Best Alternative Female Singers

Since alternative music has always been left of mainstream we have had many wonderful unique female singers who have added their own influence on the Alternative music with many years invested to widen the Alternative music popularity.

The Top Ten

1 Bjork Bjork Björk Guðmundsdóttir, known mononymously as Björk, is an Icelandic singer and songwriter. She is most famous for her eclectic music styles and experimentation on electronic pop music.

She belongs at number 1 on this list. Amy Lee is great but she does not come close to Bjork nor do any of the others. It's not just because she's my favorite either it has to do with musical ability. She in my opinion is one of the best female artists of all time.

I loathe most female singers. Bjork is an exception. There are times her voice gives me the chills. Way underrated I think, in part due to her eclectic nature.

Bjork is definitely one of a kind and her music is definitely eclectic and catchy. She has written songs for Madonna and others also. - cranfan4ever

Björk is so special, björk is an good girl, björk is cute, björk is an great altanartive in modern pop music. and björk is better as justin bieber

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2 Lana Del Rey Lana Del Rey Lana Del Rey is a California based singer, songwriter, and model who currently resides in Malibu, California. She was born under the name Elizabeth Woolridge Grant to entrepreneur Robert England Jr. and Patricia Ann Hill in rural Lake Placid, New York on June 21, 1985. She has two siblings, Chuck and more.

In this decade, specifically in the late 2010's, Lana has impacted pop culture, defined aesthetics among youth today. Her music is quintessentially gloomy, packed with striking lyrics and breathy, witchy voices that haunt of her dark past. Though Lana tells a different story, her music makes it relatable, poetic and mysteriously brilliant. And let's admit - new artists birthed now are under the influence of Lana Del Rey's revolutionized youth era of drugs, sex, money and rock and roll.

LANA DEL REY. What is there to say about her? She holds her own, and her music is such a sultry sweetness that just shines beyond any other performer.

Lana is the best alternative singer because her voice is amazing and she is elegant and mysterious girl! SHE IS UNIQUE

Lana Del Rey basically invented her own genre, a lot of artists (halsey mostly) wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Lana. She has her own unique style of singing that is absolutely breath-taking and dreamy. When I listen to Lana I feel like I'm in heaven!

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3 Fiona Apple Fiona Apple

I'm glad she showed up here. Although she hasn't had a pile of albums, her lyrics are so unique and well crafted and her voice is strong and extremely expressive. Increasingly her music has become more experimental and her songs more peculiar. But she isn't weird just to be weird or because she is trying to cover up her overall empty and uncreative mindset. She is an artist and her music will last.

Really amazing artist. She's got a beautiful, vulnerable and deep honest voice. Her lyrics are pure poetry and her albums are all incredible.

Fiona looks so sweet but belts out powerful independent lyrics - cranfan4ever

Even after 22 years she still gives me goosebumps

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4 Amy Lee Amy Lee Amy Lynn Hartzler, known professionally as Amy Lee, is an American singer-songwriter, classically trained pianist and composer. She is also the lead singer to the Arkansas band Evanescence.

Amy lee is one of the best rock female singers of all time. Not only that, but the entire sound of Evanescence blends with her voice. She should be way higher, at least No. 2

Should be number one. Amy has an amazing voice, only problem she needed to make more albums to stay commercial. More albums more money more fans...

Amy Lee should be #1. He vocal range is awesome. I like Hayley Williams too, but I think Amy is better.

She is good but I don't think she's alternative.

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5 Alanis Morrisette Alanis Morrisette Alanis Nadine Morissette is a Canadian-American alternative rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actress.

Alanis "MORISSETTE" is undoubtedly the #1 alternative rock female artist! As simple as that! I mostly agree with this list, and I love Amy Lee, but she falls more into the "Hard Rock/Heavy Metal" category. As far as women in alternative rock go, Alanis was the forerunner. Alanis paved the way for many other women to break into the Alternative Rock scene. My top 5 would have to include Alanis (obviously at #1) with the top 5 including (in no particular order) Fiona Apple, Natalie Merchant, Courtney Love, and Tori Amos. Again, I love Amy Lee and Evanescence, but she falls under a slightly different genre.

One of the most inspiring careers. Going from bubblegum pop to the alternative rock Alanis we all know and love is just an amazing feat.

Alanis took the alternative industry by storm with Jagged Little pill and her in your face lyrics - cranfan4ever

She is da bomb

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6 Marina Diamandis Marina Diamandis Marina Lambrini Diamandis, known professionally as Marina and the Diamonds, is a Welsh singer-songwriter.

