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Women To The Front
Women To The Front

"We’re pleased to recognize the significance of International Women’s Day with this vibrant collection of some of the most important popular music created by 20 female artists whose influence and impact span a number of generations and genres. The music made by each of these artists not only shows how vital and energizing they are creatively, but how much they continue to inspire women across the globe on this very special day, as well as every other day throughout the year."

– JANE GOWEN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING AND A&R AT UNIVERSAL MUSIC ENTERPRISES

Women To The Front
Women To The Front

Submitted by: Kristina Waters

SHANIA TWAIN 

COME ON OVER

“Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” is the epitome of country-pop perfection; it’s no wonder its parent album Come On Over is Shania’s second RIAA Diamond-certified album. This album kicks off with my favorite five track run of all time. Come On Over starts off strong, opening with “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” which is followed by four fan-favorite tracks “I’m Holdin’ On To Love (To Save My Life),” “Love Gets Me Every Time.” “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)” and “From This Moment On,” which perfectly set a high energy, romantic, and cheeky tone for the rest of the album. From singing “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” to my parents on my first karaoke machine to today, Come On Over and Shania Twain have continued to inspire me to celebrate my strength and to express my own unique femininity!

Submitted by: Lindsay Williams

AMY WINEHOUSE 

FRANK

During my first music internship at Universal Music, I still remember the introduction of Amy Winehouse. We were sitting in a weekly meeting and got to watch her introduction to the US with her music video for “Rehab.” I was totally blown away by her soulful vocals layered over a blend of R&B and Jazz. From there, I couldn’t get enough. I went back and discovered her debut album, Frank–which has become one of my favorite albums.

Submitted by: Lauren O'Connor

LANA DEL REY 

BORN TO DIE

As the younger sibling, I was always in a rush to grow up and prove to my older sister just how cool I was. I remember one day in 2012 when she showed me Lana Del Rey's Born To Die album, it immediately resonated with me as a 17-year-old girl who just wanted to bust out of her little California suburb. Old Hollywood glamour meets the bad girl persona with Lana Del Rey's debut album. The lyrics paint dreamy imagery of young women running away to find a more dangerous and adventurous lifestyle. This album really captures how a teenage girl can feel, just wanting to spread her wings. "This is what makes us girls, we all look for heaven and we put our love first", Lana sings, truly encapsulating the whimsical daydreams of young women around the world, hoping to find a little piece of heaven on earth. This album was just the beginning of a nearly decade long musical journey Lana has taken her fans on, and just a peek into her talents as an artist. The theatrical sounds met with Lana's soothing, sultry vocals make you feel like you're in a "Dark Paradise''. I hope this album resonates with young women today the way it has for me over the years.

Submitted by: Tara Master

Reba McEntire

Rumor Has It

Growing up outside of New York City I wasn’t exposed to a lot of country music, but I knew Reba. And if you knew Reba, you knew the song “Fancy”. It wasn’t until later that I explored more of her music and came to respect her as a musician, songwriter, actor and strong female role model. The entire Rumor Has It album (which celebrated its 30th Anniversary last year!) is full of incredible songs – from “You Lie” to “Rumor Has It” and of course “Fancy”. Bobbie Gentry who wrote “Fancy” viewed the song as a feminist statement. So, in honor of Reba, put on your favorite red dress and enjoy the album.

Submitted by: Carol Nogueira

BILLIE Eilish

DON'T SMILE AT ME

Billie’s music is fascinating for many reasons: from her brother Finneas’ genius sound layering and genre mixing to her clever lyrics and haunting, ASMR-ish vocals which distill complex themes like anxiety, depression, and mental health into palatable, relatable pop music. Everything about her makes her obsession-worthy. No wonder she became such a sensation. Her EP Don’t Smile At Me has some of her best tracks, such as “Copycat,” “My Boy,” and “Bellyache,” all good indicators of what was to come with her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.

Submitted by: Jannet Talat

Neneh Cherry

Raw Like Sushi

The spunky energy of Neneh Cherry on Raw Like Sushi is empowering to women from every era. Coming out of Sweden in the late 80’s / early 90’s, Neneh Cherry’s groovy synthesizers and quick rap verses will breathe life into your mundane day-to-day. The album’s theme is strong female power, gusto, and a determination to be reckoned with. Paving the way for powerful pop icons, this album does not get enough credit in today’s musical realm. Underrated, Neneh Cherry shows listeners that she’s “not one to get fresh with.”

