From setting genre foundations (Gwen Stefani) to pushing sonic boundaries (Lynn Gunn), women have catalyzed the growth of the scene for decades. Of course, we’re not going to let those efforts go unrecognized.
Here are 10 of the most influential women to contribute to pop punk.
We’re just going to go ahead and start this list strong right off the bat. There’s a good reason Avril Lavigne is widely considered the epitome of what women can accomplish in pop punk. Among the first wave of artists to find mainstream success in the genre, she hit celebrity status rapidly with her debut album, Let Go, in 2002. With such prominence, it’s no wonder that her angsty anthems have so greatly inspired the scene for decades.
Juliet Simms (Automatic Loveletter)
Juliet Simms may not have experienced the same meteoric rise as Lavigne, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t serve as an inspiration for women in pop punk. The iconic vocalist first entered the Warped Tour sphere under Automatic Loveletter in 2005. By 2012, she came to represent the scene as a competitor on The Voice. Now neck-deep in a successful pop-rock solo career, Simms has diverged a bit from the genre but is still making waves in the alternative realm.
Cassadee Pope (Hey Monday)
If anything, Hey Monday‘s Cassadee Pope proved that pop punk is multifaceted. The vocalist has her own unique brand of charisma, which undoubtedly contributed to her later success on The Voice and in her career as a country music star. During her time under the outfit, she graced the scene with the type of upbeat optimism that could outshine even the Warped Tour sun. It was this exact energy that ultimately informed the next generation of the genre.
Jess Bowen (The Summer Set)
We’ll diverge briefly from our list of vocalists to shout out an iconic woman who seldom stands centerstage. As a female drummer, Jess Bowen is a rarity in not just the pop-punk scene but the music industry at large. On top of performing under the Summer Set for a decade, she’s also provided percussion for prominent scene acts such as 3OH!3 and Nekokat.
Bonnie Fraser (Stand Atlantic)
Despite putting out their debut LP in 2018, Stand Atlantic are already among the most prominent outfits in the modern pop-punk scene. They’ve even captured the attention of the scene kid behind Wendy’s Twitter account. So, it’s really no surprise that vocalist Bonnie Fraser is rapidly becoming an emblem for other aspiring frontwomen. Not only is she vastly talented, but there’s no matching her carefree attitude and hilarity.
Jenna McDougall (Tonight Alive)
Tonight Alive broke out onto the pop-punk scene in the early 2010s, gaining rapid traction with their 2000s-emo-reminiscent sound. Vocalist Jenna McDougall undoubtedly drives the edgy energy of the band, channeling seriously punky vibes in both her sound and aesthetic. It’s no wonder that they’ve become such a prominent force in the newly developing Australian scene, which has since churned out modern alternative staples such as With Confidence and Trophy Eyes.
Evan Greer isn’t just changing the face of pop punk but the broader punk genre as a whole. Her 2019 album, she/her/they/them, charged the scene with a folk-laced, ever-catchy display of socially motivated, punk-rock eclecticism. Greer’s two 2021 singles, “Back Row” and “The Tyranny Of Either/Or,” further show off her capacity for anthemic energy. Don’t think her influence is limited to elevating experimentation within the genre to new heights, though. Aside from her musical pursuits, she’s involved in activism for net neutrality and event organizing for Break The Chains, a recurring queer dance event in Boston.
Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Don’t think for one second that we were going to forget to mention Hayley Williams. The Paramore vocalist has been representing women in the pop-punk scene since the band debuted with All We Know Is Falling in 2005. Not only is she a beacon for aspiring young women, but she’s also been notably vocal about the toxicity and sexism posed by the male-dominated scene.
Tay Jardine (We Are The In Crowd)
We Are The In Crowd emerged around the turn of the 2010s, among one of the last waves of Myspace artists. As a result, they had a rather prominent role in directing the progression of pop punk throughout the following decade. While vocalist Tay Jardine was undoubtedly influential in that respect, she’s also demonstrated that partaking in the genre doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing lifestyle. Since the band went on hiatus in 2016, she’s been getting experimental with her pop project SAINTE.
Chrissy Costanza (Against The Current)
Comparable to the likes of 5 Seconds Of Summer and twenty one pilots, Against The Current bridge the gap between pop punk and modern radio pop. Their distinguishing factor? Vocalist Chrissy Costanza. Backed by legendary scene label Fueled By Ramen, the band are rapidly gaining fame and pushing the genre into its next iteration.
Who are some of your favorite women who have exerted influence on the pop-punk scene? Let us know in the comments!