Top 10 Great Underrated Female Singers

This list is my tribute to underrated or lesser known great female vocalists. These are all women who are unlikely to make it to most people’s top ten lists and I really would like to give them some exposure if possible. I must confess that this list is a little self-indulgent as these are some of my favorite singers.

9. Émilie Simon

In May 2003, she released her debut album Émilie Simon. The electronic album was critically acclaimed and went on to become a commercial success. To promote her album, she did numerous live performances and TV appearances all over France. In 2004, she was rewarded with a Victoire de la musique in the ‘Electronic Album’ category for the album. This girl needs to get the acclaim she deserves outside of France!

8. Anika Moa

Anika Moa is well known in New Zealand but not outside. She was given a contract with Atlanta Records in New York, but returned to New Zealand to pursue her music in a more relaxed way. Her albums have all been very successful in her home country and she deserves a lot more international attention. The clip above is “Falling in love again” one of the best songs on her double platinum album “Thinking Room”. One of the coolest parts of the clip above is when Anika is standing outside a 4 Square – one of New Zealand’s oldest grocery store chains – well – cool for me for reasons of nostalgia!

7. Melanie Safka

Melanie had a number of hits ultimately faded from the a list of rock music. She continues to perform to this day but is only known to her most devoted fans from the past. When first released, the song above (Brand New Key) was banned by some radio stations due to the lyrics being interpreted as being sexual innuendo.

6. Julee Cruise

With a distinctive, airy voice, Cruise has recorded three albums, but is probably best known for the lead vocal on “Falling,” the theme song for the cult U.S. television series Twin Peaks. Until recently, she was a frequent collaborator with composer Angelo Badalamenti and film director David Lynch, who produced and wrote the lyrics for most of her songs.

5. Peaches

[WARNING: The clip above contains language that will almost certainly offend some readers] Peaches is not very well known outside of her own genre (electroclash) but she is an astonishingly talented woman. This track was featured in the movie Lost in Translation. Peaches’ music is preoccupied with genderchange identity, and she often plays with traditional notions of gender identity, gender roles, and gender presentation. Her lyrics and live shows self-consciously blur the distinction between male and female; she appears on the cover of her album Fatherfucker with a full beard.

4. Janis Ian

Janis Ian’s most successful single was “At Seventeen,” released in 1975, a bittersweet commentary on adolescent cruelty and teenage angst, as reflected upon from the maturity of adulthood. “At Seventeen” received acclaim from record buyers — it charted at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart — and critics, as it won the 1975 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, beating out the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton-John and Helen Reddy. Janis is still performing regularly and recording – for a fee she will even travel to your home and give you a private concert. I have had a number of communications with Janis and she is a lovely lady with a great talent that needs to be more widespread. I recommend visiting Janis’ website and buying some of her music. Alternatively most of her albums are on iTunes – why not contribute some money to increasing her popularity!

3. Carolyne Mas

Carolyne Mas had a great career ahead of her. Unfortunately due to marketing decisions, her career was cut short. She has suffered a great deal in her life – being stabbed nine times in a break in at her home. It is a tragedy that this rising star of rock music had her career cut short by bad marketing decisions. This clip above was actually submitted to Youtube by Carolyne herself. Visit Carolyne’s website and download some great music!

2. Edie Brickell

Edie Brickell made some fame through her song “Goodtimes” which was included as a video clip in all copies of Windows 95 to demonstrate its new video abilities. The clip above was while she was with the New Bohemians before her solo career (she has since rejoined the group). I hear this song on the radio and fell in love with her voice instantly. Brickell is married to Paul Simon and they met while she was performing this song on Saturday Night Live.

1. Cass Elliot

Admittedly Cass Elliot was famous as part of the 60s group the Mamas and the Papas, but I have chosen to include her here because many younger readers won’t know who she is and many people don’t know that she had a solo career after the group split. In the clip above we see one of her great songs California Earthquake – we see her characteristic movement style and her truly astounding voice. What an icon! You may also be unaware that she played a part in the children’s movie Pufnstuf – she even has a large solo singing part in it. You can watch the clip here. Sadly, Cass Elliot (who I think could almost be considered the greatest female pop vocalist of the 20th century) died before her time at the age of 32 of a heart attack (1974).

1. Your Choice

You might have noticed that I only have 9 women on this list. I have spent the last five hours trying to think of a tenth and I can’t. Can you give my tenth lady? Tell me in the comments and I will complete the list!


I think the talent of the women above really puts modern music to shame – all of the women above have achieved their greatness through vocal talent – not marketing or publicity. It would be great if the music industry were to return to those days.

