PJ Harvey

Iconic: 65 women who have helped define the UK music industry

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2018, Annie Rew Shaw takes a look at some of the most influential female musicians in the UK music industry – from electronic pioneer Daphne Oram to punk icon Poly Styrene to pop phenomenons such as Adele.

Listen to our Spotify playlist while you read to get a fully immersive experience of the work of these inspiring women.

1. Daphne Oram

Electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram was the co-founder of BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. She was the first woman to direct an electronic music studio and to design and construct an electronic musical instrument.

In 1959, Oram left the BBC and set up Oramics Studios for Electronic Composition, which laid the foundations for modern electronic music production.

2. Delia Derbyshire

Best known for arranging the Doctor Who theme tune in 1963, Delia Derbyshire is often referred to as the ‘unsung hero of British electronic music’. She wasn’t credited on-screen for her work until the programme’s 50th anniversary special in 2013.

Derbyshire worked at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop for 11 years – creating music and sound for almost 200 radio and television programmes.

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse. Photo: Shutterstock.com

3. Amy Winehouse

Known for her deep, expressive contralto vocals and eclectic mix of soul, rhythm and blues and jazz, Amy Winehouse rose to fame with her debut album, Frank, in 2003. Her follow-up album, Back To Black, earned her five Grammy Awards, making her the first British woman to do so.

Winehouse also won three Ivor Novello awards for singles Stronger Than Me, Rehab and Love Is A Losing Game. Back To Black posthumously became one of the UK’s best-selling albums of the 21st century.

4. Kate Bush

Kate Bush released her first single Wuthering Heights in 1978 at the age of 19, becoming the first female artist to achieve a UK number one with a self-written song.

Famous for her dramatic soprano vocal range and melodramatic style, Bush became the first female solo artist to top the UK album charts and first female artist ever to enter the UK album chart at number one. She has released 10 studio albums, all of which have reached the UK top 10.

In 1987, Kate Bush won the BRIT Award for Best British Female and has also won two Ivor Novello awards; Outstanding British Lyric in 1979 and Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2002.

Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox. Photo: Shutterstock.com

5. Annie Lennox

Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox achieved international success in the 1980s as one half of Eurythmics. The duo achieved global success with their second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) and have won three Ivor Novello Awards, a Grammy award and a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. They were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Lennox herself has won eight BRIT Awards – including Best British Female Artist a record six times.

She has released six solo studio albums, winning her four Grammy awards. She also won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song for ‘Into The West’, written for the soundtrack for ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’.

At the 2015 Ivor Novello awards, she was made a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors – the first female to receive the honour.

6. Siouxie Sioux

Lead singer of Siouxie and the Banshees and The Creatures, Siouxie Sioux has been cited as one of the most influential British singers of the rock era, having a strong influence on bands such as Radiohead, Joy Division, Jeff Buckley, The Cure and PJ Harvey.

Siouxie and the Banshees’ first album The Scream was one of the first post-punk albums released, and was hailed by NME as one of the best debut albums of all time.

At the 2011 Q Awards, Sioux was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Music. The following year, she won the Ivor Novello Inspiration Award.

7. Alison Goldfrapp

Lead vocalist of electronic music duo, Goldfrapp, Alison Goldfrapp is known for her expansive soprano vocal range and versatility; moulding her voice to suit multiple different genres.

The duo have released seven studio albums, drawing influence from surrealism and nature – often reflected in Goldfrapp’s on-stage image.

In 2004, Goldfrapp won the Ivor Novello Dance Award for single Strict Machine.

8. Joan Armatrading

Known for her deep, expressive contralto vocals and wide range of genres – including rock, folk, jazz, blues, soul and reggae, Joan Armatrading has released 18 studio albums, with a career spanning over 40 years.

In 1996, she received the Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

9. Shirley Bassey

Best known for recording the theme songs to James Bond films Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker, Shirley Bassey was the first Welsh person to gain a number one single in the UK charts.

In 1977, she received the BRIT Award for Best British Female Solo artist in previous 25 years.

In 2000, Shirley Bassey was made a Dame for services to performing arts.

