7 Female Songwriters Who Are Masters of Their Craft ...

In this day and age of twerking and mindless pop tunes, it's rare to find female songwriters who are true masters of their craft. You know them when you sing their songs because you savor each word and they all have meaning. Genuine female songwriters fall under the category of a critically endangered species. It's heartbreaking to know that not so many people realize how great these artists are. Here are seven true masters of the songwriting world and they happen to be wonderfully, beautifully, effortlessly part of an amazing race called Woman.

1. India Arie

The list of great female songwriters will never be complete without India Arie. This woman captivated my heart the very first time I heard "Beautiful Surprise." Her songs are soulful, emotional and real - you can't help but sway into the music of the stories she's sharing in the form of words and melody. One of the reasons I love her is because she stands as the epitome of a woman who is confident about her looks, capabilities and talents. No need to wear skimpy attire to look "sexy."

2. Tori Amos

My friend Jessie introduced me to the music of Tori Amos and our first meeting was marked by the song "Sleeps with Butterflies." Visit her website and you'll see there how this true blue artist embraces music as a sacred art form. Take this from her: "I've always been inspired by visual artists of all mediums because, as with Music, Art is not a job you can go to and leave from; but it is something that defines who and what you are."

3. Corrine Bailey Rae

"Like A Star" and "Breathless" - both from her self-titled debut album - are my eternal favorites. Rae has a degree in English Literature from the University of Leeds and that tells us a lot about why this woman can write really wonderful songs. One more thing I love about her, aside from her voice and song lyrics? Her hair!

4. Alanis Morissette

Alanis' Jagged Little Pill album came out in the mid-90s and it was a blast! This album gave us songs like Ironic, You Learn, Hand in My Pocket, and You Oughta Know. I always think of her as the older sister of Avril Lavigne because of the rock connection.

5. Nerina Pallot

If you haven't listened to the songs of this woman, I urge you to seek the help of Mother Google and Father Youtube to find your way back to right music path. Listen to the songs of her first album (Dear Frustrated Superstar) before jumping to the commercially successful second album (Fires). You won't regret it.

6. Colbie Caillat

There is so much to love about Colbie, and her songwriting skill is one of the major reasons why I continue to listen to her songs. She is beautiful, sensitive and sweet - all these three show in her music and lyrics.

7. Joni Mitchell

I will end this list with the woman who made "Big Yellow Taxi" the soundtrack of my love for trees and the environment. I love how Mitchell combined the political and personal aspects of life in her songs. We lack intelligent songwriters these days. We need the kind who can express their thoughts beyond rhyme words and mumbling the never-ending "yeah, yeah, yeah" phrase.

Who's your favorite female songwriter?