Marina is the most underrated singer here, Her voice is heaven, her lyrics are breathtaking, her music is just the best, She deserves more than she has now because she has true talent and these days talent is very rare.

Marina is the most creative singer of her generation. The fact that she can so effortlessly change her sound and looks makes her music so interesting and never boring. Her voice is so soothing and flexible and her lyrics are heavenly. I owe Marina a lot for inspiring me to be as creative and as innovative as she is.

Lead singer of Marina & The Diamonds. Her voice is perfect for the type of alternative pop music she sings! It is defiantly a band worth checking out!

Fourth studio album comes out in april - please stan. She is so talented.

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7 Tori Amos Tori Amos Tori Amos is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She is a classically trained musician with a mezzo-soprano vocal range.

Her music really has true meaning and her voice has pure emotion in it. People might say she's gone downhill recently but she's still going constantly making lots of new, different and brilliant stuff. - Yetaxa

Her songs are just more complex and have a deeper message to send to us. I think she has the god given talent and she is a true artist, changing things up.

10th? A musical genius, incredible singer bringing intelligent, soul searing, thoughtful, music to make you think and feel.

She had a rich character to her studio work, but its her live performances that truly amaze!

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8 Lorde Lorde Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, better known by her stage name Lorde, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter.

Excuse all you beggars. Lorde is the real queen of alt pop and indie pop. She basically defined the genre and brought it the fame and popularity it has now. Forever queen

She just got one album out but her music is so beautiful. Her lyrics are awesome, she's so young and such a great songwriter. An promising artist.

She doesn't hold the most acclaimed female album of 2017 for no damn reason. This woman is a prodigy. Ella is doing things miles above her contemporaries. And she is barely 22.


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9 Hayley Williams Hayley Williams Hayley Nichole Williams is an American singer, songwriter and musician. She is best known as the lead vocalist, occasional keyboardist and primary songwriter of the American rock band Paramore.

I would classify Gwen Stefani as more pop rather than alternative. I'm not sure... But Hayley Williams should be number one. The way she brought rock into the charts with that amazing voice was a really great achievement considering the standard of music in it at the moment.

I voted for hayley and natalie because they're really good... Paramore is a bit less fun to cover, but they're more popular and more rocking to listen to! Hayley is a great singer and decent songwriter and started early too... bonus!

She is the sensation that showed me what exactly alternative rock is all about! Her voice, her expressions and the emotions she puts into her work is juts MIND BLOWING!
Hayley williams for the world!

I love her song with eminem in name of "25 to life"
Saggested for you...ALL - AJRAMA64

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10 Florence Welch Florence Welch Florence Leontine Mary Welch is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. She is best known as the lead vocalist of the indie rock band Florence + the Machine.

Florence is just great. Many "indie" singers have appeared lately (all of them boring for me), but she is different. She has such a powerful way of singing, it reminds me of the old rock and roll; her band makes wonderful and beautiful music (something between rock-baroque-folk-indie) and everything about her is epic. They have a wide variety of sounds but have a recognisely style. Her voice is powerful and epic, I adore her.

Her voice is AMAZING! She never has weak moments, her range is ridiculous, and her music is beautiful! She can throw her voice around wherever and whenever she wants, and whatever she does is always effortless and flawless. Listen to Rabbit Heart, Queen of Peace, and Cosmic Love.

Florence Hess got the vivid, eccentric style, accompanied by her mellifluous vocals. She can pull anything, from highly strung vivacious form of Ceremonials, to pure and raw vocals of How Big How Blue How Beautiful. Honestly she herself is a masterpiece.

Es la patrona de Anal y Cacarina por siempre

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The Contenders

11 PJ Harvey PJ Harvey Polly Jean Harvey, known as PJ Harvey, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer.

No one comes close. Fabulous musician, her voice is strong with an unfathomable range, her lyrics are that of a first class writer the accompanying music is flawless, her live shows are incredible, she pushes herself to new heights for every album, never repeats herself and is quite fearless. She is a true artist in every sense of the word, she is quite simply a treasure.

Greatest female artist in alternative music ever. Dry is in my top ten albums of all time. I've seen her live 4 times and every time has been amazing.

I actually think there's about 2 people on this list who I would consider alternative. Its funny, the word alternative used to mean something and when it did PJ wasnt just one of the best females she was one of the best acts in the last 25 years.

Amazing Simply Amazing

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12 Gwen Stefani Gwen Stefani

Gwen with a style all her own showed a girl can rock and keep up with the boys.
Aside from her pop exit , she is back with No Doubt in the studio again - cranfan4ever

today tomorrow and always, that voice has no comparison! the way that she uses her gift to fix words to the music it's amazing! I've not heard any other singer like this!

