Top 25 Women in Hard Rock and Metal for 2015
Every year Metalholic’s most popular article is the one you are reading right now. Hard rock and metal fans have a fascination with the explosion of women joining the ranks of a genre once populated almost entirely by men. Sure some of those men wear more make-up and Aquanet than the ladies listed below, but still, you get the point. Despite this surge of exceptional women who now accompany legends like Lita Ford, Doro Pesch, and Leather Leone, these amazing talents still make up less than 5% of hard rock and metal artists. For every female-fronted band there are usually four guys behind one woman. The numbers are growing, but they remain woefully unrecognized as a whole.
As Metalholic does every year, we have put together our list of the 25 women who really stood out in 2015. Whether it be a breakout artist, touring, or releasing a new record, these women were making waves this year.
This is NOT a “hottest chicks in metal” thing. This is about recognizing talent and raising awareness. If you just came for the pictures, take your misogynist tendencies somewhere else. This is also NOT about pitting women against each other. This is not ranked. This is not a battle. It’s about recognition only.
For the second year in a row, fans were allowed to nominate and vote for their choices, and as a result, many new names surfaced that have never made the list before. After the fans had their say, our staff put in their 2 cents as well.
This year brought both joyous and sad news; Otep Shamaya will return with new music in 2016 despite 2013’s retirement talk, but unfortunately Liv Jagrell and Sister Sin have called it quits after 13 years, five albums, and their most successful year to date. Jill Janus of Huntress had an amazing 2015, releasing a third studio album while dealing with significant health and mental illness issues, and she has risen above it all. Big vote getters who had a rather quiet 2015 (that make the list pretty much every year) include; Maria Brink of In This Moment, Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation, Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless, and Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. We salute you all with Honorable Mentions and a big horns up! Now let’s look at the women who made 2015 shine a little brighter.
Kimberly Freeman – One-Eyed Doll
Kimberly Freeman is one of the most dynamic and talented individuals in music today, regardless of genre. Whether as a solo artist or serving as the front-half of alternative heavy rock duo, One-Eyed Doll, Kimberly simply resonates creative grandiosity. Her talent as a singer and songwriter, is equally matched by her abilities with a guitar. The psychosocial poet and queen of quirk has been tabbed as both one of the “Top 5 Most Influential Women in Music” (Revolver) and one of the “Top 20 Most Extraordinary Female Guitarists” (Guitar Player). Two accurate honors and she is a reluctant yet proud recipient of both. Freeman has released over a dozen records combined between her solo efforts and One-Eyed Doll. The newest One-Eyed Doll effort, Witches was an another wild and intriguing affair. Prolific is an understatement when it comes to Freeman’s sonic output. In an interview with Metalholic she revealed she has nightmares about not being able to get all of her songs recorded before the clock runs out. Her music runs the gamut through punk, pop, hard rock, metal and anything that strikes her muse. It is all infectious as is her delightful voice and personality. It is no surprise Freeman received the second most votes from fans in this year’s poll. One-Eyed Doll will hit the road in early 2016 co-headlining the Visions Tour with Eyes Set to Kill.
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – Stitched Up Heart
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner turned out to be one of the brightest new faces to ignite 2015. She initially found recognition in 2008 after winning the reality television show Redemption Song. Alecia took her performance name, Mixi, from all of the creative elements that mix together to create who she is. After starting Stitched Up Heart in 2010, recording EPs and touring relentlessly, everything began falling into place this year. Mixi and the band will record their full-length debut for a spring 2016 release. Despite her youth, Mixi is something of an old soul who feels connected to her grandmother’s sister, who was “an old jazz singer back in Chicago,” Mixi shared with Metalholic. “For some reason, big band stuff–Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald–I feel really connected to that music in a weird kind of way.” Check out our recent interview with Mixi here.
2015 Breakout Artist: Thundermother
One of the most enjoyable hard rock records of 2015 is Road Fever, the sophomore effort from Sweden’s Thundermother. The band was founded by guitarist and principal songwriter Flippa Nassil who gathered the likes of Italian guitarist Giorgia Carteri, Irish vocalist Clare Cunningham, and sister Swedes; bassist Linda Strom and drummer Tilda Stenqvist, to create a band with bluesy rock and roll roots that recall the likes of AC/DC, Motörhead, and Thin Lizzy. Thundermother released its debut album, Rock N’ Roll Disaster in 2014 and immediately began turning heads in Europe. Thundermother‘s live set is electrifying and they bring the party to the stage with every performance. Check out Metalholic’s recent interview with Thundermother’s Clare Cunningham here.
