So here it is, the International Women's Day Playlist 2021!  More than 75 people, over 500 songs and a lot of love for music, plus emotional connections and memories, have helped make this playlist come together over the past few weeks.

The brief was simple - what are your favourite songs by women?  Any genre, any age, any lyrical content, just once it was by a woman (or female-fronted band).  And the response was amazing.

The first thought when curating this was to go with the upbeat mainstream pop tunes to start.  I don't know about you though, but lockdown has taken its toll and it's Monday morning.  So I hope I have read the room correctly with a more laid back start, to ease us all into the week.  The pop tunes are most certainly all there though, as are the rock anthems, country classics, power ballads, jazz standards, some excellent cover versions and more.  But it works just as well on shuffle as it does in order.  And it's not just for songs in English - thanks to those who sent in music with lyrics in other languages, and indeed we have two songs in the playlist that appear in two languages - Nena's '99 Red Balloons'/'99 Luftballons' and Christine And The Queens' 'Tilted'/'Christine'.

'Tilted' was in fact the most popular song amongst the contributors, Madonna the most popular solo artist and The Cranberries the most popular band.  Special mention to Nina Simone, Bjork, Kate Bush, Aretha Franklin and Taylor Swift for their popularity too.  Among the most popular albums were  Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We and No Need To Argue by The Cranberries, Tapestry by Carole King and Bjork's Post.

I've been a bit ruthless about the audibility of women and there were a few very strong contenders which ultimately got "disqualified" because of male featured artists that were just that bit too vocally prominent in an all-women playlist.  Oh, and it's a good thing the kids have gone back to school because it's explicit in places.

The cover artwork was designed primarily by my daughter, Eloise, who was born on International Women's Day.  We collaborated on it (she drew, I coloured in) as part of an art project run by local magazine Fabric to design a postcard for International Women's Day.  And we are excited that it will be part of an exhibition later this year!

All that remains is to say a huge thank you to those that got involved with the playlist - the full list of contributors is below.  

Hope you enjoy listening and do share it widely!  (click here to go to Spotify).


Adele Prince, Ali Maclean, Alison Bradshaw, Andrea Barber, Ant Edwards, Aoife Corbett, Aoife Hearne, Aviv Corrigan, Carolyn Agger, Cathy Hawkes, Claire Neillands, Clare Lissek, Claudine Munro-Lafon, Coreen Reilly, Craigie-Lee Paterson, Dan Power, Denise Weber Farquhar, Edie Crompton, Ellie Wood, Eloise McKeown, Emma Kunz, Emma Malcolm, Eszter Toth, Gila Tabrizi, Henry Everitt, Isabelle Wilkin, Ivy Quinn, Jean Taylor, Jen Irving, Joanna Brindle, Joanna Niklas, Judith Greeves, Julie Parslow, Juliette Wilkin, Kate Aldous, Kathleen Lally, Kathryn Russell, Katie Watts, Katy Dunningham, Kev Quinn, Kristina Keliris, Laura Brereton, Laura Wilkin, Lily Hancock, Lucy Brindle, Maggi Clifford, Mark Calderbank, Martha Calderbank, Martin Faulkner, Mary E. Power, Mary F. Power, May Quinn, Natalie Aldham, Nancy Leeming, Rhys Cannon, Roni Norcross, Roz Shepperd, Sally Drayton, Sam Broderick, Sara Morrison, Sarah Ronan, Sarah Samuel, Sarah Tessier, Sean McKeown, Seb Lander, Senel Rifat, Serena Butterworth, Sian Blewitt, Siggy Robson, Sinead Ingoldsby, Sinead Kidd, Susan Hancock, Susan Noy, Tien Wilde, Vicki O'Keeffe, Will Harris.