The Queen. She has been my favourite for a long time. This woman is so unique. Super talented. Iconic and beautiful. She's the best.

The original alternative queen... There's no comprision. A living legend. Such a versatile artist.. There'll never be another Gwen Stefani.. She's the rock reigning queen..

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13 Kate Bush Kate Bush

I can't believe that Kate Bush is so overlooked. That siren's voice hers is mystifying. Her lyrics create an environment that transcends beyond auditory recognition. She truly was pioneer in alternative music! Peter Gabriel recognized her unique gift and abilities immediately. If you didn't vote for Kate because you don't know her, GET TO KNOW HER!

Kate Bush was WAY ahead of her time in terms of music. While unique and way out there in her time, many adopted or incorporated her style across many genres from the 80s until current times. There's a Kate Bush influenced artist popping up almost every month these days, or current popular ones moving more toward her direction of music. Long before Lady Gaga was making her album Art-pop, Kate Bush was pioneering the genre, along with many other alternative music styles.

Wait? Kate Bush is only #32 on this list? She practically INVENTED the alternative pop genre! She paved the way for singers like Tori Amos, Bjork, PJ Harvey, Regina Spektor, and Fiona Apple. She should be #1!

Check out songs like Wuthering Heights, Breathing, Hello Earth, Sat in Your Lap, and The Sensual World. She is a musical genius who needs more attention.

What? Kate Bush should be on the Top 3 with Björk and Pj Harvey. They're the queens of alternative.

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14 Sarah McLachlan Sarah McLachlan Sarah Ann McLachlan is a Canadian singer and songwriter known for her emotional ballads. As of 2009 she had sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Sorry, but can't BELIEVE Gwen Stefani would ever be ranked above Sarah McLachlan - are people crazy? Sarah has incredible range, and never hits a wrong note. I lean toward hard, classic rock, but can't help but thoroughly appreciate Sarah's exquisite vocals.

Sarah has a smooth approach in the alternative industry. Her ballads are smooth and calming. - cranfan4ever

Her's so pure. I like In the Arms of the Angels the best! - Leafpoolperson82

Simply brilliant.

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15 Melanie Martinez Melanie Martinez Melanie Adele Martinez is an American singer and songwriter. Melanie Martinez auditioned for the American television vocal talent show The Voice and became a member of Team Adam.

Listening to her right now. She's the best. She's just so perfect... just... in every way. Such a great artist, I love how she's different. I love her style. I especially love her music. Her voice is angelic

I love her so much. She's the best new alternative solo artist in my opinion

Melanie has amazing music and she has the voice of an angel. If you need music to listen to, listen to Mel. I assure you that you won't regret it at all!

MM2 is coming.

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16 Lzzy Hale Lzzy Hale Elizabeth Mae "Lzzy" Hale is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She is best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the American hard rock band Halestorm, which she co-founded in 1997.

Wow. Just wow. Listen to 'familiar taste of poison', 'tell me where it hurts' and 'hate it when you see me cry' to understand how amazing she is. Both albums are just pure bliss

She is amazing! Love her

AWESOME! - musicandy


17 Amy Winehouse Amy Winehouse Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz. She is also a well-known member of the 27 Club, as she overdosed on alcohol at age 27.
18 Laurie Anderson

You can't even begin to talk about alternative women without mentioning the woman who started it all (and she's married to Lou Reed, for Pete's Sake). Her 2010 release Homeland is very good. -

19 Shirley Manson Shirley Manson Shirley Ann Manson is a Scottish-born singer, songwriter and actress. She is the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band Garbage.

Shirley can even make gloomy sounding songs like Only happy when it rains and I would die for you catchy and addictive. She is a pleasant addition to Garbage as the band searched for a female frontwoman - cranfan4ever

Her voice is amazing. Garbage wouldn't be nearly as good if she wasn't their vocalist. - johnnywhiplash

One of the most charismatic female singer.

Probably my favourite female vocalist

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20 Ryn Weaver Ryn Weaver Ryn Weaver is an American singer and songwriter who first gained attention with the single "OctaHate" in June 2014. Billboard called the single a viral sensation.

Yes! Ryn Weaver is one of the best in the alternative electropop scene right now. The Fool is a serious contender for best album of 2015, with Ryn providing excellent vocals, creative ideas, and great performances across the board. Let's get her top 10!

Unlimited talent both as a singer and songwriter. Out of the box vibe.

She has such a unique voice and I adore her songs with a passion

21 Tanya Tagaq
22 Liz Phair Liz Phair Elizabeth Clark Phair is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist born on April 17, 1967 in Connecticut. more.

