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The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time

List Criteria: Only soul singers and groups. If an artist is known for their brand of soul music, then they can be added.

Combining elements of jazz, R&B, and traditional gospel music, soul is a genre that became popular in the 1950s and hasn't looked back since. Though there have been periods where soul has thrived more so than others, the best soul singers are widely regarded as some of the most popular figures in music history. In fact, soul singers are considered by many to be the backbone of the modern music movement. Though it may not seem obvious on the surface, soul music came from influential labels like Stax, Motown, and Atlantic Records, all of which played an important role in shaping the music business. That aside, the best soul singers have dominated the charts and their importance has spanned across multiple generations and has led to multiple soul music subgenres. No matter how you slice it, soul music artists are widely important and their rollicking, soulful songs are part of the great American songbook.

So, who are the best soul singers? Any list of soul music artists has to include names like Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Al Green, James Brown and Marvin Gaye. These soul singers are just a tip of the iceberg as there are so many amazing soul music artists that it's impossible to just name a few. Their influence can't be stated enough and even today, their songs are radio staples and some the easiest identifiable songs in music history.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best soul singers of all time. If you like soul music and know soul music artists, then feel free to cast your vote on this list. If you think someone is missing, feel free to add them to the list.This list answers the questions "who are the best soul music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest soul music musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular soul music bands that you might've heard of.

The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time Bands/Musicians
  • 13 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 290
    - 73


    Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, The Dock of the Bay, The Immortal Otis ...

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  2. 2
    + 278
    - 64


    Lady Soul, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Young

    ; buy at  
  3. 3
    + 335
    - 73


    What's Going On, Here, My Dear

    ; buy at  
  4. 4
    + 169
    - 42


    Night Beat, Shake, Touch the Hem of His Garment: 23 Gospel Gems

    ; buy at  
  5. 5
    + 208
    - 62


    Call Me, The Christmas Album, White Christmas

    ; buy at  
  6. 6
    + 143
    - 48

    the people's #1
    Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

    ; buy at  
  7. 7
    + 191
    - 61


    The Birth of Soul, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, The Spirit ...

    ; buy at  
  8. 8
    + 225
    - 55


    Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

    ;
  9. 9
    + 157
    - 41


    The Temptations Christmas Card, The Very Best of Christmas, The ...

    ; buy at  
  10. 10
    + 190
    - 71


    Live at the Apollo, Star Time, Funky Christmas

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  11. 11
    + 104
    - 53

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Exciting Wilson Pickett, The Sound of Wilson Pickett, Take Your ...

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  12. 12
    + 138
    - 46


    Warm Thoughts, Where There's Smoke, Anthology (disc 3)

    ; buy at  
  13. 13
    + 72
    - 42

    most listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    River Deep - Mountain High, The Soul Anthology, Bold Soul Sister: The Best ...

    ; buy at  
  14. 14
    + 148
    - 49


    Can't Get Enough, Una serata con, Back to Back: Their Greatest Hits

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  15. 15
    + 119
    - 39

    ranked low on reranks
    That's the Way of the World, Spirit, All 'n All

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  16. 16
    + 96
    - 46


    Menagerie, Still Bill, Just As I Am

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  17. 17
    + 130
    - 47


    At Last!, Tell Mama, I'd Rather Go Blind

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  18. 18
    + 97
    - 42


    The Jackie Wilson Story, The Titan of Soul, The Very Best of Jackie Wilson ...

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  19. 19
    + 118
    - 45


    Superfly, Curtis, The Anthology: 1961-1977

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  20. 20
    + 114
    - 47


    3 + 3 / Go for Your Guns, Body Kiss, I'll Be Home for Christmas

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  21. 21
    + 132
    - 45


    This Is Christmas, Every Year, Every Christmas

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  22. 22
    + 80
    - 36


    Soul Man, The Very Best of Sam & Dave, Sweat 'n' Soul: Anthology ...

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  23. 23
    + 106
    - 44


    The Christmas Album, Standing Ovation, Everybody Needs Love

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  24. 24
    + 93
    - 46


    Reach Out, Christmas Here With You, The Return of the Magnificent Seven ...

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  25. 25
    + 80
    - 30


    Stand by Me, Anthology, Seven Letters

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  26. 26
    + 92
    - 33

    added by crmflava
    Extension of a Man, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway

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  27. 27
    + 120
    - 42


    The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your ...

    ; buy at  
  28. 28
    + 94
    - 38


    Love Deluxe, Diamond Life, Promise

    ; buy at  
  29. 29
    + 92
    - 30


    TP, Love Language, A Little More Magic

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  30. 30
    + 88
    - 44


    Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

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  31. 31
    + 85
    - 33


    buy at  
  32. 32
    + 62
    - 37


    Spinners, Essential Collection, Mighty Love

    ; buy at  
  33. 33
    + 62
    - 27

    added by GarlandC.KingJr.

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  34. 34
    + 61
    - 28


    Commodores, Midnight Magic, In the Pocket

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  35. 35
    + 52
    - 31


    In the Christmas Spirit, Green Onions, The Best of Booker T. & The ...

    ; buy at  
  36. 36
    + 51
    - 26


    Going to a Go-Go, The Tracks of My Tears, 20th Century Masters: The ...

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  37. 37
    + 72
    - 43


    Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

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  38. 38
    + 66
    - 32


    When a Man Loves a Woman, When a Man Loves a Women, 3 for 3

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  39. 39
    + 46
    - 24

    added by Vvvvvvv
    The Poet II, Back to My Roots, Understanding

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  40. 40
    + 58
    - 26


    Dance Party, Heat Wave, The Ultimate Collection

    ; buy at  
  41. 41
    + 52
    - 24


    Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

    ; buy at  
  42. 42
    + 62
    - 32

    added by Zaliste
    There's a Riot Goin' On, Stand!, Greatest Hits

    ; buy at  
  43. 43
    + 64
    - 33


    This Christmas, Miss Patti's Christmas, Winner in You

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  44. 44
    + 51
    - 25

    added by Zaliste
    The Complete The Chi-Lites on Brunswick, Volume 1, The Chi-Lites

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  45. 45
    + 54
    - 27


    Rapture, Christmas Fantasy, Giving You the Best That I Got

    ; buy at  
  46. 46
    + 57
    - 30

    added by Zaliste
    Round 2, Rockin' Roll Baby, Let's Put It All Together

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  47. 47
    + 56
    - 30


    Sound of Sexy Soul, La-La Means I Love You, Adrian Younge Presents The ...

    ; buy at  
  48. 48
    + 63
    - 33


    The Christmas Album, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack ...

    ; buy at  
  49. 49
    + 22
    - 10


    The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars

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  50. 50
    + 41
    - 22


    Christmas With You, Unforgettable: With Love, This Will Be Natalie Cole's ...

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