Despite what some people may think, women singers aren’t just relegated to pop-star status. Many women vocalists go their own route – whether that be a classically trained singer, or operatic singing, punk style vocals, or even metal growling and screaming – and join the ranks of metal and hard rock royalty.
There is no shortage of gorgeous women who create great music and look good doing it, and the metal world is no different. In a genre that is thought to be highly male-centric, it may come as a surprise that it was hard to even pick 20 of the hottest chicks in hard rock and metal. That is because the genre is marginalized and stigmatized, so many of these women-fronted bands don’t get the same recognition, respect, or air time as their pop and rap star counterparts.
And it’s a shame, because most of the girls on this list are immensely talented, and if you give them a chance – whether you like the music or not – you can’t deny their vocal skills and abilities, as well as their beauty. Here are 20 of the hottest women in hard rock and metal.
20. Carla Harvey and Heidi Shephard – Butcher Babies
Carla Harvey and Heidi Shephard are the frontwomen and eye-candy of the American metal band Butcher Babies. But they’re much more than eye-candy, with both of them being proficient in punk, thrash, and heavy metal style vocals. In 2011, after releasing their first EP (and a comic book at San Diego Comic Con, written by Carla Harvey), rock journalist Keith Valcourt called them “The Hottest Band in the World.”
Valcourt went on to say that, “[Their] stage show embodies the horror antics of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. Carla and Heidi don’t merely sing: they assault the crowd with a blinding flash of aggression and abuse. And the crowd loves them for it.”
19. Floor Jansen – Nightwish
Finnish symphonic metal legends, Nightwish, basically created the genre of “opera metal”, with former vocalist Tarja Turunen. After Tarja was dismissed from the band in 2005, she was replaced by Anette Olzon until 2012, when Floor Jansen took over. Floor possesses a very high range, like Tarja, but can also dirty it up a bit with a rock style that fits the band very well. Following their 2012 tour, where Jansen was thought to just be a one-time member, she was announced as Nightwish’s full-time lead vocalist.
18. Charlotte Wessels – Delain
Johanna Charlotte Wessels is the lead singer and songwriter of the Dutch symphonic metal band Delain. She was born in the Netherlands, and was raised as jazz and classical singer. She joined gothic metal band To Elysium when she was 15, and then became the primary lyricist of Delain in 2004. What was originally going to be a one time studio band, became signed by Roadrunner Records a year later, and is still going strong after 10 years. Wessels has appeared in five other bands as a featured guest vocalist.
17. Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez – Eyes Set to Kill
Sisters Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez started the band Eyes Set to Kill in 2003, alongside former vocalist Lindsey Vogt (who could also be on this list). The band is classified as a post-hardcore band. After Lindsey’s departure in 2007, due to management issues, Alexia took over as lead vocalist and guitarist, while Anissa plays bass.
Their second album, The World Outside (2009), received rave reviews, and the group was featured on the cover of USA Today as one of the “100 Bands You Need To Know.” The group then hosted an episode of MTV’s Headbangers Ball. They currently have released five albums, and are signed by Century Media.
16. Clémentine Delauney – Serenity
Clémentine Delauney is a French soprano singer, known for her work as the lead singer of the Austrian symphonic metal band Serenity. After departing from Serenity, she joined Austrian metal band Visions of Atlantis, and French opera metal band Melted Space. Some of her influences include Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Tarja Turunen of Nightwish. While with Serenity, she primarily sang alongside male vocalist Georg Neuhauser.
15. Kobra Paige – Kobra and the Lotus
Kobra and the Lotus was started by blond bombshell and classical singer Kobra Paige, as well as guitarists Matt Van Wezel and Chris Swenson, in 2009. The Canadian-based metal band initially used MySpace to gain traction, before being discovered by Metal Hammer, where Paige made the 2010 Metal Hammer Maidens of Metal Calendar, alongside some very well known metal babes. After that, Gene Simmons and Universal signed the band in 2011, and having a frontwoman like Kobra Paige, we could see why Simmons would take an interest.
14. Ash Costello – New Years Day
American rock band New Years Day was formed in 2005 by bassist Adam Lohrbach, guitarist/keyboardist Keith Drover, and vocalist Ashley Costello. With Ash Costello’s red and black mane, white-painted face, and gothic look, she looks very much a female version of Marilyn Manson. Their music has been self-proclaimed as “Hauntedmansioncore,” and they built a reputation and following on MySpace, before being signed by Century Media in 2013, with which they released their second album, Victim to Villain.
13. Angela Gossow – Arch Enemy
Despite retiring in 2014, you can’t include a “hottest women in metal” list without including the iconic and legendary Angela Gossow, formerly of Arch Enemy. She is the originator of hot women vocalists in metal, having been in business since 1991, and she is one of the few successful ones who did it almost entirely with growling vocals. Her list of influences is a who’s who of heavy metal royalty, including Chuck Schuldiner of Death, John Tardy of Obituary, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, and Rob Halford of Judas Priest. She is still on board as Arch Enemy’s manager.
12. Simone Simons – Epica
Epica are one of the most popular symphonic metal bands, and a lot of that is because of Dutch singer-songwriter Simone Simons. The band was formed by Simons an Mark Jansen (of After Forever), and named after power metal legend Kamelot’s eponymous album. Epica has been described by their former guitarist Ad Sluijter as “a bridge between power metal and gothic metal.” The fiery redheaded vocalist, Simone Simons, helps to create their grand, symphonic, atmospheric presence.
