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History's Greatest Female Drummers, Ranked

Updated January 24, 2021 56.2k votes 11.9k voters 213.3k views59 items

List RulesOnly female drummers

The best female drummers are those musically inclined ladies who saw a great deal of success manning the drums within a band or as a solo musician. You might not find them on the "Rolling Stone" list of 100 greatest drummers of all time but each has solidified their place as one of the best female drummers ever.

As if women didn't have a hard enough time being recognized among male band members in the music industry already, girl drummers face additional struggles. Chauvinistic critics will allege that women lack the physical strength, passion or even drive to be a successful drummer. Clearly these top female drummers prove that stigma wrong.

Karen Carpenter stands out as a favorite among many music lovers having played drums and sang for the 1970s duo The Carpenters. Janet Weiss played for several bands during her long career of rocking out. Maureen "Moe" Tucker might not be a household name but she was an integral part of the legendary rock band The Velvet Underground. Even Sheila E, who has worked with the likes of Prince and Ringo Starr plus released several successful solo albums, dominated the drums during her illustrious career. The list goes on and on.

So while names like Gina Schock and Terri Lyne Carrington may never be considered as elites overall in the drumming world, they still should get a great deal of credit for their talent. If these women are not Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees already, all are surely deserving of the honor. Have a favorite female drummer? Vote for those you love, add any who are missing or re-rank this list of the best female drummers all below.
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  • Akane Hirose1
    5,949
    347

    Akane Hirose

    Band-Maid

  • Karen Carpenter2
    2,155
    1,714
    The Carpenters

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    #2 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#141 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • Marina Bozzio3
    459
    452

    Marina Bozzio

    A perfect drummer for the sometimes sweet, usually badass all-women rockstars from Osaka, Japan: Aldious

  • Senri Kawaguchi4
    325
    312

    Senri Kawaguchi

  • Sheila E.5
    1,834
    2,263
    Prince, George Duke, Ringo Starr

    More Sheila E. 

    #242 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s#273 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • Jen Ledger6
    538
    1,309
  • Meytal Cohen7
    690
    1,442

    Meytal Cohen

  • Paulina Villarreal  (The Warning)8
    1,322
    352

    Paulina Villarreal  (The Warning)

  • Cindy Blackman9
    Lenny Kravitz

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    #82 of 85 The Greatest Black Female Musicians#6 of 15 Famous People You Didn't Know Practiced Baha'i Faith

  • Caroline Corr10
    The Corrs

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    #474 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time#176 of 271 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Tamu Murata11
    140
    162

    Tamu Murata

  • Debbi Peterson12
  • Gina Schock13
    537
    1,547
    The Go-Go's
  • Janet Weiss14
    523
    1,301
    Sleater-Kinney, Quasi
  • Megan Martha White15
    The White Stripes
  • Haruna (Lovebites)16
    218
    271

    Haruna (Lovebites)

  • Sandy West17
    537
    1,220
    The Runaways
  • 18
    48
    87

    RINA (Rina Suzuki)

  • 19
    55
    94

    mari (mary's blood)

  • Teresa Taylor20
    Butthole Surfers
  • Patty Schemel21
    Hole

    More Patty Schemel 

    #404 of 532 The Best Drummers Of All Time#171 of 191 The Best Female Musicians of All Time

  • Leah Shapiro22
    5,116
    2,975
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
  • Roxy Petrucci23
    vixen
  • Maureen Tucker24
    The Velvet Underground

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    #649 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#57 of 197 The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists

  • Shiho Yamanoha25