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Otep

In the testosterone-fueled world of aggressive rock and heavy metal, it's not easy to be a lesbian singer, but Otep Shamaya has outlasted many of her contemporaries. She's been writing and recording for twelve years, a disciple of Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison. Otep was signed to Capitol Records after only four shows, and since then, the Los Angeles native has built a cult following of people who connect with her preferred subject matter, which ranges from her unabashed left-wing politics to stories about overcoming obstacles and having hope. When she's not riling up crowds on stage with her eponymous band, which just issued its sixth studio album, Hydra, Otep writes poetry (she's released several volumes), paints, writes for several websites and is an outspoken champion of women's rights, highlighted by a speaking gig on behalf of Rock the Vote at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

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