10. Adele

Tottenham-born Adele released her debut album 19 in 2008. Her second album, 21, broke the record for the longest number one album by a woman in Billboard history and was the longest running album at number one since 1985, holding the position for 23 weeks. It is the best-selling album in the UK of the 21st century, the best-selling album by a female in chart history and fourth best-selling album in the UK of all time.

In 2012, Adele became the first solo female artist to have three singles in the UK Top 10 at the same time.

She co-wrote and recorded the single ‘Skyfall’ for the 2012 James Bond film, winning her an Academy Award, a Grammy, the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song and the BRIT Award for British Single of the Year.

Adele has won a total of 136 awards, including 15 Grammys, 14 BRITs and three Ivor Novello Awards, as well breaking 11 Guinness World Records.

Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap

11. Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap is classically trained in piano, cello and clarinet, as well as being self-taught in guitar, drums and music production. She is known for her extensive use of manipulated electronic sounds in her compositions.

She has won two Grammy awards for production – one in 2010 as an engineer on her third studio album Ellipse and another in 2016 for her work as producer and engineer on Taylor Swift’s 1989.

In 2010, Heap won the Ivor Novello International Achievement award; and most recently, received the MPG Inspiration Award.

She has released four solo studio albums, composed the soundtrack for the theatre production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and is collaborating with the mi.mu team to develop gloves that can create electronic music using the human body.

12. Florence Welch

Best known as the vocalist for indie band Florence and the Machine, Florence Welch has a distinctive wide contralto vocal range and style.

The band’s debut album, Lungs, won the BRIT Award for Best British Album in 2010 and their second album, Ceremonials, debuted at number one in the UK charts.

In 2017, Welch was awarded the Ivor Novello for International Achievement.

13. Shirley Manson

Scottish singer, musician, producer and actor Shirley Manson is best-known as the lead vocalist of alternative rock band Garbage. The band have released six studio albums and sold over 17 million records worldwide.

Hailed as a feminist icon, Manson is also well known for her charity work and activism.

14. Beth Gibbons

Devon-born singer Beth Gibbons is the lead vocalist and lyricist for band Portishead.

Often credited as leading pioneers of trip hop music, the band’s debut album, Dummy, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1995 and is considered to be a milestone in defining the genre.

In 2016, Portishead won the Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

15. Dusty Springfield

Considered an icon of the Swinging Sixties, Dusty Springfield’s music career began when she formed a pop-folk vocal group, The Springfields, in 1960.

She embarked on a solo career in 1963 and went on to release 16 top 20 singles, including ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’, ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’ and ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’.

Known for her distinctive mezzo-soprano vocals and blue-eyed soul style, Springfield became the best-selling female singer in the world in 1966 and is a member of the UK Music Hall of Fame.

16. Laura Marling

Known as one of the artists of the ‘nu-folk movement’, singer-songwriter Laura Marling has released six studio albums – three of which were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

In 2011, she won the BRIT Award for Best British Female Solo Artist. Her sixth record, Semper Femina, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Folk Album category.

17. Sade

Singer, songwriter and producer Sade formed her eponymous band in the early 1980s. Their debut album, Diamond Life, sold over six million copies, making it one of the top-selling debut albums ever by a female vocalist. The album also won the BRIT Award for Album of the Year in 1984.

Known for their fusion of soul, smooth jazz and pop, Sade have released seven studio albums, won three Grammys and have sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Sade was appointed an OBE in 2002 for services to music – an honour promoted to CBE in 2017.

18. Spice Girls

Formed in 1994, the Spice Girls became a global pop phenomenon with their debut single Wannabe, which became a number one hit in 37 countries.

Their debut album Spice sold more than 31 million copies worldwide, making it the best selling album by a female group in history.

Known for their iconic style and cultural impact, the Spice Girls are the biggest British pop phenomenon since Beatlemania and the best-selling female group of all time, having sold over 85 million records worldwide.

19. Alison Moyet

Noted for her bluesy, contralto vocals, Alison Moyet rose to fame as one half of synthpop duo Yazoo.

After the group disbanded in 1983, Moyet began a solo career; her debut album Alf reaching number one in the UK album charts.

