bands/musicians The Greatest Black Female Singers

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List Rules Vote up the top black female vocalists around the world.

They've provided the soundtrack to your first dance, your birthday bash, and your cross-country road trip. These are the greatest black female singers of all time, from Aretha to Mariah to Sade, as ranked by music enthusiasts like you. The women featured here are standouts in a number of genres. Some famous black female singers sing the blues while other top black woman singers are pop superstars. Many of the best black female singers have reached the top of the charts with their catchy tunes.

What artist will you vote to the top of this list of the best black female singers? Maybe you're one of the millions of Beyonce fans. The singer's powerful voice and killer dance moves have earned her plenty of acclaim, but listeners also love her for her way of redefining pop music with her innovative hits. Lauryn Hill's soulful vocals helped the singer take home five Grammy awards for her iconic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Other artists featured on this list include Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, and Erykah Badu.

Do you have a favorite black female singer? This list includes African American women as well as black female vocalists from other countries. Give the best singers a thumbs up to move them towards the number-one spot, and add any singers who are missing.

1
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Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

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2
+ - 105 23
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

3
+ - 60 26
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Roberta Flack Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

4
+ - 63 27
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tina Turner Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

5
+ - 44 18
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Sarah Vaughan Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

6
+ - 43 16
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Shirley Bassey Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

7
+ - 43 14
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mahalia Jackson Gospel music

8
+ - 49 24
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dinah Washington Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

9
+ - 83 49
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Whitney Houston Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

10
+ - 35 19
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dionne Warwick Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

11
+ - 42 21
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Gladys Knight Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

12
+ - 45 23
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Etta James Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

13
+ - 43 26
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Donna Summer New Wave, Disco, Pop music

14
+ - 38 23
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Billie Holiday Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

15
+ - 38 22
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Chaka Khan Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

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16
+ - 35 22
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Nina Simone Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

17
+ - 46 28
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Diana Ross Disco, Pop music, Dance music

18
+ - 29 16
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers

19
+ - 55 38
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mariah Carey Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

20
+ - 22 8
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Gloria Gaynor Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco

21
+ - 28 13
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Minnie Riperton Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

22
+ - 32 20
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Natalie Cole Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

23
+ - 38 26
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Alicia Keys Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

24
+ - 20 5
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Anita Baker Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

25
+ - 28 17
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tracy Chapman Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

26
+ - 33 22
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Lauryn Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

27
+ - 22 13
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Celia Cruz Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

28
+ - 34 26
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mary J. Blige Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

29
+ - 28 18
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Erykah Badu Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

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30
+ - 26 18
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rihanna Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

31
+ - 25 19
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Bessie Smith Jazz, Blues

32
+ - 31 25
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Janet Jackson Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

33
+ - 33 24
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Toni Braxton Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

34
+ - 30 22
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Aaliyah Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

35
+ - 18 9
Barbara McNair is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Barbara McNair Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Jazz

36
+ - 20 17
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Macy Gray Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

37
+ - 53 58
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Beyoncé Knowles Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

38
+ - 5 2
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Nancy Wilson Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

39
+ - 13 11
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Eartha Kitt Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

40
+ - 15 14
Ashanti is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ashanti Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

41
+ - 16 17
Monica is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Monica Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

42
+ - 19 18
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
India.Arie Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

43
+ - 21 21
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Brandy Norwood Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

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44
+ - 3 1
Thelma Houston is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Thelma Houston Urban contemporary, Motown Sound, Disco

45
+ - 13 17
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Faith Evans Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

46
+ - 5 5
Joan Armatrading is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Joan Armatrading Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

47
+ - 15 15
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jill Scott Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

48
+ - 14 20
Ciara is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ciara Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

49
+ - 4 2
Dee Dee Warwick is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dee Dee Warwick Rhythm and blues, Soul music

50
+ - 3 2
Lorraine Ellison is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Lorraine Ellison Rhythm and blues, Soul music