Throughout the decades, it hasn’t been a secret that rock and roll is a male dominated industry, but these women, both veterans and newcomers to the rock scene, are here to show you that playing like a girl isn’t a bad thing.
1. Joan Jett
What do you love? Rock and Roll. Joan Jett is here to bring it to ya. Guitarist and singer, who first started out in The Runaways; an all girl rock group which made their debut in the city of Los Angeles in 1975, at the ripe age of only seventeen. The band busted out hits like ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘I Love Playin’ With Fire’, and ‘You Drive Me Wild’. She later went on to form her own group, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, and has created some of the best known riffs of all time.
2. Nancy Wilson
Nancy Wilson is undeniably one of the most talented female guitarists in rock and roll history, creating instant hits with her sister Ann Wilson in their group, Heart. Her unmistakable talent is seen in songs like ‘Crazy on You’ off of Dreamboat Annie (1976), where she shreds an acoustic solo in the song’s intro. Heart tours to this day, and the Wilson sisters, forty years later. continue to inspire female musicians.
3. Lita Ford
Lita Ford, referred to as one of the queens of hair metal, started her climb to the top of the music scene in the all female rock group, The Runaways with Joan Jett. Also similar to Jett, Ford broke off from the band to curate her own solo career. The most popular release from Ford’s solo career was her self-titled album, Lita (1988). It featured some of her biggest hits such as, ‘Close My Eyes Forever’, a duet with the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, ‘Falling In & Out of Love’, a song co-written with Mötley Crüüe bassist, Nikki Sixx, and her biggest hit, ‘Kiss Me Deadly’.
4. Nita Strauss
Nita Strauss, guitarist based out of LA, first started playing shows at the age of 13. In 2009, she shredded her way onto the music scene playing for As Blood Runs Black, and later went on to join the all female Iron Maiden tribute band, The Iron Maidens. In 2013, Strauss joined the group Femme Fatale, a new version 1980’s hair metal band featuring Lorraine Lewis, and in 2014 got her biggest break playing for the godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper. Strauss has been playing with Cooper for two and a half years now, proving to audiences across the globe that her insane shredding, and energetic stage presence is like no other.
Orianthi Panagaris, also know as simply Orianthi, has become one of the most well known female guitarists of this generation. She made her debut playing with Steve Vai at the age of 15, but her first big breakthrough was performing as the lead guitarist on the 51st Grammy Awards with Carrie Underwood. Soon after, she was offered to become the lead guitarist in Michael Jackson’s band, and was present in all the rehearsals for the, This Is It tour before Jackson’s death in 2009. Since then, Orianthi has released and recorded solo albums, became the first female guitarist in the Alice Cooper band, and now can be seen touring the world with former Bon Jovi guitarist, Richie Sambora.