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Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet: Alternative's Fiercest Frontwomen

by Stephanie Benson

Cheat Sheet: Alternative's Fiercest Frontwomen


What's the old quote? "Behind every successful man is a woman"? So, what about every successful woman? What about the fabulous females who've taken alternative music through a wild and exhilarating course over the last few decades? Sure, most of them still have the men around -- relegated to the background, of course -- but would bands like Garbage, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, X, the Pretenders, Paramore or the Cranberries be anything without their respective leading ladies? That's easy: nope.

So, here we dig back into the vaults with classic albums from Joan Jett, Blondie and Siouxsie, move into the '90s with Hole, No Doubt and The Breeders, and take a look at the reigning queens of alternative music, including Karen O, Alison Mosshart, Alexis Krauss and Hayley Williams, all of whom continue to prove raucous rock and gritty punk can be even more searing and subversive when a woman's at the wheel.