In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to pay respects to the women that have made their mark in the audio and music industry. From songwriters to musicians, to audio engineers, give a round of applause and keep reading to learn more about these incredible women. 


Carol Kaye: Legendary Bassist

For those who are unfamiliar with Carol Kaye, you may be familiar with one of the 40,000 songs or one of her 10,000 recordings. Carol Kaye has worked with record-breaking artists like Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, and more. 

Fun fact – Carol Kaye was one of the first musicians to demo the StingRay bass when it was first released. Want to check it out? Have a listen to the demo on the Ernie Ball Music Man.

Carol got her start in 1963, when a Fender bassist didn’t show up for a record date at Capitol Records. Luckily for Carol, she picked up the bass and from then on, she was the number one call for record companies. Not only was she highly sought after for records, but movies also. Carol recorded for film composers, working on films like Mission: Impossible and Pink Panther. Carol’s scope of work expands to TV Shows as well, like Hawaii Five-O and Wonder Woman.

Some advice from Carol Kaye from an interview with Ernie Ball: “You’ve got to put music in your life. Force yourself to listen to music and to cool out. Get out and hear some musical groups and notice the real feelings that come into your life. We’re all trying to pretend that things don’t hurt or don’t matter. We’re trying to pretend and put a good face on. That pretend stuff gets to you after a while. It’s phony. Music is not phony. When you play music, you’re expressing your inner being in a way that you’re going to touch someone else’s inner soul, too. It’s something deeper than anything you’ll ever do. Keep in touch with music because it will take good care of you. That’s my advice.”


Emily Lazar: Mastering Engineer

Emily Lazar said, “I guess you could say I was born to be a mastering engineer,” and she’s done just that. Emily’s career spans working with award-winning artists like Foo Fighters, David Bowie, Sia, and more. In 2022, Emily made the Top 50 List, sitting at No. 25. Although a significant achievement, Emily saw the lack of female representation and sought to change that.

Founding We Are Moving the Needle, a nonprofit organization empowering women through education, equipment, and mentorship, Emily was ready to solve many unanswered questions, joining forces with organizations like Women in Music, to gather data. Now, a few years after the launch, Emily’s organization has granted over $300,000 in scholarships.

To learn more about Emily and We Are Moving the Needle, check out this interview.


Dorothy Fields: Songwriter and Lyricist

In 1971, Dorothy was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, with a career spanning 400 songs for Broadway, songs for movies, and an Oscar for the song, “The Way You Look Tonight.”

Dorothy got her start when she met composer Jimmy McHugh, writing for Broadway and eventually scoring a major hit in the 1920’s with their song, “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby.”

Dorothy continued to make waves during this time, working with numerous composers and writing hit after hit. In 1936, Dorothy and Jerome Kern wrote, “The Way You Look Tonight,” for Fred Astaire’s film, Swingtime, winning her an Academy Award.


Madonna: Top Selling Recording Artist of All Time

The Queen of Pop title remains with Madonna – the top selling recording artist of all time, selling over 400 million records. With a 40-year career, Madonna is also the highest grossing female touring artist. Her signature of fusing post-disco dance with pop has earned her top spots and a mark in music history.

In 1983, Madonna arrived on Hot 100 with her single, “Holiday”. Since then, Madonna has had 58 chart hits, logging the top ten in the 1980s, 90’s, 2000’s, and 2010’s. Madonna released numerous hit singles including, “Like a Virgin", “Vogue”, and “Give Me All Your Luvin” with artists Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. in 2012.

Fun fact: Did you know Madonna originally wanted to be a ballet dancer? Or that she was in the pop/dance band, The Breakfast Club, playing the drums and then eventually became the lead singer? Learn more about Madonna and her career, here.


Women that Made GRAMMY® History

The GRAMMY® Awards are not only an incredible show to experience as a fan, but as an artist it’s a prestigious achievement. Although there are too many amazing artists to highlight in one blog, check out the list of the women who made GRAMMY® history.