Women Who Rock: 40 Facts About Female Musicians

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1Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

In the 1980s Janet Jackson was criticized for not writing her own music and being dependent on producers. In response, she wrote and co-produced every song on her following album, which ended up being her best-selling album ever.

2. When their records stopped selling, Sonny and Cher performed a lounge act but it was so depressing, people started heckling them. Cher started heckling back. The heckling revived their act and they got offered a TV show in 1971, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and they reached a whole new peak of fame.

3. After her mental issues, Britney Spears was placed under legal conservatorship. Her finances and many of her personal decisions are run by a group of paid conservators (including her father) for approval even today (December 2019). Conservatorship is reserved usually for mentally ill people or people in a vegetative state. Britney has reportedly stated that she wants to quit showbiz but she can’t make any personal or financial decisions of her life and is forced to continue.

4. Aretha Franklin required that she would be paid, in cash, prior to any performance, often carrying the money in a bag, on stage during the show.

5. Google Images was created in response to Jennifer Lopez wearing a Versace dress to the Grammy's in 2000, which subsequently resulted in Google’s “most popular search query” they had seen to date: “Jennifer Lopez’s green dress.”

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Dr. Dre was the highest-paid musician in 2014, earning $620 million compared to second-placed Beyoncé who earned $115 million. This was the widest margin in history between the first and second place.

7. When 18-year-old Lady Gaga was studying at NYU, her classmates made a Facebook group called “Stefani Germanotta, you will never be famous” where they bullied her and called her an “attention-whore”. She dropped out after a year to pursue her music career full time.

8. Kelly Clarkson didn’t want to win American Idol because the winner was contractually bound to make a musical rom-com. Clarkson has always been vocal about how much she hates ‘From Justin To Kelly’ which she was forced to act in.

9. In 2003, Madonna leaked a fake version of her album “American Life” to pirates where every song was a loop of her saying “What the fuck do you think you're doing?” Then a hacker posted the real songs on her own site for everyone to download.

10. In 2010 British goat milk farmer reportedly discovered his goats made more milk when Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” was played on a loop.

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11Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera was criticized heavily for singing the wrong lyric when performing the national anthem at the World Series by the singer of Staind. 3 years later, he made the same mistake when he performed the anthem at the World Series.

12. Katy Perry’s parents wouldn't let her eat Lucky Charms as a child because the word “luck” was considered satanic.

13. Taylor Swift once released by mistake an 8-second song which was just white noise called “Track – 3,” which instantly became No. 1 on iTunes in Canada.

14. The French spoken words in the Beyoncé’s song “Partition” are almost word-for-word taken from a conversation in the French dub version of the film “The Big Lebowski.”

15. Dolly Parton gave each family who lost its primary residence in the 2016 Tennessee fires $1,000 a month for five months. When she arrived to help dole out the final payments, she brought the nearly 900 families an unexpected bonus – another $5,000 each for a total of $10,000.

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16Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks wrote Stand Back while listening to Prince’s Little Red Corvette. Because Stevie wrote Stand Back using the exact music for Little Red Corvette, she called Prince to tell him about the song, and he showed up at her studio 25 minutes later to record the synthesizers for it.

17. Unprovoked, Courtney Love picked on Gwen Stefani saying “Being famous is just like being in high school. But I'm not interested in being the cheerleader. I'm not interested in being Gwen Stefani.” After that quote, Gwen recorded her first solo album with the cheerleader anthem “Hollaback Girl.”

18. When Billie Holiday would perform “Strange Fruit” at gigs, the club owner would order the waiters to stop serving, and the room would be in complete darkness except for a single spotlight on her face. It would close her act and there would be no encore.

19. Aretha Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

20. Weird Al Yankovic has never accepted any outside ideas or titles for a song, with one exception- Madonna herself asked when he was going to turn “Like a Virgin” into “Like a Surgeon.”

21Katy Perry

Katy Perry

After her Super Bowl performance, Katy Perry’s lawyers tried (unsuccessfully) to copyright and trademark ‘Left Shark.’

22. In the 90s, Tina Turner left America and started living in Switzerland. She now is a Swiss citizen, lives permanently in a village in the Alps, and has stated: “I could not imagine a better place to live.”

23. Alicia Keys first appeared on the Men in Black soundtrack and was credited with writing her own song. She was only 16.

24. Dolly Parton’s father paid for her birth with a sack of oats! She is the fourth of 12 children born to Robert and Avie Lee Parton of Sevierville, Tennessee. Her family was so poor that grain was all her father had to give the doctor who delivered her.

25. When Cher was in fifth grade, she directed a musical for her school. When the boys didn't want to participate, she acted the male roles and sang their songs.

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