Submitted by: Dylan Shapiro

GWEN STEFANI

LOVE. ANGEL. MUSIC. BABY.

I have a very vivid (and slightly embarrassing) memory of me at 12-years-old belting out “Hollaback Girl” with a cabin full of girls at camp. I’m pretty sure we had a dance to go with it. Gwen Stefani’s debut solo album undoubtedly had an impact on us preteens. We learned to express and be proud of ourselves- through our voice, culture (shoutout “Rich Girl” sampling Fiddler On The Roof), and fashion. And of course, we learned how to spell BANANAS (and now can’t do so without hearing that iconic bridge).

Submitted by: Lauren Altman

Norah Jones

Come Away With Me

Blending jazz, blues, and folk elements, Norah Jones reached number one on the Billboard 200 with her debut album, Come Away With Me. Norah’s soulful voice is perfectly accompanied by plucked guitar melodies, piano arrangements, and rhythmic brush snare patterns. This acoustic album feels like an intimate performance in a small Brooklyn apartment. I still remember being lulled to sleep as a little kid in the back of my parents’ car before the lead track, “Don’t Know Why,” ended. This album is so soothing and memorable, it’s no wonder it won Best Album of the Year when it was released in 2002 and was RIAA certified Diamond just three years later.

Submitted by: Kahala Farrow

SPICE GIRLS

THe GREATEST HITS

Growing up with an older sister meant I was introduced to a lot of cool movies and cds ahead of my friends. One of these movies happened to be the Spice World when I was 5 years old. We watched the movie so often, we ended up breaking the VHS tape from overuse. So it was safe to say the Spice Girls easily became my first favorite music group. The Spice Girls Greatest Hits provides exactly what the title promises - fifteen of the most iconic Spice Girl songs that paved the way for pop music moving forward. From "Wannabe" to "Too Much" to "Say You'll Be There" you'll be sure to spice up your life with this album. Not only did they set the bar for their craft, they truly set the bar for feminism in the 90's. As icons of the GIRL POWER! movement, they taught women of all ages about how the fight for equality is important to each and every woman no matter if you were a Posh, Baby, Scary, Sporty, Ginger - Spice, or anything in between or beyond. Which is why this album is an essential in my rotation today whenever I need a reminder of my own personal Girl Power!

Submitted by: Janya Ji

Carpenters

CLOSE TO YOU

Karen Carpenter’s music and talent is legendary and truly one-of-a-kind. Her voice is so distinctive and melodic, and her range is so beautiful. I grew up listening to Carpenters and some of my favorite songs are on Carpenters’ Close To You, like “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “(They Long To Be) Close To You.”

Submitted by: Katie Holmes

LADY GAGA

ARTPOP

“Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (Make it real loud)!” Sing, clap, and dance along to Lady Gaga’s 3rd studio album ARTPOP! Described by Gaga as "a celebration and a poetic musical journey,” ARTPOP mixes synth pop, EDM, R&B and more to create the ultimate work of art. The perfect soundtrack to your silent rave, pajama dance party, or stuck-at-home workout, this album is a MUST-LISTEN. So what are you waiting for?!

Submitted by: Ava Bremen

RIHANNA

VINYL BOX SET

Not only is Rihanna the ultimate music star, she’s a fashion icon, philanthropist, and overall baddie. I have grown with her throughout the years and each album relates to a time in my life, which is why I love the boxset. Pure nostalgia. She is one of the most versatile artists with a voice that speaks her mind and a sound unlike anyone else!

Submitted by: Laura Stavropoulos

PJ HARVEY

Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

After Rolling Stone described her as a “guitar-toting succubus” following her debut album Dry, it was clear the music world was not ready for Polly Jean Harvey and neither was I. But PJ Harvey is immune to labels, and her unworldly music doesn’t belong to any decade or scene. After conquering the rock world with Rid Of Me and Is This Desire? (among others) she made her version of a “pop” friendly record with Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea her – let’s stay up all night drinking with a lover in New York City record – and it’s been part of my regular rotation ever since. From the Thom Yorke-assisted “This Mess We’re In” to the Chrissie Hynde-channeling “Good Fortune,” Stories’ proved PJ was still the fearless pop eccentric I knew her to be. Not to mention the countless artists she inspired in the years since. For fans of the Angel Olsens and St. Vincents of the world, it’s time to go to the source and put on some PJ Harvey.

