The Top 7 Baddest Women in Rock

August 22, 2008

I have no idea why, but chicks playing electric guitars and running wild on stage really turns me on.

Most girls these days want to go on American Idol and try to become the nation’s newest cheeseball pop superstar. It sickens me. I want to see some hardcore broads attempting real "ovaries to the wall" rock n’ roll music. Take a few notes, are our picks for the Top 7 Baddest Women in Rock...

#7 Karen O


As you may know, Karen Lee Orzolek, better known as Karen O, is the wacktacular vocalist for the New York art punk band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Even though Karen is a total NYC rich kid, she has punk rock flowing through her veins. Not only are her vocals powerful and unique, she also has amazing stage presence. Karen is notorious for her outrageous antics during live shows, which included spitting water, beer, or sometimes grapes into the crowd, and often simulating sexual acts with the stage monitors or her microphone. Lucky microphone. She even won Spin Magazine's Sex Goddess Award in both 2004 and 2005. And in case you didn’t know, her band also makes really amazing rock records.

Here's Karen gettin' live in her home state...



#6 Beth Ditto


The shapely singer of the indie punk outfit Gossip easily has the best pipes on this list. She also has a serious punk rock attitude to boot.

In November 2006, Ditto was selected by NME as the coolest person in rock—being placed at number one in the magazine's annual "Cool List." Maybe it’s because Beth is a lesbian, an outspoken advocate of gay rights, weighs 210 pounds and posed nude with her "transman" lover for On Our Backs, a women-run lesbian erotica magazine. I don’t even know what a "transman" is, but I commend Ms. Ditto for doin’ her thang. Did I mention that this chick can freakin’ sing?

Check Beth "Standing in the Way Of Control"…



#5 The Runaways


I know that these ladies are a five-piece band, but if I don’t group them together they would take up half of this list.

In the beginning The Runaways weren't even a real band. They were a marketing gimmick hatched at a party by Los Angeles musician/producer Kim Fowley. Among the members were Joan Jett, (only 15 when the band was formed) guitarist Lita Ford and the sultry Cherrie Currie.

The Runaways were pretty much promoted as jailbait, but it turned out that these chicks could really rip. Lita Ford was easily the greatest female rock guitarist of her time and Ms. Jett was a bonafide rock goddess. They just don’t make ‘m like they use to. What happened to rock music!

Here are the ladies doing their 1976 anthem “Cherry Bomb”…


#4 Debbie Harry


The sexiest punk rock singer of all time! I would honestly give both of my testicles to get a piece of Debbie in her CBGB prime.

The beautiful blonde sex symbol who helped pave the way for Madonna and many others is easily one of the most important ladies of rock. With her groundbreaking punk/disco act Blondie, she helped re-write the role of what a frontwoman could be. She had the voice, jaw-dropping good looks and a mean punk rock attitude. She even did a live show half-naked, wearing only a Dr. X t-shirt. Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Debbie also spit rhymes over the classic cut “Rapture,” one of the first substantial hit singles to involve rap music, and the first rap-influenced single to reach number one on the US charts. Mama is fly wit it.

Here’s Debbie layin’ down some fresh rhymes over her punk-pop posse's 1980 hip-hop opus…



#3 Patti Smith


In terms of rock ‘n’ history, few lady singer/songwriters achieved the mixed bag of critical respect, influence, and admiration from her audience as Patti Smith. She was influential in the birth of punk rock and has even been called "Godmother of Punk." With her band, the Patti Smith Group, she was an intellectual punk, famous for her spoken poetry intros and tough expressive singing. Patti has influenced everyone from Sonic Youth to U2.

Here’s Patti doing her classic (co-written by Bruce Springsteen!) number "Because the Night"…



#2 Grace Slick


The Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship leading lady was one badass mama. Slick was definitely an important figure in the development of rock music in the late ‘60s and was one of the first female rock stars. She also partied like a mother...

Her distinctive vocal style and amazing stage presence put forth a definite influence on other female performers, including Stevie Nicks and Patti Smith. Slick gave a new legitimacy to the role of the female lead singer in the male-dominated world of rock ‘n’ roll. Grace Slick's achievement as a pioneering woman in rock eclipses most singers on so many levels. I mean she wrote "White Rabbit" chrissake!  In her heyday she was the best singer on the planet and had the good looks to match.

She even tried to put LSD in Richard Nixon’ tea cup…



#1 Wendy O


Wendy Orlean Williams is hands down the baddest chick in rock ‘n’ history. Ms. O started her infamous career ‘acting’ in porno flicks and regularly performing live sex shows in New York.

In 1978, Wendy became the lead singer of the punk rock group the Plasmatics and took the underground scene by storm. Throughout her career, Wendy worked with numerous rock icons, such as Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Lemmy of Motorhead.

She also became notorious for her run-ins with the law. In January of 1981 police in Milwaukee arrested her for simulating sex on stage. Wendy was also charged with battery to an officer and obscene conduct. Punk rock!
This broad was hardcore. She makes Amy Winehouse look like a girl scout.

Unfortunately, Wendy Williams died in 1998 at age 48 near her home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. R.I.P. Wendy O.  You were far too rock n' roll for this world.