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Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The godmother of rock and roll, this black bisexual singer fused gospel and pop to blaze her own way across the Jim Crow-era south.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the jolly black businesswoman who swore by folk remedies, in stark contrast to Florence Nightingale's by-the-book Victorian approach to medicine.
This self-described "undutiful daughter" posed as a man to become the world's first female shipwright.
Indomitable pirate queen who ran Morocco and ruined Portuguese trade.
A clever woman who rose from obscurity to become a political force, playing nations against each other to protect her people.
Widowed young queen who led a fearsome rebellion against the British with her child tied to her back.
Motorcycling across America, making her living doing stunts and transporting secret government documents, this stand-out woman found family in places she didn't expect.
This most-wanted WW2 spy rescued Jews and POWs, blew up Nazi trains, and used an X-rated radio rhyme to identify herself to Britain.
Although her tribe was destroyed and she was forced into an unwanted marriage, this indomitable woman came to run the world's largest empire - with a woman as her companion.
When an unrequited admirer began threatening her, this early fresco painter became one of history's first warrior artists.