Submitted by: Maddie Sillivos

LORDE

PURE HEROINE

The year was 2013, I had just turned 18 but did not feel at all ready to take on the world as an adult. In comes Lorde, giving a voice and outlet to adolescence, with her debut album Pure Heroine. I couldn’t help but feel seen and heard by her vivid and honest lyrics. “Ribs” captured the anxieties of adolescence with its continuous build up and enveloping sounds. I immediately identified with the lyrics "and i’ve never felt more alone, it feels so scary getting old." “Royals” and “Tennis Court” provide an outlet for angst and a critique of mainstream culture while also giving insight to how Lorde was taking on this new stage of her life at the time - both as a young adult and as a person new to fame. Pure Heroine is the kind of album you blast in your car at midnight with the windows down, while driving with no particular destination in mind, just so you can feel every word she sings without distraction.

Submitted by: Halaine Lato

Mariah carey

THE EMANCIPATION OF MIMI

Mariah Carey is a music icon. Not only is she an amazing singer, but she is credited for writing or co-writing all of the songs on her albums. Her music is timeless and her range is unmatched. A woman that has been faced with so much adversity continues to prove she reigns supreme. People love to claim the Emancipation of Mimi as her ‘comeback’ album, and it definitely was. Her 10th album features my karaoke favorites “We Belong Together”, “Shake It Off”, and “Don’t Forget About Us.” This album will have you all in your feels.

Submitted by: Ashley Harris

The Go-Go's

DOCUMENTARY DVD

The Go-Go’s have been an ever-present fixture in the music scene for decades & have the notable distinction of being the only all-female band to write their own songs & play their own instruments on a #1 album. This Critic’s Choice Award-winning documentary tells their story in candid detail, from their origins in the LA punk scene to superstardom, all while taking a machete to the expectations of what a “girl band” should be. As someone who also grew up in the pit at punk shows, I loved seeing how they broke barriers & kept the love of music at the center of it all. They’ve finally been nominated for a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and this film is proof of how much it is overdue & well-deserved.

Submitted by: Blaire Brinster

LADY GAGA

BORN THIS WAY

Throughout her entire career, Lady Gaga's name has remained synonymous with inclusivity, kindness, and empowerment. On her second studio album Born This Way (2011), she makes a commanding statement of self-liberation and equality. It seems that every listener, no matter one's challenges, knows a lyric from the title track that resonates incredibly. "I'm on the right track" is that one lyric that always reminds me to stay true to myself. Born This Way's four-on-the-floor rhythms, fierce synthesizers, and inspiring lyrics will have you dialing up the volume at the same rate as your emotion.

Submitted by: Sara Benz

INGRID MICHAELSON

BE OK

A powerhouse in the most subtle way, Ingrid Michaelson is one of the most beautiful songwriters of our generation. Ingrid has a certain innocent yet exciting nature to her songs that I have always been such a fan of. I remember going to see Ingrid live back in 2015 and how she was so effortlessly able to capture the audience with just a mic and her ukulele. Be OK features "You And I" which, essentially, launched her career and made me fall in love with Ingrid's music as she further developed herself as an artist.

Submitted by: Eryka Hammonds

MARIAH CAREY

E=MC²

Mariah Carey broke records with E=MC2. “Touch My Body” not only was Mariah’s eighteenth number one on the Billboard Hot 100, but is also the track that would help Mariah surpass Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most number one singles! This is a time defining album for me. “Bye Bye” is such a beautiful ballad and “Migrate” was my favorite party song. The album is personal as it speaks on the events in Mariah’s life at the time while also being fun and continuing the emancipation theme.

Submitted by: Natalie Lopez

YEAH YEAH YEAHS

FEVER TO TELL

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is an absolute powerhouse and one of the most influential vocalists in the rock world. She has inspired a new generation of female artists, and she continues to push the envelope with her creativity in music and by being her true authentic self. I grew up listening to Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their debut album, Fever To Tell, is an album I find myself revisiting constantly. Fever To Tell is an introduction to Karen O’s transformative and diverse music catalog. It includes some of their biggest hits such as “Maps,” “Y Control,” and “Date With The Night.” Karen O represents diversity and perseverance in an industry that can be difficult to navigate. She is an overall badass that continues to inspire me in my career in music and beyond. Listening to her and watching her perform still makes me as excited as the first time I listened to Fever To Tell. Check it out!