Lzzy Hale – Halestorm
Since 2010, Lzzy Hale has been just about the most dominant woman in hard rock. Her charismatic presence and incredible vocal delivery have owned stages across the globe, and she is just getting started. In just a few short years Hale has made a name for her band Halestorm and herself as a powerhouse vocalist. This year, Hale and company released their third studio album, Into the Wild Life. With each new release Hale pushes her creative boundaries and the results continue to be astounding. If her band’s success alone were not enough, damn near everyone in music has reached out to get her voice on their own records. Whether she’s working with avant-garde artist Lindsey Sterling, or dueting with Stone Sour on a cover of The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”, Hale’s vocals add bombast and raw emotion. And whether she’s sharing the stage with country artist Eric Church, Transiberian Orchestra, or rock icons the Hollywood Vampires, her presence always steals the spotlight. Hale who has created her own jewelry and clothing line also writes her own blog as well as a column for Revolver Magazine. 2016 will include more extensive touring and if tradition holds true, a third covers EP from she and the band. Hale even has her own Signature Gibson Explorer guitar. There is simply no stopping Lzzy and her storm.
Skye Maension – The Maension
Skye Maension is the first keytarist to appear on our yearly list, ever. She handles the keys for Los Angeles future rock-alt metal unit, The Maension. Her skillful playing adds much of the progressive depth to the band’s unique sound. On stage her bright red hair and crimson-keyed keytar are hard to miss. Skye was born in one of the world’s coldest, most isolated cities- Norilsk, Siberia (Russia) and raised in the Ukraine. She started on the Domra (traditional Ukranian instrument similar to a guitar) as a teenager back in Ukraine, but eventually switched to keyboard after moving to America and connecting with producer/multi-instrumentalist Mark Maension, who immediately recognized her talent and asked her to join his band. 2015 was remarkable for Skye as she embarked on the “Ævol World Tour 2015”; a 12 month-long epic tour of 12 countries that totaled 113 shows- a notable aspect of it being that the band is unsigned and booked all it’s own tours, with Skye being the main booking force for the band. Now that Skye and the band have kicked off 2016, they are back to work on their third album.
Maja Shining – Forever Still
Maja Shining is the powerful and emotive voice behind Copenhagen, Denmark’s Forever Still. Shining started the band with bassist Mikkel Haastrup in 2013. Over the last three years the band has been working on a series of EPs, Scars, Breaking Free and Save Me. These culminate this winter with the release of their debut album, Tied Up, which will release on January 15. Maja handles writing the band’s vocal melodies and her emotionally revealing lyrics that often cover topics such as depression, anger and rejection as well as breaking free, resilience, and self-empowerment. Her vocals span the gamut from soft lullaby tones to scathing and aggressive full-throttle screams. Shining’s influences are culled mostly from personal experiences, and musically she draws from a vast number of artists as well as her own emotional journey. You can listen to and download some of Maja and Forever Still‘s music on their Bandcamp page, free.
Nina Osegueda – A Sound of Thunder
Nina Osegueda‘s talents continue to blossom with each new album she makes with her Washington D.C. based band, A Sound of Thunder. 2015 saw the release of the band’s fifth new studio album in as many years. Tales from the Deadside finds Osegueda bringing to life the tale of Valient Comic’s Shadowman. More so than on any previous record, Nina had a chance to explore the range of her vocal diversity. Osegueda has already been frequently hailed as a voice that recalls a female Bruce Dickinson meets Ronnie James Dio. She continues to tap into those mighty male metal vocal influences to develop her own style. Nina is a metal vocalist Swiss Army knife. In 2015, Nina (and A Sound of Thunder) also recorded a separate Kickstarter-only EP of cover songs which included her humorously twisted take on Manowar‘s “Pleasure Slave” and spine-tingling duet of Dio‘s “The Last in Line” with fellow powerhouse vocalist, Veronica Freeman (Benedictum). Check out Metalholic’s recent interview with Nina and A Sound of Thunder here.
