Dedicated to Honoring Women in Music

 

 

 

 

Adele

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a recording contract with XL Recordings. In 2007, she received the Brit Awards Critics' Choice award and won the BBC Sound of 2008 poll. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 to commercial and critical success. It is certified eight times platinum in the UK, and three times platinum in the US. The album contains her first song, "Hometown Glory", written when she was 16, which is based on her home suburb of West Norwood in London. An appearance she made on Saturday Night Live in late 2008, boosted her career in the US. At the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009, Adele received the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Adele released her second studio album, 21, in 2011. The album was critically well received and surpassed the success of her debut, earning numerous awards in 2012, among them a record-tying six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year; two Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year; and three American Music Awards, including Favorite Pop/Rock Album. The album has been certified 17 times platinum in the UK, and is overall the fourth best-selling album in the nation. In the US, it has held the top position longer than any album since 1985, and is certified diamond. The best-selling album worldwide of 2011 and 2012, 21 has sold over 31 million copies. The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records. She was the first female artist to simultaneously have two albums in the top five of the Billboard 200 and two singles in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top 10 singles as a lead artist, with "Rolling in the Deep", "Someone Like You", and "Set Fire to the Rain", all of which also topped the chart. 21 is the longest-running number one album by a female solo artist in the history of the UK and US Album Charts.

In 2012, Adele released "Skyfall", which she co-wrote and recorded for the James Bond film of the same name. The song won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, as well as the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. After taking a three-year break, Adele released her third studio album, 25, in 2015. It became the year's best-selling album and broke first-week sales records in the UK and US. 25 was her second album to be certified diamond in the US and earned her five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and four Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year. The lead single, "Hello", became the first song in the US to sell over one million digital copies within a week of its release. Her third concert tour, Adele Live 2016, visited Europe, North America and Oceania, and concluded with finale concerts at Wembley Stadium in late June 2017.

In 2011, 2012, and 2016, Adele was named Artist of the Year by Billboard. At the 2012 and 2016 Ivor Novello Awards, Adele was named Songwriter of the Year by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In 2012, she was listed at number five on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music. Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2016. Her 2016-2017 tour, saw her break attendance records in a number of countries, including the UK, Australia, and the US. With sales of more than 100 million records, Adele is one of the world's best-selling music artists.

Beyonce

Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, actress, songwriter, record producer, director, model, dancer, fashion designer and businesswoman. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyonce performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the best-selling girl groups in history. Their hiatus saw Beyonce's theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her first solo album, Dangerously in Love (2003). The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and earning her five Grammy Awards. The album also featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".

Following the break-up of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B'Day, which contained her fourth solo number-one hit, "Irreplaceable", as well as the other top ten singles "Deja Vu" and "Beautiful Liar". Beyonce also continued her acting career with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and her portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego, Sasha Fierce, and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Beyonce took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album, 4 (2011), was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed eponymous album, released in 2013 with no prior announcement, was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. Her sixth album, Lemonade (2016), also received widespread critical acclaim, with many referring to it as her most personal and political work to date, and subsequently became the best-selling album of 2016. In 2018, she released Everything Is Love, a collaborative album with her husband, Jay-Z, as The Carters.

Throughout her career, Beyonce has sold over 100 million records worldwide as a solo artist and a further 60 million records with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She is acclaimed for her vocals, music videos, and live concert shows. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Beyonce as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s decade. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade and the Top Female Artist of the 2000s decade. Among numerous awards and accolades, Beyonce has won 23 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history. She is the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Beyonce has also been honored with the Legend Award at the World Music Awards, the Billboard Millennium Award, and the Fashion Icon Award at the CFDA Awards. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes ranked her as the most powerful female in entertainment on their 2015 and 2017 lists, and in 2016, she occupied the sixth place for Time's Person of the Year. With the release of Lemonade, Beyonce became the first and only musical act in Billboard chart history to debut at number one with their first six solo studio albums.


