It’s no doubt over simplification, but for me, it all starts with Laura Nyro.
Without her, there’s no Kate Bush.
No Tori Amos.
To a lesser degree, I also think she may have made it possible for the Laurel Canyon scene to happen, even if she was from east coast, and Joni Mitchell trailed Nyro’s debut by only a year or so.
And yes, there were many great women musical artists before Nyro–everyone from Wanda Jackson to Nina Simone to Dusty Springfield to Joan Baez–but there was something about Nyro that signaled a major change, that opened up new avenues even if pompous asshole music critics like Robert Christgau dismissed her as ‘hypersensitive.’