The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time

11,959 votes 1,412 voters 212,491 views 185 items tags f p @

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.


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  1. 1
    + 316
    - 82


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

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  2. 2
    + 301
    - 72


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

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  3. 3
    + 362
    - 80


    What's Going On, Here, My Dear

    ;
  4. 4
    + 185
    - 49


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

    ;
  5. 5
    + 162
    - 53

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

    ;
  6. 6
    + 223
    - 66


    Call Me, The Christmas Album, White Christmas

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  7. 7
    + 209
    - 68


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

    ;
  8. 8
    + 240
    - 61


    Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

    ;
  9. 9
    + 171
    - 44


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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 205
    - 75


    Live at the Apollo, Star Time, Funky Christmas

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  11. 11
    + 113
    - 56

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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 149
    - 50


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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 80
    - 46

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 160
    - 55


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

    ;
  15. 15
    + 131
    - 45


    That's the Way of the World, Spirit, All 'n All

    ;
  16. 16
    + 141
    - 52


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

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  17. 17
    + 102
    - 45


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

    ;
  18. 18
    + 101
    - 54


    Menagerie, Still Bill, Just As I Am

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  19. 19
    + 122
    - 49


    Superfly, Curtis, The Anthology: 1961-1977

    ;
  20. 20
    + 121
    - 50


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

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  21. 21
    + 88
    - 39


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

    ;
  22. 22
    + 102
    - 49


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

    ;
  23. 23
    + 137
    - 50


    This Is Christmas, Every Year, Every Christmas

    ;
  24. 24
    + 113
    - 48


    The Christmas Album, Standing Ovation, Everybody Needs Love

    ;
  25. 25
    + 99
    - 34


    Ship Ahoy, Love Songs, Emotionally Yours

    ;
  26. 26
    + 83
    - 33


    Stand by Me, Anthology, Seven Letters

    ;
  27. 27
    + 98
    - 37

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

    ;
  28. 28
    + 132
    - 46


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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 97
    - 48


    Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

    ;
  30. 30
    + 100
    - 43


    ;
  31. 31
    + 96
    - 35


    TP, Love Language, A Little More Magic

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  32. 32
    + 65
    - 40


    Spinners, Essential Collection, Mighty Love

    ;
  33. 33
    + 67
    - 31


    Commodores, Midnight Magic, In the Pocket

    ;
  34. 34
    + 65
    - 30

    added by GarlandC.KingJr.
    Ruffin & Kendrick, So Soon We Change, David

    ;
  35. 35
    + 56
    - 34


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

    ;
  36. 36
    + 56
    - 28


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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 78
    - 46


    Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

    ;
  38. 38
    + 53
    - 27

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 63
    - 28


    Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

    ;
  40. 40
    + 71
    - 35


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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 62
    - 28


    Dance Party, Heat Wave, The Ultimate Collection

    ;
  42. 42
    + 67
    - 33

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 63
    - 32

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 68
    - 36


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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 55
    - 28

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

    ;
  46. 46
    + 68
    - 35


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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 59
    - 31


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

    ;
  48. 48
    + 59
    - 33


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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 26
    - 13


    The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars

    ;
  50. 50
    + 45
    - 24


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

    ;
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