Submitted by: Kristina Waters

SHANIA TWAIN 

COME ON OVER

“Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” is the epitome of country-pop perfection; it’s no wonder its parent album Come On Over is Shania’s second RIAA Diamond-certified album. This album kicks off with my favorite five track run of all time. Come On Over starts off strong, opening with “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” which is followed by four fan-favorite tracks “I’m Holdin’ On To Love (To Save My Life),” “Love Gets Me Every Time.” “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)” and “From This Moment On,” which perfectly set a high energy, romantic, and cheeky tone for the rest of the album. From singing “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” to my parents on my first karaoke machine to today, Come On Over and Shania Twain have continued to inspire me to celebrate my strength and to express my own unique femininity!

Submitted by: Lindsay Williams

AMY WINEHOUSE 

FRANK

During my first music internship at Universal Music, I still remember the introduction of Amy Winehouse. We were sitting in a weekly meeting and got to watch her introduction to the US with her music video for “Rehab.” I was totally blown away by her soulful vocals layered over a blend of R&B and Jazz. From there, I couldn’t get enough. I went back and discovered her debut album, Frank–which has become one of my favorite albums.

Submitted by: Lauren O'Connor

LANA DEL REY 

BORN TO DIE

As the younger sibling, I was always in a rush to grow up and prove to my older sister just how cool I was. I remember one day in 2012 when she showed me Lana Del Rey's Born To Die album, it immediately resonated with me as a 17-year-old girl who just wanted to bust out of her little California suburb. Old Hollywood glamour meets the bad girl persona with Lana Del Rey's debut album. The lyrics paint dreamy imagery of young women running away to find a more dangerous and adventurous lifestyle. This album really captures how a teenage girl can feel, just wanting to spread her wings. "This is what makes us girls, we all look for heaven and we put our love first", Lana sings, truly encapsulating the whimsical daydreams of young women around the world, hoping to find a little piece of heaven on earth. This album was just the beginning of a nearly decade long musical journey Lana has taken her fans on, and just a peek into her talents as an artist. The theatrical sounds met with Lana's soothing, sultry vocals make you feel like you're in a "Dark Paradise''. I hope this album resonates with young women today the way it has for me over the years.

Submitted by: Jannet Talat

Neneh Cherry

Raw Like Sushi

The spunky energy of Neneh Cherry on Raw Like Sushi is empowering to women from every era. Coming out of Sweden in the late 80’s / early 90’s, Neneh Cherry’s groovy synthesizers and quick rap verses will breathe life into your mundane day-to-day. The album’s theme is strong female power, gusto, and a determination to be reckoned with. Paving the way for powerful pop icons, this album does not get enough credit in today’s musical realm. Underrated, Neneh Cherry shows listeners that she’s “not one to get fresh with.”

Submitted by: Carol Nogueira

BILLIE Eilish

DON'T SMILE AT ME

Billie’s music is fascinating for many reasons: from her brother Finneas’ genius sound layering and genre mixing to her clever lyrics and haunting, ASMR-ish vocals which distill complex themes like anxiety, depression, and mental health into palatable, relatable pop music. Everything about her makes her obsession-worthy. No wonder she became such a sensation. Her EP Don’t Smile At Me has some of her best tracks, such as “Copycat,” “My Boy,” and “Bellyache,” all good indicators of what was to come with her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.

Submitted by: Tara Master

Reba McEntire

Rumor Has It

Growing up outside of New York City I wasn’t exposed to a lot of country music, but I knew Reba. And if you knew Reba, you knew the song “Fancy”. It wasn’t until later that I explored more of her music and came to respect her as a musician, songwriter, actor and strong female role model. The entire Rumor Has It album (which celebrated its 30th Anniversary last year!) is full of incredible songs – from “You Lie” to “Rumor Has It” and of course “Fancy”. Bobbie Gentry who wrote “Fancy” viewed the song as a feminist statement. So, in honor of Reba, put on your favorite red dress and enjoy the album.

