Are these the greatest ever female rock stars?

9 July 2019, 12:11 | Updated: 9 July 2019, 12:16

Lauren Mayberry, Skin, Ellie Rowsell, Bjork and Jade Bird
Lauren Mayberry, Skin, Ellie Rowsell, Bjork and Jade Bird. Picture: Mike Windle/WireImage/Martyn Goodacre/Burak Cingi/Redferns/Santiago Felipe/Mark Holloway/Redferns/Getty Images

We celebrate Courtney Love's birthday by looking at some of the most influential women in rock.

  1. Courtney Love

    Courtney Michelle Harrison has been vilified, adored, appeared in movies and fronted her own band Hole.

    Courtney Love
    Courtney Love. Picture: Lester Cohen/WireImage/Getty Images
  2. Ellie Rowsell

    The excellent frontwoman of London rockers Wolf Alice, one of the best new UK bands of recent years.

    Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice
    Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice. Picture: Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images
  3. Lauren Mayberry

    The young singer from Glasgow electro-pop trio CHVRCHES was born in Stirling and has a law degree to her name.

    Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES
    Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES. Picture: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images
  4. Florence Welch

    Florence Leontine Mary Welch hails from Camberwell and is the unforgettable frontwoman of The Machine...

    Florence + The Machine
    Florence + The Machine. Picture: Samir Hussein/Getty Images
  5. Patti Smith

    One of the most influential female musicians of the last 50 years, Patti's seminal 1975 debut album Horses led her to be dubbed the High Priestess of Punk.

    Patti Smith
    Patti Smith. Picture: Dick Barnatt/Redferns/Getty Images
  6. Kim Deal

    One of a pair of twin sisters, Kim joined the Pixies and in 1986 and became one of the most famous female alt.rock musicians. Her side project The Breeders saw her collaborate with sibling Kelley, but her association with the reunited Pixies came to an end in 2013.

    Kim and Kelley Deal of The Breeders
    Kim and Kelley Deal of The Breeders. Picture: Karl Walter/Getty Images
  7. Charlotte Cooper

    The dynamic bassist with The Subways joined brothers Billy Lunn and Josh Morgan in the power trio from Welwyn Garden City.

    Charlotte Cooper of The Subways
    Charlotte Cooper of The Subways. Picture: Yani Yordanova/Redferns/Getty Images
  8. Björk

    A former child prodigy, Icelandic musician Björk Guðmundsdóttir achieved fame with the much-loved Sugarcubes, before heading off for a stellar solo career in 1993.

    Björk onstage with The Sugarcubes
    Björk onstage with The Sugarcubes. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images
  9. Romy Madley Croft

    Romy is one of the founder members of London's The xx. Originally there was another female member: Baria Qureshi, who left just before the release of their debut album, xx.

    Romy Madley Croft of The xx
    Romy Madley Croft of The xx. Picture: Brian Rasic/Getty Images
  10. Shirley Manson

    Edinburgh native Shirley Manson was originally in the short-lived band Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, before hooking up with US musicians and producers Butch Vig and Duke Erikson to form Garbage.

    Shirley Manson of Garbage
    Shirley Manson of Garbage. Picture: Bob Carey/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
  11. Chrissie Hynde

    Born in Akron, Ohio, Chrissie Hynde came to London in the mid-1970s and was swept up in the burgeoning punk scene. She fronted the acclaimed post-punk band The Pretenders, who hit Number One in 1980 with Brass In Pocket.

    Chrissie Hynde
    Chrissie Hynde. Picture: Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images
  12. Amy Winehouse

    The late, great Winehouse was probably the best voice of her generation. Her two albums - Frank and Back To Black - are modern classics and her death in 2011, aged 27 stopped a huge talent in its tracks.

    Amy Winehouse
    Amy Winehouse. Picture: Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images
  13. Brody Dalle

    Frontwoman with The Distillers, Brody has been married to not one, but two rock frontmen: Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age. She followed up The Distillers with a project called Spinnerette, but is now working solo.

    Brody Dalle of The Distillers
    Brody Dalle of The Distillers. Picture: Mike FANOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
  14. Hayley Williams

    The voice of Paramore, Hayley was born in Meridian, Mississippi in 1988.

