The Best Singers of All Time

722k votes 48k voters 821k views 1,070 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
  • 230 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 13,912
    - 8,749
    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
    + 7,401
    - 8,299
    Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 6,208
    - 7,130
    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
    + 8,594
    - 8,833
    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  5. 5
    + 8,054
    - 8,347
    Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4,989
    - 6,621
    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
    + 5,787
    - 6,942
    Adele is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music

    ;
  8. 8
    + 4,071
    - 6,067
    Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

    ;
  9. 9
    + 3,919
    - 6,541
    Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4,252
    - 5,604
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 3,511
    - 4,945
    Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4,993
    - 5,501
    Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  13. 13
    + 4,248
    - 6,731
    John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  14. 14
    + 3,713
    - 5,738
    Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

    ;
  15. 15
    + 3,962
    - 5,584
    Elton John is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2,579
    - 3,431
    Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

    ;
  17. 17
    + 3,673
    - 4,647
    Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music

    ;
  18. 18
    + 4,766
    - 6,322
    Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    ;
  19. 19
    + 4,614
    - 5,814
    Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music

    ;
  20. 20
    + 3,262
    - 4,612
    Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

    ;
  21. 21
    + 3,449
    - 5,411
    Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

    ;
  22. 22
    + 3,318
    - 5,074
    Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,892
    - 2,741
    Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

    ;
  24. 24
    + 3,056
    - 3,797

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 2,503
    - 2,791

    ranked low on reranks & added by mwahahahaha
    Opera

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1,250
    - 1,231

    ranked low on reranks & added by tygreg1996
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

    ;
  27. 27
    + 2,563
    - 3,396


    Pop music, Soft rock

    ;
  28. 28
    + 2,631
    - 3,725
    Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1,756
    - 2,166


    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  30. 30
    + 2,406
    - 3,206

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 2,330
    - 3,807
    Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  32. 32
    + 2,702
    - 4,091
    Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1,651
    - 2,607

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

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,898
    - 2,801


    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  35. 35
    + 2,231
    - 3,765
    Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,832
    - 2,549
    Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1,849
    - 2,979
    Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 2,031
    - 3,313
    Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1,218
    - 1,749

    added by Zaliste
    Traditional pop music, Easy listening, Jazz

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,511
    - 1,997


    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,896
    - 2,768
    Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ;
  42. 42
    + 956
    - 1,091

    ranked low on reranks & added by misterp01
    New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

    ;
  43. 43
    + 1,370
    - 1,897


    Blues-rock, Pop music, Heavy metal

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1,317
    - 1,743

    added by SarahBrignell
    Swing music, Traditional pop music, Jazz

    ;
  45. 45
    + 2,575
    - 2,921
    Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    New Wave, Disco, Pop music

    ;
  46. 46
    + 2,682
    - 3,354
    George Michael is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop

    ;
  47. 47
    + 2,063
    - 3,312
    Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Reggae

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1,639
    - 2,633
    Etta James is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Singers of All Time

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 2,505
    - 3,147


    Country pop, Pop music, Soft rock

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,510
    - 2,052


    Rock music, Swing music, Rockabilly

    ;
1071 +

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