10 Female Singers From The '90s Who Taught Us How To Be Angry

Photo: Stephen Sweet/ REX Shutterstock.
Rewind to the '90s for a moment. You're in your room blasting "angry girl" music. And you know what? It's glorious!

Add this to the list of things that made the '90s so great: All a woman needed was her guitar and a voice, and she could give us hell. And we could soak it all in from the safe confines of our flower-wallpapered bedrooms.

The '90s was a decade filled with fiercely talented female singers who were all completely unafraid of expressing their fury and angst. Their music was grounded in raw emotions. And they used every song to call out the bullshit they faced from ex-lovers, shitty boyfriends, and the patriarchy.

From Alanis to Tracy to Melissa, a long list of amazing women were using their voices to lay bare their soul and grind out their indignation.

We gathered together some of our favorite female singers from the decade, who taught us all about rage.
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1 of 10
Melissa Etheridge
No one in the '90s did angry ex-lover quite like Melissa Etheridge. That deep, raspy voice has a bluesy vibe that meshes so well with her her guitar and hard lyrics. Every song is full of longing or anger. Melissa was a woman scorned — and we loved it.
2 of 10
Alanis Morissette
The first time you heard "You Oughta Know," you could feel it. And what did you feel? Unfiltered, haunting RAGE. The entire Jagged Little Pill album sent shivers down your spine. But with lyrics like, "Would she go down on you in a theater?" and, "Are you thinking of me when you f--- her?" Alanis Morissette pushed boundaries, and taught an entire generation of young women that it is your absolute right to be unapologetically angry.
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3 of 10
Tracy Chapman
Honestly, Tracy Chapman was serving up bluesy, emo, angsty realness before the '90s. But "Give Me One Reason" came out in 1995, and it's yet another example of Chapman's ability to express frustration and hurt with just her voice. And what a voice — bordering on androgynous and switching between soulful and folksy.
4 of 10
Meredith Brooks
She only had one hit — but it was one hell of a hit. With "Bitch," Meredith Brooks tells the world to straight up deal with the fact that there is no single "type" of woman, or single face that a woman wears. By the way, Brooks saying "I do not feel ashamed" is one of the best sentiments from the song.
5 of 10
Hole
Back in the '90s, Courtney Love was in a little band called Hole. You may have heard of it? They were kick-ass women taking on the male-dominated alternative rock landscape. "Violet" is just one of many tracks that showcase the angry beauty of Hole. "Go on, take everything / Take everything / I want you to," Courtney Love screams into the mic — and it's epic.
6 of 10
Lauryn Hill
Real talk: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was one of the best albums of the '90s — and it's still so damn good today, too. Hill belts out breakup anthems, raps critiques on culture, and mixes both together in a way that only the former Fugee could ever do. Who hasn't listened to "Ex-Factor" and thought of that one awful ex?
7 of 10
Ani DiFranco
"I am not an angry girl / But it seems like I've got everyone fooled / Every time I say something they find hard to hear / They chalk it up to my anger / And never to their own fear."

Preach, Ani, preach! "Not a Pretty Girl" is just one of many DiFranco songs that reject gender norms. In the '90s, DiFranco was the queen of angry songs about heartbreak and politics.
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8 of 10
Bikini Kill
You cannot have a list of angry female singers and NOT include the great Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill (and later Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin). Kathleen is the co-founder of the Riot Grrrl movement of the early '90s. Bikini Kill was all about rebellious punk music, combating the male gaze, and demanding that female audience members felt safe at performances. Rock on, Kathleen Hanna, rock on.
9 of 10
Monica
Monica's debut album is literally called Miss Thang. If that's not attitude, then what is? Her first big hit, "Don't Take It Personal," become an anthem for women having an off day — especially when they're riding the crimson wave. Monica's entire '90s career was built on longing, heartbreak, girl fights, and straight up telling people to leave her alone.
10 of 10
No Doubt
Before Gwen Stefani was hanging out with Harajuku girls or buying horses with Blake Shelton, she was an angry teenage girl. When No Doubt first hit the scene, its songs were filled with angry, angsty lyrics delivered via Stefani's strong vocals — especially on songs like "Just a Girl," "Don't Speak," and "Ex-Girlfriend." It was angry ska music, and it was beautiful.
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