KACEY MUSGRAVES 

GOLDEN HOUR

After winning Album Of The Year at the Grammy’s, Kacey Musgraves really won the heart of America with her fourth studio album, Golden Hour and witty personality. The lyricism of each track ranges from being by yourself and content with “Lonely Weekend” to a lovely, sweet homage in the track “Mother.” Kacey’s soft, sultry voice along with her divine, genuine lyricism will have you putting this album on repeat over and over again.

GWEN STEFANI

LOVE ANGEL MUSIC BABY

Love Angel Music Baby by Gwen Stefani is the first studio, breakaway album since her departure from No Doubt. This album resonates as a coming of age release with tracks like “Bubble Pop Electric” and “Cool.” The album does an exquisite job of marrying many genres together like electro-pop, R&B, and alternative. Love Angel Music Baby is a testament that Gwen Stefani was capable of standing on her own with her solo-project and have it succeed with such abundance. We owe a lot to Gwen for coining the term “Hollaback Girl” and teaching us the correct, perhaps difficult, spelling of bananas.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS

FEVER TO TELL

A quick, fast-paced punk revival – Karen O in Fever To Tell is the front woman we’ve been so thirstily craving for so long. I remember seeing them perform at FYF in 2013 and she was wearing a sparkle suit; her energy was electric and bright like a punk rock Jesus. Fever To Tell is rebellious and empowering in every facet, every guitar chord. Her spunky dynamism, melodramatic voice along with the electronic sound of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will have you moshing and air-guitaring in general admission.

Submitted by: Kahala Farrow

Spice Girls

The Greatest Hits

Growing up with an older sister meant I was introduced to a lot of cool movies and music ahead of my friends - one of these movies happened to be Spice World when I was 5 years old. We watched the movie so often, we ended up breaking the VHS tape from overuse. It’s safe to say the Spice Girls easily became my first favorite music group. The Spice Girls Greatest Hits provides exactly what the title promises: fifteen of the most iconic Spice Girl songs that paved the way for pop music moving forward. From "Wannabe" to "Too Much" to "Say You'll Be There" you'll be sure to spice up your life with this album. Not only did they set the bar for their craft, they truly set the bar for feminism in the 90's. As icons of the GIRL POWER! movement, they taught women of all ages about how the fight for equality is important to each and every woman no matter if you were a Posh, Baby, Scary, Sporty, Ginger Spice, or anything in between or beyond, which is why this album is an essential in my rotation today whenever I need a reminder of my own personal girl power!

Submitted by: Dylan Shapiro

Gwen Stefani

Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

I have a very vivid (and slightly embarrassing) memory of me at 12-years-old belting out “Hollaback Girl” with a cabin full of girls at camp. I’m pretty sure we had a dance to go with it. Gwen Stefani’s debut solo album undoubtedly had an impact on us preteens. We learned to express and be proud of ourselves- through our voice, culture (shoutout “Rich Girl” sampling Fiddler On The Roof), and fashion. And of course, we learned how to spell BANANAS (and now can’t do so without hearing that iconic bridge).

Submitted by: Lauren Altman

NORAH JONES

COME AWAY WITH ME

Blending jazz, blues, and folk elements, Norah Jones reached number one on the Billboard 200 with her debut album, Come Away With Me. Norah’s soulful voice is perfectly accompanied by plucked guitar melodies, piano arrangements, and rhythmic brush snare patterns. This acoustic album feels like an intimate performance in a small Brooklyn apartment. I still remember being lulled to sleep as a little kid in the back of my parents’ car before the lead track, “Don’t Know Why,” ended. This album is so soothing and memorable, it’s no wonder it won Best Album of the Year when it was released in 2002 and was RIAA certified Diamond just three years later.

Submitted by: Ava Bremen

Rihanna

Vinyl Box Set

Not only is Rihanna the ultimate music star, she’s a fashion icon, philanthropist, and overall baddie. I have grown with her throughout the years and each album relates to a time in my life, which is why I love the boxset. Pure nostalgia. She is one of the most versatile artists with a voice that speaks her mind and a sound unlike anyone else!

Submitted by: Katie Holmes

LADY GAGA

ARTPOP

“Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (Make it real loud)!” Sing, clap, and dance along to Lady Gaga’s 3rd studio album ARTPOP! Described by Gaga as "a celebration and a poetic musical journey,” ARTPOP mixes synth pop, EDM, R&B and more to create the ultimate work of art. The perfect soundtrack to your silent rave, pajama dance party, or stuck-at-home workout, this album is a MUST-LISTEN. So what are you waiting for?!

