Disclaimer: Obviously there are lots of great female artists. I guess I'm just writing about where I was then, how my sexism developed, what I did when I noticed it and where I am now. None of the lists I will make from here on out will be anything close to comprehensive.
So there was Blondie, Stevie Nicks (who I don't really like but is one of those big female stars). Then Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Indigo Girls. Then Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow even.
Then there was this dry spell where I couldn't find women who created good music. I got into this sexist funk. Like, there aren't many good female musicians; men must be evolutionarily better-equipped than women. I mean, lots of studies have shown the male brain to be more mathematical (think rhythm, scales). Or something.