Celebrating Women in Popular Music
This April we celebrate female musicians who are changing the pereception of popular music and speaking to its consumers about important issues.
A self-described "modern-day feminist,” Beyoncé's songs are often characterized by themes of love, relationships, and monogamy, as well as female sexuality and empowerment. On stage, her dynamic, highly-choreographed performances have led to critics hailing her as one of the best entertainers in contemporary popular music. Throughout a career spanning 16 years, she has won 17 Grammy Awards and sold over 118 million records as a solo artist and 60 million with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Lorde is a 17-year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter. She was nominated for four Grammys: Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year for "Royals" and Best Pop Vocal Album for Pure Heroine. Lorde won both Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for her debut single "Royals". She is openly feminist, and has said that “I’m speaking for a bunch of girls when I say that the idea that feminism is completely natural and shouldn’t even be something that people find mildly surprising, it’s just a part of being a girl in 2013.”
Janelle Monáe is an American R&B and soul musician, composer and record producer. Her song “Q.U.E.E.N” featuring Erykah Badu, is a feminist anthem, and includes the lyrics “She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel / So why ain’t the stealing of my rights made illegal” among many other powerful lines.
Laura Jane Grace
Laura Jane Grace is an American musician best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Having dealt with gender dysphoria since childhood, Grace publicly came out as a transgender woman in 2012. Against Me!'s sixth studio album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, was released on January 21, 2014.
Mary Lambert is a Seattle-based singer-songwriter and spoken word artist. She worked with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on a track on their album The Heist. Lambert is the featured singer and songwriter of their gay rights single, "Same Love". Lambert was nominated for two Grammys, and in January 2013, she independently released a book of poetry titled 500 Tips for Fat Girls. Her career has been inspirational to many: “After a show over the summer, a girl came up to me who was a pastor at her church, which was not accepting of same-sex relationships. She said that ‘Same Love’ allowed her to come out regardless of the consequences. The fact that music was able to do that? That I could have been a part of that, and that she felt safe enough to tell me? I know how strong you have to be to do that. If I can give that fight to somebody, then I want to keep doing it.”