Who is the Ultimate Metal Queen?

Who is the Ultimate Metal Queen?

Who is the Ultimate Metal Queen posterWho is the Ultimate Metal Queen? That is the question that was recently asked of Sleaze Roxx readers via Facebook. As it turns out, there was one runaway winner and it is none other than Germany’s own Doro Pesch who really dominated in terms of votes and more than doubled runner-up Lita Ford‘s vote tally.

While there are more and more female fronted hard rock and heavy metal groups these days than ever before, the reality is that most of the biggest hard rock and heavy metal groups of all-time such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, KISS, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Judas PriestMötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses just to name a few, are all fronted by male vocalists. Accordingly, all of the females noted below have gained respect in a male dominated heavy metal world and should be revered for their contributions in breaking down many doors and boundaries for many of their peers and the ones who have or will follow in their footsteps.


It is truly no surprise to see Doro crowned as the Ultimate Metal Queen given that she has consistently waved the heavy metal flag for now over 30 years. With twelve studio albums as a solo artist and another four while part of Warlock, Doro has been a force to reckon with in the heavy metal world refusing to give in to various trends along the way but rather staying true to her heavy metal roots. While an argument could certainly be made that Doro was already a ‘metal queen’ during her tenure as lead vocalist for Warlock, it is really her relentless perseverance and commitment to heavy metal as a solo artist in the last 28 years or so that most likely cemented her position as the Ultimate Metal Queen for Sleaze Roxx readers.

Even while grunge reared its ugly head and  heavy metal went back into the underground, Doro kept at it although she wisely concentrated her efforts  in the European market during that timespan. By the time that heavy metal made a “comeback” of sorts, Doro was ready to tour North America once again cementing her reputation as the metal queen. Perhaps the most telling fact on why Doro deserves the Ultimate Metal Queen title is that she consciously renounced having a family and children in order to dedicate her time to her music career and fans. Another astonishing fact in support of Doro being hailed the Ultimate Metal Queen is that she played her 2,500 show on March 13, 2010. At age 52, Doro shows no signs of slowing down and no one should be surprised if she is playing and recording heavy metal music for another 30 years.

Doro’s discography (studio albums):
Warlock — Burning the Witches (1984)
Warlock — Hellbound (1985)
Warlock — True as Steel (1986)
Warlock — Triumph And Agony (1987)
Doro — Force Majeure (1989)
Doro — Doro (1990)
Doro — True At Heart (1991)
Doro — Angels Never Die (1993)
Doro — Machine II Machine (1995)
Doro — Love Me In Black (1998)
Doro — Calling The Wild (2000)
Doro — Fight (2002)
Doro — Classic Diamonds (2004)
Doro — Warrior Soul (2006)
Doro — Fear No Evil (2009)
Doro — Raise Your Fist (2012)

Doro‘s “Raise Your Fist” video:

DORO – Raise Your Fist In The Air (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

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The only other woman to get serious consideration for the Ultimate Metal Queen among Sleaze Roxx readers is of course Lita Ford. The rock Goddess started her music career at a very young age and was part of the revolutionary band The Runaways in the late 1970s. By the early ’80s, Lita Ford had launched her successful solo career playing straight up hard rock / heavy metal with his first two studio albums Out For Blood and Dancin’ On The Edge before achieving commercial and platinum sales success with 1988’s Lita which contained her now signature song “Kiss Me Deadly” and her duet with Ozzy Osbourne and top 10 smash “Close My Eyes Forever.” From then on, Ford never achieved the same level of success and after three more studio albums, took an almost 15 year hiatus between studio albums. This is where Ford‘s claim to the Ultimate Metal Queen’s throne in Sleaze Roxx readers’s eyes likely was diminished somewhat given during her hiatus, she was away from the limelight secluded in the Carribean while raising her two sons with her husband at the time Jim Gillette (of Tuff and Nitro fame).

There were also some missteps in Ford‘s career music wise as her comeback album Wicked Wonderland in 2009 was apparently heavily influenced by Gillette and was closer to industrial sounding nu-metal than classic hard rock / heavy metal. Before long, Ford‘s marriage to Gillette ended and she released the comeback album that should have first occurred in the form of Living Like A Runaway, which was a return to form and infinitely better than Wicked Wonderland. Another reason that Ford may also be perceived as one of top contenders for the Ultimate Metal Queen title is her linkage with various heavy metal stars over the years including being in a relationship with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, being engaged to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and a short marriage to former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes. Whatever the reasons that Sleaze Roxx readers voted Ford number two for the Ultimate Metal Queen, the one thing that is certain is that she will always be recognized as one of the female pioneers of heavy metal music.

Lita Ford’s discography (studio albums):
The Runaways — The Runaways (1976)
The Runaways — Queens Of Noise (1977)
The Runaways — Waitin’ For The Night (1977)
The Runaways — And Now… The Runaways (1978)
Lita Ford — Out For Blood (1983)
Lita Ford — Dancin’ On The Edge (1984)
Lita Ford — Lita (1988)
Lita Ford — Stiletto (1990)
Lita Ford — Dangerous Curves (1991)
Lita Ford — Black (1995)
Lita Ford — Wicked Wonderland (2009)
Lita Ford — Living Like A Runaway (2012)
Lita Ford — Time Capsule (2016)

Lita Ford‘s “Gotta Let Go” video:


You might have thought that a long-time female artist rocker such as Joan Jett would be next on this list for the Ultimate Metal Queen throne but rather, it is Swedish “newcomer” (sort of) Liv Jagrell (who now goes by the name of Liv Sin) who takes third place. Compared to Doro, Lita Ford and Joan Jett, there is no question that Liv Sin is a “newcomer” on the metal scene but the reality is that she has been releasing stellar albums for more than a decade now. Liv Sin is best known as the lead vocalist of the now defunct heavy metal band Sister Sin who have released six studio albums (without counting the re-issue of Dance Of The Wicked in 2013) between 2003 and 2015. Liv Sin’s powerful and “angry” vocals clearly resonated with Sleaze Roxx readers who also voted the last three Sister Sin albums onto the Sleaze Roxx readers’ top 20 album year-end lists.

Unfortunately, Sister Sin are no longer but luckily Liv Sin intends on continuing with music although the exact musical direction that she will take is still unknown. Funny enough, Liv Sin was sort of Doro‘s protégé early on in her career as Doro took Sister Sin on tour with her throughout the United States in 2013, Doro collaborated with Sister Sin on a cover of Motörhead‘s “Rock ‘N’ Roll” in 2011 and Liv Sin was one of the guest musicians during Doro‘s 25th year anniversary celebration in Dusseldorf, Germany on December 13, 2008. With another decade or so of music under her belt, Liv Sin may well emerge as the new Ultimate Metal Queen. Only time will tell but for now, there is no denying that Liv Sin is likely the best female heavy metal singer to emerge in the last decade.

Liv Sin’s discography:
Sister Sin — Dance Of The Wicked (2003)
Sister Sin — Smash The Silence (2007)
Sister Sin — Switchblade Serenades (2008)
Sister Sin — True Sound Of The Underground (2010)
Sister Sin — Now And Forever (2012)
Sister Sin — Dance Of The Wicked 2013 (2013)
Sister Sin — Black Lotus (2014)

Sister Sin‘s “Sound Of The Underground” video:

Sister Sin – Sound of the Underground

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Honourable mentions go out to Canadian rocker Lee Aaron (whose signature song is “Metal Queen”), Halestorm‘s Lzzy Hale, the legendary Joan Jett, the PlasmaticsWendy O. Williams, DiemondsPriya Panda and In This Moment‘s Maria Brinks.