As a teenage boy who fell into the usual pitfalls of toxic masculinity, Exile in Guyville made me see women three-dimensionally - in every bit of flawed perfection that is exhibited in not just the feminine, but the human experience. She made me a better man.

23 Dolores O'Riordan Dolores O'Riordan Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan was an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. She was the vocalist for rock band The Cranberries from 1990 until their break-up in 2003, later reuniting with her band in 2009, which she led until her death in 2018.

Dolores definitely shows a delightful, vibrant and musically talented influence on Alternative music with her band the Cranberries with soft ballads to guitar blazing rock songs she never disappoints and no one can even sound like her as she has such a wonderful unique voice and can definitely rock out on over 4 different instruments. Now solo she has not lost her touch but shows that a woman singer/songwriter can achieve success in a pop world - cranfan4ever

She has amazing depth..! Her songs get caught in my head and keep playing over and over again! All her songs are so different and full of soul... Dolores rocks!

Alanis Morrisette is great, but she screams more. Dolores from the cranberries has beautiful vocals, especially in Linger.

Her music and voice can't be beat!

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24 Imogen Heap Imogen Heap Imogen Jennifer Heap is an English singer, songwriter, record producer and audio engineer. She is known for her involvement in electronic music and as a member of the short-lived project Frou Frou. Born in the London Borough of Havering, Heap became classically trained in piano, cello and clarinet at more.
25 Allison Weiss
26 Regina Spektor Regina Spektor Regina Spektor is a Russian-born, American recording Artist. Born on the 18th of February she is 37 years in age. Best known for her meaningful, and joyful music, her best songs include, 'Samson' (2002), 'Eet' (2009) and 'The Call' (which was apart of the 2008 film 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince more.

Regina is a singer and a thinker. Her songs al hopeful celebrations of life amid a critical stance of our world. Beautiful and powerful.

Regina is a real genius.Her songs are pure art, they're so human and heart warming. She has her own unique and quirky style.

Unique in every sense of the word. Really can't be mistaken for anyone else. Her distinctive voice and eloqusion is pure, sweet, joyful and somehow sad all at the same time.

...simply the best...i just love her...

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27 Courtney Love Courtney Love Courtney Michelle Love is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and visual artist. A notable figure in the punk and grunge scenes of the 1990s, Love's career has spanned four decades.

I love her voice, I heard her sing in a Fall Out Boy song on the album, Save Rock n Roll. And it was awesome. There's not a better woman in the world for that song. The job she does as a rocking singer, she is officially my favorite.

Courtney Love has a voice that is unbeatable and can make you feel either full of rage or just kinda sway back and forth! And that is the "hole" truth.

She is incredible. She can make you love alternative music if you once hear her.

My favourite

28 St. Vincent St. Vincent Anne Erin "Annie" Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.
29 Lacey Mosley

Number one! Lacey is incredibly unique and has meaning behind everything that she says and does.

Lacey should definitely be farther up, she is incredibly talented, and flyleaf has amazing and meaningful lyrics.

30 Halsey Halsey Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, known by her stage name Halsey, is an American singer and songwriter. She was born on September 29, 1994 in New Jersey. She started her career by releasing songs on SoundCloud, and now she is a well-known pop singer with hits like Bad at Love, and Now or Never. She had originated more.

You must listen her songs. Her lyrics are perfect, and her voice even more. The first songs that I heard was "New Americana" and "Trouble". I instantly fell in love. She's amazing and she deserves more than she has.

I love Halsey! Her songs have amazing lyrics, and basically none of them have the usual generic themes seen in mainstream music. She also has a great voice. I didn't care for her when her music was popular, but now I'm a fan. - allamassal

Every colorful layer at every song from her debut album badlands and her second album hopeless fountain kingdom will make you fall in love with her very unique style.

She is the best! She is QUEEN. She's been through a lot but, everyone still loves her. S

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31 Anneke van Giersbergen
32 Marina and the Diamonds Marina and the Diamonds Marina Lambrini Diamandis, better known by her stage name "Marina and The Diamonds", is a Welsh singer-songwriter. Born in Bryn Mawr and raised in nearby Pandy, she moved to London as a teenager in order to achieve her dream of being a singer. She's known for her unique style of writing, and impersonating more.
33 Natalie Merchant

She is cool and covering her songs with my friend who is a girl is awesome... Guitar tone is cool as well. Its fun to play and sing live... Natalie for the win! 10000 maniacs are good too!

Natalie Merchant is a pioneer in the Alternative industry with her band 10,000 maniacs and influenced many artists in her genre. - cranfan4ever

She one of the first generation Alternative Nation superstars and remains an artist of the highest standards in modern music...

