Rolling Stone created a Queen of Pop Index, ranking the top 16 female pop recording artists of the last two years by examining, according to them, "album and digital song sales, Hot 100 rankings, radio airplay, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards, and critics' ratings." Mostly because of their limited timeframe, they named some questionable artists like Ke$ha and Taylor Swift while leaving out obvious picks like Madonna and Mariah. Fans were in a tizzy!
To counter this absurdity, Rolling Stone encouraged its readers to pitch in their two cents on who they deem worthy of the title. The readers' poll showed, in order from least queeny to most: Mariah Carey, Elton John, Cher, Katy Perry, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Tina Turner, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Madonna.
Of course! We agree. But as far as musical royalty goes, there are plenty of alternatives to this pure "pop" list. So we've put together a little list of weirdo pop queens to supplement Rolling Stone's readers poll.
6. Kate Bush
This beautiful Brit has the voice of an angel. Her unique sound has influenced generations of talented musicians and inspired plenty of sensual moments between lovers, to be certain. With song titles like "Wuthering Heights" and "Hounds of Love," it's clear that Bush knows what a real woman needs from her emotional music.
Bjork has always been a true original. This fantastic Icelandic indie elf is the craziest and best role model. From the time she was in the Sugarcubes, we all knew Bjork was different and better than the rest. Possibly, maybe? No, definitely royalty.
Siouxsie is a queen among goths. She is a maker of music that's perfect for dancing in wide circles. Her look and sound are hypnotic and bold, offering a powerful alternative take on beauty.
3. Kim Deal
Every strong woman of the '90s looked up to Kim Deal. She was an indie icon, charming us through a quirky decade with the Pixies and the Breeders. She plays the bass, she plays the guitar, and she sings. She's the last splash, guys.
2. Kim Gordon
Another very different '90s bassist named Kim is Ms. Gordon. This brilliant lady stretches the boundaries of sound with Sonic Youth. There's not much we can say about the woman, except that she's unquestionably the queen of cool.
1. Nina Simone
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
We contest Ms. Simone's title of High Priestess of Soul. She was not a mere mortal. She was more like a goddess. Her deep, raspy roar is the voiceover to your life. Her African Queen ensembles inspire your fantasy future wardrobe. No female singer has so soulfully and intelligently looked at both society's ills and at the relations of the heart. She not only pounded the keys, she showed us about life through song. Sorry, Madonna, but Nina's the true queen.
Other notables include Miss Lady Kier, Lydia Lunch, and Tori Amos. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.