50 women who broke barriers in the music industry | national

The music industry is dominated by powerful women, whether it’s record-breaking albums from acts like Taylor Swift or boardroom executives shattering the glass ceiling. Of course, the music industry hasn’t always been so welcoming to female artists. At the beginning of the 20th century, many women were not allowed to perform in certain halls. Others faced discrimination on the road, on the radio, and from record company executives and other male performers.

American music wouldn’t be as successful today without the pioneering work of women like Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin. Nina Simone and Marian Anderson used their voices to not only titillate listeners, but also to push for more equality at a time when segregation was rampant across the country. These powerful voices from the past have resonated through generations to open doors for today’s top artists, many of whom are in turn pushing new boundaries for future generations of women in the music industry.

To celebrate these trailblazers, Stacker used data from primary news sources to compile a list of 50 women who broke barriers in the music industry. Many of these names are well known; but do you know one of the first Indian singers who conquered the crowds in North America? And the rock star who opened the doors to hip-hop icons? Or the pop star who became the owner of a professional football team?

All that information and more can be found in this comprehensive review of some of the most powerful figures in entertainment. This list isn’t just for singers; we’ll give you clues about some of the emerging executives making waves in music and beyond. Keep reading to learn more about who is responsible for bringing the hits to your Spotify playlists and iTunes libraries.

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Alice P. Darby