When we think of early hard rock and proto-metal of the '60s and '70s, we typically think of groups like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and more — acts consisting of men. While we can't take away from the impact these bands had on music for generations to come, some women of the era deserve a special shout out as well.

Whether it was the sound of her voice, her flamboyant aesthetic or her tragic and untimely death, pretty much everyone is familiar with Janis Joplin. Heart's Wilson sisters are often cited as major influences on contemporary musicians as well, especially Halestorm's Lzzy Hale, who originally wanted to take after male singers until she heard them.

But there are some other groups and individuals that played a large part in laying the foundation for hard rock and metal as well, such as Fanny and Girlschool, the latter of which are typically associated with Motorhead.

Each of the women in the gallery below — who all experienced their successes from the late '60s into the early '80s — deserve to be recognized for their contributions to hard rock and heavy metal throughout the years.

28 Women Who Pioneered Hard Rock + Heavy Metal

These women pioneered hard rock and heavy metal.


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