The Best Singers of All Time

728k votes 48k voters 824k views 1,063 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
    + 14,010
    - 8,797
    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
    + 7,448
    - 8,354
    Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 6,249
    - 7,179
    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
    + 8,651
    - 8,874
    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  5. 5
    + 8,105
    - 8,393
    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
    + 5,021
    - 6,660
    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
    + 5,829
    - 7,000
    Adele is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music

    ;
  8. 8
    + 4,108
    - 6,095
    Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

    ;
  9. 9
    + 3,952
    - 6,575
    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
    + 4,296
    - 5,632
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 3,541
    - 4,971
    Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4,285
    - 6,765
    John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  13. 13
    + 5,028
    - 5,539
    Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  14. 14
    + 3,741
    - 5,767
    Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

    ;
  15. 15
    + 3,993
    - 5,608
    Elton John is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2,603
    - 3,454
    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
    + 3,693
    - 4,685
    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
    + 4,791
    - 6,367
    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
    + 4,634
    - 5,855
    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
    + 3,290
    - 4,629
    Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

    ;
  21. 21
    + 3,472
    - 5,437
    Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

    ;
  22. 22
    + 3,338
    - 5,091
    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
    + 1,909
    - 2,760
    Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

    ;
  24. 24
    + 3,070
    - 3,817


    Swing music, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

    ;
  25. 25
    + 2,529
    - 2,809

    ranked low on reranks & added by mwahahahaha
    Opera

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1,259
    - 1,254

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 2,578
    - 3,410


    Pop music, Soft rock

    ;
  28. 28
    + 2,644
    - 3,741
    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
    + 1,772
    - 2,181


    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  30. 30
    + 2,427
    - 3,234

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 2,343
    - 3,823
    Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,666
    - 2,627

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

    ;
  33. 33
    + 2,715
    - 4,116
    Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,915
    - 2,817


    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  35. 35
    + 2,246
    - 3,778
    Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,848
    - 2,560
    Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 2,048
    - 3,325
    Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1,861
    - 3,001
    Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1,228
    - 1,764

    added by Zaliste
    Traditional pop music, Easy listening, Jazz

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,524
    - 2,008


    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,910
    - 2,790
    Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ;
  42. 42
    + 2,080
    - 3,339
    Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Reggae

    ;
  43. 43
    + 974
    - 1,110

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1,381
    - 1,917


    Blues-rock, Pop music, Heavy metal

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,646
    - 2,653
    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
    + 2,702
    - 3,373
    George Michael is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Singers of All Time


    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,329
    - 1,767

    added by SarahBrignell
    Swing music, Traditional pop music, Jazz

    ;
  48. 48
    + 2,521
    - 3,163


    Country pop, Pop music, Soft rock

    ;
  49. 49
    + 1,522
    - 2,070


    Rock music, Swing music, Rockabilly

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,081
    - 1,539


    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
1064 +

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