10 Bands With Famous Female Drummers

There was in a time in history that certain jobs were strictly termed ‘male jobs’ but the status quo has long changed and the saying that “what a man can do, a woman can do better”, has been proven to be right. Today, we find women in every sphere of life doing what they were not allowed previously to do in the male-dominated world; from aviation to engineering, to the medical and even to the entertainment world. Today, we even have female drummers; that it something that was far-fetched a couple of decades ago.

Female drummers were not popular back in the days; drumming was seen as something meant for just the boys. Imagine as a young girl back in the 1940s and 1950s telling your parents that you have chosen to drum as a career; your guess is as good as mine. But some females dared the stereotypes and consequences to pursue their dreams thus, breaking the occupational segregations, and today, we can talk about amazing bands like Babes In Toyland, Eagles Of Death Metal, and many more which have female drummers keeping the beats of the bands alive and inspiring other females out there to embrace and live their dreams of becoming drummers.

In this article, we will be giving ten bands with famous females drummers who have not just shown passion for what they do, but also mesmerizing skills. The list is in no particular order, so enjoy the flow and don’t forget to drop your comment on the comment box at the end of the article.

10 Bands With Famous Female Drummers

The Carpenters

Who would dare talk about bands with famous female drummers and not mention The Carpenters – the U.S band group made up of two siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter. The band was active from 1969 to 1983.

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Karen of The Carpenters image source

Karen’s interest in drumming dates back to her days in high school when she began studying the art of drumming and would later join the Long Beach State choir after graduating. When The Carpenters were formed, she became the band’s main drummer and kept the beat going until she switched over to singing and only drummed during some live shows

Although she switched over to singing at some point in her career and would refer to herself as the drummer who sings, her male counterparts have acknowledged her drumming skills as second to none and she continues to go down in history as one of the most skillful and famous female drummers of the 20th century.

Karen lost her long battle with anorexia in 1983 at the age of 32, her death, unfortunately, brought to an end the existence of the band.

Babes in Toyland

You certainly can’t talk of U.S punk rock band and fail to mention the lady behind the drums Lori Barbero. In fact, Lori was one of the inspirations behind the formation of the band. Kat Bjelland (frontwoman) formed the band in 1987 after meeting Barbero at a friend’s party.

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The band released three studio albums between 1990 and 1995, before becoming inactive in 1997 and eventually disbanding in 2001 to reunite in 2014. In those years the band was dissolved, Lori played for Koalas and Eggtwist.


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Another band that has a badass electrifying female drummer is the L.A’s alternative rock band Autolux. The band is made up of Eugene Goreshter handling the vocals, Greg Edwards doing the guitar, piano and also vocals and Carla Azar handling the drum set and also does vocals.

The Alabama native first started off in her school orchestra as a percussionist but later developed a love for drumming and opted for it instead. The likes of T-Bone Burnett, John Frusciante, and  PJ Harvey recognized her skills and have had her play for them.

The Runaways

The Runaways was an all-female U.S rock band that existed in the 1970s. Before it was disbanded in 1979, it had released studio albums and was not only known in the States but also as far as Japan.

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Sandy West of The Runaways image source

The band had an amazing female drummer named Sandy West and was one of the founding members of the band well known for her energy and pumping rhythmic rock percussion. She, unfortunately, died in 2006 from lung cancer. She will forever be remembered as one of the pioneers of female drummers. 

The White Stripes

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Formed in 1997, The White Stripes is one amazing rock duo that entertained rockers from the late 1990s up until it went into extinction in 2011. The band was made up of Jack White who wrote the songs, did vocals, played the piano, guitar and sometimes the mandolin and Meg White who handled the drums and did vocals too.

Anyone who followed their music at that time would agree that the rough guitar and poetic lyrics of Jack’s songs wouldn’t have made much a sense without Meg’s corrosive drum beats.