She has since recorded nine studio albums and sold over 23 million albums in the UK.

20. M.I.A

Rapper, singer-songwriter, producer and political activist M.I.A is known for her combination of alternative, dance, electronic, hip hop and world music.

She began her career as a visual artist, filmmaker and designer before embarking on a recording career; releasing five studio albums and founding her own record label, N.E.E.T Recordings.

Her single Paper Planes peaked the top 20 charts worldwide and became XL Recording’s second best single to date.

21. Poly Styrene

Frontwoman for punk band X Ray Spex, Poly Styrene has been described by Billboard as the ‘archetype for modern day feminist punk’.

The band’s first single Oh Bondage! Up Yours!, released in 1977, is regarded as a classic punk single, punctuated by Styrene’s distinctive, powerful voice.

22. Beth Orton

Singer-songwriter Beth Orton is known for her folktronica sound; having released seven studio albums and collaborated with artists such as The Chemical Brothers and William Orbit.

She won the BRIT Award for Best British Female in 2000 for her album Central Reservation.

23. Joanne Shaw Taylor

Joanne Shaw Taylor is a blues rock guitarist and singer discovered by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics at the age of 16.

As well as performing in Stewart’s supergroup, D.U.P, Taylor has released six studio albums.

In 2010, she won the award for Best Female Vocalist at the British Blues Awards. She won the same award again the following year, as well as Songwriter of the Year Award.

24. Tracey Thorn

One half of duo Everything But The Girl, Tracey Thorn is also known for her collaborations with Massive Attack and solo career – having released four solo studio albums.

Everything But The Girl have released 11 studio albums and have had four top 10 singles, including their cover of Danny Whitten’s song I Don’t Want To Talk About It.

25. Christine McVie

Singer-songwriter Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970, following her marriage to John McVie. She penned many of the band’s greatest hits, including singles Don’t Stop, You Make Loving Fun and Songbird on Rumours – one of the best-selling albums of all time. McVie has also released three solo albums.

In 1998, she was awarded the BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. She also won the Ivor Novello award for Lifetime Achievement in 2014.

26. Pauline Black

Lead singer of two-tone band The Selecter, Pauline Black is often credited alongside bands The Specials and Madness for starting the ska revival movement in the late 70s.

The Selecter released four singles that entered the top 40 in the 1970s and 80s, including the hit On My Radio.

27. Pauline Murray

Pauline Murray was the lead singer for punk rock band Penetration. The band’s debut single Don’t Dictate is regarded as a classic punk rock single.

As well as releasing four studio albums with Penetration, Murray also released multiple solo albums under various guises and went on to open recording studio and rehearsal space Polestar Studios.

28. Paloma Faith

Known for her retro jazz / soul style and eccentric fashion sense, Paloma Faith released her debut album Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? in 2009. The record has since sold over 600,000 copies.

In 2015, she won the BRIT Award for Best Female Solo Artist. Her fourth album, The Architect, debuted at number one in the UK, selling over 40,000 copies in its first week.

29. Shirley Collins

Shirley Collins is an English folk singer, regarded as a significant contributor to the English Folk Revival of the 1960s and 70s.

In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for services to music.

Collins is currently the patron for the South East Folk Arts Network and Folk South West. In 2008, she was elected as the president of the English Folk Dance & Song Society.

Ms Dynamite
Ms Dynamite. Photo: Shutterstock.com

30. Ms. Dynamite

Rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Ms. Dynamite released her debut album A Little Deeper in 2002, winning the Mercury Music Prize for Album of the Year.

In 2003, she won two BRIT Awards for Best British Urban Act and Female Solo Artist.

PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey. Photo: Shutterstock.com

31. PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey is a singer-songwriter, poet and writer, primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, although she is proficient in a wide range of instruments, including the saxophone.

Known for her expansive contralto vocal range, Harvey has released nine studio albums, frequently morphing her musical and visual style.

She received the Mercury Music Prize in both 2001 and 2011 – the only artist to have been awarded the prize twice. In 2011, she was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Music at the NME Awards and was honoured with an MBE in 2013 for services to music.

