What Happened To Them?: Even More of Your Favorite Female Rock Stars of the '90sKaren Belz

Back in February, I highlighted a few very talented rock star females of the ’90s – and I ended the article with the following sentences:

“Who is your favorite female musician from the ’90s? I most definitely missed a bunch. It’s so hard to try and profile so much talent in one article. I mean, let’s face it. Women dominated music this decade.”

It was definitely hard to try to summarize an entire decade in the span of a column. After some reflection, I realized that this article definitely deserved a “Part 2″. After all, I love the ’90s, I love music from the ’90s, and I love the fact that women kicked ass in the ’90s (and they still do today, of course).

Readers, here are a few more favorites and some notes on what they’re up to today. Readers, here are a few more favorites and some notes on what they’re up to today.

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette taught me that women could be angry and loud, and write song lyrics from the heart. Oddly enough, Katy Perry was highly influenced by Alanis, which might have been how “I Kissed A Girl” became so anthemic. It’s not just Katy who worships Alanis – Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift have also admitted to being massive fans.

“When I was releasing “Jagged Little Pill” in 1995, there wasn’t as much of a sense of sisterhood during that time for me,” Morissette explained, in an interview with ABC News. “It had a lot to do with the fact that I was in this hot heat, and there was a lot of competition among … well … I can’t even use the word ‘sisters’ during that time. Right now there’s more of a sisterhood, which I appreciate.”

Alanis isn’t just famous for being a musician – she’s also a record producer and an actress, and her awards thus far include sixteen Juno Awards, seven Grammy Awards, and two nominations at the Golden Globe Awards.

Maverick Records released Jagged Little Pill internationally in 1995, and thanks to radio exposure, the album became a massive hit. Ten years later, she went on to release an acoustic version of the album to celebrate its anniversary. In 2002, she released a CD/DVD packet called Feast On Scraps, which included backstage documentary footage, as well as eight unreleased songs that were created during the recording of her fifth studio album, Under Rug Swept.

Cut to 2006 – after about a year of very limited appearances, Alanis decided to record a new version of The Black Eyed Peas’ selection “My Humps”, which she recorded in a slow, mournful voice, accompanied only by a piano. The music video, which was released on YouTube, received a ton of hits. While many figured the video was an “April Fool’s Joke”, Fergie had a great sense of humor about it, and seemed quite flattered.

In the late 2000s, Alanis parted ways with Maverick and began working with new label Collective Sound, distributed by Sony’s RED Distribution.

If you’ve thought you’ve seen her pop up on your favorite show, you just might have. Alanis got her acting start on Nickelodeon’s You Can’t Do That On Television, and then appeared in Kevin Smith’s 1999 film Dogma. Since, she’s been on episodes of Up All Night, Sex and The City, and Curb Your Enthusiasm – and she had a pretty significant role on Weeds, which spanned through multiple episodes.

Liz Phair

Back in 1993, Liz’s debut album, Exile in Guyville had been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The following year, her second album Whip-Smart gave us the song “Supernova”, which was a top ten hit that received a bunch of airplay on MTV.

Unfortunately, there was a bit of a delay on her 3rd release, Whitechocolatespaceegg, which finally reached fans in 1998. Liz got married and gave birth to her son in-between the gap, which helped mature her material a bit more. In order to promote the album and get her name out there again, she was one of the many talented acts featured during the Lilith Fair.

In 2003, her self-titled fourth album was released on her new label, Capitol Records. However, the album was skewed a bit based on the fact that her original attempt was deemed unsellable – and since her budget was already used up, she agreed to gain more money by scrapping what she had in favor of writing poppier, more radio friendly songs. Needless to say, this pissed off her fans. Also? The critics. So much, that people assumed she just said goodbye to her music career.

She kept at it, and digitally released Funstyle in 2010 with promises that the songs are 100% real Liz Phair.

Tori Amos

If you want to talk about talent and success, you should consider chatting about Tori Amos. This singer-songwriter has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. Born Myra Ellen Amos, she took on the name Tori after a friend’s boyfriend told her it suited her. Imagine being that friend’s boyfriend? He could honestly tell people who Tori just wouldn’t be Tori without him.

After a somewhat disastrous effort with a band, Tori went solo and released Little Earthquakes in 1992, which put her on the map. She was known for singing about real issues, including her religious upbringing (her father was a pastor) and sexual assault. In 1996, her third album, Boys for Pele, was released, which gained a lot of admiration based on the fact that it was recorded in a church, and used “unusual” instruments, like the harpsichord and bagpipes. While it wasn’t a mainstream hit, it was definitely a success, reaching the #2 spot on both the Billboard 200 and the UK Top 40.

After fifteen years with Atlantic, Tori signed onto Epic Records, but left due to creative difference after creating a few concept albums with them. In 2008, she signed a “joint venture” deal with Universal Republic Records.

Just last year, Tori took on the project of making a musical adaptation of George MacDonald’s The Light Princess, along with book writer Samuel Adamson and Marianne Elliott. She’s also continued her involvement with RAINN, an organization that connects callers with their local rape crisis center.

Sheryl Crow

Out of all of the women mentioned above, it’s probably safe to say that Sheryl Crow has collaborated with some of the world’s most interesting singers and songwriters – from Luciano Pavarotti to Kid Rock. Pretty much every album Sheryl released had at least one hit song.

She even went on to pull a Carly Simon, by refusing to name the inspiration behind the song “My Favorite Mistake” off of her third release The Globe Sessions. “There will be just so much speculation, and because of that there’s great safety and protection in the fact that people will be guessing so many different people and I’m the only person who will ever really know,” she told Billboard Magazine. (Note: People think it’s Eric Clapton.)

While Sheryl had a public relationship with Lance Armstrong, this girl is totally Strong Enough (I had to – sorry) to raise two adopted sons on her own, and dominate against her battle with cancer a few years back. In early 2006, Crow had a lumpectomy, then a course of radiation therapy, after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Pretty much my life exists right this second, and my boys are the first thing I think of [in the morning], the last thing I think of at night, and past relationships with famous people or not famous people, with good people, with bad people, with tortured, confused people – every relationship has served a purpose in my life,” she told Telegraph this year.

Sheryl went a little bit country with her latest release, Feels Like Home which came out on September 10, 2013. She’s also been involved with the theater – A new musical version of the acclaimed 1982 movie Diner is set to be released this December, with music and lyrics by Sheryl herself. While the play had a bit of a rocky start, it’s set to debut at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.

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