When you trace back the origins of pop music, you will notice that the number of female artists is quite less than that of male artists. But there were many women, throughout the ages, who stood out as forces to reckon with in an otherwise male-dominated music industry. So, on this International Women's Day, we take a look at a few such women from the decades gone by.

The swinging sixties

Nina Simone

For those of you who do not know who Nina Simone is, she was one of the most prominent figures in blues, jazz and folk music of all time. She was also a civil rights activist who left the US in the 1970s to protest against the injustices that were done by the US government during the Vietnam War. Get to know more about her here

Joan Baez

One of the most prolific folk singer-songwriters of all time, Joan Baez has been instrumental in introducing many well known artistes to the world, including Bob Dylan. She is known for her activism on social causes as much as she is known for her music. She was also one of the delegates who went to Vietnam to address human rights issues in the country and deliver a mail to the American prisoners of the war. Check out her works here

The disco era or the 70s

Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul, as she is popularly known as, is one of the best-selling artistes of all time and was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She has 20 Grammys to her name and is considered as an influence by many renowned artistes of today. She is also often considered as the voice of the civil rights movement in the US. Explore her music here

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is perhaps the most influential female musician to have graced the music industry in the past 50 years. Her songs helped define an era and its nuances more than anyone else from the 70s. Find out about her here

Greedy eighties

Tina Turner

Sometimes referred to as the queen of rock n roll, Tina Turner is a woman who wears many hats. Not only is she a successful recording artiste, she is also an author, an actor and a dancer. She was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Discover her music here

Stevie Nicks

By now, almost everyone who has seen the movie "School of Rock" has heard "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks. However, that song was just a tiny part of Nicks' long list of accolades. Along with a successful solo career, she is known for being the vocalist and tambourine player in Fleetwood Mac, one of the best-selling bands of all time. Follow her here

The naughty nineties


Many will argue that Madonna started coming out with popular music in the 80s, but it was not until the 90s that she truly gained the popularity and influence that she enjoys even today. What Madonna did for pop music was continued by the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears in the years leading up to the 2000s. Check out her music here

Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman was a revolutionary. She is not only defiant with her lyrics but extends it to her activism for human rights as well. She is a four-time Grammy winner and her songs lit up the 90s like a flashbulb. Read more about her here

The decade from hell (coined by Andy Serwer)

Amy Winehouse

Maybe Amy Winehouse will be remembered because she is a part of the 27 club, but let's not remember her today because of that. She is one artist whose music was easily relatable and reflected an era, at least the start of it. With seven Grammys and numerous other awards to her name, she was at the peak of her career before tragically passing away in 2011. Discover everything about her here

Alanis Morissette

Known for her soprano-like voice, Morissette proved that alternative rock can also be made popular by a female vocalist. Rolling Stone magazine once termed her as the Queen of Alt-Rock Angst. She has won seven Grammys to date and is on the verge of releasing her ninth studio album. Get to know more about her here