11. Elize Ryd – Amaranthe
Swedish singer Elize Ryd is one of three – and the only female – vocalist of the Swedish and Danish melodic death metal band, Amaranthe. Before the band’s inception, Elize gained popularity by performing guest vocals on tour and in the studio with symphonic metal band Kamelot. She is a soprano singer by trade, and also a composer, show artist, and dancer. She’s been active since she was 18 years old, in 2003, and Amaranthe has been signed to both Spinefarm Records and Universal Music Group.
10. Cristina Scabbia – Lacuna Coil
Italian singer and lyricist Cristina Scabbia is best known for being the female-lead-vocalist of the Italian gothic metal band, Lacuna Coil. She sings alongside male lead Andrea Ferrero. Besides being a stunning beauty and unbelievable vocal talent, she also writes an advice column in Revolver magazine, alongside musician Vinnie Paul. She has been a guest vocalist in Megadeth, Ayreon, Alter Bridge, and Apocalyptica. She’s the only vocalist on this list, other than Angela Gossow, who has been active since 1991. And though she’s 43, she still looks like she’s in her 20s.
9. Lzzy Hale – Halestorm
Lzzy Hale is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the aptly named hard rock band Halestorm. She has been with the American group since its inception in 1997. Her vocals are a no-frills, raspy style, reminiscent of hard rock bands of the ’80s. Halestorm has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
She has collaborated with Amy Lee of Evanescence, Alter Bridge, Myles Kennedy, and Shinedown. Halestorm was also the last band to share the stage with legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio, opening for his final performance with Heaven and Hell on August 29, 2009.
8. Brittney Hayes – Unleash the Archers
Brittney Hayes is the soaring lead vocalist and frontwoman of the Canadian power metal band Unleash the Archers. The band plays a mix of heavy metal, power metal, and melodic metal, and are currently signed with Napalm Records. Hayes is known for her high pitched – yet not operatic – vocals, similar to Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson. Although Unleash the Archers is relatively new (active since 2007), they have created a huge following in the metal community, and it’s no surprise that Hayes has a lot to do with that.
7. Hayley Williams – Paramore
26-year-old Hayley Williams is the lead vocalist, keyboarist, and primary songwriter of the American rock band Paramore. She was discovered in 2003 by managers Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams, when she was just 14 years old. She was introduced to Atlantic Records, who wanted to make her a solo pop artist, but she objected, wanting to be part of a band that played pop punk. Atlantic said ‘okay,’ and she then formed Paramore. They released their debut album with the niche label Fueled by Ramen. In 2007, she finished second behind Evanescence’s Amy Lee in the “Sexiest Female” category of Kerrang! magazine.
6. Alissa White-Gluz – Arch Enemy
Canadian vocalist Aliss White-Gluz replaced Angela Gossow as the lead singer of Arch Enemy, in 2014. She was a founding member of the Canadian metal band The Agonist, but moved on to greener, more successful pastures with Arch Enemy. When the band announced a replacement singer for Gossow, fans were skeptical, but this blue-haired screamer hit the ground running, shocking everyone, and winning fans over. She has also made guest appearances on albums by the bands Slaves on Dope, Blackguard, Kamelot, and Delain.
5. Amy Lee – Evanescence
The stunning vocalist and classically trained pianist Amy Lee is the frontwoman of the immensely popular rock band, Evanescence. She is the co-founder of the band, and cites musical influences ranging from Mozart to Danny Elfman, and artists such as Tori Amos, Shirley Manson, and Björk.
Lee has worked on other musical projects, such as Walt Disney Records’ Nightmare Revisited, and Muppets: The Green Album. She has collaborated with artists such as Korn, Seether, and David Hodges. In 2011, she was named the #1 Hottest Chick in Hard Rock by Revolver Magazine.
4. Jill Janus – Huntress
Jill Janus is one of the founding members of the American heavy metal band Huntress. She moved to Los Angeles in 2009, where she met an underground band called ‘Professor.’ The band mixes classic heavy metal with influences from thrash and black metal. Janus frequently screams the lead vocals, though she’s also a professionally trained opera singer with a range of four octaves. The band was signed to Napalm Records (the largest heavy metal label) in 2011.
3. Lauren Harris
It should come as no surprise that the daughter of heavy metal royalty and founding member of Iron Maiden, Steve Harris, would be on this list. Besides following in her father’s footsteps to create her own success in metal, she’s also quite the stunner. She toured extensively with Iron Maiden as an opener after she released her debut album, Calm Before the Storm in 2008. She has since moved to L.A. for a new project called Kingdom of I.
2. Taylor Momsen – The Pretty Reckless
Before becoming a famous musician by fronting the rock band The Pretty Reckless, Taylor Momsen was already a famous actress, known for portraying Cindy Lou Who in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (2002), in Spy Kids 2: the Island of Lost Dreams, in Underdog (2007), and more.
She auditioned for the title role of Hannah Montana, and was in the top three when the spot went to Miley Cyrus. She also played the character of Jenny Humphrey on the CW series Gossip Girl (2007-2012). In 2007, she helped form the group The Pretty Reckless, and in 2009 they were signed with Interscope Records.
1. Maria Brink – In This Moment
Maria Brink is best known as the lead singer and frontwoman of the American gothic metal band In This Moment. With her strawberry blond hair and heart-shape faced, and unique vocal delivery, Brink has the music world in the palm of her hands. She was awarded the 2013 “Rock Goddess of the Year” in the 3rd Annual Loudwire Music Awards, “Hottest Chick in Metal” in 2010, and was one of the “25 Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock & Metal” by Revolver Magazine.