Top Five Rockin' Grannies

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Image credit: Photoshop.
Last week we announced the bummer news that Blondie has called off the show scheduled for tomorrow at Foundry on First due to "last minute scheduling conflicts.

Promoter Danny Zelisko states that the band may reschedule its date, but until then, you can continue listening to the group's latest album, Panic of Girls, check out our interview with Chris Stein, or read this list of five more bad ass female musicians old enough to be your grandma (assuming you're in your twenties.)

Debbie Harry and these five ladies have all been writing music for over three decades, proving that the golden years can still yield golden tunes.

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Wanda Jackson, 73
With nicknames like The Queen of Rockabilly and The First Lady of Rockabilly, it goes without saying that Wanda is one of the most influential rockabilly musicians of all time. She started out as a country singer, but shifted toward rockabilly with the encouragement of Elvis Presley.

Jackson has been performing since 1954, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 as an "Early Influence." This year, she recorded The Party Ain't Over, a rockin' comeback effort with Jack White.

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Aretha Franklin, 69

The list continues with more music royalty: The Queen of Soul. Aretha discovered her talent through gospel singing and learning piano by ear. She signed to Columbia Records when she was 18 years old and immediately reached the Billboard charts. 50 years later, she's won 18 Grammy awards and has scored 45 Top 40 hits. Actresses are currently being cast for the Aretha Franklin biopic.

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Chrissie Hynde, 60

Chrissie's beginnings are as interesting as the rest of her career. She started a band called Sat. Sun. Mat. with Mark Mothersbaugh (later of Devo fame) while studying at Kent State, and later moved to London to work in a shop owned by Vivienne Westwood. She asked Sid Vicious to marry her for a work visa. The first Pretenders demo included a Kinks cover, and Chrissie later had a child with Kinks songwriter Ray Davies. She may not be a grandma in the literal sense, but she has a second child with Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.

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Pat Benatar, 58

Born Patricia Mae Andrejewski, Pat was an ideal candidate for a stage name. Inspired by Liza Minnelli, she quit her day job as a bank teller in 1973 and released In the Heat of the Night six years later, starting a successful career with "Heartbreaker." She has been on tour every year since 1996 and was immortalized by South Park without destroying a city or anything.


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Joan Jett, 53

She began taking guitar lessons when she was 13, but quit because the instructor kept trying to teach her folk songs. She taught herself how to play and was being ranked number 87 on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time. The Blackhearts played Warped Tour a few years ago and still continue to embark on national tours. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are nominated for induction into the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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