Bow Down – Why Lzzy Hale Is The Ultimate Queen Of Rock We Need Right Now

By Chelsy Ranard

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a rocker. My dad listened to a slew of ‘80s rock like Def Leppard, Ozzy, and Heart, and my little mind soaked up all of those infectious riffs and power ballads like a sponge. As I grew older, I kept the same taste and translated it to modern music. The bummer was that there were so few female examples in the genre I loved.

When I discovered Halestorm, however, I’d found the chick rocker I’d been searching for. I loved listening to Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, and Pat Benatar, and now I had a new voice to listen to from my era. Lzzy Hale is a true musician who lives for her art. She has proven that rock music isn’t just for the boys; that beauty standards are to be challenged; and that being a rocker is about being your true self.

A Look at the Music

To say that music is Hale’s life is an understatement. At age 13, Hale began creating original music with her brother/drummer, Arejay Hale. She began playing piano at age 5 and began guitar lessons at 16. The siblings released Don’t Mess With the Time Man EP in 1999 when she was 15. In 2005, the band signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records.

They also gained a bass player the year before, an instrument once played in the band by the siblings’ dad. They released their EP One and Done in 2006. Their self-titled album was released in 2009 with considerable success. Another EP and album later, Halestorm was nominated for a Grammy for a song on their album, The Strange Case Of…. They ended up winning and became the first female-fronted band to be nominated and to win.

Since then they have released another full studio album, a couple albums of covers, and have spent much of their time touring. Outside of the band, Hale has sang as a guest with a ton of different artists such as Shinedown, Seether, Stone Sour, and Eric Church, to name a few. She’s been on magazine covers, written a column for Revolver Magazine, and remained as passionate about music as ever. Her insane vocals, instrumental talent, and song writing abilities makes her a treasure of rock music today.

Rock Music: Not Just a Boys Club

Rock music is a genre overflowing with men with not enough recognized female influence. However, Hale proves that it’s not just the boys who can shred on guitar and scream until it hurts. In nearly every interview, Hale is asked about being a female in rock, or being the frontwoman for a rock group and what that experience has been like.

She handles those questions with grace and talks about loving working around so many men, the struggles of proving herself over the years, and acknowledging that talent is talent, regardless of gender. Her voice is raspy like that of Janis Joplin and credits her, along with other foremothers of rock like Lita Ford, with being a great example of what women can do in her genre.

Hale has been outspoken about the need for more young people to have access to music and following their talent, regardless of their gender. Not only will more music education and availability help to bridge the gender gap in music, it can be important for mental health as well, as many people benefit from music therapy. Music isn’t gendered, and women should feel welcomed by any pull towards rock music.

For Hale, her music is an audible punch in the face full of energy and aggression that proves is not just the male rockers who can serve attitude and play music like a beast. Instead of allowing her gender to be a gimmick in the industry, Hale uses her minority status as a chick rocker to push herself further and be the example for the next phase of female musicians. Music is beneficial for everyone, so it shouldn’t be monopolized by one gender.

Challenging Beauty Standards

Hale has always been about challenging standards. On her blog, she has spoken about what is expected of little girls: to be pretty, not to be dirty; to be seen and not heard. She talks about the expectation to get married and have kids. She discusses the expectation for women to be skinny, erase stretch marks, and eliminate wrinkles.

She brings up the double standards with sexuality, success, and independence with men and women. Hale discusses all of these standards, and each woman’s ability to break them. In a world where there are still magazines photoshopping celebrities in troublesome ways, women thinking their worth is measured by their bodies, and messages telling women there is only one beauty standard, Hale’s outspokenness on this issue is paramount.

In 2017, Hale cut her hair short in a fierce style making her look amazing. Though her cut wasn’t to make some big impact on beauty standards, it ended up being so. Hale says on her blog that she cut her hair out of convenience, but that some women do cut their hair for deeper meanings. Unfortunately for Hale, and many women, such a normal decision to cut her hair turned into a reason for sexist backlash.

She clapped back on her blog with an entry about how your beauty is not about your hair length, body type, social status, or anything else. It’s about doing whatever you want to do and being your true self. Though Hale is a star who prides herself on wearing blinders when it comes to other people’s opinions about her, she doesn’t shy away from using those examples to challenge those standards and be a good example for others experiencing something similar.

Being Her True Self

Hale loves being open with her fans and is passionate about being who she is. No matter how others may view her, Hale lives her life with authenticity. In 2014, Hale came out as bisexual. On her personal Twitter account, she’s been known to host small “Ask Lzzy” Twitter sessions where fans are encouraged to ask her whatever they want.

Fans ask her questions about everything from her music, to mental health tips, to her sexuality. She’s always open and honest while promoting an understanding of those who are bisexual and others in the LGBT community. She’s also been a supporter of the #MeToo movement and is passionate about women empowering women, another common theme with her fans on her social media.

Hale has been outspoken about her belief that sex and rock and roll are very much intertwined and that she loves wearing whatever she wants on stage to feel sexy, from stilettos to leather pants. Though she’s said she’s never been forced to look sexier or wear something she didn’t want to wear, she acknowledges the problems for other women in entertainment industries have experienced this sort of forced sexualization.

For Hale, being a female in rock has presented some situations where people have discounted her, but other situations in which she’s felt completely equal and empowered. Regardless of each person’s experience, Hale urges women to be their true selves and that should measure their success more than anything else.

When I saw Halestorm live, I was blown away by their energy and passion for the music. Lzzy Hale was a powerhouse and was genuinely having a blast on stage with her bandmates who she considers her family. She belted out notes that were out of this world and played the hell out of her guitar, just like the boys. I left her show feeling like I could take on the world.

Not only has her music spoken for itself, she’s also vocal about supporting women in rock music. She’s challenging standards for women by being vocal about body image and what constitutes beauty. More than anything Lzzy Hale is herself in the realest way, and that’s the example people need to see, not just hear about. Thank you Lzzy for being the queen of rock that we need right now.



Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She is passionate about feminism, is a shark enthusiast, and can be found playing Frisbee with her dog, Titan. Follow her on Twitter.

One Comment

  1. Although I am a man, I couldn’t agree more with you! Lzzy is a great role model and a great talent. I’m a big fan of her music and have been following them now since 2012. “Hale to the Queen of Rock”!! Enjoyed your article, thank you.

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