Karen Carpenter

Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 - February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who was part of the duo the Carpenters alongside her brother Richard. She was praised for her contralto vocals, and her drumming abilities were viewed positively by other musicians and critics. Her struggles with eating disorders would later raise awareness of anorexia and body dysmorphia.

Carpenter was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to Downey, California, in 1963 with her family. She began to study the drums in high school and joined the Long Beach State choir after graduating. After several years of touring and recording, the Carpenters were signed to A&M Records in 1969, achieving commercial and critical success throughout the 1970s. Initially, Carpenter was the band's full-time drummer, but gradually took the role of frontwoman as drumming was reduced to a handful of live showcases or tracks on albums. While the Carpenters were on hiatus in the late 1970s, she recorded a solo album, which was released years after her death.

Carpenter had the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which was little-known at the time, and was briefly married in the early 1980s. She died at age 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to her illness. Her death led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders. Her work continues to attract praise, including being listed among Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers of all time.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang (born Young Joo Chang; December 10, 1980) is an American classical violinist. Recognized as a child prodigy, she first played as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1989. She enrolled at Juilliard School to study music, graduated in 1999, and continued university studies. Especially during the 1990s and 2000s, Chang had major roles as a soloist with many of the world's major orchestras.

Cher

Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian; May 20, 1946) is an American singer, actress and television host. Commonly referred to by the media as the Goddess of Pop, she has been described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry. She is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances during her six-decade-long career.

Cher gained popularity in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher after their song "I Got You Babe" reached number one on the American and British charts. By the end of 1967, they had sold 40 million records worldwide and had become, according to Time magazine, rock's "it" couple. She began her solo career simultaneously, releasing in 1966 her first million-seller song, "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)". She became a television personality in the 1970s with her shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched by over 30 million viewers weekly during its three-year run, and Cher. She emerged as a fashion trendsetter by wearing elaborate outfits on her television shows.

While working on television, Cher established herself as a solo artist with the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves", "Half-Breed", and "Dark Lady". After her divorce from Sonny Bono in 1975, she launched a comeback in 1979 with the disco album Take Me Home and earned $300,000 a week for her 1980 1982 concert residency in Las Vegas.

In 1982, Cher made her Broadway debut in the play Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and starred in its film adaptation. She subsequently received critical acclaim for her performances in films such as Silkwood (1983), Mask (1985), The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and Moonstruck (1987), with the latter having earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then revived her musical career by recording the rock-inflected albums Cher (1987), Heart of Stone (1989) and Love Hurts (1991), all of which yielded successful singles such as "I Found Someone", "If I Could Turn Back Time" and "Love and Understanding".

Cher reached a new commercial peak in 1998 with the dance-pop album Believe, whose title track became the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist in the UK. It features the pioneering use of Auto-Tune, also known as the "Cher effect". Her 2002 2005 Living Proof: The Farewell Tour became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time, earning $250 million. In 2008, she signed a $180 million deal to headline the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for three years. In 2018, Cher returned to film for her first on-screen role since 2010's Burlesque, starring in the musical romantic comedy film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Inspired by the film, the album Dancing Queen (2018) debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, tying with 2013's Closer to the Truth for Cher's highest-charting solo album in the U.S.

Cher has won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and an award from the Kennedy Center Honors and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, among several other honors. She has sold 100 million records worldwide to date, becoming one of the best-selling music artists in history. She is the only artist to date to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in six consecutive decades, from the 1960s to the 2010s. Outside of her music and acting, she is noted for her political views, philanthropic endeavors, and social activism, including LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was minister. At the age of 18, she embarked on a secular musical career as a recording artist for Columbia Records. While Franklin's career did not immediately flourish, she found acclaim and commercial success after signing with Atlantic Records in 1966. Hit songs such as "Respect", "Chain of Fools", "Think", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)", and "I Say a Little Prayer", propelled her past her musical peers. By the end of the 1960s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as "The Queen of Soul".

