Tracks from iconic women

Ella Fitzgerald (pictured) – Summertime, Cry Me A River and Dream A Little Dream Of Me (with Louis Armstrong) are just a few of the tracks from this incomparable singer. Referred to as the ‘queen of jazz’ and ‘the first lady of song’, find out more about her life and her music here.

Peggy Lee – Miss Lee’s hey-day was in the 1950s and 60s as a jazz singer. She recorded Fever, Why Don’t You Do Right?, the gloriously defiant Is That All There Is? and Big Spender. Find out much more about her on the official Peggy Lee website.

Dusty Springfield – Massively popular in the 1960s, she still has a large and loyal fan base. Her hits included I Only Want To Be With You, Son of a Preacher Man and Windmills Of Your MindThis collaboration with The Pet Shop Boys in 2003 reminded everyone how fabulous she was (if anyone had forgotten).

Aretha Franklin – There is so much to say about this amazing artist that it’s best you go straight to her website and find out all about her music. Her many hits include I Say A Little Prayer For You, Respect and You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman. You will recognise them. She has also collaborated with other artists, including George Michael on I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).

Janis Joplin – Janis took the world by storm in her tragically short life (1943–70) with her unmistakable voice and passionate performances. Listen to this live performance of Ball and Chain and to Mercedes Benz. Find out more about her on the official Janis Joplin website.

Patti Smith – Singer, songwriter, artist, poet, activist and campaigner, and unashamedly her own person. Her best-known song is probably Because The Night. Read this biography to find out more.

Joni Mitchell – So many great songs (with brilliant lyrics and music) and such a rich creative career, we can’t do it justice here, so check out her official website. A few of her fabulous tracks are Big Yellow Taxi, A Case of You, and River. If you want to listen to a whole album of her music (and there are over 20 to choose from!), start with ‘Blue’ or ‘Court and Spark’.

Stevie Nicks – Amazing voice and songwriting talent, a member of Fleetwood Mac and a solo artist. Live versions of Edge of Seventeen (there’s a long intro before Stevie comes on but it’s worth waiting for), Sara, here with Sheryl Crow singing Are You Strong Enough To Be My Man, here in Fleetwood Mac singing The Chain and Tusk. Find out more about her on her website.

Kate Bush – A hugely innovative and creative musician, her hits include the startling Wuthering Heights (written when she was 18), The Man With The Child In His Eyes, Army Dreamers, Running Up That Hill, Cloudbusting, Hounds of Love, The Sensual World, This Woman’s Work and, more recently, King Of The Mountain (2005). Famously publicity-shy (according to NME, she once said, “I’m the shyest megalomaniac you’re ever likely to meet.”), she is a brilliant live performer; her come-back tour in 2014 sold out in 15 minutes. Find out more about her on her official website.