Today is International Women's Day. On a day like today, it's important to reflect on the women who have made an impact in our culture. Since music is so important to me, I decided it would be nice to reflect on the female artists who have inspired me.
Women have been dominating popular music for over twenty years now. They have changed culture, defined it, and paved the way for those who followed them. They have also been good allies to the LGBTQ community. Here are my top ten favorite female artists.
10. Britney Spears
From her music to her videos to her performances, Britney Spears is the Princess of Pop. Her transition from wholesome teenager to provocative pop star raised many eyebrows. Her personal troubles made her the target of an intrusive tabloid media. All the while, she has risen above it all and kept going.
9. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is a true talent. She can sing, write songs, and play the piano. She also knows how to translate that talent into infectious dance music. For over ten years now, Gaga has been creating memorable music, videos, and performances. She even proved she can be just as memorable on the big screen with 2018's "A Star Is Born."
8. Ariana Grande
She has introduced a whole new generation of kids to the whistle register. From her early days on Nickelodeon to her current status as a major pop star, Ariana Grande is a force to be reckoned with. Her most recent album, "thank u, next," earned her more hits and even a Grammy nomination.
7. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani has proved herself to be a major talent in the music industry. Her time as the lead singer for No Doubt showed the world that she had something to say. Her lyrics and voice were the catalyst for several hit singles. When she went solo, she continued that reign and even developed her own clothing line.
6. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez is the ultimate triple threat. From her acting to her singing to her dancing, she has earned her place atop the entertainment industry. After getting her start as a backup dancer, Lopez got her big break as a Fly Girl on "In Living Color." This helped her move into film, which eventually lead to music. Lopez struggled and worked hard for what she has. This is a fact many seem to unfortunately overlook.
5. Gloria Estefan
In the eighties and nineties, Gloria Estafan's music was the soundtrack to our lives. She writes from the heart, sings with passion, and gave us all a great beat to dance to! Known as the Queen of Latin Pop, Estefan got her start with her husband Emilio. Singing lead for his band, Miami Sound Machine, she racked up several hits throughout the 1980's. Estefan's success paved the way for many Latin artists who followed her.
4. Whitney Houston
Known as "the voice," Whitney Houston stunned the world with her incredible singing. Houston comes from an impressive background of talented singers. Her mother is Cissy Houston and her cousin is Dionne Warwick. Houston would meet Arista Records President, Clive Davis, and the rest is history. From her hit records to her starring role in "The Bodyguard," Houston has left a mark on entertainment that will never be erased.
3. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey has an incredible five octave range that has set her apart from her contemporaries. Her impressive catalogue includes nineteen number one hits atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She also has proven herself to be a talented songwriter, penning every song, with the exception of the covers and her powerful duet with Whitney Houston.
2. Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson began acting in various television shows like "Good Times" and "Diff'rent Strokes." However, when she broke out with the "Control" album, the world took notice. Her music has touched on issues like racism, homophobia, and domestic violence. All the while, serving as a diary, of sorts, of Jackson's personal life. Through the years, Jackson's music has given fans a mirror image of themselves. Many have been able to relate to the topics she's touched on through her music.
Known as the Queen of Pop, Madonna is the best selling female artist of all time. Her incredible career was the product of intense struggle, determination, and talent. She has reinvented her image along with her music and as a result, kept audiences' attention. There have been many controversial moments, calling attention to various issues. From sexism to religion to homophobia, Madonna has been an advocate for social change. Her impact on music and culture is evident and will never be forgotten.