Women in heavy metal
All-female heavy metal band Kittie
performing in 2008
The history of women in heavy metal can be traced back as far as the 1970s when the band Vixen was formed in 1973. Another hard rock band that featured all-female members, The Runaways, were founded in 1975; two members, Joan Jett and Lita Ford, later had successful solo careers. In 1978, with the rise of the new wave of British heavy metal, the band Girlschool would be founded, who are best known for their collaboration with Motörhead in 1980 under the pseudonym Headgirl. In 1996, Finnish band Nightwish was founded and has featured women as vocalists. This would lead to more women fronting heavy metal bands such as Halestorm, Within Temptation, Arch Enemy, and Epica among others. In Japan, the 2010s brought a boom of all-female metal bands including Destrose, Aldious, Mary's Blood, Cyntia, and Lovebites.
Women have had an important role behind the scenes, such as Gaby Hoffmann and Sharon Osbourne. In 1981, Hoffmann would help Don Dokken acquire his first record deal. Hoffmann also became the manager of Accept in 1981 and wrote songs under the pseudonym of "Deaffy" for many of band's studio albums. In the band's newer albums, vocalist Mark Tornillo stated that Hoffmann still had some influence in songwriting. Osbourne, the wife and manager of Ozzy Osbourne, would found the Ozzfest music festival and manage several bands, included Motörhead, Coal Chamber, The Smashing Pumpkins, Electric Light Orchestra, Lita Ford and Queen.