ICYMI: Girl power is alive and well.
Female artists are emerging like fiery phoenixes from the ashes of male-dominated charts. A beautiful power shift is happening–and women are the trailblazers. There are so many unforgettable female artists that have left their mark on 2016 and will surely influence music for years to come.
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific moment that has allowed this surge of female artists’ mass appeal; it has been much more of a journey. Artists like Patsy Cline and Aretha Franklin laid the foundation, Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks broke the rules. Shania Twain and Whitney Houston dominated the mainstream. So many powerful artists have paved the way to cast a wide-reaching net for female artists to stand firm in their own unique lane.
The following women have picked up their torches and have boldly followed in the hallowed steps of those before them.
Three years ago, no one would pick up Margo Price’s record. Today, many record stores can barely keep it on the shelves. This has been an unbelievably successful year for Margo with the release of Midwest Farmer’s Daughter in March of 2016. After many years of endlessly pushing toward success in Nashville, Margo has become a staple on the charts. She has appeared on Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live, not to mention the countless amounts of nearly sold out concerts. There is a delicate balance that Margo seems to strike with a classic country sound and lyrics that ignite with flaming emotion. It’s clear that she is prepared to define her place as the new female country standard.
Andra Day has a confidence in her voice that is undeniable. She is pure soul and R&B, yet there is a smooth, rock-n-roll rasp that adds the right amount of relatability. There is a way she portrays her lyrics that seem to exude the right amount of passion to showcase the emotion behind every syllable. Her hit song “Rise Up” seemed to strike a cord with so many this year–it truly encompasses the feeling of empowerment through encouraging lyrics and sweetly simple notes. Andra’s unique sound has ingrained itself into chart-topping singles while giving a nod to the women who came before her.
There always seems to be a “right place, right time” moment with the music industry, and Maggie Rogers has defined exactly how to handle that moment. Pharrell Williams discovered this young talent and made sure that the world would need to know her name. Her single “Alaska” has already garnered the attention and airplay of major radio stations and has captivated a wide audience. Maggie’s airy vocals seem to playfully dance over the music, almost like the notes are floating. While she is young, her drive to make a name for herself is inevitable…she is striving to be part of the next generation of female vocalists.
Each female artist over the past several decades has empowered women to embrace their inner being and empowered them to express themselves freely. So, fellow ladies (and men, if you are reading), keep your speakers turned up to this powerful generation of leading ladies.