Which Women Musicians Do You Think Are The Most Influential Of This Century?

Esperanza Spalding

Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images


Which Women Musicians Do You Think Are The Most Influential Of This Century?

Women have always played an important role in shaping music and culture. Now you can weigh in on which artists you think are shifting the playing field and making the biggest waves

GRAMMYs/Oct 31, 2018 - 02:34 am

There are so many powerful women currently making their mark in music—and consequentially on society and culture—that compiling an exhaustive list of the most influential women musicians of the 21st century seems like quite an endeavor. From Beyoncé continually redefining what it means to be a strong independent woman to Taylor Swift standing up for girls and women everywhere to Janelle Monaé showing the world what an empowered queer woman looks like, there are so many women in music right now who are reshaping the industry and questioning societal norms. There are women who are the minority in their genres, like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj redefining what a rapper looks and sounds like, superstars like Rihanna who are using their platform to speak out, trailblazers like Esperanza Spalding, who takes jazz to a new level and legends like Amy Winehouse, whose career was cut tragically short, though her influence continues to grow. The list could go on and on, so now NPR Music wants to know: who do you think are the most influential female musicians currently making waves of change?

Recently, NPR Music, as part of their female-focused Turning the Tables project, began the conversation with their own essays on 25 women, but acknowledge the list is incomplete and want to give you the chance to tell them which ten artists "at the peak of their powers in this century" you feel are making the biggest impact and why.

What these women all have in common is they are speaking their mind and people are listening. Last year at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Monaé gave an impassioned speech when introducing Kesha's performance of "Praying," reminding the world "just as we [women] have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well." That is exactly what artists like Monaé and Kesha are doing by speaking their truth, showing the world that they are both powerful and vulnerable at the same time. Women like them are such a vital part of our social fabric, using their art to offer the world different representations of what modern women look like and using their platforms to empower other women to do the same.

It is so important to have a diverse group of women in popular culture not only for the world to see, but as positive role models for young girls and women. Swift reminded us how women often have to do more to prove themselves at the 58th GRAMMY Awards when she became the first female to take home Album Of The Year twice. NPR's initial list of 25 includes GRAMMY-winning megastars including Swift, Beyoncé and Rihanna, as well as other lesser-known yet still influential musicians, such as Spalding, the GRAMMY-winning jazz mastermind who took home Best New Artist at the 53rd GRAMMY Awards, a year when both Justin Bieber and Drake where in the running.

Who are the women that inspire you to speak up for what you believe in, who inspire you to be yourself even if it doesn't conform to others' ideas of who you should be? What women are making music and sharing stories that are helping women and men, girls and boys, see all the different sides of a strong woman? Let NPR know. The poll is open until Nov. 13.

Esperanza Spalding Is Making Waves In Her Own Lane

Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY


Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs



Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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