, because honestly, most of the artists I listen to are white men because I like rock and roll. However, I was delightfully surprised to find that I own more women musical acts than I imagined, and many of them are WOC.
I came up with 872 songs out of about 10,500, or about 8% of the total. That isn’t quite all of the women on my iPod, though, because some songs were put on by my daughter awhile back, and I don’t care for them, so I didn’t include them. Sorry, ladies. The highest percentage of songs is by a WOC: Yoko Ono. Well, you can probably guess why that is, since I own almost her entire catalog. She pops up in the Women’s playlist every five songs or so, or in other words, about as frequently as the Beatles pop up on the random shuffle. Heh.
Below is a list of the artists I chose for my Women playlist.1 My main criterion was that a woman had to be the lead singer or instrumentalist. I had to pick Lindsay Buckingham’s songs out of my Fleetwood Mac selections, for instance; and while Fred Schneider sings lead on most B-52s numbers, so do Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson. An asterisk indicates it’s a WOC.
The Bangles, The Go-Gos, Heart, Garbage, Eurythmics, Donna Summer*, Cyndi Lauper, Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, Aretha Franklin*, Bananarama, Blondie, Carole King, Chaka Khan*, Fleetwood Mac, Hole, Imogen Heap, Janet Jackson*, Jennifer Warnes, Julie Brown, Yoko Ono*, Lily Allen, Linda McCartney, Lorde, Loreena McKennitt, Madonna, Marti Jones, Mary J. Blige*, Michelle Branch, P!nk, The Pointer Sisters*, The Pretenders, Sheila E*, Shonen Knife*, Sinead O’Connor*, The Supremes*, Suzanne Vega, Tom Tom Club, Tracy Chapman*, Carla Thomas*, Brenda Holloway*, Sky Ferreira, Mary Hopkin, Doris Troy*, Ronnie Spector, Kim Wilde, Bow Wow Wow*, Toto Coelo, Haysi Fantayzee*, She & Him, Patti LaBelle*, Jean Knight*, Patrice Rushen*, Romeo Void*, Missing Persons, ‘Til Tuesday, Pat Benatar, Quarterflash, Tiffany, T’Pau, Katrina & The Waves, The Cranberries, Sheryl Crow, Luscious Jackson, Joan Osborne, Idina Menzel, Kristen Chenoweth, Brenda Lee, Connie Francis, The Shirelles*, The Ponitails, Bunny Paul, Cat Power, Le Tigre, Peaches, M.I.A.*, Corinne Bailey Rae*, Melanie G, Anoushka Shankar*, Diana Ross*, Chic*, Andrea True Connection*, Silver Convention*, Rosanne Cash, Roberta Flack*, Sweet Honey In The Rock*, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Mavis Staples*, The Marvelettes*, Mary Wells*, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas*, Carolyn Crawford*, The Velvelettes*, Brenda Holloway*, Kim Weston*, Chris Clark*, Gladys Knight & The Pips*, Rita Wright*, Goldie Hawn, Vanessa Mae, Shirley Bassey*, Nancy Sinatra, Carly Simon, Lulu, Sheena Easton, Rita Coolidge, The Breeders, Thelma Houston*, Neko Case, Indigo Girls, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, The Peasall Sisters, Yvonne Elliman*, Bonnie Raitt, Helen Reddy, Dionne Warwick*, Sandie Shaw, Jackie DeShannon, Dusty Springfield, Kim Carnes, Divinyls, The Waitresses.
The conspicuous omission for me is Joni Mitchell, since I listen to her through Amazon. But I hope someday soon to purchase a few of her albums.
Here’s to women in popular music!