The Best Female Jazz Singers Bands/Musicians
Ultimate List
10  reranks 4,680 votes 1,072 voters 171,926 views more info

The Best Female Jazz Singers

List Criteria: Only Jazz singers. No other genres

The best female jazz singers in music history have a sound that's like no other. Their melodies and tones captivate us and keep us coming back for more. Many of the women on this list have been gone for decades, but their incomparable jazz vocals will live on forever. Vote for your favorite female jazz vocalists and vote down any you don't like. Also, if you have a favorite who isn't listed here, add her. You can also rerank this list of top female jazz vocalists any way you like, including all of them or just a few. Enjoy!

How can any list of top female jazz vocalists not include the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan? Their unparalleled talents are indisputable. Once you get into the best female jazz singers' top 10, it's really hard to pick one over the other.

Arguments can be made, of course, that Sarah Vaughan's versatility makes her the best. Some might say that no one can or will ever match Ella Fitzgerald's incredible tone (and certainly her scat abilities). Others would argue that Billie Holiday is not only the greatest female jazz singer in history, but one of the best female vocalists ever.

Some of the best modern female jazz singers include the always wonderful Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, and certainly Esperanza Spalding and yes, Norah Jones. Norah's sound is more of a jazzy fusion, but she makes the list. Defining a pure jazz singer isn't always easy: Like Norah, some of the women listed here are both jazz and blues. Either way, they're all fabulous, so vote!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 10 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 318
    Down 47

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 271
    Down 36
    Torch song, Ballad, Swing music More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 211
    Down 32
    Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz More
    86
  4. 4
    Up 125
    Down 44

    often listed
    Peggy Lee

    Traditional pop music, Jazz More
    74
  5. 5
    Up 190
    Down 40
    Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz More
    72
  6. 6
    Up 57
    Down 18

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Betty Carter

    Vocal jazz, Post-bop, Jazz More
    67
  7. 7
    Up 84
    Down 24

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Anita O'Day

    Vocal jazz, Bebop More
    64
    added by: motosaki
  8. 8
    Up 120
    Down 19

    ranked low on reranks
    Nancy Wilson

    Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz More
    63
  9. 9
    Up 107
    Down 12
    Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues More
    63
  10. 10
    Up 183
    Down 51

    ranked low on reranks
    Diana Krall

    Traditional pop music, Jazz, Bossa nova More
    62
  11. 11
    Up 57
    Down 17
    Jazz More
    61
  12. 12
    Up 154
    Down 89
    Vocal jazz, Jazz blues, Jazz fusion More
    60
  13. 13
    Up 90
    Down 25

    ranked low on reranks
    Carmen McRae

    Ballad, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz More
    59
  14. 14
    Up 144
    Down 119

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul More
    57
    added by: TommyWimmer
  15. 15
    Up 75
    Down 25
    56
  16. 16
    Up 62
    Down 19
    Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz More
    56
    added by: aschultze
  17. 17
    Up 89
    Down 31
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm More
    53
  18. 18
    Up 82
    Down 26
    Pop music, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz More
    52
  19. 19
    Up 66
    Down 18
    Acoustic music, Jazz, Blues More
    52
  20. 20
    Up 62
    Down 17
    Jazz, Blues More
    51
  21. 21
    Up 40
    Down 8
    Jazz, Blues More
    51
    added by: jstyles1948
  22. 22
    Up 55
    Down 21
    Folk music, Jazz, Country More
    49
  23. 23
    Up 63
    Down 32
    Neo soul, Jazz fusion, Jazz More
    49
  24. 24
    Up 28
    Down 7
    Popular music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz More
    47
    added by: jstyles1948
  25. 25
    Up 76
    Down 11
    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz More
    46
    added by: jstyles1948
  26. 26
    Up 36
    Down 17
    Smooth jazz, Post-bop, Jazz More
    46
    added by: RsdofnyUs
  27. 27
    Up 8
    Down 1
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Jazz fusion More
    45
  28. 28
    Up 19
    Down 10
    Jazz fusion, Jazz More
    44
    added by: MarkBroersen
  29. 29
    Up 25
    Down 14
    Pop music, Jazz, Country More
    44
  30. 30
    Up 7
    Down 2
    43
  31. 31
    Up 8
    Down 2
    Pop music, Cool jazz, Jazz More
    43
  32. 32
    Up 20
    Down 16
    Third stream, Swing music, Hard bop More
    43
  33. 33
    Up 15
    Down 12
    Traditional pop music, Jazz More
    42
    added by: patrick.christie
  34. 34
    Up 18
    Down 20
    Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz More
    40
  35. 35
    Up 15
    Down 17

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Carmen Lundy

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion More
    40
  36. 36
    Up 50
    Down 17

    ranked low on reranks
    Diane Schuur

    Pop music, Jazz, Blues More
    39
  37. 37
    Up 12
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lil Hardin Armstrong

    Jazz More
    39
  38. 38
    Up 46
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks
    Madeleine Peyroux

    Jazz, Blues More
    38
  39. 39
    Up 43
    Down 21
    Hip hop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz More
    37
  40. 40
    Up 41
    Down 17
    Vocal jazz, Jazz More
    37
  41. 41
    Up 36
    Down 16
    Pop music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues More
    37
  42. 42
    Up 34
    Down 20
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Dance music More
    35
  43. 43
    Up 15
    Down 7
    Traditional pop music, Jazz More
    35
    added by: TomDuncan
  44. 44
    Up 15
    Down 7
    Torch song, Pop music, Cool jazz More
    34
  45. 45
    Up 7
    Down 3
    Traditional pop music More
    33
  46. 46
    Up 8
    Down 5
    Pop music, Jazz More
    33
  47. 47
    Up 3
    Down 2
    33
  48. 48
    Up 10
    Down 7
    Jazz More
    32
    added by: jstyles1948
  49. 49
    Up 7
    Down 6
    32
    added by: jstyles1948
  50. 50
    Up 14
    Down 12
    Jazz, Blues More
    32
    added by: jstyles1948
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