32. Bonnie Tyler

Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler is known for her distinctive husky voice.

She has released 16 studio albums and her hit singles Total Eclipse Of The Heart and It’s A Heartache have estimated sales of over six million units each. They are among the best-selling singles of all time.

33. Hazel O’Connor

Hazel O’Connor is a singer-songwriter and actress, best known for starring in and writing the soundtrack for 1980s film Breaking Glass.

The subsequent album reached number five in the UK charts.

34. Kirsty MacColl

Singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl recorded several pop hits in the 1980s and 90s, including her cover of Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’.

As well as releasing five solo albums, MacColl sang on The Pogues Christmas ballad ‘Fairytale Of New York’ – the UK’s most played Christmas song in the 21st century.

In 2001, a bench was placed in Soho Square in memorial to her, after a lyric from one of her songs.

35. Eddi Reader

Eddi Reader is a Scottish singer-songwriter best known for her work with band Fairground Attraction, solo work and film soundtrack compositions.

Fairground Attraction’s debut single Perfect reached UK number one and won the award for Best Single at the 1989 BRIT Awards.

Reader has released 11 solo studio albums and was awarded an MBE in 2006 for outstanding contribution to the arts.

36. Elizabeth Fraser

Known for her distinctive soprano voice, Elizabeth Fraser is best  known as the vocalist for Scottish rock band Cocteau Twins.

Having received high critical praise for her vocals, Fraser has sung guest vocals for numerous other projects, notably Massive Attack’s single Teardrop and This Mortal Coil’s cover of Tim Buckley’s Song To The Siren, which spent 101 weeks in the UK Indie Charts.

37. Petula Clark

Petula Clark’s career began as an entertainer on BBC Radio during World War II. She became popular as a singer and composer in the 1960s with multiple hits, including Downtown.

Clark recorded many songs in French, German, Italian and Spanish to increase her reach in Europe. She has sold over 68 million records.

38. Cilla Black

Singer, television presenter, actor and author Cilla Black first came to fame after she was championed by The Beatles in 1963.

Her singles Anyone Who Had A Heart and You’re My World both reached number one in the UK in 1964. Anyone Who Had A Heart was the UK’s biggest selling single by a female artist in the 1960s.

Cilla Black went on to have 50 year career in show business and was appointed an OBE in 1997 for services to entertainment.

39. Sandy Denny

Singer-songwriter Sandy Denny was one of the lead singers for folk rock band Fairport Convention, who are widely regarded as a key group in the English folk rock movement.

Her song Who Knows Where The Time Goes?- voted the Favourite Folk Track Of All time by BBC Radio 2 in 2007 – has been covered by the likes of Nina Simone, Judy Collins, Cat Power and Eva Cassidy.

40. Bananarama

Female pop and dance group Bananarama formed in 1981 and are known for their vocal style of singing in unison, rather than harmony.

Having released 10 studio albums, Bananarama earned a listing in the Guinness World Records as the all-female group with most chart entries in the world.

41. Dido

Singer-songwriter Dido’s debut album No Angel, sold over 21 millions copies worldwide, earning her two BRIT Awards for Best British Female and Best Album.

Her first two albums are among the best selling albums in UK chart history and are both in the top 10 best selling albums of 2000s in the UK.

In 2004, Dido’s single White Flag won the Ivor Novello award for International Hit of the Year and the BRIT Award for Best British Single.

42. Lulu

Known for her hit To Sir With Love for the film of the same name, singer-songwriter Lulu is also known for singing on the title track of James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun and her 1964 hit Shout.

She won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969 with her song Boom Bang-a-Bang.

In 2002, Lulu was awarded an OBE for her contribution to the entertainment industry.

Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis. Photo: Shutterstock.com

43. Leona Lewis

Known for her wide mezzo soprano vocal range, Leona Lewis rose to fame when she won The X Factor in 2006. Her single A Moment Like This peaked at number one for four weeks and broke the world record for having 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes.

Her debut album Spirit became the fourth best-selling album of the 2000s. The lead single from the album, Bleeding Love, spent seven weeks at number one and became the best selling single of 2008.

