15 Best Lesbian Rock Singers

Best Lesbian Rock Singers

Wondering which female rockers are lesbian? This blog post showcases the best and most influential lesbian rock singers who have made a significant impact on music, and stood as strong role models for the LGBTQ+ community.

1. k.d. lang

Let’s talk about k.d. lang, an iconic figure in the world of music and a celebrated member of our LGBTQ+ musicians list. A Canadian singer-songwriter highly revered by rock fans, her influence extends beyond just her home country; it's felt across borders and oceans.

She took the pop-folk music realm by storm with her brilliant blend of genres that resonates with many. But what makes this melody maven even more special to us is her unwavering pride in who she is.

She embodies empowerment through self-expression and continues to inspire modern female rock singers striving to make their mark today.

k d lang

2. Brandi Carlile

Our next rocker on the list is Brandi Carlile, a talented singer-songwriter and activist from America. She has quite an impressive resume under her belt. Dabbling in folk rock and alternative country, she’s made waves in these genres, securing top spots on Billboard's Top Rock and Folk Albums charts.

Known for her resonant singing voice that can hold its own amongst legends, she cites Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and the Indigo Girls as influences on her music.

But it doesn't stop there – Carlile also wears the hat of an author aside from being a devoted activist for various societal issues.

Brandi Carlile

3. Otep Shamaya

Otep Shamaya, a commanding presence in the rock scene, has left an indelible mark with her potent artistry. As a fierce frontwoman of the band Otep, she's shattered barriers with her unapologetic lyrics and dynamic performances. A catalyst for change, Shamaya's fearless expression resonates deeply, empowering listeners to find strength in their identities.

Shamaya is an advocate for equality, voicing her beliefs and standing up against injustice. Through her music and outspokenness, Shamaya ignites conversations, instigating a powerful ripple effect that sparks unity and acceptance within a community that seeks a voice and a path to solidarity.

Otep Shamaya

4. Melissa Etheridge

Let's dive into the collection of lesbian rock icons with Melissa Etheridge, an American musician known for her distinct raspy-voiced singing style. She is a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ and music communities, recognized for blending confessional lyrics with pop-based folk-rock in her remarkable compositions.

As pioneers of the industry go, Etheridge stands tall, inspiring countless lesbian women through her relatable narratives and unforgettable performances.

Melissa Etheridge started her career as part of an inaugural dance group before becoming a staple in our playlists. This isn't just about melodies; it's also about making meaningful contributions to society.

Melissa Etheridge

5. Kaki King

Kaki King, an exceptional musical virtuoso, has etched a captivating trajectory in the industry. Renowned for her groundbreaking guitar techniques, King's career embodies innovation and trailblazing artistry. King's visibility resonates with fans, fostering a climate of authenticity. Her art, unconfined by conventions, has inspired countless listeners to embrace their true selves.

With an expansive body of work, she's not only a beacon for musical exploration but also an advocate for diverse voices, crafting an inclusive space where individuals find solace and representation through her emotive melodies.

Kaki King

6. Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was an extraordinary rock singer who left an indelible mark on the music industry. She captivated audiences worldwide with her powerful mezzo-soprano vocal range and electrifying stage presence.

Not only was Janis Joplin a talented musician, but she also played a significant role in LGBTQ+ representation within the rock genre.

As one of the four iconic lesbian and bisexual women inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she challenged societal norms at a time when being openly gay was not widely accepted.

Janis Joplin

7. Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman is a singer and songwriter who made it among our list of the best lesbian rock singers. Her music career has spanned over three decades, earning her numerous accolades, including Grammy Awards.

Tracy's songs are known for their socially conscious lyrics and her tender voice that resonates with listeners. Hits like “Fast Car,” “Give Me One Reason,” and “Talkin' 'bout a Revolution” have become anthems for social justice movements.

While Tracy Chapman's personal life, including her sexuality, has been kept private, she remains an icon in the music industry. She performed on the main stage of the 1997 Lilith Fair alongside other talented artists.

Tracy Chapman

8. Amy Ray

Amy Ray is an incredible singer-songwriter and a prominent figure in the music industry. As one half of the folk duo Indigo Girls, she has been making music for over 35 years alongside her partner Emily Saliers.

