10 iconic rock chicks from the sixties you need to listen to

July 19, 2020
Iconic 1960s female rock singers

Becoming a rock star required a lot of dedication, talent and style in the sixties. And if you were a girl, it would be ten times harder.

While many men, like John Lennon, claimed that ‘girls can’t play the guitar’, quite a few women picked up the instrument anyway and started making some noise. Here’s a list of ten 1960s female rock singers that broke the rules and paved the way for artists like Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett and Courtney Love to be their bad ass selves. Here are the best women of sixties rock.

Janis Joplin

Janis is probably one of the most famous on this list. She bloomed in the Height Ashbury scene in San Francisco by becoming the lead singer of the band Big Brother and The Holding Company. It wasn’t long before she outshone the band and broke out on her own, becoming one of the most successfull singers of the 60s. You can see a list of Janis Joplin’s best songs here.

Marianne Faithfull

Sometimes people know her more as Mick Jagger’s girlfriend but that’s such a shame. She had this medieval elf-like voice that made every song sound like art. She even borrowed a Stones song for her debut album that got her career kickstarted. She went on to releasing a few more albums and appeared in movies.

Wanda Jackson

Wanda is known to many as the ‘First Lady of rockabilly’. She sang early rock and roll from underneath a huge brunette beehive and was worshipped by the rockers. Her song ‘Stupid Cupid’ put her officially on the history records.

Grace Slick

Queen of the hippies and one of the singers of Jefferson Airplane. She sang lead on some of their most famous tracks like ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Somebody To Love’ but I would have like to have heard her on more.

Cass Elliot

Cass was one of the lead singers of the Mamas And Papas but stood out for being totally and unapologetically herself. She did a couple of solo albums after the band which showcased her incredible voice that was always full of emotion.

Tina Turner

A lot of people think Tina Turner is the original rock chick. She’d come onstage with such ferocious energy and a voice that could knock the audience’s head off. And of course, that energy has stood the test of time.


After having two unsuccesful singles with Columbia Records, Melanie didn’t give up on singing. She found a new label, made an album and ended up on the stage at Woodstock. Her career carried on through to till the 80s, and was celebrated for her husky voice, flower child aesthetic and her tenacious energy.


Tall, blonde and moody. Andy Warhol fell in love with this Viking-like girl. After they met, it wasn’t too long before she sang with his band The Velvet Underground. Her low, bored voice really complimented the band’s avante garde sound that wasn’t really appreciated at the time but now, their debut album together has become a cult classic. After, she released a few records on her own and then completely changed her image. She dyed her hair dark and began getting interested in the occult. Her music became more gloomy and now is often attributed to influencing the gothic scene.

Joni Mitchell

From a young age, Joni Mitchell decided she would be a folk singer. She quickly began busking and penning songs that she would perform on her acoustic guitar. It wasn’t long before she came one of the most important songwriters of the era.


Esther ‘Jinx’ Dawson headed the band Coven. She’s seen as an original goth and metal singer after they released their first album in 1969. Coven’s music covered dark subjects such as witches, satanic prayers and ‘Black Sabbath’. This didn’t put people off. In fact there was a lot of interest in the Church of Satanism at the time, which even lured the likes of Jayne Mansfield.

P.S. Loving the femme-rock vibes? Listen to my sixties rock chick playlist on Spotify.

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