For any artist who has spent much time in a band, it's hard to imagine going solo. Everything about the way you approach making music changes when you decide to step out from the group setting you're so familiar with and go at it on your own. Despite the challenges, there are quite a few artists who have tackled the daunting task with overwhelming talent.
Inspired by Skillet's Jen Ledger recently stepping out from behind the drum kit to release her debut solo EP, LEDGER, here's a roundup of eight of our favorite pop/rock females who took a break from band life to create something all their own.
For many artists who step out from a band to go solo, they have to somewhat start from scratch and re-build a name for themselves--but this is not the case for Skillet drummer Jen Ledger. Jen has been with Skillet since she was 18 (a remarkable feat in itself) and has become an instrumental part of the rockers' huge success over the years. Now in addition to her place there, Jen is launching her long-awaited solo project LEDGER with a self-titled EP out now. Carrying with her the same powerhouse vocals and engaging stage presence that have made her such a hit with Skillet fans, this new endeavor shows a brand-new side of the already-beloved artist.
After separating from former band ILIA towards the end of 2016, lead singer Suzy Martinez-- known now as Zahna--returned as a solo artist. Bringing to the table many of the same rock elements that were strengthened during her time with ILIA, Zahna released her debut single "Underneath" last fall and saw it spend a striking eleven weeks on Christian rock charts. A full-length project from Zahna is in the works with recently formed Rockfest Records.
After a decade of international success with the rock act Flyleaf, founding frontwoman Lacey Sturm left the band in 2012 to focus on her family and, later, her solo career. Before there was new music, Lacey took on the role of an author as she chronicled her story of faith and redemption in her book The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living. Soon after, Lacey announced the release of her highly-anticipated full-length solo debut Life Screams. The album hit shelves early in 2016, followed by a second book, The Mystery: Finding True Love In A World Of Broken Lovers.
Another case of an artist who isn't stepping down from their band but rather adding a solo project on the side, Fireflight's Dawn Michele is hard at work on her debut solo album. While the rock group has been leaned toward a more pop sound in recent releases, this will give fans yet another side of lead singer Michele's vocal abilities and stylistic creativity as she dives into the worship realm. Dawn, who has been serving on staff as a worship leader for the past few years at a church in New Mexico, is preparing to release the new album later this year.
After nearly a decade of co-fronting hip-hop/R&B act Group 1 Crew, Blanca parted ways in 2013 to pursue her own solo career. Well-received by the many fans who were sad to see her leave G1C but happy her powerhouse voice didn't stay gone for long, her breakout single "Who I Am" solidified her place as a solo artist in 2015 with her debut self-titled album. Continuing to use her gifts to encourage listeners around the globe, Blanca's latest release was the Real Love EP last fall.
From 1997 to 2003, Leigh Nash's former band Sixpence None the Richer worked their way into mainstream attention and success. When 2004 brought news of their disbanding, Nash shifted gears and began work on her solo career. With her official debut in 2006, Leigh Nash has contributed much to her solo efforts over the years, leading up to most recent 2015's The State I'm In.
Five years a member of Dove Award-nominated pop girl group 1 Girl Nation (1GN), Carmen Justice has long been lending her powerhouse voice to the CCM world. In 2016, Carmen stepped away from the group to put a focus on her own tunes, offering lead single "Flaming Arrows" with the promise of an upcoming solo EP. That debut EP, Against the Odds, released late last year and features guest appearances from the likes of Steven Malcolm and TobyMac's GabeReal.
Emily Irene Fertig
Pop/rock outfit SHINEBIRGHT (formerly Shine Bright Baby) called it quits in 2016 after a nine-year run as a band. From their ending, singer/songwriter and frontwoman Emily Irene Fertig found a new beginning as a solo artist. Almost a year after news of SHINEBRIGHT's disbanding, Emily ended up in the studio with producer David Thulin to work on a few worship singles. Two of those singles, "Whole" and "Devotion," are out now, with a debut solo EP coming soon.
Caitlin Lassiter is a North Carolina girl that loves Jesus, music, concerts, writing, C.S. Lewis, and sweet tea... She's also a worship leader dreaming of traveling the world to share God's love.
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