Franklin continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amazing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976) before experiencing problems with her record company. Franklin left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. She appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It (1982), Who's Zoomin' Who? (1985), and Aretha (1986) on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the Top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song "A Rose Is Still a Rose"; later, she released an album of the same name which was certified gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of "Nessun dorma" at the Grammy Awards; she filled in at the last minute for Luciano Pavarotti, who canceled his appearance after the show had already begun. In a widely noted performance, she paid tribute to 2015 honoree Carole King by singing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the Kennedy Center Honors.

Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries, and 20 number-one R&B singles. She is the most charted female artist in history. Franklin's well-known hits include "Rock Steady", "Call Me", "Ain't No Way", "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)", "Spanish Harlem", "Day Dreaming", "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", "Something He Can Feel", "Jump to It", "Freeway of Love", "Who's Zoomin' Who", and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (a duet with George Michael). She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (1968-1975). Franklin is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1987, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked her number one on its list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" and number nine on its list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2019 awarded Franklin a posthumous special citation "for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades."

Lady Gaga

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative work and visual experimentation. Gaga began performing as a teenager, singing at open mic nights and acting in school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21, through New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, before dropping out to pursue a music career. When Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, she worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where Akon helped her sign a joint deal with Interscope Records and his own label KonLive Distribution in 2007. She rose to prominence the following year with her debut album, the electropop record The Fame, and its chart-topping singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), featuring the singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro", was also successful.

Gaga's second full-length album, Born This Way (2011), explored electronic rock and techno-pop. It peaked atop the US Billboard 200 and sold more than one million copies in the country in its first week. Its title track became the fastest selling song on the iTunes Store with over a million downloads in less than a week. Gaga experimented with EDM on her third studio album, Artpop (2013), which reached number one in the US and included the single "Applause". Her collaborative jazz album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek (2014), and her soft rock-influenced fifth studio album, Joanne (2016), also topped the US charts. During this period, Gaga ventured into acting, playing leading roles in the miniseries American Horror Story: Hotel (2015 2016), for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, and the critically acclaimed musical drama A Star Is Born (2018). She also contributed to the latter's soundtrack, which received a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and made her the only woman to achieve five US number one albums in the 2010s. Its lead single, "Shallow", earned Gaga the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Having sold 27 million albums and 146 million singles as of January 2016, Gaga is one of the world's best-selling music artists. Her achievements include several Guinness world records, nine Grammy Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. She has been declared Billboard's Artist of the Year and included among Forbes's power and earnings rankings. She was ranked number four on VH1's Greatest Women in Music in 2012 and second on Time's 2011 readers' poll of the most influential people of the past ten years, and was named Billboard's Woman of the Year in 2015. She is known for her philanthropy and social activism, including her work related to LGBT rights, and for her nonprofit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on empowering youth and preventing bullying.

Billie Holiday

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 - July 17, 1959), better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.

After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where she was heard by the producer John Hammond, who commended her voice. She signed a recording contract with Brunswick in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson yielded the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which became a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia and Decca. By the late 1940s, however, she was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, she performed at a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, but her reputation deteriorated because of her drug and alcohol problems.

Though she was a successful concert performer throughout the 1950s with two further sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall, Holiday's bad health, coupled with a string of abusive relationships and ongoing drug and alcohol abuse, caused her voice to wither. Her final recordings were met with mixed reaction, owing to her damaged voice, but were mild commercial successes. Her final album, Lady in Satin, was released in 1958. Holiday died of cirrhosis on July 17, 1959.

She won four Grammy Awards, all of them posthumously, for Best Historical Album. She was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1973. Lady Sings the Blues, a film about her life, starring Diana Ross, was released in 1972. She is the primary character in the play (later made into a film) Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill; the role was originated by Reenie Upchurch in 1986, and was played by Audra McDonald on Broadway and in the film. In 2017 Holiday was inducted into the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 - February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide. Houston released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Her crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know" influenced several African-American women artists who followed in her footsteps.

