If I ever have the chance to meet an artist, Lady Gaga will be at the top of my list. She can do it all: she has an amazing voice, iconic dance moves, and is one of the best performers of the modern era of music. Lady Gaga is an example of a true artist and someone who defies all expectations and limitations the world puts on her. Her challenges to the world of fashion, performance, and video have paved the way for other women within the music industry to experiment artistically and without any shame or fear.
Lady Gaga gives female artists an excuse to be themselves in every way and to use their talents to advocate for the things they believe in. For example, not many people know that Lady Gaga’s famous meat dress was designed to call attention to her views about repealing the problematic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Lady Gaga has truly changed the music industry for all and has provided opportunity for many to express themselves freely.
Or her songs “Speechless”, which is my favorite song of all time, and “Judas”
Samia is a Lebanese singer-songwriter from New York City. Gaining inspiration from her life experiences, Samia channels her lyrical energy into communicating her normal, everyday feelings as a young adult searching for purpose in the world. Her melancholy and biting music always grabs my attention and makes me think about the important things in the world. She is a self-proclaimed feminist and has been a social activist from a young age. One of her biggest hopes as a songwriter is that she can empower women even within her own vulnerability.
Start with her most recent album The Baby or her songs “Someone Tell the Boys” and “Welcome to Eden”
The first queen of rock n’ roll, Janis Joplin paved the way for female rockers and helped women claim a place in the music industry. Joplin started her career in San Francisco in the 1960s which, at the time, was ruled by male artists and producers who largely rejected female voices saying that they could not compete with the success of the men.
She derived her inspiration from blues, folk, and rock n’ roll and especially admired the black artists of her day. She struggled throughout her childhood with bullying and feeling like she did not fit in. Joplin felt that blues music helped express those feelings and her discontentment with the way the world treated women and minorities. One of her biographers, Echols, writes, “”Janis in some sense was the great unrecognized protest singer of the 1960s. No, Janis was not singing explicit protest songs. But in her voice, what people heard was somebody who was refusing the status quo.” Though she died unexpectedly and very young, Joplin’s short career brought a voice to the women in the music industry and expressed the frustration of injustice at the time.
Start with her album Pearl which was released posthumously and is considered one of her best albums.
Or, check out her songs “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Summertime”.
Liz Vice describes herself as a storyteller and I couldn’t agree more with this characterization of Ms. Vice. Her music is a fusion of gospel and R&B with lyrics rooted in spirituality. Aside from being a phenomenal performer, Liz Vice believes that her voice is a gift from God meant to give glory to God. When she was young, she faced some health complications that now orients her music and outlook on life. Liz Vice is a great example of a woman of faith who has empowered other women to take risks in the music industry to use their gifts and talents to serve others.
Start with her album There’s a Light to hear some Hope classic chapel songs. Or, check out her most recent single “See the Day” as her reflection on the world’s need for justice.