44. Gabrielle

Pop singer-songwriter Gabrielle released her first single Dreams in 1993, topping the UK singles charts.

She has released five studio albums and won the BRIT Award in 1994 for British Breakthrough Act and in 1997 for Best British Female.

In 2008, Gabrielle was awarded the Ivor Novello for Outstanding Song Collection.

45. Kim Wilde

Pop singer, author, DJ and TV presenter Kim Wilde released her debut single Kids In America in 1981, reaching number two in the UK charts.

In 1983, she received the BRIT Award for Best British Female.

Having sold over 10 million albums worldwide, Wilde holds the record for most charted British solo female act of the 1980s.

46. Judie Tzuke

Judie Tzuke is a singer-songwriter best known for her 1979 hit Stay With Me ‘Til Dawn.

Her solo career began in 1977 when she signed to Elton John’s label The Rocket Record Company.

Tzuke has released 21 studio albums and is also known for collaborating with other projects – including band Morcheeba on their album Dive Deep, notably on lead single Enjoy The Ride.

47. Kate Rusby

Hailed as one of the best known contemporary English folk singers, Kate Rusby has released 13 solo albums. She is one of the few folk singers to have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

In 2000, Rusby won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Folk Singer of the Year and Best Album. In 2006, she won the award for Best Live Act.

48. Sandie Shaw

Regarded as one of the most successful female singers of the 1960s, Sandie Shaw’s 1967 hit Puppet On A String became Britain’s first entry to win the Eurovision Song Competition. The song’s success gave her a third UK number one single – a record for a female artist at the time.

Shaw has recorded seven studio albums and sang most of her hit singles in Italian, French and German to boost her popularity in Europe.

In 2017, she was appointed an MBE for services to music.

49. Sharleen Spiteri

Scottish singer-songwriter Sharleen Spiteri is better known as the lead singer of Texas.

The band’s fourth studio album, White On Blonde, charted at number one and spent 91 weeks in the UK album charts. They have estimated worldwide album sales of over 40 million records.

As well as releasing 10 studio albums with Texas, Spiteri has also released two solo records.

50. Estelle

Singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and actress Estelle is best known for her number 1 hit American Boy, which won her the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

She has gone on to collaborate with artists such as John Legend, will.i.am, Kanye West and De La Soul.

51. Kate Nash

Kate Nash is a singer-songwriter, musician and actor, known for her political activism and support of LGBT+ rights.

Her debut album Made Of Bricks peaked at number one in the UK album charts. In 2008, she won the award for Best British Female Artist at the BRIT Awards.

52. All Saints

Pop and R&B group All Saints formed in 1993. Their self titled debut album peaked at number two in the UK album charts, making it the third best selling girl group album of all time in Britain.

Their hit single Never Ever is the second best selling single by all girl group of all time in the UK, winning them two BRIT Awards for Best British Single and Best British Video.

All Saints’ second album Saints & Sinners became their first number one album, including number one hits Black Coffee and Pure Shores. The latter won them the 2001 Ivor Novello award for most-performed work.

53. Lily Allen

Lily Allen rose to fame with her debut single Smile, which reached number one in the UK music charts in 2006.

She received the BRIT Award for Best Female Solo Artist in 2010, as well as three Ivor Novello awards for Songwriter of the Year, Best Song Musically and Lyrically and PRS for Most Performed Work for her single The Fear.

Allen is often credited alongside Amy Winehouse for starting a process that led to the ‘year of the woman’ British media label in 2009, with five female artists nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

54. Jessie J

R&B and pop singer-songwriter Jessie J came to prominence with her debut single Do It Like A Dude. Her second single Price Tag topped the single charts in 19 countries, including the UK.

Jessie J’s singles from her debut album, Who You Are, all charted within the Top 10 in the UK singles chart, making her the first British female artist to have six top 10 singles from a studio album.

In 2011, she won Critics Choice at the BRIT Awards.

55. Joss Stone

Soul singer Joss Stone gained success with her first two albums, The Soul Sessions and Mind, Body & Soul, the latter topping the UK album charts and spawning top 10 hit You Had Me, making her the youngest British female singer to top the UK albums chart.

