At the rise of metal music there were hardly any women involved in singing, drumming and playing guitars. However, by the 80s and 90s there was already a growing number of sensational female artists gracing world stages and awing their fans with some of the most creative and entertaining sounds. Here is a look at some of the women that have risen to the challenge and proved that women can be as good or better than their male counterparts when it comes to shredding the guitar, rocking a trendy look and keeping audiences entertained.
7. Courtney Cox
Courtney Cox who was born in Philadelphia is best known for being a member of the all female band called The Iron Maidens. Her stage name is Adrianna Smith. At the age of only 13 she was already interested in the guitar and would often play it albeit for fun. At about 15 her passion piqued and she enrolled at The Paul Green School of Rock Music where she managed to refine and sharpen her skills. She was the runner-up at the 2010 Buyer’s Guide Model Search.
6. Katherine Thomas
Most people know her by her stage name The Great Kat. Born in 1966 this female sensation grew up with a passion for playing the guitar. It is her thrash metal interpretations of classical songs that earned her a place in the hearts of many fans. Not only is she good at playing the guitar but also plays the violin with exceptional ease and expertise. According to Guitar One magazine she is one of the Fastest Shredders of All Time.
5. Janice Lynn Kuehnemund
Janice was popularly known as Jan Kuehnemund and was born in 1961 in Minnesota. She was the founder of the famous all female band called Vixen. As a singer and lead guitarists she was part of the band’s success which included the release of three studio albums and two live albums. Although she passed on in 2010 she still remains one of the most celebrated female rock artists of all time.
4. Nita Strauss
Nita Strauss was born in 1986 in Los Angeles. She began her professional career in 2003 and created a name for herself by playing the lead guitar with the female band Iron Maiden. Guitar World magazine ranked her number 1 on the list of 10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know. She has also performed with bands such as Femme Fatale and LA Kiss.
3. Jennifer Batten
Jennifer was born in New York and grew up to become one of the most reliable session musicians of all time. She was part of the three Michael Jackson World Tours that took place between 1987 and 1997. Not only is she popular as a guitarist but also a solo artists. With 3 solo albums and a myriad of performances alongside other acts she is easily one of the best female guitar players of all time.
2. Orianthi Panagaris
Popularly known as Orianthi, this artist was born in Adelaide, Australia in the year 1985. In 2009 Elle magazine listed her as one of 12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists. She was also the winner of Breakthrough Guitarist of The Year award in 2010 organized by Guitar International. She has thrilled fans across the world with breathtaking performances, amazing guitar sounds and world class talent when it comes to singing.
1. Lita Ford
Her full name is Lita Rosanna Ford and was born in 1958. The English-born American is not only an exceptional guitarists she also excels in acting, singing vocals and songwriting. She became popular as a lead guitarist with the band The Runaways but has also dazzled fans as a solo artist. She went out of the limelight in 1996 only to reappear in 2009 with the release of the album titled Wicked Wonderland. She is considered as one of the most inspirational metal singers in the world today.
Nita Strauss photo by Frank Schwichtenberg