Back in the day, the Runaways were some of the baddest bishes in the rock scene. The group disbanded over disagreements on artistic direction, but not before proving that girls could rock, even as teenagers—founding members Joan Jett and Sandy West weren't even 18 when they debuted.
There are loads of women shaking up the genre right now with the likes of St. Vincent, Grimes and Paramore's Hayley Williams translating their badass personas to formidable musical outputs, alongside guitar goddesses Jenny Lewis and Este Haim, and metal chicks like Alissa White-Gluz, Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey of Butcher Babies. There isn't even room for argument anymore about pop stars like Janelle Monáe and Rihanna earning their place in the rock canon.
The media (i.e. old white dudes) likes asking questions like, "Where have all the real rock stars gone?" The simple answer is: Look to any one of these 40—forty!—bitchin' badasses.
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Bitchin' Moment: Alabama Shakes' 2015 Sound & Color lead single "Don't Wanna Fight"
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Bitchin' Moment: 1982's "I Love Rock N' Roll"
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Bitchin' Moment: 2013's "Fixurlifeup" feat. Prince, whom they collaborated with for the 2014 joint album PLECTRUMELECTRUM
The New York Times' Style Magazine confirms what we've known for a long time as Nicki Minaj covers their Greats issue. In the interview with Roxane Gay, Nicki shares, "I got to prove myself a hundred times, whereas the guys that came in around the same as I did, they were given the titles so much quicker without anybody second-guessing." Read more and see the Sade-inspired shoot here.