Houston began singing in church as a child and became a background vocalist while in high school. With the guidance of Arista Records chairman Clive Davis, she signed to the label at the age of 19. Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and became two of the world's best-selling albums of all time. She became the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, from "Saving All My Love for You" in 1985 to "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" in 1988.

Houston made her screen acting debut in the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992). She recorded seven songs for the film's soundtrack, including "I Will Always Love You", which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. The soundtrack album received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the best-selling female album of all time, as well as the best-selling soundtrack album in history. Houston made other high-profile film appearances, including Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The theme song "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" became her eleventh and final number-one single on the Hot 100 chart, while The Preacher Wife's soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.

Following the critical and commercial success of My Love Is Your Love (1998), Houston signed a $100 million contract with Arista Records. However, her personal struggles began overshadowing her career, and the album Just Whitney (2002) received mixed reviews. Her drug use and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown were widely publicized in media. After a six-year break from recording, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart with her final studio album, I Look to You (2009).

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California. The coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards, at which she was originally scheduled to perform, and featured prominently in international media.

Carol Kaye

Carol Kaye (nee Smith, born March 24, 1935) is an American musician, who is one of the most prolific recorded bass guitarists in rock and pop music, playing on an estimated 10,000 recordings in a career spanning over 50 years.

Kaye began playing guitar in her early teens and after some time as a guitar teacher, began to perform regularly on the Los Angeles jazz and big band circuit. She started session work in 1957, and through a connection at Gold Star Studios began working for producers Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. After a bassist failed to turn up to a session in 1963, she switched to that instrument, quickly making a name for herself as one of the most in-demand session players of the 1960s, playing on numerous hits. She moved into playing on film soundtracks in the late 1960s, particularly for Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin, and began to release a series of tutoring books such as How To Play The Electric Bass. Kaye became less active towards the end of the 1970s, but has continued her career and attracted praise from other musicians.

During the peak of her years of session work, she became part of a stable of Los Angeles-based musicians.

Carole King

Carole King (born Carol Joan Klein, February 9, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999.

King's major success began in the 1960s when she and her first husband, Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen chart hits, many of which have become standards, for numerous artists. She has continued writing for other artists since then. King's success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts. After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album Writer, King scored her breakthrough with the album Tapestry, which topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.

King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her record sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be so honored. She is also a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree.

Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee (born Brenda Mae Tarpley; December 11, 1944) is an American performer and the top-charting solo female vocalist of the 1960s. She sang rockabilly, pop and country music, and had 47 US chart hits during the 1960s, and is ranked fourth in that decade surpassed only by Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Ray Charles. She is known for her 1960 hit "I'm Sorry", and 1958's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", which has become a Christmas standard.

At 4 ft 9 inches tall, she received the nickname "Little Miss Dynamite" in 1957, after recording the song "Dynamite" when she was 12, and was one of the earliest pop stars to have a major contemporary international following.

In 1969, Lee returned to the charts with her recording "Johnny One Time" penned by A.L. "Doodle" Owens and Dallas Frazier. The song reached #3 on "Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart and #41 on "Billboard's Hot 100." The song also earned Lee her second "Grammy" nomination for "Best Pop Female Vocal." Later success came with a return to her roots as a country singer, with a string of hits through the 1970s and 1980s. She is a member of the Rock and Roll, Country Music and Rockabilly Halls of Fame. She is also a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Lee is the only woman to be inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn (n e Webb; born April 14, 1932) is an American country music singer-songwriter with multiple gold albums in a career spanning almost 60 years. She is famous for hits such as "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)", "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)", "One's on the Way", "Fist City", and "Coal Miner's Daughter" along with the 1980 biographical film of the same name.