Natalie Merchant is the Bob Dylan/Joan Baez of her generation...can anybody on this list come even close to her unique artistry?
Best alternative female singer/songwriter for the last three decades hands down! Her credentials speak for themselves...

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34 Mika Nakashima

she is not only known to pop - ronluna

35 Banks Banks

Banks is just starting to build her career on the Alternative Genre but I must say that she belongs at the top. Her voice is sultry and haunting, her lyrics are pure genius, her aesthetic is and will forever be unique and that's why I love her.

How is she not on this list shes is amazing

She is amazing! - KatyMartinezAndTheDiamonds

36 Hope Sandoval

Although she is considered to be aloof she got a shy beautiful voice as the vocalist of mazzy star she has potential of having a nice voice

37 Aimee Mann

Adult alternative. Still she is the one of the best and not just female singers but for male vocalists, bands, etc. The maturity of her lyrics and the melody and sound and consistency put her in a class few can reach.

Listen to "Save Me" and you tell me why she doesn't at least deserve a spot at the top 5.

By far, the best. So underrated.

38 Natasha Khan

An amazing singer. Beautiful lyrics and an almost mystic vibe from her songs. Very atmospheric.

Known by her stage name "Bat for Lashes"

39 Ingrid Michaelson Ingrid Michaelson Ingrid Ellen Michaelson is an American singer and songwriter. Her first album, Slow the Rain, was released in 2005, and she has since released five more albums, Girls and Boys, Be OK, Everybody, Human Again, and her most recent, Lights Out.
40 Nelly Furtado Nelly Furtado Nelly Kim Furtado is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She has sold 20 million albums worldwide and more than 20 million singles, bringing her total sales to over 40 million records around the world.
41 Emilie Autumn

Beautiful voice and sexy live shows

42 Ani DiFranco

Best singer/songwriter on this list by far. She paved the way for many of the women on this list through her insightful, independent approach towards the record business. Her lyrics are poetic, powerful prose that lilt off her tongue and resonate in your ears for days.

43 Beth Gibbons

Sorry but Gwen Stefanni would slap you herself for leaving Beth out.
She would slap you for putting herself above Beth Gibbons. PJ Harvey also
Has a much wider vocal range than Gwen. Beth Gibbons hits notes
That do not seem possible. Check out You Tube video "Spider Monkey"
Beth Gibbons. Wait until the end... You'll see. Where's Sinead O'Conner?
Sorry but Gwen doesn't have crap on these women.

44 Brody Dalle

Bad-Ass-Punkrock as it's best! I have heard no other singer has a smoky, booze-soaked voice. Maybe get "The Distillers" together again for a tour. So many fans would be f***ing happy to see this band again!
Go on Brody!

45 Sierra Kusterbeck
46 Lindsey Pavao
47 Taylor Momsen Taylor Momsen Taylor Michel Momsen is an American musician, singer, model, and former actress. She is known for portraying the character of Jenny Humphrey on the CW teen drama series Gossip Girl and Cindy Lou Who in the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.

I saw her live and she was so amazing on stage. She looked like it was her sole purpose in life

The best and most rock n roll female inspiration to the music industry today. Amazing vocalist and writer.

48 Jen Ledger Jen Ledger Jennifer "Jen" Carole Ledger is a English drummer mostly known for playing in the band and being the co-vocalist for Skillet since 2008 when Lori Peters decided to retire from the band. more.

Best drummer and sing at the same time. Nothing else to be said.

Cool! This girl bring such a cool duo of singers in the rock band Skillet. She's the female voice and drummer of thisawsome rock band.

49 Meg Myers

Meg Myers is such a beautiful, angry singer. She captures every moment with her songs and you have to learn to love her.

One of the most emotional singers I've ever heard.

Meg Meyers is amazing at singing!

50 Ashley Costello

Ash is such an amazing singer! She'd definitely one of the best rocker chicks out there! New Years Day is literally one of my top favorite bands! ASH SHOULD BE HIGHER ON THIS LIST! SHE'S LITERALLY A GODDESS!

She is so badass! New Years Days is the realest band ever. Great music, great lyrics. ALL HAIL ONE AND ONLY ASHLEY COSTELLO!

Ash is amazing

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List Stats

2,000 votes
82 listings
11 years, 57 days old

Top Remixes (10)

1. Kate Bush
2. Bjork
3. Florence Welch
1. Florence Welch
2. Anneke van Giersbergen
3. Tori Amos
1. Avril Lavigne
2. Melanie Martinez
3. Amy Lee

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