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One Direction Made Me Love Boy Bands

Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

For the past year, when I’m feeling uncertain or downtrodden or otherwise in need of a quick jolt of joy to the system, I’ve turned to One Direction. Their blissful, bop-around songs are always able to snap me out of whatever melancholy I might be feeling and lead me to exist, at least momentarily, in a world where the harmonies are abundant, the hairstyles are methodical works of art, and five earnest boys want nothing more than to tell me what makes me beautiful. My adoration for 1D strikes me as both totally great and colossally fucking weird.

See, for most of my life, the closest I got to liking boy bands was listening to, say, Orange Juice. Really, I don’t mention this to be like, WOO LOOK OVER HERE I AM SOOOO ABOVE POP MUSIC WANNA SEE MY TATTOOS? — because I don’t feel that way at all. In fact, it would have been awesome if, like all my friends growing up during the halcyon years of the boy band Holy Trinity (Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and 98 Degrees), I wanted to learn the jumpy choreography of the “Bye Bye Bye” video or sing along with the radio about exactly which way I wanted it (“that way” is the correct, albeit vague, answer, according to the Backstreet Boys).

Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

I’ve long felt a significant sense of missing out on something huge within my disdain for these meticulously constructed packages of unthreatening testosterone, as I always do when I’m unable to connect with music that seemingly everyone else in my life thinks is the world’s most special gift. I remember how, in the fifth grade, one group of girls made these awesome bootleg T-shirts emblazoned with which member of which boy band they each considered their spiritual boyfriend. I remained Kevin- or Nick- or Joe-less, which struck me as profoundly isolating. I wanted so badly to like these manicured dreamboats and the music they made, but just couldn’t reconcile that with my actual distaste for just about everything about ‘em.

So how, then, am I so obsessed with One Direction? They are, after all, a group that scans as the platonic ideal of the boy band. All the cliches associated with the genre are extended to their most extreme versions in 1D. They were literally formed on television, they’re whiter than a wedding gown, and nearly all of their songs are about chasing a dream girl that’s undefined enough to pretty much definitely be you. Maybe most tellingly of all, not only do they all have the kind of hair that directly speaks to which personality archetype they’re each supposed to fulfill (the charming one! the suave one! the funny one!), but their cutest member is named Harry Styles. Yes, his actual name is HAIRSTYLES, you guys, an appellation that speaks appropriately to how large a part those are of 1D’s image and also, in all honesty, should probably belong to a cartoon barber as opposed to a real, human person. Based on the history of the way I relate to these kinds of musical and stylistic tropes, I should want to push this band off of a cliff.

Instead, I’m overwhelmed by One Direction’s joyful noise. I love every single song on their new album, Take Me Home, so much that it makes me feel slightly rabid. Maybe I was just always holding out for the ULTIMATE boy band to come along before picking my own guy for whom I’d gladly wear my love on a T-shirt. (It’s Harry, duh, but Zayn is a close second.) I think 1D is so special and so insanely listenable because they have the moxie to be a full-stop Boy Band ™ in 2012, long after this genre was written off by even teen girls as canned and corny. “Cool factor” be damned — these boys are going to dance in unison and harmonize with gusto about wanting to take you there, wherever “there” is, whether you like it or not (and you know you do, at least a little). Even their commentary about being seen as a boy band is so on point, as when Niall Horan remarked, that, actually, they’re just “boys in a band,” thankyouverymuch. I mean, is that not just the most perfectly boy-bandiest thing a member of one could say?

But let’s be real — I’m not trying to overthink 1D, because that negates the exact reason why they’re so much fun. Instead of trying to parse WHY I love them, I’m just happy to put on “Live While We’re Young” and dance around like a crazy person. Even though it’s taken me longer than many other girls of my generation, I’m so glad to finally have a boy band to call my very own. Although I can’t figure out why Harry Styles won’t respond to me on Twitter…

Amy Rose Spiegel is a writer and student living in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Rookie and BuzzFeed Music.

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Maid Of Honor’s Hilarious Reception Rap Riffs On Eminem’s “Without Me”

1. The little sister of the bride, Jennifer Gabrielli, broke out this rap out at the reception as a surprise to the bride and groom.

Jennifer, you are a badass.

