Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: heavy metal bands with female lead singers ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   12 Comments )
Subject: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: beatle-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 19 May 2003 22:46 PDT
Expires: 18 Jun 2003 22:46 PDT
Question ID: 206183
What are the 10 or so most popular heavy metal bands with female lead
singers, including bands from the 80s up through the present?
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
Answered By: aceresearcher-ga on 20 May 2003 01:11 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings, beatle!

I confess that, as a die-hard hard-rock and hair-band fan, I found
your Question most intriguing.

Since "Most Popular" can be judged by different criteria, such as most
albums sold, most singles & how high on the Billboard chart, longevity
of career, etc., and "heavy metal" is a subjective term based on each
individual's definition of that genre of music, it is tough to provide
you with a non-debatable list to meet your requirements.

But here are the Top 10 in MY book -- I am not necessarily fond of all
of these, but they are the most influential and popular as I see them:

1) Heart - Ann and Nancy Wilson
  The eternal, reigning Queens of hard rock

2) Pretenders - Chrissie Hynde
  Her smoky voice, with the band's sound, created a whole new
  kind of music

3) Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship / Starship - Grace Slick
  Another woman who gave any male rocker a serious run for their
  money, she had an exceptionally long career

4) Eurythmics - Annie Lennox
  might not be considered "heavy metal", but a definite major
  influence on women in rock

5) Pat Benatar Band - Pat Benatar
  A deceptively petite woman with a belt-it-out voice
  (incidentally, Pat started out by training as an opera singer)

6) Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Joan Jett
  Another huge voice packed into a tiny package

7) Lita Ford Band - Lita Ford
  Raunchy, she could cuss, drink, and play guitar to match the
  best of the men in hard rock (incidentally, Lita Ford and 
  Joan Jett started out together in the band The Runaways)

8) Hole - Courtney Love
  not as well-known as her husband's band Nirvana, nevertheless,
  her female group has been very influential on women in rock

9) Siouxsie and the Banshees - Siouxsie Sioux
  an early, influential group which ran the gamut from rock to
  punk to goth to pop

10) Patti Smith - Patti Smith Group
  an early punk / hard rock progenitor -- again very influential
  on women rockers who came after her

Honorable Mentions

Velvet Underground - Nico
  One of the earliest, most influential bands, started in the 1960's

Scandal - Patty Smyth
  while the label of "heavy metal" can be debated for the group
  Scandal, Patty was the first person approached by Van Halen to
  be their new lead singer after their split with David Lee Roth --
  credentials enough to include her on this list

Here's a great site with an "Encyclopedia of Metal Maidens":

Before Rating my Answer, if you have any Questions about the
information I have provided, please post a Request for Clarification,
and I will be glad to see what I can do for you.

Search Strategy
my own personal preferences and
lookup by artist name on ://

I hope that this Answer has provided you with exactly the information
that you needed!



Request for Answer Clarification by beatle-ga on 21 May 2003 09:18 PDT
This is a good answer, but I agree with Kyraxe's comment. I had
something a bit heavier in mind when I said "heavy metal". Roughly
speaking, I'm going off of the classifications from

Clarification of Answer by aceresearcher-ga on 21 May 2003 14:41 PDT
Thanks for your clarification, beatle.

Please give me a little time to do some poking around.

Your understanding and patience are appreciated.


Clarification of Answer by aceresearcher-ga on 27 May 2003 21:59 PDT

I'm still working on your Answer -- having a bit of trouble coming up
with a 10th. I'll keep you posted...


Clarification of Answer by aceresearcher-ga on 28 May 2003 23:35 PDT
Ok, Beatle, here they are, with my thanks to Pinkfreud and some of the
other Researchers for their assistance:

1 - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts / Runaways - Joan Jett 

2 - Lita Ford Band / Runaways - Lita Ford 

3 - Hole - Courtney Love 

4 - Kittie - Morgan Lander

5 - Fear of God / Détente - Dawn Crosby

6 - Girlschool / Painted Lady - Kim McAuliffe

7 - Nocturne - Lacey Conner

8 - Bitch - Betsy Bitch

9 - Great Kat - Katherine Thomas

And, even though she may be characterized more often as punk than as
heavy metal, the general consensus among numerous Researchers is that
this Metal Maiden needs to be included, not only because she is Heavy
Metal, but because she was a major influence on many of the other
women on this list:
10 - Plasmatics - Wendy O. Williams

I hope that this modified list meets your needs. Thanks for the
excellent 5-star Rating given in advance, and for the fun chance to
take a walk down Memory Lane.

