In the past, they were the Queens, strong women who took an unconventional path. They were the Blues Women, and they changed the face of music. To understand their history is to understand not only a great deal about black history but about the history of the country as a whole. Today, blues women still change the face of music and explore the feminine side of the human condition. This book explores the lives and legacies of eighteen great blues women, old and new. From Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith and other legends to Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, and more contemporary blues women, this book explores their art and tells their stories.