When you flip through music’s history book, there is no contesting that women reign supreme. However out of all the leading ladies, there have been a select few, a special breed, who set their sights on something else–iconic success through infamy.
With as much praise as the cookie-cutter It girl receives, there has always been something alluring about the bad girl. Some have tried to obtain her image, but an edgy style and aggressive song does not add up to a bad girl. In fact, it barely scratches the surface. It takes more; something from within. Guts, sex, nonchalance, controversy, and even a little crazy. For all of these traits, there is a bad girl who not only possesses it, she has built a brand around it.
Check out the baddest girls of the biz who do it exceptionally well. — Christopher Lowery
Since the beginning of her career, Madonna has made it very clear that she marches to the beat of her own drum. Whether its her risque image or bold, unwarranted statements, Madge has become a permanent fixture in Pop culture all for expressing herself. All the artists on our lists have been the subject of controversy, but Madonna invented it. I mean, how many artists can say they offended the Vatican, media, and had their music videos banned from several countries?
As if posing in that now iconic spread eagle position on her debut album wasn’t enough, Kim made scandalous behavior a regular routine time and time again. Her raunchy lyrics and readiness to pop off made her not only one of hip-hop’s most thorough MCs, but a femme fatale who’s outlandish behavior is still unrivaled today.
It’s essential to any badass image, and Rihanna’s got enough of it to fill the Georgia dome. Since the release of her third album Good Girl Gone Bad (could it be any clearer?), RiRi has personified the phrase “if you thought that was bad, wait until you see this!” Whether she’s spending quality time with Mary Jane or showcasing her decision to rekindle her love affair with Chris Brown, the 23-year-old rebel is give no you-know-whats about going where none of today’s Pop divas are, not even King B.
With less than two years in the game, this has become a fixture in Azealia Banks’ brand. Not a solo album to her name, and Miss Banks is already a professional ish starter. She’s initiated tension with Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, Perez Hilton and Angel Haze, showing no signs of slowing down. It is getting to the point where you have to wonder how many bridges can Azealia burn? But when you’re the Queen of Isle de la Controversy, who gives a damn?
She was never a typical mainstream artist and that’s how she earned her edge. Tie that into a tough Sri Lankan upbringing and a will not to conform, and M.I.A might be the biggest rebel on our list. You have to be badass to flip the bird on one of the most viewed broadcasts in the world. And to do that in a country that you’re not from (during a time of intense Middle East tension)? That shit cray.