Upon reflection, the mid 2000’s were an iconic period in Western culture; there were side fringes, flip phones, neon everything, Von Dutch everything, and Paris Hilton was one of the most influential women in the world. Heaps of pop songs still used guitars, and there were very minimal synth sounds floating through the airwaves.
The moniker of “rock chick” seemed to be given to women who toed the line between pop and alternative music during the mid 2000’s. It was no longer just reserved for the Joan Jett’s and Patti Smith’s of the world – suddenly it was pop stars who were marketed to be ‘edgy’ being swept beneath the umbrella of “rock chick”.
But regardless of their true genre, their musical and fashion stylings still impacted young women all over the world. Growing up, I looked up to these women, because they “weren’t like the other girls.” They were the epitome of the sort of ‘cool without trying’ thing we all wanted to be.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the “rock chicks” of years past.
Avril Lavigne’s early career was heavily skate-punk influences. Her debut album Let Go contained iconic hits ‘Complicated’ and ‘Sk8r Boi’, which catapulted the 16-year old to instant stardom. She was still emo to the core on her second record ‘Under My Skin’, dressing in her signature punk-influenced clothes and makeup looks. Her 2007 record The Best Damn Thing was the beginning of the end of her punk phase; although it featured rocky hits ‘Girlfriend’, ‘Hot’, and ‘The Best Damn Thing’, the changeover to a far more pop-centric look and sound was clear. RIP punk Avril. We miss your baggy pants and loose neck ties.
Gwen Stefani is really the only true rock chick on this list. Her punk band No Doubt formed in 1986, ruling the ska punk scene throughout the 90’s and early 00’s. No Doubt’s iconic record Tragic Kingdom is certified Diamond, having sold over ten million copies worldwide. Her punk edge was no marketing gimmick; Gwen in her role as frontwoman was her authentic self through and through. With the band on hiatus from 2004-2009 she began her solo career,
When people ask you to “name a more iconic duo…”, The Veronicas should always be them. Australia’s pop darlings The Veronicas are an iconic part of the Aussie music landscape. Their debut album The Secret Life Of… and follow-up record Hook Me Up emboldened budding punk princesses all over the country to don some black eyeliner and tease their sideswept fringes. Their killer tunes always make it into 00’s nostalgia playlists, and for good good reason.
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A heavyweight in the pop universe now, P!nk’s career took an edgy turn when she was marketed as a rebellious pop star in the early to mid 2000’s. She had streaked hair, punk-inspired clothes, and released songs like ‘Mr. President’ and ‘Stupid Girls’ that took aim at politics and popular culture. Her 2012 release ‘The Truth About Love’ well and truly marked the end of her edgy era, with a squeaky clean pop image having erased all traces of black eyeliner and spiky pink hair.
Picked up young and transformed into a Disney star, Demi Lovato hasn’t had an easy ride since. And unless you were watching Disney Channel in 2008, you probably don’t remember her rockin’ debut album Don’t Forget. The record is a guitar driven banger-fest – a far cry from all her releases afterward. She is another great example of someone who was marketed as “not like the other girls”.
Don’t fight us for this one. Hannah Montana was the OG Disney Channel rock chick. She played her own instruments, wore hectic outfits, and lived a double life – what’s more rock n roll than that?