50 Most Important Queer Women in Music



Shhh… don’t ask, don’t
tell: published this week, the influential list includes BLURT blogger Otep,
pictured above.


By Fred Mills


Wednesday afternoon the AfterEllen.com website published its
of “The 50 Most Important Queer Women in Music,” a roster of “the lesbian
and bisexual women [making] themselves known in the very straight, very
male-driven music business.” The intention writes managing editor Trish Bendix,
is to “remember the ones that have paved ways, made definitive statements and maintained
celebrated musical careers that make us happy, make us want to sing, make us
think, make us want to do something.”


The list was compiled based on awards and chart positions amassed
by the performers, their relative influence, and “how their sexuality has fit
into their career.” Among those ranking near the top of the list are, as you
might expect, pop crooner kd lang, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, the late Dusty
Springfield, rocker Melissa Etheridge, the Gossip’s Beth Ditto, needs-no-introduction
Joan Jett, guitarist June Millington of the legendary ‘70s all-girl outfit
Fanny, songwriter/song doctor Linda Perry and pre-WWII blues icon Ma Rainey.


Others ladies making the list who may be of interest to
BLURT readers include ex-Sleater-Kinney member Carrie Brownstein, Tegan &
Sara, Ani DiFranco, Kaia Wilson (Le Tigre, Team Dresch, the Butchies), Amanda
Palmer, Brandi Carlile, Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds, Mary Gauthier, Donna
Dresch – and Otep Shamaya, outspoken
frontwoman (and provocateur extraordinaire) for metal band Otep. A big BLURT
congratulations are in order to Otep as she’s a regular blogger for our site as
well as a contributor to our new print issue (read her “handcuffs and
homophobia” story “Whippet, Good”). As the list rightly notes, “Otep has been
at the forefront of LGBT and equality politics in the metal music community
since 2000.”


It’s a wildly diverse list overall, with artists drawn from
all areas of the music world, and all of them deserving of the attention and
accolades. The complete list, including photos and capsule bios, can be read at
the AfterEllen.com website.

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