Top Ten Women – Top Ten Facts

From All Saints to Lena Zavaroni, the sisters have been doing it (not always for themselves) in the music industry since, well, there has been a music industry.

Through exploitation and sexploitation, ageism and shaming, women have come out on top despite, and sometimes because of, the many obstacles put in their way.

Here’s a selection of poptastic facts about ten of the best.

Harry Delores

Vice City Delores

Debbie Harry

The iconic Blondie singer is a star of stage, screen…and video games.

In 2002, she voiced the character of Delores – the dispatcher at Kaufman Cabs in Grand Theft Auto Vice City.



Annie Lennox

Born on Christmas Day, Lennox studied the flute, piano and harpsichord for three years at the Royal Academy of Music.

Her flute teacher’s final report stated: “Ann has not always been sure of where to direct her efforts, though lately she has been more committed. She is very, very able, however.”

Leather Quatro

Leather Tuscaderro – the Fonz says ‘ayyyyy’


Suzi Quatro

The bass playing leather-clad seventies rock band star once played Leather Tuscaderro on the hit TV show Happy Days.

It wasn’t exactly a stretch for Suzi – Leather turned out to be a bass playing, leather-clad rock band star.



Candi Staton

Staton sang on the Source’s Top Ten British hit, You Got the Love, which sold two million copies.

She clearly got the love more than most, having been married five times.

Cyndi Lauper

She Bop – Lauper’s third most successful single after Girls Just Want To Have Fun and Time After Time, helped usher in the Parental Advisory sticker on records as the song dealt with the touchy topic of maturbation.

Sample Lyric: “Hey, hey – they say I better get a chaperone
Because I can’t stop messin’ with the danger zone
No, I won’t worry, and I won’t fret
Ain’t no law against it yet”

Amy Winehouse

Before finding fame, Winehouse was in a rap group called Sweet ‘n’ Sour and also appeared in an episode of The Fast Show, aged 14, with other children from the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

Brenda Holloway

The Motown star and Northern Soul icon retired from the music business in 1968 while at the top of her game.

A deeply religious woman, Holloway was both disillusioned with her Motown handlers and fearful of being drawn into the stereotypical hedonistic lifestyle of a pop star.

Mel C

The sportiest of the spices, Melanie Chisholm is the only female artist to have reached the number one spot as part of a quartet, a quintet, a duo and as a solo artist.

Mel B Bo Selecta

Mel B – quite the outfit

Mel B

The scariest of the spices, Melanie Janine Brown went to a fancy dress party last year…as herself.

“I put on a massive wig, the boots, and Julien Macdonald made me a really sexy leopardskin catsuit.”


Dame Vera Lynn

‘The Forces’ Sweetheart’ did more than her bit for the war effort.

And she showed she was still up for a fight in 2009 when she threatened to sue the BNP for using “the White Cliffs of Dover” on an anti-immigration album without her permission.

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