Lauren Hart – Once Human
Lauren Hart seemed to appear out of nowhere in 2015 to front one of the best new bands, Once Human, on one of the year’s best debut records, The Life I Remember. Hart came to Los Angeles from Australia. She bought a cheap guitar and began putting videos up on YouTube playing some of her riff ideas. Lauren ultimately caught the attention of former Machine Head and Soulfly guitarist turned producer, Logan Mader. Mader was approached about doing a talent development production deal for Hart, but Mader fell in love with her music (or as Lauren tells it, she begged him) and Once Human was born. Hart is a multi-instrumentalist with a caustic vocal growl, or as the band put it; “a throat-scarring level of vocal brutality that completely contradicts her soft appearance.” Her songwriting carries a love of black metal which she infuses with melodic and cinematic elements. Hart is a bold new talent in extreme metal.
Ashley Costello – New Years Day
Ash Costello fronts Anaheim-based hard rock/alt metal quintet, New Years Day. She is the band’s founder and only original member since its inception in 2005. Over the last decade Costello has released four EPs and three full-length albums, including 2015’s breakout Malevolence. Ash is a big fan of Paramore and My Chemical Romance, and has stated her band’s sound is something of a hybrid of the two. Her half orange/red and black hair style is a tribute to each band’s lead singer. She jokingly blames her uncles for getting her into the goth side of music with bands like The Cure, Bauhaus and Marilyn Manson, and hails My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way as her primary influence. Costello admits she was the dorky, creative troublemaker in school, and shares that music saved her life. She is also a big horror buff, which plays a huge theme in everything she does. This year, Costello also looked to build on her fashion creativity by launching “Bat Royalty” in collaboration with Iron Fist Clothing line.
Kobra Paige – Kobra and the Lotus
Kobra Paige founded her Canadian-based band, Kobra and the Lotus in 2008. She is the fire-breathing, driving force behind the band’s straight forward, “fuck sub-genres,” metal sound. Well versed as both a pianist and powerhouse vocalist, she studied classical music with The Royal Music Conservatory of Canada. Paige has all the requisite front(wo)man requirements down; stunning beauty, feisty attitude and impeccable pipes. More than that, she has an intangible charisma that just explodes forth when she performs: An undefinable magnetism that sets her apart from many of her male and female counterparts. 2015 has been a huge year for Paige who turned extensively with her own band before closing out the year on tour as a guest vocalist with Kamelot. She and her band released a 5-track covers EP, Words of the Prophets this summer, featuring their own take on hits by other Canadian rock artists. They also spent a lot of time writing for their forthcoming 2016 double-disc studio album which the band will begin recording in February. Check out our recent interview with Kobra here.
Priya Panda – Diemonds, She Demons
The 28-year-old Priya Panda had a breakout 2015 with her Canadian-based band, Diemonds. Their new album, Never Wanna Die resonates with a heavy 80’s sleaze rock influence, along with elements of thrash, punk and traditional metal. Despite her love of dirty rock, Panda hails Paul McCartney as one of her primary influences, praising his immense songwriting talents. The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night is her most played record. She is a big fan of Wendy O. Williams and also admits to being wildly enamoured with electric guitars. Panda, who lives in Toronto, grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and began buying her first records from band merch tables. It was in those various clubs that her desire to perform truly took root. 2015 also found Priya fronting Los Angeles rockers, She Demons, an all-female band put together by The Misfits’ Jerry Only. Their debut album is currently in the works. Priya is creative in other areas as well, and holds a degree in journalism. She returned to her parent’s home country several years ago with Diemonds to become the first female-fronted rock band to play Shillong, India. Check out our recent interview with Priya here.
Vicky Psarakis – The Agonist
Vicky Psarakis was a mystery to most metal fans when she took over vocal duties for The Agonist last year, but her beautiful mix of clean vocals contrasted with her snarling growls quickly won fans over. The 27-year-old singer made her debut on the band’s fourth studio release, Eye of Providence–one of the year’s strongest metal releases. Vicky is of Greek descent, and moved there when she was 10, though she now calls Chicago home. The Agonist was so impressed with what they had seen and heard of Vicky they asked her to become their vocalist without an audition. Psarakis admits it was a chance she could not pass up. She is extremely passionate about music and pursues it as such, though she admits her perfectionist nature can sometimes comeback to bite her. Vicki shared that she likes to push her vocal limits, to test what she is capable of. She hails Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), Devon Graves (Deadsoul Tribe), Anneke Van Giersbergen, and Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity, Hammerfall) among her most notable influences. Psarakis hopes to inspire people through her music, and calls doing so the most rewarding part of the job.
Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd – Butcher Babies
The ladies of the Butcher Babies had another big year, riding high on the momentum of their sophomore album, Take it Like a Man and 2014’s covers EP, Uncovered. Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey have grown immensely as performers and songwriters since they burst upon the scene in 2010, gaining more notoriety for their lack of wardrobe than their talents. Regardless of how they caught our attention, at the end of the day, looks will only get you so far, and then talent has to elevate you. These ladies have taken to relentless touring winning fans over one show at a time, and they have been quite successful in doing so. Heidi and Carla will spend much of 2016 on the road with Butcher Babies in support of the new record. Their confident and assured attitudes are among their most compelling qualities, and their energy and aggressive approach onstage cannot be ignored. Carla is also an accomplished author whose work has included a couple of highly acclaimed comic books, and her new semi-autobiographical novel, Death and Other Dances. “Semi-autobiographical novel is a nice way of saying it’s true but I don’t want my Mom to know,” laughs Harvey. Aside from being a singer, author and actress, she also has a degree in Mortuary Services and hopes to one day run her own funeral home.
Brittney Slayes – Unleash the Archers
Brittney Slayes formed Canada’s Unleash the Archers with her beau (and drummer) Scott Buchanan in 2007. In 2015, the 30-year-old frontwoman delivered her strongest vocal performance to date on the band’s latest album, Time Stands Still. Brittney hails her primary influences as Daniel Heiman (Lost Horizon) and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), as well as Jonas Heidgert (Desitny, Dragonland), Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Geoff Tate (Operation Mindcrime, ex-Queensryche), Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) and Bjorn Strid (Soilwork). She was bitten by the metal bug when she first heard Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction, but it was Iron Maiden that made her want to be a metal vocalist. She and the band performed at ProgPower last year, as well as hitting Japan. In our 2015 interview with Brittney, she admitted that she’s addicted to binge watching The Strain.
Unsigned Spotlight: Carly Simon-Warneke – Defy the Tide
Carly Simon-Warneke began a life of music at a fledgling age, studying piano and voice at Duquesne University as a young girl. She would go on to refine her musicianship further through the middle school and high school for the Creative and Performing Arts, all of which are in her native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carly has recorded and played with many talented musicians over the years and has lent her vocal prowess to several well-known bands from the Pittsburgh area, including She Devil Cinema and Silverblood–a project with Brimstone Coven‘s Andrew D’Cagna. Currently, Simon-Warneke is the lead vocalist for the up-and-coming metal band Defy the Tide. Offers Carly: “There is nothing better than being on stage and sharing your music with the world. With Defy the Tide, I feel like I’ve found something quite unique. They’re some of the best musicians I know, and I think we’re going to be around for a very long time.” Defy the Tide has recently finished recording its new EP, due to be released in early March. It is Carly’s vocal talents which really set the band apart within the local and national scene. With mentors ranging from Lacey Sturm and Amy Lee, to Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald, Simon-Warneke’s vocal stylings are quite unique to the realm of heavy metal, and many listeners have been taking notice. “I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot with music so far,” Simon-Warneke said, “but there are big things on the horizon, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.”
Anneke van Giersbergen – The Gentle Storm, The Gathering
Dutch vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen made a stunning return to the limelight this year as part of The Gentle Storm. The former vocalist for The Gathering teamed up with Arjen Anthony Lucassen to deliver one of the most poignant and engaging symphonic-progressive metal albums of 2015, The Diary. She also reunited with her former band for a live album, TG25: Live at Doornroosje, which will be released this year. Several singles from the record were released in 2015. She also appeared last year on the Amadeus Awad album, Death is Just a Feeling.
