The likes of Stevie, Bowie and Prince are constantly praised for their multifaceted involvement in or sole responsibility for the creation of their music - from writing, arranging, to production, instrumentation and even engineering. But we hardly hear about their equally talented female counterparts.

A marketing-chummy image has been much more crucial to a female artist's pop success over the decades (and even more so today for any gender). Apart from the odd emotionally-creative vocalists like Minnie Riperton or Karen Carpenter, I don't have the same level of respect for those singers who are perhaps lauded as vocal virtuosos but don't contribute as much to the overall creative process in their music, with only their name on the cover and not those who were more instrumental in the creation of the album.

I thought we could have an appreciation thread for these underrated ladies; here are several favourites from past and present:

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How could I forget Carly and Carole.. Two unsung pioneers despite their accolades. Simon is fantastic and she often gets overlooked for her ability as an (Oscar-winning) songwriter.
Mary Lou Williams, Carla Bley or Iva Bittova certainly would.
I've not seen the movie, but I'm a huge fan of Bittová. I don't listen to anyone's music more than hers at the moment... a moment that has lasted at least three years by now.
I'd add Dolores O'Riordan to that mix.
I agree. She did well as a solo artist after taking The Cranberries to chart-topping heights, and I admire her creativity!
I only really like Enya's first album.
I don't know all of these performers. I'll check them out. When I was younger I was much more partial to female singers, or drag singers like Boy George and Peter Burns (Dead or Alive), but now that I am older, I gravitate more towards male vocalists, I think. Or I at least like more male vocalists today than in the past.

Although she is completely unlike anyone listed here, I think, I have a certain amount of respect for Diamanda Galas.
Ditto on Galas. Although she's certainly not for everyone: you have to be prepared to walk outside your comfort zone, but then the experience is unique. She's a totally uncompromising artist.
Kate Bush has to be in there somewhere, though she's pretty much dumped music to be a mommy these days. And my absolute favorite, Happy Rhodes, who gave us 15 or so wonderful CDs but never quite got famous. If you've never heard her, a quick net search will probably turn up a few tracks free for the listening. She's frequently compared to Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox. Check out any tracks from Warpaint or Equipoise especially.
Ahh, Kate Bush. I used to listen to here almost non-stop back in the late 80s and 90s. I still pull here CDs out from time to time. I think I like The Whole Story or Hounds of Love CDs best, as well as The Sensual World. (Tough this one is not actually avail on CD, I think. I have an old cassette tape of this one.) I've never heard of Happy Rhodes, but I'll check her out.
The Ecto site is 'the' hub for everything related to Happy Rhodes.


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