female professionals Famous Female Bandleaders

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List of famous female bandleaders, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female bandleaders list contains the most prominent and top females known for being bandleaders. There are thousand of females working as bandleaders in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic bandleaders have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a bandleader then the people below should give you inspiration.

Tania Maria and Sweet Emma Barrett are a great starting point for your to rank your favorites on this list

While this isn't a list of all female bandleaders, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female bandleaders?" and "Who are the best female bandleaders?"
Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Female Bandleaders
Photo:  Jeff Golden/Getty Images

Christine Ellen "Chrissie" Hynde is an American singer, songwriter, and musician best known as the lead singer of the rock band The Pretenders. She has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history. She has also released a number of collaborations with other musicians – two of ...more

Age: 65

Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States of America

Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, + more

Credits: Lost in Translation, In Bruges, Bridget Jones's Diary, 17 Again

Also Ranked

#88 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#80 on The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

#62 on Rock Stars Who Would Make The Best President

#99 on The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

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Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Female Bandleaders
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Alison Maria Krauss is an American bluegrass-country singer-songwriter and musician. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in ...more

Age: 44

Birthplace: USA, Champaign, Illinois

Profession: Record producer, Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, + more

Credits: Twister^! Sicario^! O Brother^! Where Art Thou?^! Cold Mountain

Also Ranked

#57 on The Top Country Artists of All Time

#68 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#98 on The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

#86 on The Female Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

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Esperanza Spalding is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Female Bandleaders
Photo: Pennello/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Esperanza Spalding is an American jazz bassist, cellist and singer, who draws upon many genres in her own compositions. She has won four Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards, making her the first jazz artist to win the award. ...more

Age: 32

Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States of America

Profession: Bassist, Musician, Composer, Singer, Teacher

Also Ranked

#27 on Make Your Voice Heard: Who Are the Best Female Jazz Singers?

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Alice Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Female Bandleaders
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Alice Coltrane, née McLeod was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer, and the second wife of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. One of the few harpists in the history of jazz, she recorded many albums as a bandleader, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s for ...more

Age: Died at 70 (1937-2007)

Birthplace: Michigan, USA, Detroit

Profession: Jazz Pianist, Sideman, Bandleader, Harpist, Composer, + more

Credits: The Dancing Soul of the Walking People

Also Ranked

#54 on The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

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