Music

The Best Singers of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated April 24, 2020 2.4M votes 283.6k voters 1.9M views 784 items

List Rules Individual singers in any genre. Not bands

Who are the best singers of all time? That's a tough question to ask. This list includes many of the greatest, most famous vocalists ever, from all genres of music. From the old guard to new legends in the making, these talented singers are among the most popular in the world thanks to their commanding live performance and powerful singing voices. Whether it's the incomparable, late, great Whitney Houston with her extraordinary pop and R&B tones or rock icons like Freddie Mercury from Queen, Jim Morrison from The Doors or John Lennon and/or Paul McCartney from The Beatles, this list spans decades of incredible musicians. What singers do you feel are the greatest of all time? What are some of the greatest voices in music? Who's the best singer alive today? Which late powerhouse has cemented their place in history? Vote for your favorites, vote down any you don't like and feel free to rerank this list your way.

Vote: The Best Rock Vocalists

Putting together the top singers in music history is a tall order. Everyone has an opinion. Some might lean more toward rock vocalists as their personal favorite (think Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks and Mick Jagger), while others might prefer excellent pop or R&B vocalists like the late Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, or even Stevie Wonder, James Brown or Aretha Franklin.

Rank: The Top Female Vocalists of the Last Decade

Country musicians could also easily be included on this list. Musicians like Johnny Cash and Keith Whitley gave new meaning to great vocals with outstanding country songs. Female country artists, including modern era vocalists like Carrie Underwood could also be included. If country's your thing, vote and add away! Now, help decide who are the greatest singers of all time.

list ordered by
back to page 1
26
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Together with Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and his brother Tom Fogerty, he founded the band Creedence ...more

More John Fogerty 

The Best John Fogerty Albums of All Time #120 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #75 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

27
Montserrat Caballé... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
María de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch (UK: , Catalan: [munsəˈrat kəβəˈʎe i ˈfolk]; 12 April 1933 – 6 October 2018) was a Spanish operatic soprano. She sang ...more

More Montserrat Caballé 

#7 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #25 of 153 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #7 of 123 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time

28
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as the rhythm guitarist for ...more

More John Lennon 

15 Conspiracies About John Lennon's Death That People Truly Believe #25 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearslisted on Famous Accordionists

29
Josh Groban is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Thom Thumn added
Joshua Winslow Groban (born February 27, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. His first four solo albums have been certified multi-platinum, and he was charted in ...more

More Josh Groban 

The Best Josh Groban Albums of All Time #885 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #168 of 189 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

30
Jon Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Coolza added
John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (born March 2, 1962), known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Bon Jovi is best known as the ...more

More Jon Bon Jovi 

#20 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #42 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #27 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

31
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Alistair Fullarton added
Gloria Gaynor (born September 7, 1947) is an American singer, best known for the disco era hits "I Will Survive" (Hot 100 number 1, 1979), "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Hot 100 ...more

More Gloria Gaynor 

#97 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #433 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #170 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

32
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Alan Peterson added
Anita Denise Baker (born January 26, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter. Starting her career in the late 1970s with the funk band Chapter 8, Baker released her first solo album, The ...more

More Anita Baker 

The Best Anita Baker Albums of All Time #96 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #68 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

33
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), widely known by her stage name based on her married name Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She gained ...more

More Donna Summer 

The Best Donna Summer Albums of All Time #46 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #10 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

34
Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
tygreg1996 added
35
Marilyn McCoo is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
smileylizard added
Marilyn McCoo (born September 30, 1943) is an American singer, actress, and television presenter, who is best known for being the lead female vocalist in the group The 5th Dimension, as well as ...more
36
Randy Crawford is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Randy Crawford is a member of the musical group Kingsmen Quartet.
37
Slim Harpo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
James Isaac Moore (January 11, 1924 – January 31, 1970), better known by his stage name Slim Harpo, was an American blues musician, a leading exponent of the swamp blues style, and "one of ...more

More Slim Harpo 

#61 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time #15 of 102 The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana #95 of 154 The Best Electric Blues Artists

38
James Ingram is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
James Edward Ingram (February 16, 1952 – January 29, 2019) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist. He was a two-time Grammy Award-winner and a two-time Academy ...more

More James Ingram 

#570 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #306 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #170 of 189 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

39
Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American pop star, musician, and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television ...more

More Ricky Nelson 

The Best Ricky Nelson Albums of All Time #63 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists #108 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

40
Enrico Caruso is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Enrico Caruso (, also US: , Italian: [enˈriːko kaˈruːzo]; 25 February 1873 – 2 August 1921) was an Italian operatic tenor. He sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the ...more

More Enrico Caruso 

#530 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #121 of 153 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #707 of 2,437 The Most Influential People of All Time

41
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Coolza added
Alecia Beth Moore (born September 8, 1979), known professionally as Pink (stylized as P!nk), is an American singer and songwriter. Originally a member of the girl group Choice in 1995, LaFace ...more

More P!nk 

17 Reasons P!nk Is The Coolest Pop Star In Hollywood P!nk Quotes That Prove She's Even More Amazing Than You Already Knew #37 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

42
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Dame Julie Andrews, (born 1 October 1935) is an English actress, singer and author. Andrews, a child actress and singer, appeared in the West End in 1948 and made her Broadway debut in The Boy ...more

More Julie Andrews 

#37 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #19 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #4 of 853 The Best Actresses in Film History

43
Beyoncé is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
44
Mario Lanza is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Mario Lanza (US: , Italian: [ˈlantsa]; born Alfredo Arnold Cocozza [koˈkɔttsa]; January 31, 1921 – October 7, 1959) was an American tenor of Italian ancestry, and an actor and Hollywood film ...more

More Mario Lanza 

#350 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #11 of 153 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #436 of 477 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

45
Grace VanderWaal is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Rudolf Trojan added
Grace Avery VanderWaal (born January 15, 2004) is an American singer-songwriter from Suffern, NY. At age 12, she won the 11th season of the NBC competition show America's Got Talent, singing her ...more

More Grace VanderWaal 

#38 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #4 of 61 The Best New Female Artists #197 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

46
Renée Fleming is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
mflotennis added
Renée Lynn Fleming (born February 14, 1959) is an American soprano, known for performances in opera, concerts, recordings, theater, film, and at major public occasions. Fleming has a full ...more

More Renée Fleming 

#3 of 77 The Greatest Living Opera Singers #13 of 123 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time #40 of 96 The Greatest Sopranos of All Time

47
Charles Aznavour is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
gnicholls added
Charles Aznavour (, French: [ʃaʁl aznavuʁ]; born Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian, Armenian: Շահնուր Վաղինակ Ազնավուրյան; 22 May 1924 – 1 October 2018) was a French-Armenian singer, lyricist, and ...more

More Charles Aznavour 

#43 of 66 The Greatest Crooners of All Time #215 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100 #247 of 466 The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time

48
Cat Stevens is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Yusuf Islam (born 21 July 1948), commonly known by his stage name Cat Stevens, and later Yusuf, is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His musical style consists of folk, pop, ...more

More Cat Stevens 

#13 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #255 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #189 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

49
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an ...more

More Marvin Gaye 

The Best Marvin Gaye Songs of All Time The Best Marvin Gaye Albums of All Time #19 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

50
Darius Rucker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Lucinda Gonzalez added
Darius Carlos Rucker (born May 13, 1966) is an American singer and songwriter. He first gained fame as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, which he ...more

More Darius Rucker 

The Best Darius Rucker Solo Albums, Ranked #42 of 183 The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band #119 of 301 The Best Frontmen in Rock