Last year during Women's History Month, we featured Twenty-Four Woman Rolling Stone Overlooked. This year, we're continuing the tradition with a thirty-day salute to badass females of rock, rap, country, and R&B.
Women of Rock
Track 1: Hit Me with Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
Hit Me with Your Best Shot was released in 1980 as the second single from Pat Benatar’s second studio album, Crimes of Passion. The song hit No. 9 on Billboard Hot 100 and became Benatar’s first Top 10 hit. Since its release, it’s been used in commercials, video games, movies and is one of Benatar’s most-popular songs.
Track 2: I'm the Only One - Melissa Etheridge
I'm the Only One was released in 1993 from Melissa Etheridge's fourth studio album, Yes I Am (1993). Though the song landed on the charts in other countries, it was slow to gain momentum in the US, eventually peaking at No. 8 on Billboard Hot 100.
Track 3: Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
Me and Bobby McGee was written by Kris Kristofferson and originally performed and released by Roger Miller in 1969. Both Kristofferson and Kenny Rogers recorded the song, but it was Janis Joplin’s version, which she recorded only a few days before her death in October 1970 for her album Pearl (1971), that made the Me and Bobby McGee a smash-hit. Released posthumously, it landed at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, making it Joplin’s only number one single and the second posthumously released number one single in U.S. history, after Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.
Track 4: We Got the Beat - The Go-Go's
The Go-Go's originally released We Got the Beat in the UK in 1980. It was released in the US in 1982. The group had re-recorded it for their debut album, Beauty and the Beat (1981). The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has named We Got the Beat one of its 500 Songs That Shaped Rock-n-Roll.
Track 5: We Don't Need Another Hero - Tina Turner
We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) is by Tina Turner and was featured in the 1985 movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Released on the heels of Turner's multi-platinum album, Private Dancer (1984), We Don't Need Another Hero earned a Golden Globe and Grammy award nomination.
Track 6: I Hate Myself for Loving You - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
I Hate Myself for Loving You was released as the lead single of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' sixth studio album, Up Your Alley (1988). It hit No. 8 on Billboard Hot 100, making it Joan Jett's third Top 10 single, and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo of Group.
Track 7: Superhero - Garrison Starr
Superhero was written by Garrison Starr and included on her 1997 major label debut, Eighteen Over Me. The song is her most well-known to date and has been included on several compilations. It was also played during ABC's coverage of the 1999 Women's World Cup.
Women of Rap
Track 8: Supersonic - J.J. Fad
Supersonic is the debut single for J.J. Fad's debut album, Supersonic (1988). The song was nominated for a Grammy, making J.J. Fad the first all-female rap group in history to be nominated. It's since been sampled and referenced in other songs like Fergie's Fergalicious and Eminem's Rap God.
Track 9: The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) - Missy Elliott
The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) was released as the lead single from Missy Elliott's debut album, Supa Dupa Fly (1997). The song samples Ann Peebles' 1973 hit, I Can't Stand the Rain, and peaked in the US at No. 4 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop. The music video for The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) was directed by Hype Williams and was nominated for an MTV music video award.
Track 10: Ladies First - Queen Latifah (ft. Monie Love)
Ladies First is from Queen Latifah’s debut album, All Hail the Queen (1989). The song features British emcee, Monie Love and hit the top spot on the charts in both the UK and US. Ladies First helped inspire the rise of the all-female posse, which was rare in hip hop culture at the time.
Track 11: Push It - Salt-n-Pepa
Push It was originally released in 1987 from Salt-n-Pepa's debut studio album, Hot, Cool & Vicious (1986), as the B-side for Tramp. Push It was re-released in 1988 and peaked at No. 19 on Billboard Hot 100.
Track 12: Super Bass - Nicki Minaj
Super Bass was released as the fifth single from Nicki Minaj’s 2010 debut studio album, Pink Friday. Written by Minaj, Ester Dean, Roahn Hylton and Kane Beatz, the song's about romance and hit the charts in 16 countries, peaking at No. 3 on Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on Billboard Rhythmic.
Track 13: Mooo! - Doja Cat
Released August 10, 2018 on YouTube, Doja Cat’s Mooo! is a novelty song that was made with the intention of doubling as a meme. It has attracted praise from artists like Chance the Rapper and Katy Perry, and the official music video currently has over 46 million views.
Track 14: Doo Wop (That Thing) - Lauryn Hill
Doo Wop (That Thing) was released as the debut solo single from Lauryn Hill's album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998). The song was Hill's first No. 1, debuting at the top slot and making it only the tenth song in chart history and the first debut single to do so.
Women of Country
Track 15: Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton
Hard Candy Christmas was written by Carol Hall for the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Dolly Parton played Miss Mona in the movie, and her version of the song was released as a single in 1982.
