All Women Should See These Badass Lady Rocker Pics

by Courtney Lindley

In 1971, when Carole King released her first solo album, Tapestry, the industry was forever altered. Tapestry would become one of the most commercially and critically successful albums of the decade, holding the number one spot on the Billboard Top 40 for 15 consecutive weeks, and taking home four Grammys. In an era where recognition and appreciation of solo female musicians was relatively new, King — with her self-assuredness and calm persona — was a beacon of women's musical independence. It's the same kind of independence and strength that you'll find within these 23 photos of badass lady rockers from the decade.

As the '70s continued on, a group of passionate and talented female musicians took over the decade's music scene. Joni Mitchell, who has since been considered one of the greatest music writers of her generation, followed in King's shoes with her painstakingly honest album, Blue. Carly Simon entered the scene with her feminist theme, "You're So Vain." And it doesn't stop there. Throughout this decade of political change and social activism, female musicians weren't afraid to use their albums and performances as ways to express themselves. Each and every one of these artists changed the face of the American music industry, and paved the way for other female musicians to be unapologetically talented — but perhaps, even more importantly, unapologetically themselves. Take a look.

Stevie Nicks: Gypsy Goddess

Bob Riha Jr/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Nicks was known for her on-stage style.

Nicks And Her Tambourine

Bob Riha Jr/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A woman of many, many talents.

Nicks Singing Her Heart Out

Paul Natkin/Archive Photos/Getty Images

She always sang from her soul.

Joni Mitchell Jamming Out

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Mitchell was a boss. On and off stage.

Mitchell Being Casually Gorgeous

Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty Images

Soulful and talented.

Mitchell With Her Acoustic

Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty Images

Always killin' it on the guitar.

Patti Smith Into The Music On Stage

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Actual legend.

Patti Smith Into The Music On Stage Part II

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Doing legendary things.

Janis Joplin's Emotive Stage Face

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I can feel her passion.

Joplin Interacting With Her Audience

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Yes, yes, I will come up and join you on stage.

Aretha Franklin Being The Queen Of Soul

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Doing what she does best.

Franklin Calling People Out

Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Who, me?

Donna Summer Being A Disco Legend

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Feeling the disco.

Pat Benatar In The Writer's Room

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Writing "Heartbreaker," probably.

Joan Jett Rocking Out

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Joan Jett loves rock 'n' roll.

Carly Simon Thanking Her Fans

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They're so vain. They probably think that kiss is about them.

Linda Ronstadt Serenading Her Audience

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The woman of my "Simple Dreams."

Karen Carpenter In Her Element

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Pop music's darling.

Olivia Newton John Singing One Of Her Many, Many Hits

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Sandra Dee. Such a legend.

Carole King Being Adorable

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The prolific Carole King, all smiles.

Dolly Parton With Her Banjo

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The ever charming, smart, and soulful Dolly.

Madonna Modeling

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She's living. In a material world, obviously.

Madonna Slaying

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YAS. That is all.

Like their music, these women defied classification, and their badassery should be celebrated for years to come.