Gibson, one of the world’s most popular guitar brands, just hired their first female brand ambassador since the company started in 1894. This is one of those occasions when it’s safe to say, it’s about time.
Lzzy Hale, the guitar-slinging frontwoman of the hard rock band Halestorm, now represents a new collection and gear across the Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer electric guitar brands.
She partnered with Gibson and Epiphone luthiers to design two sold-out guitars, including the Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorer and the Epiphone Lzzy Hale Explorer.
As the company’s brand ambassador Hale will help drive the culture of philanthropy that the brand is known for and will serve as a member of the artists’ advisory council for the Gibson Gives foundation. Gibson has had a long history of supporting artists through youth-focused education, and many wellness initiatives for musicians.
Gibson welcomed Hale at an official announcement event in Nashville, during which she said that joining the Gibson circle has been a dream of hers ever since she was 16 years old.
“It’s an incredible feeling to know that this dream has become a reality. Something magical ignites within me when I hold a Gibson guitar in my hands, the same guitars that my forefathers and foremothers of rock slung over their shoulders.”
Hale is well aware of the journey women in rock often face but she always seems to put a positive and very inspiring spin on things. She simply said, “It is a privilege to represent my genre, my gender, and the incredible power of music that unites us all.”
Gibson has been around more than twice the number of years that the GRAMMYs have, 127 years vs. 62 (in 2021 when the article was originally written). That’s why this is an important moment. The company has given these kinds of opportunities to many male rock stars, not that they don’t deserve it, but they tend to take the spotlight and they have the influence and the clout that the women don’t often have.
Recently, progressive rock guitarist and producer Alex Lifeson collaborated with Gibson on the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Axcess, released in June 2021. Slash’s new Epiphone Slash Collection was made available world-wide on July 20 as a follow-up to the company’s “history-making” Gibson Slash Collection from just last year.
It’s no secret that women in rock have a hard time reaching the top. They are rarely given the opportunities and the recognition for their skills — even when they can outplay and outperform their male counterparts. Despite their talent, they often end up permanently in the background or as titillating bait on album covers and in music videos.
So, who’s this woman who stands up there on the podium with the best of rock’s guitarists?
Cesar Gueikian, the company’s brand president spoke about her at the event in Nashville as “an ambassador of music, not just Gibson.” He called her “A powerhouse singer, badass guitarist … an influential force in music,” and “a trailblazer in every sense of the word.”
From early on in her career, said Gueikian, Hale had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve and put in the hard work to get there without compromising. She has and continues to pave the path for other artists, leading by example, breaking down barriers along the way.
Jenny Marsh from the entertainment relations team connected with Hale and her band and maintained a relationship that grew into the partnership that they celebrated on July 15, 2021 with Hale becoming Gibson’s ambassador.
As the frontwoman of Halestorm, Hale has become a champion for women in rock, and a champion of rock music, hosting the 2020 She Rocks Awards and serving as a judge on the upcoming Hit Parader show No Cover alongside Alice Cooper, Gavin Rossdale, and Bishop Briggs.
When the band won their first GRAMMY in 2012 for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for Love Bites (So Do I), Hale became the first female to earn a GRAMMY in that category. Halestorm’s 2018 album Vicious earned the band their second GRAMMY nomination and prompted Rolling Stone magazine to say that the nomination cemented Hale’s status as one of “hard rock’s most vital voices.”
They likely made that statement not just because of her vocal abilities — sounding a bit like Pat Benatar, a lot like Heart and somewhat like Amy Lee — but also because of her boldness when it comes to speaking up for women’s issues.
On May 31, 2022, less than a year after the first set of guitars were announced, Gibson Brands released the fusion Explorer-Firebird guitar called the Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorerbird as an extension of Hale’s brand with the company.
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