2. Eminem’s “Without Me,” for comparison’s sake.

3. And here are the full lyrics to Jennifer’s version:

“Without Me”

Jennifer Gabrielli

Maid of Honor Speech

Two lovers in love walked down the aisle, down the aisle, down the aisle

Two lovers in love walked down the aisle, down the aisle, down the aisle

Guess who’s here, to get wed

Cole and Blake, clap your hands

Cole and Blake,

Cole and Blake,

Cole and Blake,

Cole and Blake…

[Verse 1]

I’ve created a monster, ‘cause she doesn’t want to

See “Gabs” no more, she wants “Carroll,” we’re chopped liver

Well if you want Carroll, this is what I’ll give ya

A big party, but you can’t drink hard liquor

Back in time, it all started online

Blake said he was fine, but his friends knew he was lying

Big Spoon wasn’t operatin’

He couldn’t find a Match with a high-wife rating

He waited so long, then set up with Megan,

She was whack, Nicole’s feedback said we should be datin’

They found love, I saw it escalatin’, a marriage in the works they were speculatin’

So they met Cece down by the sea, and at the Montage he got down on one knee

He said, “Without you, I just can’t be. So won’t you be my Mrs. C?”

Put on this ring, pick out a dress,

Call up your girls, and make the guest list

We’ve gone steady, but now I know that we’re ready

Wanna be with you forever,


[Chorus 2x]

Now this looks like it’s meant to be, so everybody just toast with me

Raise your glasses if you’re thirsty

‘Cause tonight we’re here to P-PAR-TEE

[Verse 2]

A little hellion, but I wasn’t rebellious

Sorry I was always so reckless

I just wanted to be like my big sis,

But when I was wrong, she told and I yelled “SNITCH!”

We were matchin’, matchin’ in fashion

Even Barb was in on the action, that’s fact

So let’s just revel and bask, in the fact that everyone was likin’ our class

It was laughable, I thought it was fine,

But you had enough when you turned nine

Well it’s back

Every Christmas we’re in our jama jama jama’s

Enter’s Blake, and, he REALLY seemed to linger

New center of attention, moved in for the winter!

He was guesting, investing in nesting

Knew Nicole was it, didn’t need no testing

Excuse me, attention please?

Apprehension, but knew that they were meant to be

Got their townhouse, down by the sea

But they wouldn’t have me as their third roomie

[Chorus 2x]

Now this looks like it’s meant to be, so everybody just toast with me

Raise your glasses if you’re thirsty

‘Cause tonight we’re here to P-PAR-TEE

(second time) (It’s the wedding of the century!)

[Verse 3]

Through thin and thick they ain’t gonna quit

Everybody’s talking about this great fit

Blake, he don’t wanna get his butt kicked

Toilet seat’s down and he does the dishes

Guarantee you’ll grow the family tree

Some pretty cute babies, we can all agree

You know Nicole, wants thirty or more

Too much to pay for

So Blake said four

Let’s go, just give me some nieces,

A nephew so Barb doesn’t fall to pieces

I’ll be there, day or night, rain or shine

I’m gonna treat your kids like they were mine

But sometimes it may just seem

Matrimony ain’t what you thought it’d be

But this just means that you’re growing

Fights are part of the routine

Though I’m not the first to congratulate ya

I have the best toast since Bob, the father

I want you both to know I love ya

And without warning I’ll pop on over

Here’s a true love that works

You found someone who knows your worth

You’ll change your last name, but I won’t cry, cause I love you bigger than the sky

[Chorus 2x]

Now this looks like it’s meant to be, so everybody please toast with me

Raise your glasses if you’re thirsty

‘Cause tonight we’re here to P-PAR-TEE

(second time) (It’s the wedding of the century!)

Maid of Honor. Out.

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Taylor Swift Fan Mail Found In Nashville Dumpster

1. A box containing hundreds of letters addressed to Taylor Swift was found in a recycling Dumpster at an elementary school in Nashville over the weekend.

2. Kylee Francescan, the woman who found the box, wanted to get the mostly unopened letters back to Swift, because as she told WKRN-TV News 2, “I know how much her fans mean to her.”

3. WKRN contacted Swift’s label, Big Machine, and a representative there was unsure how the letters ended up in that Dumpster.

4. This was the official response from the label’s PR company:

6. The letters have since been returned to Swift’s public relations team.

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57 Photos Of Skrillex Before He Was Skrillex

Back in the early 2000’s, if you weren’t a complete devotee of MTV’s “Total Request Live,” you were probably filled with just enough teenage angst to listen to some variation of punk rock, emo, hardcore, or worse: screamo. Among the many bands to choose from was From First To Last, a band filled with boys with spiked hair, piercings, tight black t-shirts and jeans who sang-screamed about love, loss, and their emotional teenage feelings.

How do I know? I was there. Not necessarily in the audience for any of From First To Last’s shows, though I’m sure I’ve seen them at a Warped Tour or two in my day. But I did listen to those kinds of bands back in High School, had friends who enjoyed their music and — almost unbelievably — girlfriends who had crushes on the band’s lead singer, Sonny.