Lynn has received numerous awards and other accolades for her groundbreaking role in country music, including awards from both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music as a duet partner and an individual artist. She is the most awarded female country recording artist and the only female ACM Artist of the Decade (1970s). Lynn has sold more than 45 million albums worldwide, scored 24 No. 1 hit singles, and 11 number one albums. Lynn continues to tour, appear at the Grand Ole Opry and release new albums. She is recognized by the strength and quality of her voice still today, as well as her down to earth, quick wit and humor.

Madonna

Madonna Louise Ciccone (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of songwriting in mainstream popular music and for the imagery she uses onstage and in music videos. She has frequently reinvented her music and image while maintaining autonomy within the recording industry. Although having sparked controversy, her works have been praised by music critics. Madonna is often cited as an influence by other artists.

Born and raised in Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City in 1978 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing as a drummer, guitarist, and vocalist in the rock bands Breakfast Club and Emmy, Madonna signed with Sire Records in 1982 and released her eponymous debut album the next year. She followed it with a series of successful albums, including global bestsellers Like a Virgin (1984) and True Blue (1986) as well as Grammy Award winners Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). Many of her songs have reached the top of record charts worldwide, including "Like a Virgin", "La Isla Bonita", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Take a Bow", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes".

Madonna's popularity was further enhanced by her roles in films such as Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Dick Tracy (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), and Evita (1996). While Evita earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, many of her other films received poor reviews. As a businesswoman, Madonna founded an entertainment company called Maverick (including the label Maverick Records) in 1992. Her other ventures include fashion design, children's books, health clubs, and filmmaking. She contributes to various charities, having founded Ray of Light Foundation in 1998 and Raising Malawi in 2006.

Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is noted as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) listed her as the second highest-certified female artist in the U.S., with 64.5 million album units. According to Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo artist in its Hot 100 chart history. She is also the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, accumulating U.S. $1.4 billion from her concert tickets. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility, Madonna topped VH1's countdown of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Additionally, Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut in 1967 with Hello, I'm Dolly. With steady success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Parton's albums in the 1990s sold less well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000, including her own label, Dolly Records.

Parton's music includes 25 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. She has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 41 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. She has garnered nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, ten Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 47 Grammy nominations.

In 1999, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has composed over 3,000 songs, including "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene", "Coat of Many Colors", and "9 to 5". She is also one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. As an actress, she has starred in films such as 9 to 5 (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), for which she earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, as well as Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012).

Katy Perry

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. After singing in church during her childhood, she pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager. Perry signed with Red Hill Records and released her debut studio album Katy Hudson under her birth name in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful. She moved to Los Angeles the following year to venture into secular music after Red Hill ceased operations and she subsequently began working with producers Glen Ballard, Dr. Luke, and Max Martin. After adopting the stage name Katy Perry and being dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group and Columbia Records, she signed a recording contract with Capitol Records in April 2007.

Perry rose to fame in 2008 with the release of her second album, a pop rock record titled One of the Boys, and its singles "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot n Cold". The former track also sparked controversy for its sapphic themes. Her third album, Teenage Dream (2010), ventured into disco, and was her first album to top the U.S. Billboard 200. It topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with the singles "California Gurls", "Teenage Dream", "Firework", "E.T.", and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", while "The One That Got Away" reached number three on the chart. The album became the first by a female artist to produce five number-one songs in the U.S., and the second overall after Michael Jackson's album Bad. In 2012, Perry re-issued the album as Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, which produced the songs "Part of Me" and "Wide Awake". Her fourth album, Prism (2013), was her second to peak atop the U.S. charts. It is influenced by pop and dance, and she became the first artist with multiple videos to reach one billion views on Vevo with the videos for its songs "Roar" and "Dark Horse". Her fifth album, Witness (2017), delved into electropop and became her third album to reach number one in the U.S. "Chained to the Rhythm" was the album's most successful single, breaking Spotify's record at the time for most first-day streams for a song by a female artist.

