100 Women Revolutionizing Pop

100 Women Revolutionizing Pop

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.

Aly & AJ

Sisters Aly & AJ got their start as teen Disney stars. 2007's Insomniac was a glitzy auto-tuned album about boyfriends who took too long to call back, needing closure, and falling in love. Now, they're back with a new EP titled Ten Years. They have said they're cautious about being too inspired by other artists while working on music, but that they listened to a lot of Beach House, LCD Soundsystem, and Peter Gabriel while recording. The shining moment on the four-song EP is "Take Me," which eschews the more literal narratives of their earlier songs for a slick '80s-inspired banger asking, simply, to be taken out. — Vrinda Jagota (Photography: Ryan Duffin for PAPER)

Story by Michael Love Michael, Vrinda Jagota, Justin Moran, Jael Goldfine, Katie Skinner, Talia Smith