    Hayley Williams of Paramore
    Hayley Williams of Paramore. Picture: C Flanigan/WireImage/Getty Images
  15. PJ Harvey

    Polly Jean Harvey made a huge impression in 1992 when her debut album Dry. She's the only artist to win the Mercury Music Prize twice - in 2001 for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea and in 2011 for Let England Shake.

    PJ Harvey
    PJ Harvey. Picture: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  16. Siouxsie Sioux

    Born Susan Ballion, Siouxsie was part of the "Bromley Contingent", a group of punk Sex Pistols fans. She formed her own band in 1977 with Sid Vicious on drums, but luckily hired some proper musicians and made some of the most stunning post-punk albums. The Banshees wound up in the mid-1990s and Siouxsie is now a solo artist.

    Siouxsie Sioux
    Siouxsie Sioux. Picture: Clare Muller/Redferns/Getty Images
  17. Debbie Harry

    Part of the mid-1970s CBGBs scene, Debbie Harry became world famous by fronting New Wave legends Blondie.

    Debbie Harry
    Debbie Harry. Picture: Gus Stewart/Redferns/Getty Images
  18. Karen O

    Karen Lee Orzolek is the rambunctious frontwoman of New York scenesters Yeah Yeah Yeahs and one of our favourite people in the whole world.

    Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Picture: Jo Hale/Getty Images
  19. Skin

    Deborah Anne Dyer is better known as Skin, the fiery singer with rocker Skunk Anansie.

    Skin from Skunk Anansie
    Skin from Skunk Anansie. Picture: Eric CATARINA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
  20. Beth Gibbons

    The bewitching singer from Portishead was actually born in… Exeter.

    Beth Gibbons of Portishead
    Beth Gibbons of Portishead. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images
  21. Cerys Matthews

    The memorable front woman with Welsh wonders Catatonia is now better known as a radio presenter.

    Cerys Matthews of Catatonia
    Cerys Matthews of Catatonia. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images
  22. Beth Ditto

    The amazing Ms Ditto is known to her family as Mary Beth Patterson and has been performing with [The] Gossip since 1999.

    Beth Ditto of Gossip
    Beth Ditto of Gossip. Picture: Annabel Staff/Redferns/Gettty Images
  23. Elastica

    The Britpop band has a strong female contingent: formed by ex-Suede guitarist Justine Frischmann, she was joined by Donna Matthews on guitar and Annie Holland on bass. Holland left the band in 1996 and was replaced by Sheila Chipperfield.

    Justine Frischmann of Elastica
    Justine Frischmann of Elastica. Picture: Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
  24. Nina Persson

    The charismatic singer with Swedish pop band The Cardigans has recorded solo work under her own name and as A Camp.

    The Cardigans featuring Nina Persson
    The Cardigans featuring Nina Persson. Picture: Andy Willsher/Redferns/Getty Images
  25. Gillian Gilbert

    Originally a member of Manchester girl band The Inadequates, she started dating Joy Division's Steve Morris in the late 1970s. When JD singer Ian Curtis died in 1980, she joined the remaining members as New Order, taking over extra guitar and keyboard duties. She left the band for ten years to look after her daughter, who was ill, but rejoined in 2011.

    Gillian Gilbert of New Order
    Gillian Gilbert of New Order. Picture: Bob Berg/Getty Images
  26. Candida Doyle

    Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Candida moved to Sheffield aged ten and became the keyboard player in Pulp in 1984. She's been with them ever since.

    Pulp featuring Candida Doyle
    Pulp featuring Candida Doyle. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images
  27. Meg White

    Jack White's partner-in-crime in The White Stripes attracted much derision for her musicianship, but none other than Dave Grohl named her as one of his favourite drummers: "Nobody fucking plays the drums like that”, he said.

    The White Stripes
    The White Stripes. Picture: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images
  28. Charlotte Hatherley

    Charlotte originally came to fame as the second guitarist in Ash, but later carved out her own, acclaimed solo career, which included a stint playing with Bat For Lashes.

    Charlotte Hatherley of Ash
    Charlotte Hatherley of Ash. Picture: Andy Willsher/Redferns/Getty Images
  29. D'Arcy Wretzky

    She may have fallen from grace in recent years with legal battles and so on, but the original Smashing Pumpkins bassist was a striking and memorable presence in the testosterone-heavy world of grunge.

    D'Arcy Wretzky of Smashing Pumpkins
    D'Arcy Wretzky of Smashing Pumpkins. Picture: Peter Still/Redferns/Getty Images