Carrie Brownstein

No one would have ever guessed a 1990s "Riot grrrl" artist would turn into a veritable comedy star, yet Carrie Brownstein defied such expectations with her talent and creative genius. Brownstein made her mark in the mid-1990s with the Washington-based band Sleater-Kinney and its no-nonsense music, provocative lyrics, and feminist anthems. Rooted in the "Riot grrrl" movement that launched bands such as Bikini Kill and inspired singers like Alanis Morissette, Sleater-Kinney impressed critics with its self-titled debut released in 1995. The group made strides toward mainstream attention with its post 9/11 album One Beat (2002) and a successful touring stint with Pearl Jam. After Sleater-Kinney announced an indefinite hiatus in 2006 (regrouping in early 2015), Brownstein discovered a passion for acting, which lead to a collaboration with "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) cast member Fred Armisen. Together, the duo created and starred on "Portlandia" (IFC, 2011- ), a hilarious and largely improvised sketch comedy series inspired by Portland's hipster-types, their idealistic world view, and obsession with 90s indie rock music. By marrying her love for music and acting on the hit TV show, Brownstein proved she was a gifted talent who could transcend not just genres but mediums. She expanded this new perception with a bestselling memoir, Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl (2015)and a small role in Todd Haynes' drama "Carol" (2015).