Submitted by: Jayna Ji

CARPENTERS

CLOSE TO YOU

Karen Carpenter’s music and talent is legendary and truly one-of-a-kind. Her voice is so distinctive and melodic, and her range is so beautiful. I grew up listening to Carpenters and some of my favorite songs are on Carpenters’ Close To You, like “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “(They Long To Be) Close To You.”

KACEY MUSGRAVES 

GOLDEN HOUR

After winning Album Of The Year at the Grammy’s, Kacey Musgraves really won the heart of America with her fourth studio album, Golden Hour and witty personality. The lyricism of each track ranges from being by yourself and content with “Lonely Weekend” to a lovely, sweet homage in the track “Mother.” Kacey’s soft, sultry voice along with her divine, genuine lyricism will have you putting this album on repeat over and over again.

GWEN STEFANI

LOVE ANGEL MUSIC BABY

Love Angel Music Baby by Gwen Stefani is the first studio, breakaway album since her departure from No Doubt. This album resonates as a coming of age release with tracks like “Bubble Pop Electric” and “Cool.” The album does an exquisite job of marrying many genres together like electro-pop, R&B, and alternative. Love Angel Music Baby is a testament that Gwen Stefani was capable of standing on her own with her solo-project and have it succeed with such abundance. We owe a lot to Gwen for coining the term “Hollaback Girl” and teaching us the correct, perhaps difficult, spelling of bananas.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS

FEVER TO TELL

A quick, fast-paced punk revival – Karen O in Fever To Tell is the front woman we’ve been so thirstily craving for so long. I remember seeing them perform at FYF in 2013 and she was wearing a sparkle suit; her energy was electric and bright like a punk rock Jesus. Fever To Tell is rebellious and empowering in every facet, every guitar chord. Her spunky dynamism, melodramatic voice along with the electronic sound of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will have you moshing and air-guitaring in general admission.

Submitted by: Laura Stavropoulos

PJ HARVEY

Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

After Rolling Stone described her as a “guitar-toting succubus” following her debut album Dry, it was clear the music world was not ready for Polly Jean Harvey and neither was I. But PJ Harvey is immune to labels, and her unworldly music doesn’t belong to any decade or scene. After conquering the rock world with Rid Of Me and Is This Desire? (among others) she made her version of a “pop” friendly record with Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea her – let’s stay up all night drinking with a lover in New York City record – and it’s been part of my regular rotation ever since. From the Thom Yorke-assisted “This Mess We’re In” to the Chrissie Hynde-channeling “Good Fortune,” Stories’ proved PJ was still the fearless pop eccentric I knew her to be. Not to mention the countless artists she inspired in the years since. For fans of the Angel Olsens and St. Vincents of the world, it’s time to go to the source and put on some PJ Harvey.

Submitted by: Maddie Sillivos

LORDE

PURE HEROINE

The year was 2013, I had just turned 18 but did not feel at all ready to take on the world as an adult. In comes Lorde, giving a voice and outlet to adolescence, with her debut album Pure Heroine. I couldn’t help but feel seen and heard by her vivid and honest lyrics. “Ribs” captured the anxieties of adolescence with its continuous build up and enveloping sounds. I immediately identified with the lyrics "and i’ve never felt more alone, it feels so scary getting old." “Royals” and “Tennis Court” provide an outlet for angst and a critique of mainstream culture while also giving insight to how Lorde was taking on this new stage of her life at the time - both as a young adult and as a person new to fame. Pure Heroine is the kind of album you blast in your car at midnight with the windows down, while driving with no particular destination in mind, just so you can feel every word she sings without distraction.

Submitted by: Blaire Brinster

LADy GAGA

BORN THIS WAY

Throughout her entire career, Lady Gaga's name has remained synonymous with inclusivity, kindness, and empowerment. On her second studio album Born This Way (2011), she makes a commanding statement of self-liberation and equality. It seems that every listener, no matter one's challenges, knows a lyric from the title track that resonates incredibly. "I'm on the right track" is that one lyric that always reminds me to stay true to myself. Born This Way's four-on-the-floor rhythms, fierce synthesizers, and inspiring lyrics will have you dialing up the volume at the same rate as your emotion.



