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Top 10 Girl Bands

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Matthew Thomas These women know how to kick some musical ass. Join as we count down the top 10 Girl Bands. For this list, we’re taking a look at girl bands where the members play their own instruments. If you're looking for female-fronted acts in which the members don't necessarily play instruments and are more focused on singing and/or dancing, be sure to check out our list of Top 10 Girl Groups of All Time on our main channel - WatchMojo. For this current list though, we are allowing bands with male members, as long as the act is female-fronted for the most part. Special thanks to our users Matthew Thomas, BDenum100 and Quickchance988 for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at

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Top 10 Girl Bands

These women know how to kick some musical ass. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 girl bands.

For this list, we’re taking a look at girl bands where the members play their own instruments. If you're looking for female-fronted acts in which the members don't necessarily play instruments and are more focused on singing and/or dancing, be sure to check out our list of Top 10 Girl Groups of All Time on our main channel - WatchMojo. For this current list though, we are allowing bands with male members, as long as the act is female-fronted for the most part.

#10: “Indigo Girls (1985-)

They’re comprised of two women who first became acquainted in elementary school, and the fact they remain a duo to this day is amazing. But when you hear Amy Ray and Emily Saliers perform together, then it all makes sense. When these two singers’ voices come together, the harmony that results doesn’t require anything but a slight beat and a few guitars to get an ethereal feel. Longstanding proponents of the LGBT movement, the Indigo Girls have come to be thought of as important figures in that struggle, which just adds to their important legacy.

#9: Girlschool (1978-)

A band that was a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the seventies, Girlschool is amazingly still going strong after more than thirty five years. Likely to be cited as an inspiration to several other bands on this list, they have fought against sexism in the music industry and prefer to be known simply as musicians rather than female musicians. Still releasing new music as of 2015, the band eschews commercialism in favor of staying a strong touring band, but that hasn’t stopped them from being certified gold in the past.

#8: The Donnas (1993-2012)

It takes some real commitment to your band to change your name - and the ladies in The Donnas sure were committed. Each going by the first name Donna and the first letter in their real last names when performing in the band, the members’ loyalty to their art soon paid off as their career took flight. Sporting several charting singles and a decade's worth of LPs, the Donnas’ commitment to fun over anger and aggression while serving up a mix of punk, classic and heavy rock with flavours of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, KISS, and AC/DC have been praised by critics time and time again.

#7: L7 (1985-2001, 2014-)

Considered by many to be a part of the grunge scene, these women have never been scared of a little controversy. But their interests definitely lie in standing up for their convictions and rocking out. Though they’ve gone through line-up changes and even went on indefinite hiatus for several years, we’re happy that their hit song “Pretend We’re Dead” no longer applies to the band’s status. The band’s 1992 album “Bricks Are Heavy” was singled out by Rolling Stone magazine as an “Essential recording of the 1990s” and we totally agree.

#6: The Go-Go's (1978-85, 90, 94, 99-)

As the only band comprised of women who both wrote their own songs and played them on record to have topped the Billboard album charts, the Go-Go's might have a silly name but they also have some serious cred. Their first album, “Beauty and the Beat” received triple platinum status and sold more than three million units. In total, the rock band has sold more than seven million albums, which makes them stand out among their peers. Nominated for Grammys as well as earning a place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Go-Go’s’ list of accolades is as impressive as their album sales and musical output.

#5: Sleater-Kinney (1994-2006, 2014-)

Comprised of Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss, and yes, that Carrie Brownstein, Sleater-Kinney has been called the “greatest rock band” in the modern era as well as “America’s best rock band”. That type of praise is not mislaid as this band has the skill to back it. Writing songs that espouse the beliefs of the feminist movement, their stripped down sound perfectly complements their stance on today’s society. Reforming in 2014 after a brief hiatus nd releasing a new album in 2015, the shadow Sleater-Kinney casts can once again be felt on the music scene today and music fans should count themselves lucky.

#4: Dixie Chicks (1989-)

Starting out their career as a straight-up country band, as time went on, the Dixie Chicks moved on to become crossover stars as well as to win thirteen Grammy Awards. When Natalie Maines spoke publicly about her distaste for then-US President George W. Bush, the band briefly became known for their political leanings more than their music. However, their talent has shone through. Selling more than twenty seven million albums in America alone, there is no denying that this group is one of the most integral bands of the late nineties and early two thousands.

#3: The Bangles (1981-89, 99-)

During much of the eighties, you couldn’t turn on channels like MTV without a barrage of Bangles singles hitting your eyes and eardrums - and you were happy for it. Of note was “Walk Like an Egyptian,” which was named the number one single by Billboard magazine of 1987 - and that was only one of their hits that year! Perhaps their most underappreciated song though was the ballad “Eternal Flame,” whose calming sound earned it platinum status in one country and gold in another three. Reuniting years after their initial smash success and late ‘80s/early ‘90s breakup, they’ve since reformed and are now renowned for their performances.

#2: Heart (1973-)

A band that has been anchored by the contributions of the Wilson sisters, Heart is considered one of the most consistently successful bands in history. Armed with the powerful vocals of Ann Wilson and the shamefully underrated guitar chops of Nancy Wilson, Heart are a hard hitting band with a take no prisoners sound. Though theband also consists of male members, there’s no denying its powerful female core, which has remained unchanged since 1974. Heart were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 but more awesomely have had top 10 Billboard charting albums in every decade of their existence so far.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Haim (2007-)

Fanny (1969-75)

Warpaint (2004-)

Vixen (1973-91, 97-98)

Tegan and Sara (1995-)

#1: The Runaways (1975-79)

If names like Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie aren’t familiar to you, then we have an amazing rock act to introduce to you. Despite staying together for a mere four years, The Runaways changed the complexion of the rock scene in a number of ways, as did their subsequent solo successes. Arguably paving the way for every girlband that came after them, their importance can’t be summed up in record sales or through awards given. Suffice it to say, we’d argue they are one of the most influential bands of any gender ever.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favourite girl band? For more musical Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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