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 Lauryn Hill. Kathleen Hanna and Gwen Stefani. Brandy, Monica, and Melissa Ethridge. 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 favorite female performers from one our favorite iconic musical periods. Without further ado: Less talk. More music.
The Artist: Liz Phair
Known For: Being unable to eat, sleep, or breathe without you.
Memorable Track: "Why Can't I?" Greg Allen/REX/Shutterstock More
The Artist: Aaliyah
Known For: Her one-of-a-kind voice, for three influential albums that R&B forever, and for dying at a tragically young age Memorable Track: "Back and Forth" More
The Artist: Kathleen Hanna
Known For: Riot grrling, facing off against the male gaze with her band, Bikini Kill
Memorable Track: "Rebel Girl" Abel Fermin/REX/Shutterstock More Read More
The Artist: Toni Braxton
Known For: Having a heart than can't be unbroken, smooth R&B.
Memorable Track: "Unbreak My Heart" REX/Shutterstock More
The Artist: Shawn Colvin
Known for: Smooth, breathy folk tunes.
Memorable track: "Sunny Came Home," which won two Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year in 1998. JIM ALCORN/REX/Shutterstock More
The Artist: Shania Twain Known For: Penning some of the catchiest feminist anthems ever, and not being impressed by yours. Memorable Track: "Man! I Feel Like a Woman " Andre Csillag/REX/Shutterstock More
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. More
The Artist: Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo
Known For: Being the best part of the Melrose Place soundtrack; cropping up in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You as the indie band of your (and Kat Stratford's) dreams. Memorable Track: " Come On " More
The Artist: Beth Ditto
Known For: Gossip might have been a little late to the West Coast grunge game, but the band, fronted by powerhouse Beth Ditto, began to make a mark in 1999 and things only went up from there. Often compared to Etta James, Ditto is still on the scene and making music today.
Memorable Track: "
Heavy Cross " Photo: Rachel Bevis/REX/Shutterstock. More
The Artist: Meredith Brooks
Known For: She's a bitch. She's a lover. She's a child. She's a mother. She's a sinner. She's a saint, etc.
Memorable Track: " Bitch " Photo: Capitol Records/Getty Images. More
The Artist: Brownstone
Known For: Killer harmonies, gifting Tory Lanez with the melody for " Say It "
Memorable Track: " If You Love Me " Photo: Epic Records. More
The Artist: B*Witched
Known For: A specific subset of U.K. bubblegum girl pop, wearing a fair amount of matching denim.
Memorable Track: " C'est La Vie " Photo: Courtesy of Epic Records / Glow Worm. More
The Artist: Britney Spears.
Known For: Making hits and then — oops — doing it again and again. Also her mental breakdown back in the day, and having once dated Justin Timberlake. Neither last nor least: dance skills.
Memorable Track: So many! " Baby, One More Time " was definitely her first biggie. But what would the world be without " Toxic " or " I'm A Slave 4 U "? A much darker place, that's for sure. Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock. More
The Artist: TLC, a.k.a. Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas.
Known For: Creeping, passing on scrubs, general sassy excellence.
Memorable Track: All of them. But we are pretty partial to " Waterfalls." Photo: Erik Pendizch/REX/Shutterstock. More
The Artist: Courtney Love, a.k.a. the lead singer of Hole, a.k.a. Ms. Kurt Cobain
Known For: Being a little cray cray, but also the queen of grunge. Plus her relationship with Cobain, which is subjectively chronicled in this iconic profile.
Memorable Track: Definitely " Doll Parts." Also, "Celebrity Skin," which we would highly recommend listening to this very second. Photo: Getty Images. More
The Artist: Lauryn Hill, a.k.a. Ms. Lauryn Hill, a.ka. L. Boogie
Known For: Being the badass female member of the Fugees, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, that incredible rendition of "Joyful Joyful" in Sister Act 2.
Memorable Track: "Ex Factor," " Can't Take My Eyes off of You ", "That Thing." Photo: Ilpo Musto/REX/Shutterstock. More
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 favorite 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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
The Artist: Brandy
Known For: Braids. Being Cinderella. Fighting about boys with Monica.
Memorable Track: "Have You Ever." Photo: REX/Shutterstock. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
The Artist: Lisa Loeb
Known For: Finger picking. Excellent taste in eyewear.
Memorable Track: " Stay." (Duh.) Photo: REX/Shutterstock. More
The Artist: Mariah Carey
Known For: Oh man. For a primer: start here. But those vocal falls are pretty important. Memorable Track: " Fantasy." More
The Artist: Tracy Chapman
Known For: Having a really unique, unbelievably beautiful voice. Great hair.
Memorable Track: " Fast Car." Photo: Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
The Artist: Fiona Apple
Known For: Feeling like a criminal.
Memorable Track: " Fast as You Can " Photo: Bob Berg/Getty Images. More
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