Adele. I know everyone's jumping on the bandwagon, but this lady amazes me. It seems like there are so FEW people in mainstream music nowadays who can just BELT it live, who don't give a shit what people think about how they look or what society things they should weigh, and can just PERFORM and EMOTE. Also, the dancer in this video is AMAZING, as is the cinematography and everything else.
Alanis Morissette. Another one who can do it live, as proven here. She's nuts. She's wearing green lipstick. She's pro-gay. And THIS SONG. My favorite line? Yeah, it's 'Would she go down on you in the theater?' This song is messed up and angry and sleazy and unapologetic and she is the crazy ex-girlfriend and I ADORE IT.
Allison Iraheta. IDGAF she was on American Idol - she sings like a cross between Pink and Janis Joplin. Her voice is so BIG. She's a powerhouse and in the video below she is only NINETEEN.
Amanda Marshall. Yet another deep-voiced, powerhouse lady singer of confusing ethnicity with crazy awesome hair. Check out 3:52.
Candice Night of Blackmore's Night. Because giant Rennaissance Faire hippies are the best.
Bonnie Tyler. Because her voice makes me cry.
Celine Dion. I have a ridiculous amount of respect for technical skill, okay.
Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries. Her voice, and this song and all the meanings behind it.
Dana Fuchs. Best known for her role in Across the Universe, she has one of the best voices I've ever heard - her rock scream and Joplin-esque huskiness makes me cry and gives me chills.
Amy Lee of Evanescence. Such an amazing band, and who I feel like unfortunately they get written off a lot.
Fantasia Barrino. She won Idol, yeah, but more importantly, LISTEN TO HER. She's amazing, and this vid - a tribute to Miss Patti, as she calls her - brings me to tears every time.
Flyleaf. Because as previously mentioned, I love a woman in a rock band that can scream.
Haley Reinhart. A.k.a. 'The Growler.' She did a lot of amazing covers - House of the Rising Sun and Rolling in the Deep - and withstood a lot of shit from the judges, but her skills are to be reckoned with.
Heart. Two rockin' sisters with rockin' legendary voices.
Courtney Love of Hole. The woman's name is a househole one, but the tabloids love her more than they love to remind the world that she had an amazing band, wrote amazing songs, and is a fantastic artist when she cares to be. She's also shameless, and I love that.
Imogen Heap. I actually like this Imogen better than 'Hide & Seek' Imogen.
Janis Joplin. After a lifetime of knowing who she was, the first time I actually heard a recording of her voice, I burst into tears. She was, in my opinion, one of the best female artists the world has ever seen. She left us far too early.
Joan Jett. Joan, you BADASS.
Loreena McKennitt. More New Age hippyishness. I love this woman's voice - high and clear and gorgeous. Someone on Youtube called her a faerie from the wrong century. I like that description.
Tarja Turunnen of Nightwish. I know, there was a lead singer changeover a million years ago. But they were EPIC here. European gothic operatic metal, anyone?
Oumou Sangare. She's a Malian Wassoulou woman from Africa, she's done amazing things in the music scene, and I love this song.
Pat Benatar. She was just... really, really rad.
Patti Smith. Amazing voice and songwriting and she likes Tibetan Buddhism. And she's an activist. She's apparently done some controversial things too, but. Her music is aweome?
Pink. She's a badass vegetarian liberal loud punky nasty gorgeous awesome lady. I like the message of the song below more than the song itself, but I'm still embedding it anyway.
Sarah Brightman. If I could, for a single day, have a single woman's voice and the ability to sing one single song, I would choose the one below. :')
Sia. Her huskly, soft voice and weird kooky etherial self, are to die for.
Teal Wicks as Elphaba in Wicked. I know you're not supposed to like the replacement cast better than the Broadway original, but her belt is orgasmic. SO MUCH PROPS for being able to sing like this all night, every night. Specifically, check out 6:43 and try not to cry with amazement
Tori Amos. Specifically, this song. And her piano skills. And her voice. And the line 'So you can make me come. That doesn't make you Jesus.'
Vienna Teng. Speaking of pianists with amazing voices, she's the first person I ever saw live in concert. She's even BETTER live. She's gorgeous, she attacks her piano like a lioness, she wrote a song about gay marriage and another about reincarnation and ANOTHER about MEXICO and 'Oh Arizona's burning, they say the fence turned 'round and now the razor wire keeps us out.'
And last but not least, Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation.
There is a mind-boggling overabundance of vloggers on Youtube. This woman, however, has twice now managed to achieve perfection - she made her point, and was pretty fucking funny. In the first video below she wonderfully encapsulates everything wrong with the public's faintly disgusting habit of labelling things they find stupid, laughable, or less than conventionally manly as 'gay.' (Ignorance? Willful offensiveness? Hipster homophobia? Who can say.)
"'You're So Gay' - it sounds homophobic, but of course she's using the other, fashionable version of the word, meaning 'anything generally bad'. And anyone who thinks that sounds offensive should just Jew off and stop being so bloody black about it."
- Simon Amstell
Next she tackled the growing abundance of "Shit Girls Say" videos, which depending on who you are you may find either wildly hilarious or deeply offensive (likely while feeling vaugely mortified at how spot-on they can on occasion be). Again, Franchesca's video was hilarious, yet pointed.
And while on the subject, it's best not to forget the many videos that have since followed from like-minded individuals, including the fantabulous voice of Lizzy the Lezzy.
Women who love.
Women who fight and die for freedom.
Women who refuse to let the world get them down.
Women who stand in a crowd of those who ridicule them, and still speak their mind.
Women who want to be treated as people, not objects.
Women who debunk harmful, ingrained bullshit.
Women who speak up when they could easily sit back and ignore.
And badass ladycops.