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 Björk Guðmundsdóttir, (born 21 November 1965) is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, composer, record producer and actress. Over her four-decade career, she has developed an eclectic musical style that draws on influences and genres including electronic, pop, jazz, experimental, trip hop, alternative,... read more

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.

2 Fiona Apple

I love Fiona Apple. Her lyrics are pure artistry. I love how self-aware she is in her songs, like in "Fast As You Can": "My pretty mouth will frame the phrases that will disprove your faith in man!"

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.

3 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 number two.

Amy Lee should so be number one. She has the most beautiful voice. She's just all-around amazing. Come on people, let's get some more votes and put her on top where she belongs.

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

4 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... read more

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

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 breathtaking and dreamy. When I listen to Lana, I feel like I'm in heaven!

5 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.

Her songs are just more complex and have a deeper message to send to us. I think she has a 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.

6 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 recognizable 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.

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

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.

My son, age 16, turned me on to Marina. I love her lyrics and her voice. She has substance and intelligence, which makes me think she is one of the best. Considering I'm 57 and my favorite singer was James Taylor, I think it's a leap in a good way.

8 Alanis Morissette 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.

9 Lorde Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor (born 7 November 1996), better known by her stage name Lorde, is a singer-songwriter from New Zealand. She released her first EP "The Love Club" in 2012 and gained worldwide popularity with her song "Royals" at the age of 16... read more

I have no idea why Lorde is so low on this list. Alternative pop artists saw a rise because of Pure Heroine. She pushed this genre to the mainstream, which gave artists such as Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, Halsey, etc., more recognition.

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.

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.

10 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. In 2020 she started a solo career.

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 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 a decent songwriter. She started early too. Bonus!

The Contenders
11 Kate Bush

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 Artpop, Kate Bush was pioneering the genre, along with many other alternative music styles.

I can't believe that Kate Bush is so overlooked. That siren's voice of hers is mystifying. Her lyrics create an environment that transcends beyond auditory recognition. She truly was a 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!

12 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.

13 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, and 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.

I actually think there's about two people on this list who I would consider alternative. It's funny, the word alternative used to mean something, and when it did, PJ wasn't just one of the best females, she was one of the best acts in the last 25 years.

14 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.

Melanie is very unique and very different. Her music has hidden meanings that you may not catch onto right away. Her lyrics and her music type are extraordinary, and she is an absolutely amazing artist.

She should by far be in the top 5. She has her own unique style and writes her songs to tell a story, but also to be the best songs they can possibly be. She has the most unique voice I have ever heard. Incredible!

Listening to her right now. She's the best. She's just so perfect 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.

15 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 I 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.

Her music... it's so pure. I like In the Arms of the Angels the best!

16 Anneke van Giersbergen
17 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.

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

One of the most charismatic female singers.

18 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.

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.

I love her voice. I heard her sing in a Fall Out Boy song on the album Save Rock and 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.

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

19 Gwen Stefani Gwen Renée Stefani (born October 3, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She is a co-founder and the lead vocalist of the band No Doubt, whose singles include "Just a Girl" and "Don't Speak" from their 1995 breakthrough studio album Tragic Kingdom, as well as "Hey... read more

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

Gwen, with a style all her own, showed that 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.

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

20 Kim Gordon Kim Althea Gordon is an American musician, songwriter, and visual artist. Born in Rochester, New York, Gordon was raised in Los Angeles, California, and studied art at the Otis Art Institute.

The only woman, besides Bjork, who is a true pioneer of alternative music. No Kristin Hersh? No Kim Deal?

21 Kim Deal Kimberley Ann "Kim" Deal is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the former bassist and backup vocalist of the alternative rock band The Pixies, and the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for The Breeders.
22 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. 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.

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!

23 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 the 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.

24 Liz Phair Elizabeth Clark Phair is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist born on April 17, 1967 in Connecticut.

In the early 90s, Phair released three cassettes called "Girly-Sound" that were wide spread hand to hand, causing her to get a record deal and release her debut album "Exile in... read 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 not just in the feminine, but in the human experience. She made me a better man.

25 Sky Ferreria Sky Tonia Ferreira is an American singer, songwriter, model, and actress. As a teenager, Ferreira began uploading videos on Myspace of herself singing songs she had written, which led to her discovery by producers Bloodshy & Avant and an eventual recording contract with Parlophone in 2009. She released... read more
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