Amy's voice is truly unique and highly respected among her peers. She started her musical journey back in high school when she formed a duo with Emily, and they haven't looked back since.

Amy Ray's talent extends beyond just singing; she also plays multiple instruments and writes her own songs. Her musical style can be described as a blend of folk and rock, with influences from various genres.

Amy Ray

9. Lynn Gunn

Lynn Gunn is an incredibly talented and influential rock singer, best known as the frontwoman of the American rock band Pvris. As a member of PVRIS, Lynn Gunn has gained a significant following and is recognized for her diverse musical styles and powerful vocals.

She openly discusses her homosexuality and advocates for LGBTQ+ representation in the music industry. Lynn Gunn's ethereal and dreamy sound adds a unique dimension to PVRIS's music, captivating fans with its emotional depth.

She creates incredible music on her own and collaborates with other queer female and lesbian artists in the industry, further promoting diversity within the music community.

Lynn Gunn

10. Phranc

Phranc, born Susan Gottlieb, emerged as a transformative figure in the world of music, carving a path that defied conventions and challenged societal norms. Rising from the punk rock scene, Phranc's influence goes far beyond her music, echoing the groundbreaking spirit of Ma Rainey.

Known for her distinctive blend of folk, punk, and rock, Phranc's musical journey parallels the trailblazing spirit of Ma Rainey. Her unmistakable flattop haircut and unapologetic authenticity left an indelible mark on the LGBTQ+ and music communities alike.

As an openly lesbian artist, Phranc fearlessly embraced her identity, intertwining her music with lyrics about same-sex love and experiences.


11. Julien Baker

Julien Baker is an incredibly talented indie rock singer and songwriter who has made a powerful impact on the music industry. Her unique sound, marked by haunting vocals and raw emotion, has captivated audiences worldwide.

Julien's debut studio album, “Sprained Ankle,” gained critical acclaim upon its release in 2015 and showcased her ability to create deeply personal and introspective music.

As a lesbian artist, Julien represents LGBTQ+ voices in the rock genre with authentic lyrics that explore themes of identity, self-expression, and emotional vulnerability.

Julien Baker

12. Holly Near

Holly Near, a name that reverberates through the annals of music history, is a true pioneer and a resounding voice of authenticity. Born in 1949, Near's journey through the realms of folk and rock is a testament to her unwavering commitment to her artistry and identity.

As a folk singer, songwriter, and social activist, Holly Near's influence is not limited to the notes she sings but extends to the very core of societal change.

Much like the legendary Ma Rainey, Holly Near embraced her role as a trailblazer, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and weaving her personal experiences as a lesbian woman into her music.

Holly Near

13. King Princess

King Princess, whose real name is Mikaela Mullaney Straus, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Brooklyn. She is openly gay and identifies as genderqueer.

King Princess gained widespread recognition with her debut single “1950” in 2018, which quickly became an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community. Her music combines elements of pop, rock, and indie genres to create a unique sound that showcases her distinctive and soulful voice.

Known for her powerful lyrics that explore love, desire, and queer identity, King Princess has become a prominent voice in the current wave of queer artists in the music industry.

King Princess

14. Linda Perry

Linda Perry is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer who has significantly impacted the rock music industry. She gained recognition as the lead singer and primary songwriter for the rock band 4 Non-Blondes.

One of her most notable contributions to music was writing the megahit “What's Up” for her band in 1993.

Not only known for her musical abilities, Linda Perry also advocates for LGBTQ+ rights. As an openly lesbian artist, she has used her platform to promote inclusivity and equality.

Linda Perry

15. Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey, born Gertrude Pridgett in 1886, was a groundbreaking figure in the early blues music scene. She signed with Paramount Records and became one of the first blues singers to record her music, breaking barriers regardless of gender.

Ma Rainey had a profound impact on the development of blues music.

Her influence extended beyond just her musical talent. Ma Rainey mentored legendary singer Bessie Smith, and their rumored romantic relationship added another layer to her legacy.

Ma Rainey

Top Lesbian Rock Singers, Final Thoughts

These lesbian rock singers have significantly contributed to the music industry and deserve recognition for their talent and representation in the LGBTQ+ community.

From Melissa Etheridge's iconic anthem “Come to My Window” to Brandi Carlile's soulful ballads, each artist brings a unique perspective and powerful voice to the world of rock music.

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