At Underground Music & Gifts we are serious about music. Located in Kelowna’s cultural district, our record store offers musical selections across many genres, provides customers with the greatest selection of vinyl, CDs, and memorabilia in BC’s Interior. We know women rock 365 days a year, but to commemorate Women’s History Month in April, we want to highlight five influential female artists of the past decade. If you haven’t already listened to their work, you should. And we know there are more than five who are worthy of recognition, but it’s a start. Feel free to pop by the store and tell us who you think we should recognize.
Lorde blasted on to the music scene in 2013 as a teenager mature beyond her years. Her unconventional musical style and lyrical talent set this New Zealand artist apart from some of her more bubble pop contemporaries. Her first album Pure Heroine exploded, and she was mentioned on the Time’s list of most influential teenagers in 2013 and 2014. Lorde’s second album was released in 2017 and met with widespread acclaim. She has sold over five million albums worldwide. Still shy of her 25th birthday, Lorde has already proven herself an artist whose music will stand the test of time. She is currently working on her third album, and we can’t wait to see what she brings us in the future.
2. Lady Gaga
Versatile and everchanging, Lady Gaga refuses to be put inside a box. This American musician has sold well over 124 million records and is one of the world’s top-selling artists. Encouraged by her parents to learn to play the piano at a young age, Lady Gaga’s love of music was nurtured throughout her life. She expanded her skills following high school when she gained early entry to music school in New York. Her musical stylings first focused on electronic dance music but soon began to incorporate elements of pop and glam rock. She speaks her mind and sings her truth loudly and proudly. Her albums incorporate different themes and genres, from self-empowerment and feminism with an R&B and disco flair on Artpop to speaking about her mental health struggles wrapped up in dance-pop melodies on her album Chromatica. Lady Gaga has won multiple Grammy Awards, broken several Guinness World Records, and was recognized as Billboard’s Artist of the Year and Woman of the Year. She is a champion of LGBTQ rights and mental health awareness.
While Beyoncé rose to fame before the new millennium, she continues to be a strong voice of her generation. Her powerful vocals are unforgettable, and she has been nominated for more Grammy Awards than any other female artist. In 2014 she became the highest-earning Black musician in history and was named one of the top 100 women who defined the last century by Time Magazine. Beyoncé’s vocal talent was discovered early in her life and she has been pursuing music since she was a child. After breaking into the music industry as part of the group Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé released her first solo recording in 2002 and her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. She continued to push boundaries and expand her talents throughout the 2000s, introducing her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, and pursuing an acting career conjointly with her music career. Her voice is described as compelling and her willingness to collaborate with multiple songwriters ensure her material is always fresh and articulate.
4. Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves is a country artist who refuses to participate in many of the stereotypes that perpetuate the country music industry. She isn’t afraid to explore taboo topics in her music and uses her music to tackle real-world issues. Musgraves began song writing at eight years of age and released an independent album when she was 12 years old and half of country music duo, Texas Two Bits. She was officially discovered in 2008 and released her first solo single in 2012. She won the Academy of Country Music’s album of the year award in 2014 and has received multiple Grammy nominations/wins. Her fourth studio album, Golden Hour, won all four of the Grammy categories it was nominated for. In addition to her solo work, Musgraves is known for collaborating with other artists, including Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, and Brooks and Dunn.
Born and raised in Barbados, Rihanna was discovered at a young age by an American producer. Her Caribbean influences were highlighted on her first two albums while her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, incorporates elements of dance-pop. She has released hit after hit over the years and, from music to movies to make-up to fashion, has found success at whatever she puts her mind to. As of 2019, she is the wealthiest female musician and was named of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2012 and 2018. Her natural vocal abilities are astounding and even without formal training, she has received praise from some of the toughest critics. Regarded as a pop and fashion icon, Rihanna is known for her provocative subject matter and isn’t afraid to experiment with new musical ideas. As of 2018, Rihanna had sold over 250 million records worldwide. Not just a beautiful voice, Rihanna is also an accomplished actress and entrepreneur with forays into multiple successful business ventures.
With incredible talent and unmatched drive, the women of the 2000s refused to take a backseat to the boys and have paved the way and broken barriers for future generations of female artists. Whether your favorite female artist made this list or not, we want to hear what female artists inspire you and make you want to dance. Check out our online vinyl store to find all these great artists and many, many more.