The Best Singers of All Time Bands/Musicians
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The Best Singers of All Time

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37,072 views 213 items 24,388 votes 1,656 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. 36
    Up 62
    Down 19

    ranked low on reranks
    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock More
    64
  2. 122
    Up 14
    Down 5

    ranked low on reranks
    Sheryl Crow

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    50
    added by: Coolza
  3. 9
    Up 231
    Down 160

    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Charles

    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music More
    83
  4. 146
    Up 15
    Down 24

    ranked high on reranks
    Don Williams

    Pop music, Country rock, Country More
    47
  5. 44
    Up 87
    Down 65

    ranked low on reranks
    B.B. King

    Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music More
    59
  6. 68
    Up 29
    Down 23

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dusty Springfield

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Traditional pop music More
    56
  7. 103
    Up 20
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Neil Young

    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    53
  8. 206
    Up 22
    Down 30
    Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music More
    39
  9. 27
    Up 98
    Down 70

    ranked low on reranks
    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad, Swing music More
    68
  10. 134
    Up 16
    Down 18

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Laura Branigan

    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    49
    added by: hilly23
  11. 162
    Up 14
    Down 26

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Donny Hathaway

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Chicago soul More
    46
  12. 16
    Up 156
    Down 122

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Otis Redding

    Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music More
    77
  13. 181
    Up 8
    Down 6
    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock More
    42
    added by: Coolza
  14. 6
    Up 265
    Down 189
    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
    86
  15. 150
    Up 10
    Down 6

    ranked low on reranks
    Tracy Chapman

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music More
    47
    added by: Coolza
  16. 168
    Up 10
    Down 8

    often listed
    Sinéad O'Connor

    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    45
    added by: Coolza
  17. 20
    Up 154
    Down 115

    often listed
    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    73
  18. 78
    Up 24
    Down 13

    ranked low on reranks
    Willie Nelson

    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    55
  19. 83
    Up 33
    Down 32

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Cher

    Hip hop music, Rock music, Dance-pop More
    54
  20. 128
    Up 19
    Down 18

    ranked low on reranks
    Little Richard

    Jump blues, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
    49
  21. 210
    Up 13
    Down 21

    often listed
    Tori Amos

    Piano rock, Dark cabaret, Electronic dance music More
    37
  22. 190
    Up 2
    Down 2
    Blue-eyed soul, Soul rock, Rhythm and blues More
    41
    added by: threerockcove
  23. 201
    Up 14
    Down 17
    Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music More
    40
    added by: misterp01
  24. 38
    Up 136
    Down 114
    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
  25. 167
    Up 13
    Down 6
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    45
    added by: Coolza
  26. 179
    Up 10
    Down 10

    often listed
    Bette Midler

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music More
    42
    added by: Coolza
  27. 166
    Up 19
    Down 34

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Björk

    Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house More
    45
  28. 147
    Up 15
    Down 4

    ranked low on reranks
    Norah Jones

    Vocal jazz, Jazz blues, Jazz fusion More
    47
    added by: Coolza
  29. 172
    Up 21
    Down 15
    Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz More
    44
    added by: jets2008
  30. 170
    Up 8
    Down 16

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eva Cassidy

    Pop music, Traditional music, Folk music More
    44
    added by: Coolza
  31. 130
    Up 17
    Down 13

    ranked low on reranks
    Jackie Wilson

    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music More
    49
  32. 50
    Up 22
    Down 4

    ranked low on reranks
    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music More
    58
    added by: Coolza
  33. 157
    Up 21
    Down 18

    ranked low on reranks
    k.d. lang

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Folk music More
    46
  34. 98
    Up 37
    Down 36

    ranked low on reranks
    Bob Seger

    Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    53
  35. 96
    Up 30
    Down 32

    ranked high on reranks
    Meat Loaf

    Wagnerian rock, Rock opera, Rock music More
    53
  36. 199
    Up 11
    Down 13
    Bubblegum pop, Music hall, Pop music More
    40
  37. 89
    Up 34
    Down 31

    ranked low on reranks
    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz More
    53
  38. 40
    Up 83
    Down 83

    often listed
    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music More
    60
  39. 31
    Up 148
    Down 127

    often listed
    Janis Joplin

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    66
  40. 144
    Up 27
    Down 28

    ranked high on reranks
    Layne Staley

    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    48
  41. 76
    Up 60
    Down 69

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Leonard Cohen

    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    55
    added by: clash1977
  42. 121
    Up 25
    Down 30

    ranked high on reranks
    Dolores O'Riordan

    Indie pop, Celtic rock, Rock music More
    50
  43. 173
    Up 5
    Down 8

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alison Moyet

    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    44
    added by: Coolza
  44. 42
    Up 78
    Down 85

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Luther Vandross

    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B More
    60
  45. 174
    Up 7
    Down 18

    ranked high on reranks
    Terri Nunn

    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music More
    43
    added by: misterp01
  46. 67
    Up 69
    Down 62

    ranked low on reranks
    Joe Cocker

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    56
  47. 109
    Up 32
    Down 27
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Heartland rock More
    52
  48. 133
    Up 21
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Bobby Darin

    Rock music, Swing music, Folk music More
    49
  49. 56
    Up 55
    Down 47

    often listed
    Buddy Holly

    Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly More
    57
  50. 26
    Up 119
    Down 78

    ranked low on reranks
    Nat King Cole

    Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music More
    68
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