The Most Sonically Gifted Female Drummers Of All Time

Female representation in rock music isn’t exactly great. Research shows that women produced just two percent of the most popular songs of the last six years. Females wrote just 12 percent. Worse yet, women are notoriously underrepresented in festival lineups (though Coachella finally threw us a bone and let Beyoncé headline). What’s more puzzling with these staggering facts is that the world isn’t lacking in female talent – especially when it comes to rock and roll.

These 20 drummers aren’t just the best female drummers (a non-genre begrudgingly forced upon female-identifying musicians since the beginning of time). They’re some of the best drummers in the flagrant boys club that is rock and roll.

Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters)

Photo Credit: Michael Putland / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Michael Putland / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Karen Carpenter left a legacy behind after she passed away at the age of 32 in the early ’80s. Carpenter achieved success the old fashioned way with her brother-sister duo, The Carpenters. She toured and recorded for several years before the band was signed in 1969. A year later and they were bona fide stars.

Carpenter was a multi-talent and singing from behind a drum-set is no easy feat. Though her brother admired her for her ability to “speedily maneuver the sticks as if she had been born in a drum factory,” she was also named one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers of all time. She even played bass on “All of my Life” and “Eve” which were featured on the band’s debut.