Elize Ryd – Amaranthe
Elize Ryd is the sonically stunning voice of Swedish power metal merchants Amaranthe. The 31-year-old brunette beauty offers a belt/high soprano voice. She began singing and dancing at the age of the three. When she was 13 she won a talent contest in Gothenburg as the youngest participant in the competition, where she received a scholarship award as “most promising singer.” Cameo appearances for bands like Falconer, Dreamland and Dragonland would cement her reputation as a voice to behold and bring her into contact with her fellow musicians in Amaranthe. The band released its well-received debut album in 2011. Ryd also spent time in 2010, 2011 and 2012 touring as guest vocalist with Kamelot. Ryd has seen the release of two new Amaranthe albums in back-to-back years with The Nexus in 2013 and Massive Addictive in 2014, as well as 2015’s EP; Breaking Point – B-sides 2011-2015. Ryd also won the “Rock And Role Model” award at 2014’s Bandit Awards. Elize has kept herself busy in 2015 touring the world and doing vocals cameos on several other projects including working with; Gus G., Crossnail, Karmaflow, and several others.
Simone Simons – Epica
Ginger-haired Simone Simons was inspired to take up the metal calling when she heard vocalist Tarja Turunen on Nightwish’s 1998 Oceanborn album at the ripe young age of 15. Now as Simone turns 31 this month, she is one of the premiere mezzo-soprano symphonic metal vocalists, alongside her other Dutch counterpart Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation. Simons is the blazing voice behind Epica, and she has recorded six powerfully sonic releases with them. In 2014, she and the band released their most potent album to date, The Quantum Enigma, and 2015 saw the band touring heavily in support of the record until a family emergency caused Simon to cut the tour short. She and Epica will complete the tour in 2016. In 2015, Simone also lent her voice to the new Leave’s Eyes album King of Kings on the track “Edge of Steel”. Simone, who runs her own blog, “SmoonStyle” has stated she will never get a tattoo and prefers cupcakes to alcohol and drugs: “I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke and I drink very little alcohol; but I do eat candy and cupcakes. [laughs] I think that a lot of musicians start using drugs not because they want to be cool but because they can’t deal with the pressure of things.”
Self-proclaimed dirty blonde hard rocker, Diamante, followed her rock and roll dreams from the East Coast to the heart of Hollywood’s debaucherous music scene. Over the last several years, she has taken Los Angeles and the music industry by storm. In 2015, Diamante was tabbed as and toured as one of Revolver Magazine’s Hottest Women in Hard Rock, released her Dirty Blonde EP, toured with Whitesnake, and was signed to a record deal with Eleven Seven music. Not a bad way to celebrate turning 19. As Diamante offers: “Being a dirty blonde is an attitude – a lifestyle. It is having the mentality of a brave, wild, and genuine free spirit who chooses the freedom to be who they are, as they are.” Diamante brings her rocker girl style to a world dominated by men, and she is infused with determination to beat the guys at their own game. She has a no bullshit, take no prisoners attitude, and we expect 2016 to be an even bigger year for Diamante.
Charlotte Wessels – Delain, Phantasma
Despite her powerful vocal presence, there is something quiet and unassuming about 28-year-old Dutch vocalist Charlotte Wessels. However, that has not lessened her impact on the metal scene: First as singer for the short-lived To Elysium, and since 2005, as the face and voice of Delain. The Zwolle, Netherlands born vocalist has been both classically and jazz trained and she has a bachelor’s degree in art history. The latter surfaces in the lyrical content of some of the band’s songs, as Wessels writes her own lyrics, and in 2015 she also penned her debut novella, The Deviant Hearts. The title is also the name of the debut album for her new musical project, Phantasma, with Serenity’s Georg Neuhauser and Everon’s Oliver Philipps. The record was released this winter. Wessels also made cameos on Kamelot‘s 2015 release, Haven, on the tracks “Under Grey Skies” and “Beautiful Apocalypse”. Charlotte and Delain tour up the road in 2015 with Nightwish and Sabaton in support of their The Human Contradiction album,but also found time to record a new EP, Lunar Prelude, due out February 19.
