When it comes to the early 2000s, the fashion and music of the era will be constantly remembered. With the beginning of Myspace and alternative fashion, the decade is digitally remembered by the people who grew up during these times.
The icons who led the unforgettable aesthetic of the decade were also the female vocalists of the 2000s. Here is the list of the best female singers of the 2000s who came to prominence during these years.
Adele is a singer and songwriter from England. In 2006, she graduated from the BRIT School where she studied art. Immediately after, she signed a record deal. She debuted her first album in 2008 and released five singles that made it to the top charts in England.
After her second studio album, 21, in 2011, she became a global success. She became the first female artist to have 3 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously at the same time. Her music has become a staple of the art world and is continuously praised.
2. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has become a staple of the music industry. At 14, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and began to pursue her musical passions. After her debut in 2006 at the age of 17, she became a household name.
Swift is notable for her ability to span various genres and storytelling and songwriting. She has since released multiple albums and countless hit songs. She has broken records for selling four albums that each sold over a million copies a week.
3. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga began singing at open mic nights as a teenager and would also perform and act in school plays. She eventually would drop out of NYU to pursue her music career. She first started as a songwriter for Sony and eventually made her debut album, The Fame.
Gaga quickly rose to fame and became prominent in the music industry. She is known for her flashy outfits and for constantly breaking boundaries in the music scene.
Beyoncé has become a household name through the years since her days as the lead singer for Destiny’s Child. While the girl group was on a hiatus, the singer and songwriter debuted her solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. The album featured two hit songs, “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy.” Apart from being a 2000’s icon, she also starred in many films during the decade.
Next: Top 2000s R&B songs list
Rihanna rose to prominence in 2005 after releasing her first studio album, Music of the Sun. She then released another album in 2006, A Girl Like Me. Both albums were influenced by the Caribbean music of her home country, Barbados. Both albums peaked on the US Billboard 200 chart.
She later started to incorporate dance-pop into her music on her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad. This established her in the music industry and created the stardom we know today.
6. Natasha Bedingfield
Natasha Bedingfield is an English singer who debuted her first album, Unwritten, in 2004. The album contained uptempo pop songs with hip-hop and R&B influences. The album received global success and pushed Bedingfield into popularity.
She was nominated for multiple awards for the tracks “Unwritten” and “These Words.” She later would release the album, Pocketful of Sunshine, in 2008, when she would only continue to receive worldwide praise and success.
7. Karen O
Known for being the lead singer for the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O has become well known through her onstage performances, outlandish outfits, and soft, ethereal voice. In 2007, she was placed number three on Spinner’s list of “Women Who Rock Right Now.” She is best known for her song “Maps,” and “Heads Will Roll.”
8. Imogen Heap
British musician and singer Imogen Heap has been considered the pioneer of electropop music. She is known for creating an instrument that uses your hands and voice to create music through movement. The instrument has been used by musicians like Ariana Grande.
Heap rose to prominence in 2005 after creating her label and releasing her second studio album, Speak for Yourself. The album spawned three singles and became certified gold in the United States and Canada.
9. Christina Aguilera
Known for her four-octave vocal range, Christina Aguilera has the ability to sustain high notes and has been called the “Voice of a Generation.” The singer started with many other musicians on the “Mickey Mouse Club.” In the 1990s, she rose to teen stardom and later would release music in the 2000s that incorporated domestic violence, sexuality, and feminism. Her music continuously influences other artists as she is often named the most successful female artist of 2003.
Her songs “Beautiful,” “Fighter,” and “Can’t Hold Us Down,” became global successes as they were on the top ten charts in many countries. Her music is often seen as controversial as she debuted her solo work as a way to leave her teen idol image.
Dido is an English singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the early 2000s. Her debut album, No Angel, was released in 1999 and included multiple hit singles. The album sold over 21 million copies globally and she then won several awards because of it.
She would later rise to fame and become a household name because of rapper Eminem, who used her song “Thank you,” as a sample in his hit song “Stan.” Her following album, Life for Rent, was released in 2003 and received continuous praise. The album included the singles “White Flag” and “Life for Rent.” She has been ranked as one of the best artists of the 2000s, being placed on the top Billboard 200 Artists chart.
11. Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis became a household name due to her debut album, Spirit. The 2007 album became the fourth best-selling album of the 2000s and became the best-selling album in the UK. Her lead single, “Bleeding Love,” received worldwide success with its unforgettable chorus. She was later seen as the best new artist of 2008.
12. Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne became a teen idol through her punk persona. The Canadian artist released her first album at 16, Let Go, in 2002. The album produced the singles “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi,” which earned her the title of “Pop Punk Queen” from many music publications and the music industry as a whole.
Her second album, Under My Skin, was released in 2004 and became her first album to reach the US Billboard 200 chart. The album would later sell 10 million copies globally. She is often seen as the key artist to develop pop punk music. She has since paved the way to create a female-driven punk era in pop music.
13. Britney Spears
One of the most prominent singers of the early 2000s, Britney Spears quickly rose to fame in the late 1990s. She is known as the “Princess of Pop” and influenced teen pop along with Christina Aguilera. The pop icon has sold 150 million records, with 70 million in the United States alone. She is one of the best-selling music artists in the world.
Her debut album, Baby One More Time, was released in 1999 with her second album, Oops!… I Did It Again was released a year later. Both albums are the best-selling albums of all time. She later adopted a more mature style, and her other albums produced multiple hits and singles.
14. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey rose to fame in the 1990s but adapted her style for the 2000s, leading her to stay as one of the best artists of that era. In 2005, she made the album, The Emancipation of Mimi, which became the second best-selling album of 2005. The album produced the single “We Belong Together,” which became a timeless hit throughout the decade.
15. Amy Winehouse
The jazz singer, Amy Winehouse, was known for her deep vocals and her ability to mix multiple music genres, such as blues, jazz, soul, and rhythm. In her youth, she was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and was later signed in 2002 to record an album. After her debut album in 2003, Frank, Winehouse became a success. She was nominated for multiple awards and became prominent in the music industry.
16. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani rose to popularity as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the band No Doubt. The band became a national success with its studio album in 1995, Tragic Kingdom. During the band’s hiatus, Stefani embarked on a solo career.
In 2004, she released her debut album, Love. Inspired by the 1980s, the album became an instant success. The song produced well-known singles such as “Hollaback Girl,” “Rich Girl,” and “Cool.” She would later release another album that became just as successful, The Sweet Escape, in 2006.
17. Norah Jones
Norah Jones is known as one of the top jazz artists of the 2000s. She has won multiple Grammys and was continuously ranked on multiple Billboard charts. In 2002, Jones released her solo debut album, Come Away with Me. The album was certified diamond and is a fusion of multiple genres such as jazz, blues, folk, and pop.
Jones would continue to release hit albums throughout the 2000s, such as Feels Like Home, Not Too Late, and The Fall. All were well received by the public and critics and became platinum status.
M.I.A. is a well-known British rapper and singer who gained popularity in the 2000s. She is well known for her songs centering around politics, immigration, warfare, and the world in general. She has combined elements of other music genres such as electronic, hip-hop, and alternative and included new instruments and samples. In 2004, she found fame as an underground artist, gaining popularity on the internet.
19. Hayley Williams
Hayley Williams is best known for being the lead singer in the band, Paramore. She is the primary songwriter in the band and quickly rose to fame from their debut album in 2005. Their 2007 album, Riot!, pushed them into the limelight, becoming a national hit. The album included their hit single “Crushcrushcrush.” They would then make music for the Twilight films, solidifying the singer’s influence in the 2000s.
20. Lily Allen
Lily Allen began her music career in 2005 after she posted her recordings of her singing on Myspace. The recordings became so popular that they would be played on BBC Radio. Later, her first single would be released in 2006, “Smile.” The single quickly pushed her into success, reaching number one on the UK charts.
Her album, It’s Not Me, It’s You, was released in 2009. The album switched genres and became an international success. It was well received by critics due to her maturity and evolution in her musical style.
21. Amy Lee
Best known as the lead singer and songwriter in the band, Evanescence, Amy Lee is often seen as an alternative rock icon. The singer rose to success after the band released its debut album, Fallen. The album would include their most well-known hit singles, “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal.” Because of these hits, the album would sell over 17 million copies globally and go on to be nominated for multiple awards. Lee alone also received multiple singer and songwriter awards.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.