The Blues has been mostly known for its legendary male performers. However, the women in the blues world have made a very significant mark by adding a different view (women get the blues too!) and strong performances. They were also among the most upfront and direct presenters of touchy subject matters, in a time where people hid their troubles and addictions away from society.

From their soulful and powerful voices to their over-the-top performances, here’s my list of the top 10 Women of the Blues that have shaped the blues sound.

By Ali Sleeq

10) Koko Taylor – Walking the Backstreets

9) Shameka Copeland – It Don’t Hurt No More

8) Big Mama Thornton – Everything Gonna Be Alright

7) Sister Rosetta Thorpe – That’s All

6) Georgia White – Trouble in Mind

5) Memphis Minnie – Hoodie Lady Blues

4) Victoria Spivey – Black Snake Blues

3) Bessie Smith – I Need Some Sugar in My Bowl

2) Ma Rainey – Prove it to Me Blues

1) Mable Hillery – How Long that Train Been Gone


About author: Good blues to ya! My name is Ali Sleeq, a self-proclaimed messenger of the blues, and musician. Those who know me well understand how obsessed I am with the genre, ever since I was a high schooler. I also have headed several blues bands in Lebanon and Kuwait, and regularly blog and tweet about the blues.