The 50 Most Important Queer Women in Music


39 Kate Pierson

As the lead singer of The B-52s, Kate is not only the voice of the classic mega-hits, “Love Shack” and “Rock Lobster,” she also lent her unmistakable pipes to songs like “Shiny Happy People” with R.E.M. Every album her band released has peaked on the Hot 100 Billboard charts. Kate has collaborated with several other notable artists including The Ramones, Debbie Harry and David Byrne. Pierson didn’t come out until 2008, when she met her partner.

38 Rosie Lopez

As the Vice President at Tommy Boy Entertainment, Rosie has brought several gay artists on board under their Silver Label, including The Cliks and Hunter Valentine. She also served as the producer of soundtracks for Queer as Folk, The L Word and Goldfish Memory.

37 Jenny Hoyston

San Francisco’s Erase Errata shook up the indie rock scene in 1999 when the riot grrrl era had been deemed “over” by releasing new and exciting political, queer no wave music. The band’s three albums were loved by critics, and when they finally disbanded, Hoyston continued to make records under the moniker, Paradise Island and with a new trio, LESBIANS. This year, she founded Fabulosa Fest, a music and arts festival for women, queers and allies.

36 Sophie B Hawkins

In 1992, her single “Damn Wish I Was Your Lover” hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Three years later, “As I Lay Me Down” came in at number 6. The bisexual musician has had success with several other singles throughout her career, and was the focus of a 1998 documentary about her life, The Cream Will Rise. In 2009, she remade “Lover” to become “Damn We Wish You Were President” for then-hopeful Hillary Clinton.

35 Mary Gauthier

The New Orleans-based artist didn’t begin her musical career until age 35, but was clearly born to be heard. Her 2002 album, Filth and Fire, was hailed as  the “Best Indy CD of the Year” by the New York Times. Her next record was with Universal Records, winning her the American Music Award for New/Emerging Artist of the Year.

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