Best Wishes,

beatle-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
You've done enough work. Just post the nine you have

Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: shockwaveracing-ga on 20 May 2003 10:23 PDT
Don't forget Vixen.
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: aceresearcher-ga on 20 May 2003 10:54 PDT
I like Vixen, too, and I didn't forget them; however, in terms of
influence, popularity, and number of recordings released, I don't
think that they come close to the women rockers in my list above:


Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: edrox-ga on 20 May 2003 11:26 PDT
Plasmatics?  Wendy O Williams - punk diva

Sass Jordan maybe? Maybe not.
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: kyraxe-ga on 21 May 2003 03:01 PDT
Had to add my 2 cents in... you are being extremely liberal with the
term Heavy Metal. I would hesitate to even classify some of those
bands as hard rock. Guess it is all a matter of taste. Finding 10
Metal bands with female lead singers is pretty tough, you forgot Bif
Naked, she rocks.

Oh that Metal Maidens list seems to have a good list.
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: anhedonia8-ga on 28 May 2003 00:23 PDT
I too agree that the term "Heavy Metal" is being given a very liberal
definition here. My opinion, if you're going to include Hole, you have
to include most Of the Riot GRRRL Movement:
L7-Suzi Gardner/Donita Sparks (Shared vocals) Bricks are Heavy is
Bratmobile-Allison Wolfe
Bikini Kill-Kathleen Hanna (Originators of the RIOT GRRRL Movement)

Find more here:

Its got cool links to all things Girl Rock, and if you search on a
specific band it refers you to other bands with a similar sound.
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: kindbutcher-ga on 11 Jun 2003 10:51 PDT
My Ruin and Walls of Jericho are *very* heavy metal.
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: kindbutcher-ga on 11 Jun 2003 10:53 PDT
There is also a japanese band (all girls) called Yellow Machinegun who
make make music to piss the neighbours off with...
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: kindbutcher-ga on 11 Jun 2003 10:55 PDT
Yellow Machinegun, don't they look cute
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: ckidon-ga on 15 Jul 2003 19:23 PDT
Bravo for your answer, but I would like to point out that The Velvet
Underground is NOT a female band. Nico, a female singer, had sang with
this band for their first album (The Velvet Underground & Nico, with
the Andy Warhol cover with the "famous" banana), she did three songs
on that album (Femme Fatale, All Tomorrow's Parties, I'll Be Your
Mirror). That's it.
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: intotravel-ga on 18 Jul 2003 13:49 PDT
There's also Suzy Quattro, a British heavy rock lead singer who had a
couple of hits in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Can't find much on
the internet, except that one of her songs was called "Devil Gate
Drive" and her first group was
The Pleasure Seekers.
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: intotravel-ga on 18 Jul 2003 14:02 PDT
More on Suzy Quattro: the spelling of her name is probably Suzi
Quattro and another variant is Suzi Quatro.

Another song is "Stumblin' In," mentioned in "50 worst rock songs of
all time" -

* And, * she's not British, but American! ... Here's what it says on

"Suzi Quatro is an American singer/songwriter/bass guitarist who came
onto the music scene with a string of hits in the mid-1970s. Dressed
in leather outfits and playing a bass guitar that all but dwarfed her,
she was really one of the very first women to break the mould and play
hard and driving rock and roll. Although not that well known in her
native America (most of her albums were recorded here in England), she
has still been quoted as an inspiration to many of those who came
after her including such people as Joan Jett.

"In addition to her (for the times) pretty outragous stage persona,
she also frequently choose to cover songs from male artists without
changing the lyrics, thus giving lesbian overtones to the performance.
Amongst the songs she covered were All Shook Up, I Wanna Be Your Man,
and Wake Up Little Susie. Her musical range was very considerable from
heavy rockers like 48 Crash, I've Never Been In Love Before, and
Daytona Demon, to songs with an aggressive feminist message like Can
The Can and Much Wiser Than You, to power ballads such as The Race Is
On and The Main Attraction.

"Her success continued through the 1970s with an almost constant
stream of hits, but by the 1980s the success seemed harder to come by
and she started working on other projects ...."

She seems to have her own website, with a discography :
Subject: Re: heavy metal bands with female lead singers
From: chingrn-ga on 21 Sep 2003 08:21 PDT
Ok, i realize this question is very old now -- but can't believe no
one mentioned Doro Pesch of Warlock - a very popular, talented, 80's
metal band from Germany. Doro, a beautiful blonde metal-maiden, then
went on to do a bunch of solo work, which she still records today.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy