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FEMALE PERFORMERS LEAVING BIG IMPRINT ON POP-ROCK WORLD

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Though pop-rock is noticeably a male-dominated genre, history shows women have been making their mark in the music scene as well.

Legends such as Etta James, Billie Holliday, Joan Baez, Diana Ross and Olivia Newton-John are staple fixtures in this business, along with Barbara Streisand and Lena Horne.Though these performers are icons, being a woman in this business is tough. And as Jill Cunniff - guitarist for the industrial hip-hop band Lucious Jackson - said, "Being a woman artist, you're breaking ground already."

True, the recent "riot grrrl" punk scene of L7, Babes in Toyland, Veruca Salt and the Breeders are direct descendants of hard rockers such as Pretenders' Chrissy Hynde, Pat Benatar, Lita Ford and Joan Jett, and bands like the Go-Gos, the Bangles, Girlschool and even Heart.

Soul and rhythm and blues gave us Aretha Franklin, the Pointer Sisters and Natalie Cole in the '60s and '70s, and their successors include Queen Latifah, Salt 'n' Pepa, Me'Shell N'Degeocello and En Vogue.

Janis Joplin, Grace Slick and Tina Turner were among the most energetic female band leaders of their time, while Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries, Hole's Courtney Love, Liz Phair, Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Etheridge have made their names known today.

During the disco years, Donna Summer ruled; Gloria Gaynor, Sister Sledge, Chic and Samantha Sang helped America dance its troubles away.

Linda Ronstadt helped launched the Eagles' career after she introduced Glenn Frey to Don Henley while searching for a backup band. Kim Carnes and Bonnie Tyler took the 1980s by storm with their raspy voices and top 40 tunes. And Stevie Nicks emerged from her relationship with Fleetwood Mac to go solo.

The Indigo Girls helped bring the folk sound back into the spotlight, and Madonna went from a bubble-gum pop star to one of the business's most powerful women along with Janet Jackson and Streisand.

Up-and-coming women pop musicians include the Syrens, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Germano and Lucious Jackson.