Perry has received various awards, including four Guinness World Records, five American Music Awards, a Brit Award, and a Juno Award, and has been included in the annual Forbes lists of highest-earning women in music from 2011 2018. Her estimated net worth as of 2016 is $125 million. She is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records globally throughout her career. In film, she released an autobiographical documentary titled Katy Perry: Part of Me in 2012, and voiced Smurfette in the 2011 film The Smurfs and its sequel in 2013. Perry also began serving as a judge on American Idol in 2018.

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is a retired American popular music singer known for singing in a wide range of genres including rock, country, light opera, and Latin. She has earned 10 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award, and many of her albums have been certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum in the United States and internationally. She has also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award. She was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Latin Recording Academy in 2011 and also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy in 2016. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. On July 28, 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities. In 2019, she will receive a joint star with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their work as the group Trio.

In total, she has released over 30 studio albums and 15 compilation or greatest hits albums. Ronstadt charted 38 Billboard Hot 100 singles, with 21 reaching the top 40, 10 in the top 10, three at number 2, and "You're No Good" at number 1. This success did not translate to the UK, with only her single "Blue Bayou" reaching the UK Top 40. Her duet with Aaron Neville, "Don't Know Much", peaked at number 2 in December 1989. In addition, she has charted 36 albums, 10 top-10 albums and three number 1 albums on the Billboard Pop Album Chart. Her autobiography, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir, was published in September 2013. It debuted in the Top 10 on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Ronstadt has collaborated with artists in diverse genres, including Bette Midler, Billy Eckstine, Frank Zappa, Carla Bley (Escalator Over the Hill), Rosemary Clooney, Flaco Jiminez, Philip Glass, Warren Zevon, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash, and Nelson Riddle. She has lent her voice to over 120 albums and has sold more than 100 million records, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. Christopher Loudon, of Jazz Times, wrote in 2004 that Ronstadt is "blessed with arguably the most sterling set of pipes of her generation."

After completing her last live concert in late 2009, Ronstadt retired in 2011. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in December 2012, which left her unable to sing.

Diana Ross

Diana Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown's most successful act, and are the best charting girl group in US history, as well as one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. The group released a record-setting twelve number-one hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", "You Can't Hurry Love", "You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Child", and "Someday We'll Be Together".

Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her eponymous debut solo album that same year, featuring the number-one Pop hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". She later released the album Touch Me in the Morning in 1973; its title track reached number 1, as her second solo No. 1 hit. She continued a successful solo career through the 1970s, which included hit albums like Mahogany and Diana Ross and their number-one hit singles, "Theme from Mahogany" and "Love Hangover", respectively. Her 1980 album Diana produced another number-one single, "Upside Down", as well as the international hit "I'm Coming Out". Ross' final single with Motown during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US number-one Pop hit, the duet "Endless Love" featuring Lionel Richie, whose solo career was launched with its success.

Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues (1972); she recorded its soundtrack, which became a number-one hit. She also starred in two other feature films, Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978), later acting in the television films Out of Darkness (1994), for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and Double Platinum (1999).

Ross was named the "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history, due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist. In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of the Supremes, alongside Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

She is a 12-time Grammy nominee, never earning a competitive honor, but later became the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. In December 2016, Billboard magazine named her the 50th most successful dance artist of all time. In Billboard magazine's Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists chart, she ranked 16th as the lead singer of the Supremes and 26th as a solo artist. In December 2018, Diana Ross consolidated her status as a dance diva by ranking #3 in the Billboard Dance Club Songs Artists year-end chart.

Selena

Selena Quintanilla-Perez (Spanish: [seˈlena kintaˈniʝa ˈpeɾes]; April 16, 1971 - March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. Billboard magazine named her the top-selling Latin artist of the 1990s decade, while her posthumous collaboration with MAC cosmetics became the best-selling celebrity collection in cosmetics history. Media outlets called her the "Tejano Madonna" for her clothing choices. She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into the mainstream market.

