It’s a clash of the Karens. I adore Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but she’s pipped by Karen Carpenter. Karen had one of the purest voices in popular music and I loved how in the early days she was also The Carpenters’ drummer. And ‘Superstar’ is obviously one of the greatest songs of all time.
Beth Ditto has always been a major favourite of mine. Her band Gossip broke down gender norms and stereotypes in the music world with their punk aesthetic and their unapologetic music which has aged beautifully.
My favourite frontwoman would have to be Gwen Stefani. I fell in love with her (and No Doubt) the first time watched the music video for ‘Don’t Speak’. I’ve always loved her very distinct voice, her energy and style. And she’s hot as hell too. Also, Return of Saturn has to be the album I listened to the most when was a teenager.
I choose Skin from Skunk Anansie for being a true original and an unapologetically queer, all round hero for the past 25 years and counting. And a total sounder to interview. Swoon.
Lesley Woods from The Au Pairs blew my mind when I first heard her, and she still does… Playing With A Different Sex is bad-ass, sarcastic, dry, funny, brave, angry, political and very right-on. It’s a post-punk classic. And crucially, her monotone delivery is right in the middle of my ‘havent-got-a-note-in-my-head’ range, so I get to sing along too.