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

The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time

13k votes 1.7k voters 232k views 190 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.
List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo:  Music Scene / ABC
  • 14 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 388
    - 98

    most listed
    Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music

    ;
  2. 2
    + 348
    - 86


    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  3. 3
    + 431
    - 95


    Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

    ;
  4. 4
    + 244
    - 64


    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

    ;
  5. 5
    + 272
    - 79


    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 265
    - 78


    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  7. 7
    + 287
    - 69


    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

    ;
  8. 8
    + 195
    - 68

    the people's #1
    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  9. 9
    + 204
    - 51


    Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  10. 10
    + 242
    - 87


    Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 175
    - 60


    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  12. 12
    + 139
    - 65

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Southern soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  13. 13
    + 166
    - 60


    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

    ;
  14. 14
    + 95
    - 56

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  15. 15
    + 185
    - 66


    Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  16. 16
    + 141
    - 54


    Psychedelic soul, Chicago soul, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  17. 17
    + 157
    - 54


    Disco, Rock music, Black metal

    ;
  18. 18
    + 122
    - 61


    Smooth soul, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  19. 19
    + 158
    - 58


    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B

    ;
  20. 20
    + 116
    - 52


    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  21. 21
    + 139
    - 55


    Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  22. 22
    + 118
    - 54


    Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 100
    - 46


    Southern soul, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

    ;
  24. 24
    + 131
    - 54


    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  25. 25
    + 117
    - 57


    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  26. 26
    + 114
    - 37


    Philadelphia soul, Disco, Quiet storm

    ;
  27. 27
    + 117
    - 41

    added by crmflava
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Chicago soul

    ;
  28. 28
    + 99
    - 39


    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  29. 29
    + 112
    - 48


    ;
  30. 30
    + 146
    - 56


    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

    ;
  31. 31
    + 113
    - 39


    Rhythm and blues, Jazz, Soul music

    ;
  32. 32
    + 85
    - 35


    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  33. 33
    + 79
    - 36

    added by Zaliste
    Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  34. 34
    + 75
    - 43


    Smooth soul, Philadelphia soul, Pop music

    ;
  35. 35
    + 79
    - 35


    Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  36. 36
    + 75
    - 35

    added by GarlandC.KingJr.
    Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  37. 37
    + 66
    - 30

    added by Vvvvvvv
    Southern soul, Doo-wop, Soul blues

    ;
  38. 38
    + 64
    - 38


    Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

    ;
  39. 39
    + 83
    - 37


    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  40. 40
    + 91
    - 50


    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  41. 41
    + 63
    - 32


    Doo-wop, Disco, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  42. 42
    + 82
    - 39


    Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

    ;
  43. 43
    + 72
    - 35

    added by Zaliste
    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  44. 44
    + 79
    - 37


    Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

    ;
  45. 45
    + 67
    - 32


    Doo-wop, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  46. 46
    + 68
    - 34


    Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

    ;
  47. 47
    + 68
    - 35


    Philadelphia soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ;
  48. 48
    + 62
    - 31

    added by Zaliste
    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  49. 49
    + 34
    - 16


    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

    ;
  50. 50
    + 10
    - 0

    ranked low on reranks & added by Harith Nelson
    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

    ;
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