We were just as horrified as you when the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released their annual stats about inclusion in the music industry at the start of the year.
The USC think tank's findings were unfortunate; in 2017, the research showed that men were dominating pop music, with women representing only 16.8% of popular artists on the top charts. It was a six-year low, showcasing how "women are pushed to the margins or excluded from the creative process" in music-making.
To combat this bleak statistic, we found we actually didn't have to look far at all for strong examples of women in the pop sphere — encompassing stylistic diversity that includes genres like R&B, hip-hop, and electronic — who were pushing boundaries and shaking things up with their virtuosic art.
Below, 100 women across all spectrums who are revolutionizing pop, and the face of music as we know it for the better, this year and beyond. Click through and listen to a special playlist curated by PAPER editors, featuring all 100 pop stars.
Jaira Burns is yet another star we can thank YouTube for. The Interscope Records signee rocks electric blue locks and continuously serenades us with dancehall-tinged bangers like last year's "Ugly" and her most recent single "Low Key In Love." Exciting things are to come for Burns as she just announced her fourth-coming tour with Poppy and Kailee Morgue scheduled to start late October. — Katie Skinner (Photo via Jaira Burns)
Story by Michael Love Michael, Vrinda Jagota, Justin Moran, Jael Goldfine, Katie Skinner, Talia Smith