Three female musicians playing guitar on the featured image.

Today is I:nternational Women’s Day so I’m bringing you the ultimate a-z guide to trailblazing female musicians. These are women who’ve influenced me as a young man growing up and your a to z could be something completely different. Therefore, please note that this is just one person’s expression and doesn’t have to have a bearing on anyone else.

Key Takeaways

  • This is just my own opinion of the different female musicians. It doesn’t have to be your opinion. If you are happy to do so, please state any changes you would make in the comments section below…
  • Most of these female musicians will be singers. This is probably because there are more female singers than female instrumentalists.
  • These women are from a diverse range of genres. I have embedded videos and Spotify tracks where possible. I have also given you some idea of the best tracks and most memorable tracks these women have made.

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So, here goes…

Alison Moyet

Alison Moyet is a British singer who had a brief spell as the lead singer of Yazoo. She is known for the songs, All Cried Out (see the video below), Invisible (her only US Top 40 hit) and Is This Love

Belinda Carlisle

Born in 1958, in Hollywood, Belinda Carlisle was named after Johnny Belinda – her mother’s favourite actor. Belinda Carlisle met with overwhelming fame and stardom in her songs, Heaven is a Place on Earth, Circle in the Sand and Leave a Light On.


California born Cher started out with the 60s duo, Sonny and Cher. Since then, she has gone from strength to strength. Her amazing voice was responsible for the songs, If I Could Turn Back Time, Believe and the Shoop Shoop Song.


Born into a musical family, Dido and her brother Faithless sang together in the earlier years. However, Dido has gone on to have a successful career of her own with White Flag and Thank You.


Enya is originally from Ireland, as if you didn’t know. Everyone’s favourite Irish folk music artist, she is known for Orinoco Flow and Carribean Blue.


I don’t know a whole lot about Fergie, but I enjoyed listening to her song Big Girls Don’t Cry.

Grace Jones

I know I could have had Gloria Estefan, but Grace Jones has to feature somewhere. The 70s diva who came to fame in the hedonistic Studio 54 days in New York. Her songs have included La vid en rose, Pull Up to the Bumper and also Libertango.

Hannah Montana

This girl rocks. She would be amazing in concert.

Irene Cara

If you grew up in the 1980s, you may already know the music of Irene Cara. She sang some of the most iconic music of a generation. I was unfamiliar with the name until now, but I remember the music.

Jennifer Rush

Ah, the unforgettable voice of Jennifer Rush. Again, another 80s diva, but you’ll love this one if it brings back memories for you…

Kate Bush

Again, another 80s legend. Kate Bush is well-remembered and well-loved by the 80s schoolkids…

Lisa Stansfield

I have a story to tell about Lisa Stansfield. My first ever girlfriend, Charlotte, released a song with Lisa Stansfield. I remember Charlotte talking about it on the radio. Charlotte also had a sight impairment, but she had an amazing voice to boot.

Lisa Stansfield is known best for All Around the World, but she also had hits with The Real Thing, Never Never Gonna Give You Up and Baby Come Back. The style of Lisa’s music is very much in the soul music camp.

Marie Fredriksson

Marie was the lead singer of my favourite ever rock band, Roxette. There are so many amazing tracks that I could play you here. I’ve seen them in concert and Marie died exactly a week before my mother in 2019. Rest In Peace Marie. I hope to get to know you in Heaven.

Neneh Cherry

Neneh Cherry is the better known sister of Eagle Eye Cherry. She was the sexiest singer of the late 1980s/early 1990s. She is known for her part in Seven Seconds, as well as for her solo songs Buffalo Stance and Manchild.

Olivia Newton John

Olivia Newton John isn’t my favourite artist, but she’s good. She is known for the soundtrack of Grease, the musical. Therefore, she has a place in history and has left her mark on late 70s/early 80s pop music.

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul is known for her part in Opposites Attract as well as her songs, Rush Rush and Straight Up.

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah, for those of you who don’t know, is the original songwriter of the Was (Not Was) song, Walk the Dinosaur. Here is a video of the original song that I found on YouTube.

Robin S

Robin S was instrumental in the evolution of house music. I’ll always remember her song, Show Me Love, in my clubbing days.


I’d have loved to be her Toy Boy. Here is the music video to her song, Toy Boy…

Tasmin Archer

I will always remember Sleeping Satellite. It came into the UK Top 40 when we were on holiday in the autumn half-term break. I remember standing in the shower singing this song. I really loved it.

Ultra Nate

Although I never bought any of her CDs, Ultra Nate appeared on several dance music compilations that I bought. Again, like Robin S, Ultra Nate left her mark on house and clubbing music while I was in my clubbing days.

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa Carlton is best known for her song, A Thousand Miles. Here is the video…

Whitney Houston

Perhaps Whitney was best known for the film, Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. I also loved her song I Wanna Dance With Somebody. That came out in the middle of the 1980s and brings back memories of playing this song on vinyl.


This is going one better than a blog post I found in my research. They couldn’t find any female musicians beginning with the letter X. Well, here you go – Xenia. I like this one too – just my kind of music.

Yazz and the Plastic Population

Yazz is the best female artist I could find beginning with the letter Y. I would have included her in a top list of female musicians anyway. I think she’s great.


Although this is the first time I have heard her music, you can hear why she has so many streams on Spotify. Azul is a beautiful song.

Last Words on This Post About Famous Female Musicians

Well, that’s it. There are others I could have mentioned here. There are many more artists who are equally as talented as these.

If you’re a woman reading this post, have a fantastic International Women’s Day. Behind every good man, there’s a good woman. My wife will stand testament to that fact.

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