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  • Writer's pictureSophie Smith

Our top 10 trailblazing women in 2021

Trailblazing women in music 2021

2021 has been a wild ride. This year we’ve seen new COVID-19 variants, and massive tours cancelled due to the pandemic. But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. We’re here to revel in the victory of incredible women in the music industry.

Britney Spears wearing pink shirt with puff sleeves
Source: @britneyspears

Britney Spears

Unless you’ve been ignoring all forms of social media and news this year, by now you’ll know that Britney has had an ongoing legal battle with her father over her conservatorship, which was brought into place in 2008 after her breakdown. Now, nearly 14 years later, the conservatorship has ended, leaving Britney to live a life free of her father. We are excited to see Britney thrive, whatever she wishes to do!

Olga Fitzroy

Olga Fitzroy at AIR Studios
Source: AIR Studios

Olga is a recording and mix engineer at AIR Studios. With names like Coldplay, Keane and Muse alongside working on The Crown, Line of Duty and Dr Who, it’s obvious that she’s leading the fore-front.

Alongside her music career, she is also a passionate activist in creating better rights and securities for parents who are self employed.

"I know first-hand the effect that the archaic system of Maternity Allowance for self-employed mothers can have on a family. When I had my son in 2015, my employed friends and colleagues were able to share childcare and work between both parents as they saw fit. I, however, was forced to put my career on ice for the duration of my maternity leave, as being freelance, I didn’t qualify for Shared Parental Leave”
"Given most freelancers think they’ll never work again if they take so much as a week’s holiday or turn down one job, the thought of taking nine months off will have many of us breaking out in a cold sweat. Couple that with society’s general assumption that all women would rather be at soft play than on tour or in the studio once they have children, and it’s easy to see why the current system needs updating.”

Within the music industry, around 72% of workers are self-employed. All this rule does is reinforces gender stereotypes.

If you think Olga couldn’t get any better, you would be wrong! She also is donating her proceedings from education bookings to charities supporting women and girls in Afghanistan.

Michelle Jubelirer
Source: @capitalmusic

Michelle Jubelirer

Michelle Jubelirer has made history by being the first female executive to head Capitol Music Group. She has worked with the company since 2013 and has made her way to the top. She has been involved in some of CMG’s highest profile signings such as Halsey, Maggie Rogers and Neil Diamond. What an incredible inspirational woman she is!

Arlo parks BRIT Award

Arlo Parks

BRIT award winner for Best New Artist Arlo Parks has been making waves within the music industry, and she has only released one album so far! Only in her early 20s you can expect to hear her name being thrown around for a long time. We’re excited to see what she creates next.

Little Mix
Source: Twitter @littlemix

Little Mix

What an incredible group of strong, inspiring women. Leigh-Anne Pinnock released a documentary about racism and colorism within the music industry called Race, Pop & Power, talking about her own experiences. They became the first female group to win the BRIT award for Best British Group and used their speech to highlight inequalities for women and people of colour in the music industry.

Alyx Holcombe

Alyx Holcombe at Radio 1
Source: Twitter @AlyxHolcombe

Alyx truly is a huge personal inspiration for me! Bassist, DJ and radio presenter whilst co-hosting the one and only, On Wednesdays We Wear Black. Not only is she very talented, she is breaking down the stereotypes within the alternative music industry, along with co-hosts Yasmine Summan, and Sophie K. Alyx recently bagged herself, her first Radio 1 appearance on Boxing Day babysitting Daniel P Carter’s Rock Show. The only way is up for Alyx. We love to see it.

Vick Bain, founder of the F List

Vick Bain

Founder of the F List, a female directory of musicians in response to festivals booking male heavy lineups and President Elect of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) whilst also doing a PhD in women’s careers in music. She is set to make postive change in the music industry from the inside out.

Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson at BBF awards
Source: @RebeccaFMusic

Former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson is using her platform to fight for better rights for artists. She has been using her Twitter following to draw attention to the abuses of power within the music industry to create awareness. She has shown support for the bill that ensures artists are paid fairly for streams. Recently voted into the Ivors Academy as Senator, she is planning to use her position to stop the abuse of artists.

Ethiopia Habtemariam
Photographer: Bonnie Nichoalds

Ethiopia Habtemariam

Chairwoman and CEO of Motown Records, Ethiopia, is now the highest ranking black woman in Universal Music Group. She has been the president of Motown Records since 2014 and wants to use her new platform to break down barriers for black women within music.

“I’m hoping this opens up the door for a lot more that happens for people that look like me.”

Olivia Rodrigo
Source: @oliviarodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo

Imagine your first ever live TV performance being at the BRIT awards at 18! It seems too good to be true, but it isn’t. According to Billboard, Olivia broke the record for most songs in the top 10 at one time by a roman on their Streaming Songs charter, meaning that she broke a record by her idol, Taylor Swift.

This is just a handful of women killing it in the music industry handpicked by our team, but there are so many more amazing women out there, changing the tide for women in music. Who are your top 10 trailblazing women in 2021?


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