One is a lesbian punk rocker from the Arkansas "Bible Belt". Another is credited for shaking up the British pop world with her unique brand of "chav chic".
The anti-establishment personas of Beth Ditto, from US band the Gossip, and singer Lily Allen have won them pole position in the music magazine New Musical Express's annual Cool List, an attempt to define the musical zeitgeist.
The top 10 artists on the list, traditionally dominated by males, this year includes an equal number of females who have rocked the pop world with their outspoken behaviour.
Ditto, the Gossip's lead singer, who has become an icon for gay rights activists, feminists and the American underclass, topped the list as the "Queen of Cool", making her the first woman ever to reach the coveted number one spot. Her more outspoken statements include an expression of sympathy for the perpetrators of American high school shootings.
The Gossip's recent single, "Standing In The Way Of Control", which rails against Republican homophobia, has proved to be a UK breakthrough hit.
Allen, who features in third place, has branded pop icon Madonna "overrated" and said she wanted to "kick the shit" out of Bob Geldof's daughter after she took part in a documentary about Islam. "What do you know about Islam, you useless oaf?" Allen is believed to have told Peaches Geldof.
Five men make it into the top 10: Faris Rotter, the frontman with Southend band the Horrors, at number two; Jarvis Cocker, who recently made a comeback with his solo album; Thom Yorke from Radiohead; Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance; and Kieren Webster from the View.
The female artists include: Karen O, from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, at number five; Kate Jackson from the Long Blondes, who comes in seventh place; and Japanese-Brazilian singer Lovefoxxx, from the band CSS, at number 10.
Conor McNicholas, the editor of NME, said he was pleased that the Cool List was full of women who had brought "new energy" to the music world.
"This year's Cool List is a testament to the raft of hugely talented women who have taken hold of the music scene in 2006," he said. "From Beth to Lily to Karen, they've brought new energy to a scene dominated by men. They're also living proof that you can still rock a crowd when you're wearing stilettos."
Last year's number one, Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, slipped this year to 32nd place, while Pete Doherty, who was voted the Cool Icon of 2004, has been relegated to number 28. Liam Gallagher also slipped 10 places from two to 12, although he still managed to make it into the top 20.
Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones rocker, was a new entry at number 26 after a year which saw him come through brain surgery to rejoin the band's tour.
The NME's top 50
1 Beth Ditto, The Gossip
2 Faris Rotter, The Horrors
3 Lily Allen
4 Jarvis Cocker
5 Karen O, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
6 Kieren Webster, The View
7 Kate Jackson, The Long Blondes
8 Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance
9 Thom Yorke, Radiohead
10 Lovefoxxx, CSS
11 Paul Simenon, The Good, The Bad & The Queen
12 Liam Gallagher, Oasis
13 Jamie Reynolds, Klaxons
14 The House Of Lords, The Young Knives
15 Tahita Bulmer New Young Pony Club
16 Cee-Lo, Gnarls Barkley
17 Ryan Ross, Panic! At The Disco
18 Carl Barât, Dirty Pretty Things
19 Jack White, The White Stripes/The Raconteurs
20 Jamie Frost, The Automatic
21 Serge Pizzorno, Kasabian
22 Eugene Hutz, Gogol Bordello
23 Albert Hammond Jr, The Strokes
24 Meg White, The White Stripes
26 Keith Richards
27 Matt Bellamy, Muse
28 Pete Doherty
29 Brandon Flowers, The Killers
31 Richard Hawley
32 Alex Turner, Arctic Monkeys
33 Vincent Vincent Vincent, Vincent & The Villains
34 Lupe Fiasco
35 Alexis Taylor, Hot Chip
36 Mike Patton
37 Jamie Williams, Tilly & The Wall
38 Bobby Gillespie, Primal Scream
39 Mike Skinner, The Streets
40 Ali Love
41 Tunde Adebimpe, TV On The Radio
42 Mince, The Fratellis
43 Devendra Banhart
44 Sam Duckworth, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
45 Victoria Bergman, Ex-The Concretes
46 Jackie McKeown, 1990s
47 George Barnett, These New Puritans
48 Cat Power
49 Thorunn Antonia Fields
50 Amy WinehouseReuse content