She has since sold over 14 million records worldwide and is one of the best selling soul artists of the 2000s and British artists of all time.

In 2005, Joss Stone won the BRIT Award for British Female Solo Artist and British Urban Act. She also won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for her vocals on Family Affair, which she recorded with John Legend and Van Hurt.

56. KT Tunstall

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall released her debut album Eye To The Telescope in 2004.

The album’s success saw her receive the BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist and the Ivor Novello award for Best Song for single Suddenly I See in 2006.

57. Duffy

Duffy’s debut album Rockferry entered the UK album charts at number one and became the best selling UK album in 2008. Her single Mercy earned her the place as the first Welsh woman to achieve a number one in the UK charts since 1983, and won her the PRS for Most Performed Work Ivor Novello award.

In 2009, Duffy won three BRIT Awards for British Breakthrough Act, Best British Female and Best British Album. Rockferry also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal album.

58. Bat For Lashes

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes) has released four studio albums, receiving three Mercury Prize nominations.

In 2010, her single Daniel won the Ivor Novello award for Best Contemporary song.

59. Cathy Dennis

After a successful solo career with hits like Touch Me (All Night Long), singer, producer and actor Cathy Dennis went on to become an acclaimed songwriter, earning eight UK number one singles and five Ivor Novello Awards.

She wrote Bumper To Bumper – the B side to the Spice Girls hit single Wannabe, as well co-writing the theme tune for Pop Idol. Her song Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, recorded by Kylie Minogue, became the second highest selling single of 2001 and sold over three million copies worldwide.

Dennis won her first Grammy award for co-writing Britney Spears’ single Toxic. She also co-wrote Katy Perry’s hit I Kissed A Girl, which ranks among the best selling digital singles in history.

60. Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull is a singer, songwriter and actor who gained popularity in the 1960s with her hit single As Tears Go By. She became one of the lead female artists during the cultural phenomenon ‘British Invasion’ of the United States.

Her career has spanned over 45 years, during which she released 18 studio albums.

In 2009, Faithfull received the World Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Women’s World Awards.

61. Beverley Knight

Recording artist, radio presenter and musical theatre actor Beverley Knight released her debut album, The B-Funk in 1995.
Widely labelled as one of Britain’s greatest soul singers, Knight has released eight studio albums and starred in West End theatre productions The Bodyguard and Memphis.

In 2006, she was appointed an MBE in recognition of her contribution to British music.

62. Caron Wheeler

Caron Wheeler was one of the founding members of female vocal group Brown Sugar and backing vocal group Afrodiziak, recording vocals for the likes of The Jam and Elvis Costello.

She went on to release two solo albums, her music characterised by themes of love and empowerment, as well as black history.

In 1990, Wheeler won two Grammy awards for her collaboration with Soul II Soul on the tracks Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) and African Dance. In 2012, she was honoured with the PRS for Music Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award.

63. Cleo Laine

Jazz, pop and classical singer and actor Cleo Laine is the only female performer to have ever received Grammy nominations in the three different musical categories.

Having released 31 studio albums and gaining recognition for her wide vocal range, Laine had an extensive career as a recording artist as well as starring in several musical theatre productions.

She won two Grammy awards in 1983 and 1885 for Best Female Jazz Vocalist and Best Jazz Vocal Performance and in 1979 received an OBE for services to music.

64. Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church is a Welsh singer-songwriter, actor and presenter, also known for her political activism.

She began her career as a classical singer and her first album, Voice Of An Angel made her the youngest artist with a number one album on the British classical crossover charts. In 2000, she won British Artist of the Year at the Classical BRIT Awards.

She went on to release two pop albums as well as working on her own entertainment show.

65. Lynsey de Paul

Singer-songwriter Lynsey de Paul had multiple chart hits in the 1970s, including Top 10 single Sugar Me, which saw her become the first British female artist to achieve a number one with a self-written song.

As well as co-writing hit songs such as Dancin’ On A Saturday Night, de Paul also composed theme music for television programmes and orchestrated and performed classical works by Bach and Handel.

She was the first female musician to win an Ivor Novello Award.

Feature image: Shutterstock.com

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