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Article: Rock On, Smart Women

Alicia Keys

Rock On, Smart Women

While Tina Fey is not technically a rock star, she does rock our worlds weekly as the writer and star of, uh, “30 Rock.” Fey, the first female head writer at “Saturday Night Live,” has also written and directed hits including Mean Girls and Baby Mama. Obviously, Fey, (real name is actually Elizabeth Stamatina Fey), is one smart cookie. Her new memoir, Bossypants, further exemplifies the self-deprecating humor of this wildly intelligent (and 5-months pregnant!) comedian, who hosts “Saturday Night Live” on May 7. In honor of Fey’s rock star style, we give you a roundup of rock music’s smartest women. Artist: Poe University: Princeton 90s alt rock singer/songwriter Poe (born: Anne Decatur Danielewski), grew up in Utah, where her father was a professor at Brigham Young University. Following in the family traditional of pursuing higher education, Poe attended Princeton, where she organized her first band. Her debut album, Hello, was released in 1995. Artist: Liz Phair University: Oberlin Phair’s riot grrrl genius is revealed in her raw lyrics and lo-fi sound. An honors student in high school, Phair honed her artist-acumen at private liberal arts school Oberlin, which is famous for being the first American college to admit female students. Phair majored in art history. After graduating, she supported herself by selling charcoal drawings on the streets of Chicago. In 1993, Exile in Guyville made her famous, and the rest is rock history. Artist: Alicia Keys University: Columbia R&B superstar Keys demonstrated genius level musical abilities when she was a child and studied singing and songwriting at NYC’s Professional Performing Arts School. Keys graduated at the age of 16 and enrolled at Columbia, but dropped out after a month, as she had signed a recording contract at Columbia Records. Artist: Bonnie Raitt University: Harvard Raitt entered Harvard’s Radcliffe College, an all female institution, in 1967. Raitt majored in African studies, hoping to eventually travel to Tanzania and “help undo the damage that Western colonialism had done to native cultures around the world.” This was not to be, as Raitt soon began honing her musical talents. She took a semester off to perform in Philadelphia, and has been breaking hearts with her poignant ballads ever since. We’ve covered our fair share of women who rock ourselves here at VSQ. If you haven’t heard our tributes to Tori Amos, Bjork, Evanescence or Gwen Stefani, be sure to check them out: The String Quartet Tribute to Tori Amos: Precious Things Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to Evanescence Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to Gwen Stefani Available now at iTunes and Amazon

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