Track 16: Is There Life Out There - Reba McEntire
Is There Life Out There was released as the second single from Reba McEntire's 1991 album, For My Broken Heart. The song landed at the top spot in Canada and on Billboard Hot Country in the US.
Track 17: Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain - The Judds
Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain was written by Brent Maher and Don Schlitz. Recorded by The Judds and released as the third single from the 1986 album, Rockin' with the Rhythm, the song marked their seventh number one country hit and spent twelve weeks on the charts. It was one of four number one hits from that album, which Billboard named the Top Country Album of 1986.
Track 18: Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? - Shania Twain
Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? was released in 1995 as the lead single from Shania Twain's second studio album, The Woman In Me. The song became Twain's first hit, peaking at No. 31 on Billboard Hot 100 and No. 11 on Billboard Hot Country.
Track 19: Independence Day - Martina McBride
Written by Gretchen Peters, Independence Day was released as the third single from Martina McBride’s 1993 album, The Way That I Am. Originally offered to Reba McEntire, Independence Day addressed the issue of domestic violation. It peaked at No. 12 on Billboard Hot Country. Currently, CMT has it ranked it at 50 in their 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music.
Track 20: Queen of Hearts - Juice Newton
Queen of Hearts was first recorded by Dave Edmunds in 1979. His version performed well in the UK and Ireland but failed to chart elsewhere. When Juice Newton released the song in 1981 from her album, Juice, the song became an international hit, reaching the Top 10 in half a dozen countries and peaking at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100.
Track 21: The Long Way Around - Dixie Chicks
The Long Way Around was released as the fifth and final single from the Dixie Chicks' seventh studio album, Taking the Long Way (2006). The song references the controversy the Chicks had with G.W. Bush.
Women of R&B & Pop
Track 22: Think - Aretha Franklin
Think was written by Aretha Franklin and Ted White. Originally released on the album, Aretha Now (1968), it's a feminist anthem and became Franklin's seventh Top 10 hit. She re-recorded it for the1989 album Through the Storm and did a longer version for the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers. Franklin lip-synced the song for the film, but since she was not used to lip-syncing, the musical sequence took several takes and considerable editing.
Track 23: Bag Lady - Erykah Badu
Bag Lady is the first single released from Erykah Badu's 2000 album, Mama's Gun. The song hit No 1. on Billboard Hot R&B charts and No. 6 on Billboard Hot 100. It earned Badu two Grammy nominations and is Motown's last No. 1 hit on the R&B charts under the original record label name.
Track 24: Hero - Mariah Carey
Released in 1993, Hero was the second single from Mariah Carey’s third studio album, Music Box. Originally intended for Gloria Estefan, Carey agreed to record it though she didn’t resonate with the song. Regardless of her lukewarm attitude, Hero topped Billboard Hot 100 and earned Carey a Grammy nomination.
Track 25: Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Hold On was the lead single from Wilson Phillips's 1990 album, Wilson Phillips. Though it topped the charts for just one week, Billboard named it the top song of 1990. The group's performance in the 2011 movie, Bridesmaids, reminded everyone of the greatness of Hold On.
Track 26: Rehab - Amy Winehouse
Rehab was released as the lead single from Amy Winehouse’s second and final studio album, Back to Black (2006). The song is her only Top 10 hit in the US, peaking at No. 9 on Billboard Hot 100. It earned three Grammy Awards and is considered Winehouse's signature song.
Track 27: Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani (ft. Eve)
Rich Girl is on Gwen Stefani's 2004 debut solo album Love, Angel, Music, Baby. Featuring Eve, Rich Girl is a remake of a Louchie Lou & Michie One song, which was an adaptation of Fiddler On the Roof's If I Were a Rich Man.
Track 28 Survivor - Destiny's Child
Survivor is from Destiny's Child's third studio, Survivor. Released in 2001, the song earned the group a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Billboard ranked the song No. 40 on their list of the 100 Greatest Girl Group Song of All Time.
And Two to Grow On
Track 29: Merry Go 'Round - Kacey Musgraves
Merry Go 'Round was released in September 2012 as the lead single from Kacey Musgraves' debut album, Same Trailer Different Park. The song is a cynical look at life in the American heartland and references Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, Jack and Jill, and Mary Had a Little Lamb. It peaked at No. 63 on Billboard Hot 100, but it hit No. 14 on Hot Country Songs, No. 10 on Country Airplay, and won Musgraves a Grammy for Best Country Song.
Track 30: Like a Girl - Lizzo
Like a Girl is the second song on Lizzo's third studio album (first major debut LP), Cuz I Love You (2019). Though praised by critics as an empowering dance track, Like a Girl was never released as a single. Shame.