Getty Images

Earlier this week, America watched Brittany Howard killing it on guitar during her Grammy performance with her band Alabama Shakes. Her fingers flew across the strings, and her teal blue guitar shone in the spotlight of a million viewers.

But guess what? Despite the fact that women are underrepresented on the Top 40 charts, and on music festival stages and basically everywhere, ladies have been playing music for a really long time.

Here's a little visual trip through history's guitar-playing women:

(Photo by Museum of London/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Heritage Images/Getty Images

In the 17th century, women often played stringed instruments that looked like guitars! It's important to keep your garden of loving animals—and your pet peacock—entertained.

(Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
UIG via Getty Images

In 50 B.C. Gibsons didn't exist, but this hottie in a Roman fresca played a "kithara." That sounds an awful lot like "GUITAR."

(Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Heritage Images/Getty Images

"I'm blushing because I'm so proud to be playing this beautiful song for my hot crush."

(Photo by Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Just like Justin Bieber, women love to play parting songs for their lovers.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Summer jam!

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Getty Images

"No, I do not take requests."

(Photo by W. L. Germons/Alinari Archives, Florence/Alinari via Getty Images)
Alinari via Getty Images

An interesting duo from 1875—wonder what the music sounded like?

(Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Heritage Images/Getty Images

Bet she can hit notes as high as her hair.

(Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Did this sad lady play a sad tune on her stringed instrument?

(Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

The best way to call for justice and disarmament is with a song.

(Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
ullstein bild via Getty Images

Looks like her music, like her gaze, will creep into your soul and stay there.

(Photo by: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)
UIG via Getty Images

In the military, music is a must.

(Photo by Vintage Images/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The OG Spice Girls (probably).

(1869-1940). (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Heritage Images/Getty Images

"Want to know a secret, Betty? This song isn't about a boy."

(Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)
Getty Images

This is a postcard from the early 19th century, but I would buy this album on vinyl. ASAP.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Ochs Archives

Sister Rosetta Tharpe is such a magnificent person it's incredible.

(Photo by Estate of Emil Bieber/Klaus Niermann/Getty Images)
Getty Images

These gals, posing in 1920 should have shoved the dude even farther off to the side—out of the picture. They're the ones who shine.

Thelma Jen from China. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Thelma Jen looks like she could shred in 1935.

(Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Getty Images

HOW DOES SHE DO IT?

(Photo by Vintage Images/Getty Images)
Getty Images

If Keith Richards can do it…

American actress Janet Leigh (1927 - 2004) holding a guitar, circa 1950. (Photo by Henry Gris/FPG/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Dreamy.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives

Loretta Lynn played guitar and also wrote tons of hit songs.

(Photo by Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)
Getty Images

This band looks amazing. I want to hear them play RIGHT NOW.

(Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Guitars bring out the holy spirit!

(Photo by Morton Broffman/Getty Images)
Getty Images

1968, and activism and guitars went hand in hand.

(Photo by M. Fresco/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Busking in 1979.

(Photo by Sam Falk/New York Times Co./Getty Images)
Getty Images

Goodbye, I'm sorry, I have to go. It's 1961, and I've got some guitar to play.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.