When you talk about powerful females in the music world, you can’t help but discuss the acoustic-guitar prowess and feminist politics of Ani DiFranco. Much like her music—which blends together elements of alternative, folk, funk, punk and jazz—DiFranco is hard to categorize. The Buffalo, New York, native spent much of her early career playing coffee houses and open-mic nights before developing her own following. In fact, many of her adoring fans can be heard cheering her on in the background of her live double album, Living In Clip, which came out in 1997 and featured finger-picking anthems like “Napoleon,” “32 Flavors” and “Both Hands.”
Not only is DiFranco a successful singer/songwriter who has released 17 studio albums, she’s also one of the first independent artists to start her own record label. (Righteous Babe was founded in 1990 and has released albums from artists like Andrew Bird, Arto Lindsay and Drums & Tuba.) Plus, the “Gravel” singer is extremely active in a variety of social movements. Righteous Babe also directs fans to numerous non-profit organizations with which they can get involved. Whether she’s compiling a benefit CD to support the efforts of the United States Campaign for Burma, which aids the country’s fight against genocide, or playing at a concert to raise money for the wetlands that were affected by the 2010 BP oil spill, DiFranco is just as passionate about a good cause as she is about her music.
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