Lenny Kravitz’s Band

Bahamian/U.S singer/songwriter Lenny Kravitz had the rare privilege of having one of the world’s famous female drummers, Cindy Blackman Santana, on his band. I don’t think there are better words to describe the energetic drummer who has been in the business of drumming for almost four decades than in the words of her website cindyblackmansantana.com which says Cindy “is a virtuoso drummer whose artistry spans the realms of jazz and rock”. Let’s just keep it that simple.

Female Drummers
Cindy Blackman Santana (left) on tour with Lenny Kravitz (Image Source)

She began working with Kravitz in 1993; after speaking with him over the phone and playing the drum for him to listen to.  Lenny immediately invited her over to L.A to meet with him and join his band. Apart from 2004, she has played with him ever since. In 2014, she toured with him in support of his tenth studio album, Strut.

Besides Lenny, Cindy has performed with the likes of Cassandra Wilson, Joe Henderson, Sonny Simmon, Ron Carter, Bill Laswell, Pharoah Sanders, Buckethead, Angela Bofill, and Sam Rivers.

Deap Vally

Have you met the lady behind Deap Vally beats before? If no, then you need to look out for her the next time you attend any of their shows or watch them play; Julie Edwards; yes, that is her name, she is one of the hottest and the most electrifying thing right now in the world of female drummers. She has her unique way of playing the drums that makes it so profound and just exceptional.

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The duo rock group was formed in 2011 and has so far dropped a couple of singles, an EP, and two albums which made it to the UK album charts. Their style of rock has been described as a combination of White Stripes and Led Zeppelin’s rock and roll.

Daddy Issues

Ever imagined Daddy Issues without that beat that distinguishes them from every other band in the country?, Well I can’t imagine that myself but thanks to female force Emily Maxwell who helps keep the band together with her amazing beats providing it with the right sounds it requires to thrive in the industry.

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Daddy Issues is a trio pop band formed in Nashville in 2014. The group is made up of Jenna Moynihan, Jenna Mitchell, and Emily Maxwell.  After Moynihan saw the words Daddy Issues on the bathroom wall of a now-defunct Nashville venue and mistook it for an all-girl band and when she discovered it was not so, she went ahead to form one.


Stella Mozgawa is the strong lady keeping the beats real for the L.A indie rock band formed in 2004. If you have listened to the band and to the drumming that accompanies their type of music you would agree that the beauty in Stella’s complex drumming has contributed in taking the band’s music to the level it is at the moment.

Her drumming style is exceptional and makes you just want to vibe out and dance. Mozgawa has a background in music; her parents moved from Poland to Australia to establish themselves as a musical duo and at age thirteen, she began drumming being influenced by Hanson’s drummer – Zac Hanson.

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In 2009. she joined Warpaint through the influence of the band’s vocalist/guitarist Theresa Wayman and has remained with them ever since. In her one decade as the band’s drummer, she has provided drum beats in three of the band’s studio albums. Besides her work with the band, Stella Mozgawa has also contributed her drumming skills to a couple of musicians which includes Tim Presley, Cate Le Bon,  Kim Gordon, Andy Clockwise, Jagwar Ma, Kurt Vile, Regina Spektor, Tom Jones, the xx, and Adam Green.

Also Read About: Top 10 Best Female Rappers In The World Right Now


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sleater Kinney drummer Janet weiss (Image Source)

Another terrific female drummer is Sleater-Kinney’s Janet Weiss. She has been with the girl punk band since 1996. She also drums for Quasi, an indie rock she formed in 1993 alongside her ex-husband Sam Coomes. Weiss has also drummed for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and left after their fifth studio album  Mirror Traffic in 2011.

She has also drummed for Wide Flag and in 2012, she contributed to Shins’ fourth studio album Port of Morrow. Her bandmates describe her drumming style as so solid that you could practically bang your head against it and that is just what it is.

Weiss has received lots of praises, accolades, and recognition for her amazing drumming skills and styles. L.A weekly listed her among its top twenty greatest drummers and Stylus Magazine listed her as one of its top fifty greatest rock drummers.


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