The youngest child of the Quintanilla family, she debuted on the music scene in 1980 as a member of the band Selena y Los Dinos, which also included her elder siblings A.B. Quintanilla and Suzette Quintanilla. She began recording professionally in 1982. In the 1980s, she was often criticized and was refused bookings at venues across Texas for performing Tejano music in a male-dominated music genre. However, her popularity grew after she won the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1987, which she won nine consecutive times. She signed with EMI Latin in 1989 and released her self-titled debut album the same year, while her brother became her principal music producer and songwriter.

Selena released Entre a Mi Mundo (1992), which peaked at number one on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart for eight consecutive months. The album's commercial success led music critics to call it the "breakthrough" recording of her musical career. One of its singles, "Como la Flor", became one of her most popular signature songs. Live! (1993) won Best Mexican/American Album at the 1994 Grammy Awards, becoming the first recording by a female Tejano artist to do so. In 1994, she released Amor Prohibido, which became one of the best-selling Latin albums in the United States. It was critically acclaimed as being responsible for Tejano music's first marketable era as it became one of the most popular Latin music subgenres at the time.

Selena and her guitarist, Chris Perez, eloped in April 1992 after her father raised concerns over their relationship. On March 31, 1995, she was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar, her friend and former manager of her Selena Etc. boutiques. Saldivar was cornered by police when she attempted to flee, and threatened to kill herself, but was convinced to give herself up and was sentenced to life in prison with a possible parole after 30 years. Two weeks later, George W. Bush, the governor of Texas at the time, declared Selena's birthday Selena Day in Texas. Her posthumous crossover album, Dreaming of You (1995), debuted atop the Billboard 200, making Selena the first Latin artist to accomplish this feat. In 1997, Warner Bros. released Selena, a film about her life and career, which starred Jennifer Lopez as Selena and Lupe Ontiveros as Saldivar. As of 2015, Selena has sold over 65 million albums worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist in Latin music history.

Nina Simone

Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 - April 21, 2003), known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well-received audition, which she attributed to racial discrimination. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to "Nina Simone" to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play "the devil's music" or so-called "cocktail piano". She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with the Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with "I Loves You, Porgy". Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Barbra Streisand

Barbara Joan "Barbra" Streisand (born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, actress, and filmmaker. In a career spanning six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment and has been recognized with two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes. She is among a small group of entertainers who have been honored with an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award though only three were competitive awards and is one of only two artists in that group who have also won a Peabody.

After beginning a successful recording career in the 1960s, Streisand ventured into film by the end of that decade. She starred in the critically acclaimed Funny Girl, for which she won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Her other films include The Owl and the Pussycat, The Way We Were, and A Star Is Born, for which she received her second Academy Award, composing music for the love theme "Evergreen", the first woman to be honored as a composer. With the release of Yentl in 1983, Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. The film won an Oscar for Best Score and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical; Streisand received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, the first (and to date only) woman to win that award.

Streisand is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with more than 68.5 million albums in the U.S. and with a total of 150 million albums and singles sold worldwide making her the best-selling female artist among top-selling artists recognized by the Recording Industry Association of America. The RIAA and Billboard recognize Streisand as holding the record for the most top 10 albums of any female recording artist: a total of 34 since 1963. According to Billboard, Streisand holds the record for the female with the most number one albums (11). Billboard also recognizes Streisand as the greatest female of all time on its Billboard 200 chart and one of the greatest artists of all time on its Hot 100 chart. Streisand is the only recording artist to have a number-one album in each of the last six decades, having released 53 gold albums, 31 platinum albums, and 14 multi-platinum albums in the United States.

Donna Summer

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 - May 17, 2012), widely known by her stage name based on her married name Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Summer was the first artist in history to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the United States Billboard 200 chart and charted four number-one singles in the US within a 12-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 130 million records worldwide, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. She also charted two number-one singles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the US and a number-one single in the United Kingdom.