Submitted by: Ashley Harris

The Go-Go’s

DOcumentary dvd

The Go-Go’s have been an ever-present fixture in the music scene for decades & have the notable distinction of being the only all-female band to write their own songs & play their own instruments on a #1 album. This Critic’s Choice Award-winning documentary tells their story in candid detail, from their origins in the LA punk scene to superstardom, all while taking a machete to the expectations of what a “girl band” should be. As someone who also grew up in the pit at punk shows, I loved seeing how they broke barriers & kept the love of music at the center of it all. They’ve finally been nominated for a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and this film is proof of how much it is overdue & well-deserved.

Submitted by: Halaine Lato

MARIAH CAREY

The Emancipation of Mimi

Mariah Carey is a music icon. Not only is she an amazing singer, but she is credited for writing or co-writing all of the songs on her albums. Her music is timeless and her range is unmatched. A woman that has been faced with so much adversity continues to prove she reigns supreme. People love to claim the Emancipation of Mimi as her ‘comeback’ album, and it definitely was. Her 10th album features my karaoke favorites “We Belong Together”, “Shake It Off”, and “Don’t Forget About Us.” This album will have you all in your feels.

KACEY MUSGRAVES 

GOLDEN HOUR

After winning Album Of The Year at the Grammy’s, Kacey Musgraves really won the heart of America with her fourth studio album, Golden Hour and witty personality. The lyricism of each track ranges from being by yourself and content with “Lonely Weekend” to a lovely, sweet homage in the track “Mother.” Kacey’s soft, sultry voice along with her divine, genuine lyricism will have you putting this album on repeat over and over again.

GWEN STEFANI

LOVE ANGEL MUSIC BABY

Love Angel Music Baby by Gwen Stefani is the first studio, breakaway album since her departure from No Doubt. This album resonates as a coming of age release with tracks like “Bubble Pop Electric” and “Cool.” The album does an exquisite job of marrying many genres together like electro-pop, R&B, and alternative. Love Angel Music Baby is a testament that Gwen Stefani was capable of standing on her own with her solo-project and have it succeed with such abundance. We owe a lot to Gwen for coining the term “Hollaback Girl” and teaching us the correct, perhaps difficult, spelling of bananas.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS

FEVER TO TELL

A quick, fast-paced punk revival – Karen O in Fever To Tell is the front woman we’ve been so thirstily craving for so long. I remember seeing them perform at FYF in 2013 and she was wearing a sparkle suit; her energy was electric and bright like a punk rock Jesus. Fever To Tell is rebellious and empowering in every facet, every guitar chord. Her spunky dynamism, melodramatic voice along with the electronic sound of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will have you moshing and air-guitaring in general admission.

Submitted by: Sara Benz

Ingrid Michaelson

BE OK

A powerhouse in the most subtle way, Ingrid Michaelson is one of the most beautiful songwriters of our generation. Ingrid has a certain innocent yet exciting nature to her songs that I have always been such a fan of. I remember going to see Ingrid live back in 2015 and how she was so effortlessly able to capture the audience with just a mic and her ukulele. Be OK features "You And I" which, essentially, launched her career and made me fall in love with Ingrid's music as she further developed herself as an artist.

Submitted by: Eryka Hammonds

MARIAH CAREY

Mariah Carey - E=MC²

Mariah Carey broke records with E=MC2. “Touch My Body” not only was Mariah’s eighteenth number one on the Billboard Hot 100, but is also the track that would help Mariah surpass Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most number one singles! This is a time defining album for me. “Bye Bye” is such a beautiful ballad and “Migrate” was my favorite party song. The album is personal as it speaks on the events in Mariah’s life at the time while also being fun and continuing the emancipation theme.

Submitted by: Natalie Lopez

YEAH YEAH YEAHS 

FEVER TO TELL

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is an absolute powerhouse and one of the most influential vocalists in the rock world. She has inspired a new generation of female artists, and she continues to push the envelope with her creativity in music and by being her true authentic self. I grew up listening to Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their debut album, Fever To Tell, is an album I find myself revisiting constantly. Fever To Tell is an introduction to Karen O’s transformative and diverse music catalog. It includes some of their biggest hits such as “Maps,” “Y Control,” and “Date With The Night.” Karen O represents diversity and perseverance in an industry that can be difficult to navigate. She is an overall badass that continues to inspire me in my career in music and beyond. Listening to her and watching her perform still makes me as excited as the first time I listened to Fever To Tell. Check it out!