22 Female Singers From The '90s Who We LOVE

Elizabeth Kiefer
Refinery 29 UK
Photo: Mel Longhurst/REX/Shutterstock

Fair warning: You're about to enter a place of extreme '90s nostalgia. But we're not going to talk about Kurt Cobain or Friends or get wistful about the days of less digitally connected existence. Nope, this homage is dedicated to all the ladies who rocked that decade — and their way into our hearts (and eardrums) forever.

We're talking Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow. Kathleen Hanna and Gwen Stefani. Brandy, Monica, and Melissa Etheridge. And then there's all the ladies of the Lilith Fair stage. The list really does just go on and on — which is why we'll be updating it every month to include more of our favourite female performers from one our favourite iconic musical periods. Without further ado: Less talk. More music.

The Artist: En Vogue, a.k.a. Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones

Known For: Being a precursor to Destiny's Child. Sweet moves. Slinky silver dresses. Breaking it down.

Memorable Track: We would sooner choose a favourite child. But "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" and "Don't Let Go " are both vying for the top spot.

Photo: Photo: Andre Csillag/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Ani Difranco

Known For: Being not an angry girl, but singing about things that make girls angry. Starting Righteous Babe Records. Inventive hairstyles.

Memorable Track: "Untouchable face." (But really, choosing an Ani track is an impossible task, as they are basically all incredible.)

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Tori Amos

Known For: Mad piano and composition skills. Being silent all these years.

Memorable Track: "Winter" — though it should be noted that the Tori Amos canon is wide, sometimes experimental, and a little unpredictable, save for that gorgeous voice.

Photo: PAT POPE/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Aimee Mann

Known For: Writing the soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson's epic 1999 film Magnolia. Lena Dunham also used her track "How Am I Different" in series two of Girls.

Memorable Track:"Save Me" from the Magnolia soundtrack was nominated for Best Song at the Academy Awards but lost to Phil Collin's song for Tarzan. Eye roll.

Photo: Mel Longhurst/REX/Shutterstock

The Artist: Natalie Imbruglia

Known For: Being an Australian soap star. That chicly choppy haircut.

Memorable Track: "Torn." Were there other ones? Probably. But that one got the most radio play, and is still a "should we breakup" anthem.

Photo: Andre Csillag/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Jewel

Known For: Mournful songs about splitting with your boo, having small hands.

Memorable Track: "You Were Meant For Me." Dreams DO last so long, even after you're gone. It's poetry, people.

Photo: Ilpo Musto/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Courtney Love

Known For: Kurt Cobain. Public meltdowns. Being the front woman of Hole. (Not necessarily in that order, but sort of.)

Memorable Track: "Celebrity Skin," but also, "Doll Parts." These two are sort of the bookends to the Courtney Love performance spectrum.

Photo: Ian Dickson/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Spice Girls

Known For: Girl power! Archetypal band personas!

Memorable Track: "Spice Up Your Life" — though you should probably just go ahead and listen to the entire Spice World album.

Photo: Newspix/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Destiny's Child

Known For: Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, other former members (in that order).

Memorable Tack: Um, what Destiny's Child track was not memorable, is more the question? But if we had to go with just one, we'd say "Say My Name."

Photo: RICHARD YOUNG/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Brandy

Known For: Braids. Being Cinderella. Fighting about boys with Monica.

Memorable Track: "Have You Ever."

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Sarah McLachlan

Known For: Making you cry about animal mistreatment. General soulfulness. Sad, sad, sad songs. Fumbling towards ecstasy.

Memorable Track: "Building a Mystery."

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Gwen Stefani

Known For: Being the leading lady of No Doubt. Badass braces. These days, being one-half of Gwake.

Memorable Track: There's no choosing here. Just listen to Tragic Kingdom over and over again until you get it.

REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Mandy Moore

Known For: Missing you like candy. Playing a really compelling bitchy high schooler in Saved!.

Memorable Track: "Candy." That is quintessential Moore.

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Lisa Loeb

Known For: Finger picking. Excellent taste in eyewear.

Memorable Track: "Stay." (Duh.)

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Mariah Carey

Known For: Oh man. For a primer: start here. But those vocal falls are pretty important.

Memorable Track: "Fantasy."

The Artist: Tracy Chapman

Known For: Having a really unique, unbelievably beautiful voice. Great hair.

Memorable Track: "Fast Car."

Photo: Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock.

The Artist: Alanis Morissette

Known For: Dating Uncle Joey. Being engaged to Ryan Reynolds. Playing god. Long hair. Jagged Little Pill and everything that came after.

Memorable Track: "You Oughta Know "

Photo: Ken Hively/Getty Images.

The Artist: Monica

Known For: That boy being hers. Totally understanding that sometimes it's just one of them days that a girl goes through.

Memorable Track: "Don't Take It Personal "

Photo: Harry Langdon/Getty Images.

The Artist: Melissa Etheridge

Known For: That incredible wail. Being a Grammy winner, many times over.

Memorable Track: "I'm the Only One "

Photo: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images.

The Artist: Sinéad O'Connor

Known For: Making a shaved head look really, really good. An incomparably gorgeous breathy quality to her voice. Covering Prince. Activism on behalf of women's rights.

Memorable Track: "Nothing Compares 2 U "

Photo: Frans Schellekens/Getty Images.

The Artist: Fiona Apple

Known For: Feeling like a criminal.

Memorable Track: "Fast as You Can "

Photo: Bob Berg/Getty Images.

The Artist: Sleater Kinney, a.k.a. Corin Tucker (vocals, guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar, vocals), and Janet Weiss (drums)

Known For: Moving along the rise of riot grrrl and indie rock in the Pacific Northwest. Being really, really badass.

Memorable Track: "Get Up "

Photo: Bob Berg/Getty Images.

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