Rock 'n' roll, it goes without saying, is a reflection of real life – including insofar as women often having to work twice as hard to receive proper recognition in a male dominated world.

But just as society at large has slowly overcome many of its prejudices and old fashioned ways regarding gender relations, so too has rock 'n' roll gradually admitted more women into its creative frontlines with very decade that passes.

In the ‘60s, trailblazers like Janis Joplin and Grace Slick made some of the first inroads, by becoming the focal points in their respective bands (Big Brother and the Holding Company and Jefferson Airplane), not just as lead singers, but as contributing songwriters and de facto frontwomen, backed by male musicians.

In the ‘70s, more women started cropping up in self-contained bands, including Debbie Harry with Blondie, Ann and Nancy Wilson in the hard rocking Heart, and Joan Jett and Lita Ford in the all-girl glam/punk group, the Runaways.

By the 1980s, prominent frontwomen could be found all over MTV (Pat Benatar, Doro Pesch, etc.), and in the 1990s the floodgates really opened, thanks to the alternative rock movement’s more inclusive mindset, which saw ever more confident artists like Courtney Love, Shirley Manson and assorted Riot Grrrls standing toe to toe with their male peers.

And, needless to say, this persistent evolution carried on right into the current millennium, which has yielded more female-fronted bands (Amy Lee's EvanescenceLzzy Hale's Halestorm, Maria Brink's In This Moment, etc.) than one could possibly keep track of… although we do our best.

Check out the gallery above to see our picks for the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Frontwomen of All Time. We obviously couldn’t find room for everyone, but we hope that this list above provides a comprehensive representation of the amazing artists who helped prove women can rock as hard as any man.

See More Galleries Below:

Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Frontmen of All Time

Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Bassists of All Time