Rock 'n' roll is dirty business. It's made of spit and blood and piss and drugs, smeared lipstick and dirty laundry and stale beer. When you're a rock 'n' roller, your hair gets sticky, you smell bad, and you can't remember what day it is.
Some would say it's no place for girls, but some would be sexist idiots. The ladies like to get down and dirty too. And that doesn't mean hiding in the green room, just waiting for a chance to touch a star. Sometimes, in rare and glorious instances, the women break free and take control of the whole tour.
Not enough ladies get the chance to prove they're tough. But these fine women did. Check out Crossfade's seven baddest chicks in rock 'n' roll, and get inspired girlies.
Nothing says hardcore like an intelligent woman with emotional issues. You can tell by her lyrics (and her incredibly long album titles) that Ms. Apple is a very serious lover, fighter, musician and generally serious all around. She had the world by the balls when she debuted her risky yet sexual feminine edge at the ripe age of 19. Even an extended hiatus couldn't put out her fire, and at 35, she's as volatile, lyrical and enigmatic as ever.
Some chicks are so bad, they just can't contain themselves. Kim Deal was the queen of cool in the '90s. Not only did she help change lives forever as back-up singer and bass player of game-changing alt rock band the Pixies, she formed and led the Breeders, who were less commercially successful but highly critically acclaimed. She was a cutie, but she didn't use her sexuality in any gross, overbearing ways, because she didn't have to. After a messy break-up and ten-year hiatus, she got back together with the Pixies, and they've been going strong ever since.
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It takes a real nasty bitch to "Kick It" with Iggy Pop, and Peaches is that gnarly sexpot. This Canadian-born experimental badass is always playing with gender roles and stereotypes, something that's always coming in to play for the modern woman. Her stage-name is an ode to that most feminine of sexual organs, and she's not afraid to sing about it. But she's not just in it for shock and awe. She's a well-trained musician, using everything from synthesizers to guitar, drums, keytar, theramins and wahatever a laser harp is to create her music. She also recently started DJing, but we won't hold that against her.
Siouxsie is punk rock's leading lady and one of goth music's most memorable characters. Her iconic eye makeup is enough to make the history books. Add to that her dark, haunting voice and her incredible sense of style, and you get one of the most unique and powerful female figures in rock history. From her early days as a famous scenester hanging with the Sex Pistols, to her years laying the foundations for the post-punk movement, Siouxsie Sioux is an incredible cultural force not to be forgotten.
She's tall, she's strong, she's dangerous and she's one of our all-time faves. Karen O used to pour beer all over herself and spit it out onto the crowd, but now she's all grown up and arty and respected, and that's awesome. When the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were busy doing nothing, she kept herself occupied working with Spike Jonze on the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack, as well tried her hand at directing music videos and producing some solo works. The YYYs have graciously returned unto us this year, with a new album and set of tour dates, and thank goodness Karen's otherworldly sense of flashy fashion is still intact.
Chrissie may be 61 right now, but that doesn't mean she's rolling over and playing dead. This crazy miss heads the huge '80s rock outfit the Pretenders, and she leads the band of boys with an iron fist. We use the present tense because she's still doing it. Back in the day, she had wild hair, a sultry voice and a whole lot of attitude. Today, she's still taking stages, looking fierce and talking about banging bros on that late-night tip with a bit of cocaine. Yeah, seriously, she doesn't let up one bit, and that's why you've got to love her.
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Arguably the most bitchin' boss lady of rock 'n' roll, the Blondie herself inspired whole generations of strong women looking for fierce role models. Always elegant and womanly, she's tough as nails and bites harder than a junk-yard dog. Like the rest of our list, she was an icon of forward-thinking fashion in her day, and also commanded a band full of merry men. She put punk in living rooms and rappers on tvs across America, and she acted in more than thirty films and television shows. And holy hell, she was born right here in Miami! No wonder she's such a winner. Get it girl!