The women of rock and roll have played a huge part in shaping the genre’s history, with many still gracing stages around the world today. In this blog we’ll be exploring the careers of five incredible female musicians, starting with legends including Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, and Stevie Nicks.
Born on the 26th of May, 1948, Stevie Nicks developed a deep love of music at an early age and by 15 was determined to be a star. In 1975 she joined the now legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac, with her then boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham. Nicks helped propel the band to success with hits like “Landslide” and “Rhiannon”, and their sophomore album Rumours (released in 1977) would go on to sell 40 million copies, placing it in the top 10 highest selling albums of all time. Nicks has also enjoyed an extremely successful solo career, with her first solo album Bella Donna earning her the title the “Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll” (according to Rolling Stone). After over 40 years in the music industry, Nicks shows no signs of slowing down and is still touring today.
Cyndi Lauper is another great female music icon, this time of a more pop rock persuasion. Lauper, who was born on the 22nd of June, 1953, shot to fame in the early 80s with the release of her first album She’s So Unusual (1983). The album was the first debut female album to chart four top-five singles on the Billboard Hot 100 – including hits like “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and “Time After Time”. Lauper’s second album True Colors was also incredibly successful, selling 7 million copies worldwide. Throughout her 30 plus year career, Lauper has collected various accolades (including a Grammy and an Emmy, as well as a Tony award for her acclaimed musical Kinky Boots) and has been an unwavering advocate for the LBTQI community. With nine studio albums under her belt, Lauper continues to enjoy great musical success and is touring Australia over a string of dates in April next year.
Patti Smith is an artist in the truest sense of the word – she’s a poet, painter, and photographer, and was one of the most influential figures of the 1970s New York punk scene. Smith was born on the 30th of December, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois, however her family relocated to New Jersey when she was 9 years old. After graduating high school and exploring several unfulfilling careers, she relocated to New York to pursue her artistic aspirations. She began performing spoken word and formed the Patti Smith Group in 1974. The group released their debut album Horses in 1975, which is considered a definitive album of the early punk rock movement, achieving huge critical and commercial success. Patti Smith went on to release three more albums before marrying MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith in 1980, leading her to
take a long period of absence from the music scene as she turned her attentions to domestic life and raising her two children. When her husband died suddenly in 1994, Smith was propelled back into making music, and with 11 studio albums under her belt she is still touring today. Smith’s long list of achievements include her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, her placement at 47 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists List, and the National Book Award she won for her memoir Just Kids.
Born in Florida on the 1st of July, 1945, Debbie Harry is an incredibly influential music icon, best known as the lead singer of new wave band Blondie, who paved the way for future female singers to rise to the top of the charts. Harry was involved in music from a young age, singing in her church choir, and later joined bands Wind in the Willows and the Stilettos. While playing in the Stillettos, Harry met guitarist Chris Stein, who would later become her boyfriend and a founding member of Blondie. Blondie’s first two albums were well received in the UK, but it wasn’t until the release of their third album Parallel Lines in 1978 that they achieved worldwide commercial success. The album featured chart topping hits like “Heart of Glass”, “Call Me”, “The Tide is High”, and “Rapture” (for which Harry is credited as being the first rapper to chart at number one in the U.S.). Harry has also enjoyed a successful solo career, releasing five solo albums and appearing in over 60 film roles. In 1999, Harry placed 12th in VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.
These four iconic female musicians are the stuff of music legend, and the fact that they are still producing records and touring the world today is a testament to their talent and dedication as artists. You can catch formidable musicians Debbie Harry and Cyndi Lauper, along with a host of up-and-coming female artists, live in concert at A Day On The Green (Rochford Wines) on April 8th 2017. Melbourne On The Move are offering coach transfers to and from the event, with a variety of pick up and drop off points along the way. Our charter bus will take the stress out of planning your day on the green, so you can sit back and enjoy the music.