The Best Singers of All Time

590k votes 40k voters 715k views 906 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Individual singers in any genre. Not bands

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!
Collection Photo: via wikimedia
  • 179 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 12,157
    - 7,535
    Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

    ;
  2. 2
    + 6,959
    - 7,240
    Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

    ;
  3. 3
    + 5,290
    - 6,088
    Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

    ;
  4. 4
    + 6,351
    - 7,092
    Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  5. 5
    + 7,403
    - 7,505
    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4,255
    - 5,728
    Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  7. 7
    + 3,471
    - 5,174
    Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

    ;
  8. 8
    + 3,336
    - 5,545
    Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  9. 9
    + 2,965
    - 4,125
    Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

    ;
  10. 10
    + 3,623
    - 4,589
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 3,398
    - 4,700
    Elton John is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4,833
    - 5,700
    Adele is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music

    ;
  13. 13
    + 2,116
    - 2,703
    Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

    ;
  14. 14
    + 3,155
    - 4,836
    Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

    ;
  15. 15
    + 2,917
    - 4,463
    Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2,750
    - 3,812
    Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

    ;
  17. 17
    + 2,870
    - 4,261
    Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed
    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  18. 18
    + 3,630
    - 5,691
    John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  19. 19
    + 4,366
    - 4,504
    Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  20. 20
    + 2,726
    - 2,886

    ranked low on reranks
    Swing music, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

    ;
  21. 21
    + 3,157
    - 3,607
    Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 4,146
    - 4,686
    Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 4,182
    - 5,284
    Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    ;
  24. 24
    + 2,058
    - 2,093

    added by mwahahahaha
    Opera

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,551
    - 2,096
    Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

    ;
  26. 26
    + 2,320
    - 2,999
    Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  27. 27
    + 2,177
    - 2,671


    Pop music, Soft rock

    ;
  28. 28
    + 2,452
    - 3,308
    Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1,612
    - 2,044


    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,353
    - 1,815

    added by Coolza
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  31. 31
    + 1,925
    - 3,066
    Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,917
    - 2,349

    added by Coolza
    Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1,976
    - 3,225
    Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,721
    - 2,709
    Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,578
    - 2,432
    Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,347
    - 1,416

    ranked low on reranks
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1,770
    - 2,729
    Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Reggae

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1,514
    - 1,981
    Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 996
    - 1,339

    added by Zaliste
    Traditional pop music, Easy listening, Jazz

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,351
    - 2,082


    Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,597
    - 2,287
    Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ;
  42. 42
    + 1,446
    - 2,423
    Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

    ;
  43. 43
    + 1,240
    - 1,482

    ranked low on reranks
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

    ;
  44. 44
    + 2,296
    - 2,685

    ranked low on reranks
    Country pop, Pop music, Soft rock

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,448
    - 2,336
    Etta James is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1,254
    - 1,649


    Rock music, Swing music, Rockabilly

    ;
  47. 47
    + 3,668
    - 4,408
    Madonna is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    added by malmrphy
    Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  48. 48
    + 908
    - 1,087

    added by LeenaPhillips

    ;
  49. 49
    + 2,384
    - 2,799
    Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    added by Coolza

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,166
    - 1,578


    Blues-rock, Pop music, Heavy metal

    ;
907 +

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