Sonny, who we now know as Skrillex, just happens to be the year’s most popular new musician and has captured the hearts of the youngun’s —while the rest of us scratch our heads at the appeal and cover our ears.

This is a look back at his first days in the music business — the embarrassing days.

1. Sonny with his band From First To Last, of which he was a member until 2007:


20. If you think his hair is crazy now, take a look at what it used to look like:

Via <a target="_blank" href=""

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Why Are People Calling Beyoncé “King B”?

1. Beyoncé first called herself “King B” back in 2011.

The cover art for “Best Thing I Never Had” features Beyoncé writing “King B” on a mirror in lipstick. The song was the second single off 4.

2. Since then, loyal Bey fans have taken to calling her by the nickname.

Especially since she dropped her ferocious track “Bow Down / I Been On.”

7. Even Justin Timberlake’s hailing King B.

8. MTV’s called her King Bey…

9. And Gawker recently crowned her “King of Pop,” arguing that no one in pop music was more deserving of the title:

Talent abounds, but none of these guys quite has MJ’s levels of musical virtuosity, fascinating eccentricity and the ability to package them in appropriately surreal performance. Granted, the search seemed doomed, as the entire angle of Michael Jackson’s celebrity was that there was only one of him. But now it is clear that by turning to men (and men-children), we were looking in the wrong place: the heir to Michael Jackson’s throne is none other than King B.

10. Bey’s been bringing back the title with her new “King Bey” sneakers.

Designed by PMK, the Isabel Marant-inspired shoes were made custom for Beyonce. Retailing for a cool $5,500, the sneaks are made with crocodile and anaconda skins, stingray, ostrich and calf hair.

11. Some fear that Beyonce will soon be elevated to deity-status.

12. The title of King is an outgrowth of her Queen B nickname, which became popular after album “B’Day.”

13. Because “Queen” is not grand enough.

She’s toyed with gender roles before (see: “If I Were A Boy,” “Diva”), but elevating herself to the level of “King” seems like Bey making a clear statement about notions of gender and power. Which is curious, though, considering her upcoming tour is called “The Mrs. Carter Show.”

14. Bey’s been criticized in the past months for being too perfect, for being almost robotic in her unwavering grace.

She’s been hanging out with the Obamas, performing at the inauguration, shutting down the Super Bowl. One of the goals of her HBO documentary “Life Is But A Dream” was to humanize her, to show people she’s not perfect. But it basically just revealed her to be even more put-together and flawless than before.

15. So, if Bey’s going to be seen as untouchable no matter what….

16. Maybe she’s just going with it all the way?

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This Video For Outasight’s New Song Will Make You Want To Run Up A Mountain

Outasight is a dude from Yonkers who makes sweeping, dub-inflected pop music designed to propel you up the side of something very tall. Best known for his similarly moment-clinching paean “Tonight is the Night,” Outasight’s new song, “Now or Never,” is cut from the same cloth, combining his nasal reggae rap-sing style with bouncy electronic beats. And, if you’re looking for positive role models, the montage of über-success in this video could go a long way toward a constructive summer. It’s like one of those motivational posters set to music.

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50 French Songs You Need To Hear Before You Die

1. Charles Trenet, “La mer”

2. Tino Rossi, “J’attendrai”

3. Léo Marjane, “Seule ce soir”

4. Edith Piaf, “Non, je ne regrette rien”

5. Jacques Brel, “Ne me quitte pas”

6. Gloria Lasso, “Etrangère au Paradis”

7. Georges Brassens, “Les copains d’abord”

8. Serge Gainsbroug, “Initials B B”

9. France Gall, “Poupée de cire poupée de son”

10. Charles Aznavour, “For me…formidable”

11. Claude François, “Comme d’habitude”

12. Françoise Hardy, “Tous les garçons et les filles”

13. Léo Ferré, “Avec le temps”

14. Sylvie Vartan, “La plus belle pour aller danser”

15. Gilbert Bécaud, “Nathalie”

16. Joe Dassin, “Les Champs Élysées”

17. Mireille Mathieu, “Santa Maria de la mer”

18. Michel Delpech, “Que Marianne était jolie”

19. Véronique Sanson, “Amoureuse”

20. Nino Ferrer, “Le Sud”

21. Maxime Le Forestier, “San Francisco”

22. Eddy Mitchell, “Sur la route de Memphis”

23. Dalida & Alain Delon, “Paroles, paroles”

24. Johnny Hallyday, “Que je t’aime”

25. Herbert Léonard, “Pour le plaisir”

26. Renaud, “Mistral gagnant”

Renaud, "Mistral gagnant"

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17 Most Disturbing Moments From Last Night’s “The Voice”

10. And a gif of that one:

17. And a gif of that one too:

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