Summer earned a total of 42 hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 in her lifetime, with 14 of those reaching the top-ten. She claimed a top 40 hit every year between 1975 and 1984, and from her first top-ten hit in 1976, to the end of 1982, she had 12 top-ten hits (10 were top-five hits), more than any other act during that time period. She returned to the Hot 100's top-five in 1983, and claimed her final top-ten hit in 1989 with "This Time I Know It's for Real". Her most recent Hot 100 hit came in 1999 with "I Will Go with You (Con Te Partiro)". While her fortunes on the Hot 100 waned through those decades, Summer remained a force on the US Dance Club Songs chart over her entire career.

While influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, Summer became the lead singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting and singing in Europe, where she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte in Munich, where they recorded influential disco hits such as "Love to Love You Baby" and "I Feel Love", marking her breakthrough into an international career.

Summer returned to the United States in 1975, and other hits such as "Last Dance", "MacArthur Park", "Heaven Knows", "Hot Stuff", "Bad Girls", "Dim All the Lights", "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (duet with Barbra Streisand) and "On the Radio" followed. She became known as the Queen of Disco, while her music gained a global following.

Summer died on May 17, 2012, from lung cancer, at her home in Naples, Florida. In her obituary in The Times, she was described as the "undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom" who reached the status of "one of the world's leading female singers." Giorgio Moroder described Summer's work with them on the song "I Feel Love" as "really the start of electronic dance" music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In December 2016, Billboard ranked her as the 6th most successful dance artist of all time.

Tina Turner

Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939) is an internationally recognized singer, songwriter, and actress. She is originally from the United States, and has been a Swiss citizen since 2013. Turner rose to prominence with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm before recording hit singles both with Ike and as a solo performer. One of the best-selling recording artists of all time, she has been referred to as The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Turner is noted for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, career longevity, and trademark legs.

Anna Mae Bullock was born in Nutbush, Tennessee. She began her career in 1958 as a featured singer with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, first recording under the name "Little Ann". Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue with the single "A Fool In Love." Success followed with a string of notable hits credited to the duo, including "River Deep Mountain High" (1966), "Proud Mary" (1971) and "Nutbush City Limits" (1973), a song that she wrote. Tina Turner married Ike Turner in 1962. In her autobiography, I, Tina: My Life Story (1986), Tina Turner revealed that she had been subjected to domestic violence by Ike Turner prior to their 1976 split and subsequent 1978 divorce. Raised a Baptist, she became an adherent of Nichiren Buddhism in 1973, crediting the spiritual chant of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with helping her to endure during difficult times. After her divorce and professional separation from Ike, Turner rebuilt her career through live performances.

In the 1980s, Turner launched a major comeback as a solo artist. The 1983 single "Let's Stay Together" was followed by the 1984 release of her fifth solo album, Private Dancer, which became a worldwide success. The album contained the song "What's Love Got to Do with It"; the song became Turner's biggest hit and won four Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year. Turner's solo success continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s with multi-platinum albums and hit singles. In 1993, What's Love Got to Do with It, a biographical film adapted from Turner's autobiography, was released along with an accompanying soundtrack album. In 2008, Turner returned from semi-retirement to embark on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour; the tour became one of the highest-selling ticketed shows of all time. Turner has also garnered success acting in films such as the 1975 rock musical Tommy, the 1985 action film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and the 1993 film Last Action Hero.

Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards; those awards include eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Rolling Stone ranked Turner 63rd on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time and 17th on its list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. Turner has her own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. In 1991, Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Ike Turner. She was a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

Dionne Warwick

Marie Dionne Warwick (nee Warrick; born December 12, 1940) is an American singer, actress, and television show host who became a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization and a United States Ambassador of Health.

Warwick ranks among the 41 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. She is one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time, with 56 of her singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998, and 80 singles making all Billboard charts combined.