Emily Lazar – September Mourning
Vocalist and songwriter, Emily Lazar, founded September Mourning in 2009 with Marc Silvestri. She performs the role of the band’s title character. Lazar is a born performer. From her earliest formative years she has spent her life in a state of preparation through dance, modeling, music, and various other forms of performance art. All of this has culminated into the visage of her alter ego, September Mourning. “I’m a performance artist and a singer,” Emily told Metalholic. “I do computer, I act, I make clothing, design costumes, I paint, I draw–I’m an artist, and I express myself in any sort of medium I can. So my life sort of revolves around my art. It’s been kind of like everything I’ve ever known and I don’t really know how to depart from it. I guess it became such a part of my personality and persona that it just kind of carried itself into my every day living which is really kind of random and weird, but it just kind of happened. So I just think of myself as this working, moving piece of art.” September Mourning‘s debut album, Melancholia was released in Germany in 2012, and a new EP, Volume I dropped in 2015. Lazar and September Mourning will tour with Avatar this winter.
KT Paige – Romantic Rebel
KT Paige formed Romantic Rebel with her brother and guitarist Alex Vincent in Chicago in 2012. In 2014, the band dropped its eponymous debut album. KT was tabbed among Revolver’s Hottest Women in Hard Rock in 2015, Paige is a high energy performer with a powerful and gritty voice. She hails Joan Jett among her inspirations as well as guys like Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria, We Are Harlot), James Hetfield (Metallica), Axl Rose, and Ronnie James Dio. Among the albums that have influenced KT, she includes Led Zeppelin III and IV, and Shinedown’s Sound of Madness. Paige admits to being a big fan of horror films and lists the Insidious series, The Shining, and Rosemary’s Baby among her all-time favorites. KT lives for creating music from her heart and then bringing it to life on stage. The former shy girl is a commanding and confident presence when she’s performing. Paige and Romantic Rebel are currently working on new music for their sophomore record.
Candice Levinson – Warner Drive
We knew there would be a guitarist on this year’s list, but somehow we expected Alice Cooper’s Nita Strauss. We were delighted that fans nominated Warner Drive fret mistress Candice Levinson and then blew up the polls voicing their support for her wicked skills. Levinson began on piano at age 6, and switched to guitar at age 12. She cites old school punk bands, as well as acts like Guns N’ Roses and Metallica for sparking her interest in playing music and inspiring her creativity. She said her songwriting is driven by emotional inspiration. Candice and Warner Drive spend about 250 days on the road each year, and they spent a chunk of that touring Europe in 2015 in support of last year’s City of Angels album. Levinson admits to being a bit of an athletic nut. She runs every day when not on tour and loves to snowboard, wakeboard, and skateboard. She also has a passion for working on cars when time and music permit.
Jenny Mann – Blameshift
We have to thank the Metalholic readers for bringing Jenny Mann to our attention. The New York-based vocalist has been fronting hard rockers Blameshift for a decade. The band’s latest single, “Tell Me It’s Alright“, which features We Are Harlot bassist Brian Weaver, has been making its way up the radio charts. Mann shares that being on tour and on stage fuels her creativity. In an interview with Rock Revolt, Jenny offered: “As a singer/songwriter, the goal is to be as honest as possible. There are always a million things in my head and things that I want to say, but the challenge is to be able to express it on paper. It is always amazing to hear how lyrics that you wrote about your own experiences can touch someone who you’ve never met before. That is the payoff for me. My goal is to make music that makes people feel something. As an artist, that is what I aim for!” After spending some 225 days on the road in 2014, Mann and Blameshift took time off to write new songs in 2015. Jenny says that a lot of what she writes is motivational to her, and she admits she spends a lot of time in her head. She believes the more honest she is with her fans the more they connect with her. Look for new music from Jenny and Blameshift in 2016.
Floor Jansen – Nightwish, ReVamp
She may appear last on this year’s list, but Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen received over 30,000 fan votes in this year’s poll. The most of any artist on this year’s list. It’s been nearly two decades since Jansen broke onto the metal scene as frontwoman for symphonic metal act, After Forever. The Dutch soprano recorded five studio albums with her former band before forming progressive metal act, ReVamp, in 2010. To date she has released two records with ReVamp. In 2012, Floor’s notable talent led Nightwish to call upon her when their former vocalist dropped out mid-tour. The classically trained Jansen, who is also a vocal coach, eventually earned the gig full-time. Her vocal chops are able to blend all eras of Nightwish‘s music, and she has given the band a much needed creative shot in the arm, which can be heard on the new album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Jansen is also the vocalist for Star One, and has been the prominent voice for Timo Tolkki’s Avalon.