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The Best Singers of All Time

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36,833 views 213 items 24,232 votes 1,647 voters 91 followers 48reranks
Who are the best singers of all time? That's a tough question to ask. This list includes many of the greatest vocalists ever, from all genres of music. Whether it's the incomparable, late, great Whitney Houston with her extraordinary pop and R&B tones or rock icons like Freddie Mercury from Queen, Jim Morrison from The Doors or John Lennon and/or Paul McCartney from The Beatles, this list spans decades of incredible musicians. What singers do you feel are the greatest of all time? What are some of the greatest voices in music? Vote for your favorites, vote down any you don't like and feel free to rerank this list your way.

Vote: The Best Rock Vocalists

Putting together the top singers in music history is a tall order. Everyone has an opinion. Some might lean more toward rock vocalists as their personal favorite (think Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks and Mick Jagger), while others might prefer excellent pop or R&B vocalists like the late Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, or even Stevie Wonder, James Brown or Aretha Franklin.

Rank: The Top Female Vocalists of the Last Decade

Country musicians could also easily be included on this list. Musicians like Johnny Cash and Keith Whitley gave new meaning to great vocals with outstanding country songs. Female country artists, including modern era vocalists like Carrie Underwood could also be included. If country's your thing, vote and add away!

List Criteria: Individual singers in any genre. Not bands

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  Name
Score
  1. 54
    Up 82
    Down 62
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Heavy metal More
    58
  2. 26
    Up 118
    Down 77

    ranked low on reranks
    Nat King Cole

    Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music More
    69
  3. 60
    Up 39
    Down 30

    ranked high on reranks
    Bruce Springsteen

    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    57
  4. 104
    Up 47
    Down 45

    ranked low on reranks
    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    52
  5. 152
    Up 22
    Down 37

    ranked high on reranks
    Avril Lavigne

    Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music More
    46
  6. 91
    Up 36
    Down 36
    Honky-tonk, Alternative country, Gospel music More
    53
  7. 55
    Up 55
    Down 47

    often listed
    Buddy Holly

    Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly More
    57
  8. 47
    Up 62
    Down 56

    ranked high on reranks
    Tom Jones

    Ballad, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    59
    added by: PeteBoyle
  9. 151
    Up 22
    Down 33

    ranked high on reranks
    Fish

    Neo-progressive rock, Progressive rock More
    46
  10. 192
    Up 9
    Down 25

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Peter Green

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues More
    41
  11. 87
    Up 39
    Down 42

    ranked high on reranks
    Glenn Hughes

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    54
    added by: mrblond
    Hard rock, Funk rock, Soul, Blues rock
  12. 180
    Up 8
    Down 6
    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock More
    42
    added by: Coolza
  13. 131
    Up 10
    Down 5
    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
    49
    added by: Coolza
  14. 30
    Up 129
    Down 128

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Brown

    Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music More
    67
  15. 205
    Up 12
    Down 16

    about to drop off
    Elvis Costello

    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    39
  16. 93
    Up 34
    Down 35

    ranked high on reranks
    Bruce Dickinson

    Progressive metal, Heavy metal, Alternative rock More
    53
  17. 115
    Up 28
    Down 29

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alanis Morissette

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    51
  18. 164
    Up 19
    Down 34

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Björk

    Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house More
    45
  19. 159
    Up 19
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks
    Morrissey

    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rockabilly More
    46
  20. 179
    Up 10
    Down 8
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music More
    42
  21. 101
    Up 20
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Neil Young

    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    53
  22. 56
    Up 111
    Down 120

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Chris Cornell

    Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop More
    57
  23. 176
    Up 19
    Down 16
    Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock More
    43
    added by: jets2008
  24. 194
    Up 9
    Down 10
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    40
    added by: MariaVitóriaSantos
  25. 8
    Up 256
    Down 193

    ranked high on reranks
    John Lennon

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    83
  26. 7
    Up 248
    Down 182
    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    84
  27. 65
    Up 59
    Down 52
    Pop music, Folk rock More
    56
  28. 97
    Up 37
    Down 36

    ranked low on reranks
    Bob Seger

    Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    53
  29. 66
    Up 51
    Down 49

    often listed
    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock, Pop rock More
    56
  30. 100
    Up 16
    Down 19

    ranked high on reranks
    Kelly Clarkson

    Adult contemporary music, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul More
    53
    added by: First L
  31. 110
    Up 31
    Down 27

    ranked low on reranks
    Bryan Adams

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Heartland rock More
    52
  32. 67
    Up 69
    Down 62

    ranked low on reranks
    Joe Cocker

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    56
  33. 177
    Up 14
    Down 11
    Psychedelic soul, Chicago soul, Rhythm and blues More
    43
  34. 122
    Up 19
    Down 24
    Outlaw country, Country rock, Progressive country More
    50
  35. 116
    Up 10
    Down 5
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave More
    51
    added by: Coolza
  36. 204
    Up 13
    Down 17

    about to drop off
    Paul Rodgers

    Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music More
    39
    added by: misterp01
  37. 61
    Up 45
    Down 28

    ranked low on reranks
    Jimi Hendrix

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    57
  38. 135
    Up 28
    Down 13
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music More
    48
  39. 147
    Up 15
    Down 28

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dee Snider

    Glam metal, Shock rock, Heavy metal More
    47
  40. 105
    Up 49
    Down 43

    ranked low on reranks
    Kate Bush

    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    52
    added by: Sesel88
  41. 106
    Up 30
    Down 33

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alicia Keys

    Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul More
    52
  42. 44
    Up 32
    Down 23
    Hip hop music, Synthpunk, Pop punk More
    59
    added by: Coolza
  43. 68
    Up 52
    Down 55

    ranked high on reranks
    Dio

    Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal More
    56
  44. 150
    Up 20
    Down 19

    ranked low on reranks
    Patti Smith

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    47
  45. 172
    Up 5
    Down 8

    ranked high on reranks
    Alison Moyet

    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    44
    added by: Coolza
  46. 195
    Up 9
    Down 10
    Urban contemporary, Merengue music, Synthpop More
    40
    added by: Coolza
  47. 103
    Up 14
    Down 13

    ranked high on reranks
    Amy Lee

    Alternative rock, Alternative metal More
    52
    added by: Coolza
  48. 113
    Up 35
    Down 34

    ranked high on reranks
    George Michael

    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop More
    51
  49. 128
    Up 29
    Down 38

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Nico

    Pop music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    49
    added by: clash1977
  50. 170
    Up 12
    Down 6
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    44
    added by: Coolza
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