Singers The Best Singers of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
1.9M votes 250.7k voters 1.6M views 1,247 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 vocalists ever, from all genres of music. 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? 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

1
41,539 28,883
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Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly
Freddie Mercury was a British singer, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona ...more

2
28,156 26,361
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Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal ...more

3
22,222 23,937
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Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop ...more

4
19,215 22,765
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Christian music, Pop music, Rock music
Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and ...more

5
16,364 18,897
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Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer, actor, director, and producer. Beginning his musical career in the swing era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, ...more

6
12,932 17,270
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Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was ...more

7
15,372 20,266
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Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, MBE is a British singer and songwriter. Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace in 2006. In 2007, she received ...more

8
10,002 16,324
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Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music
Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he has become one of ...more

9
10,295 17,515
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Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music
John Winston Ono Lennon MBE was an English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the band the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of ...more

10
9,556 17,648
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Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock
Sir James Paul McCartney MBE is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the ...more

11
11,658 14,404
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Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music
Celine Dion is a Canadian Singer born on March 30, 1968. She entered the music industry at an early age. She has won a lot of awards over the last two decades and is one of the most famous ...more

12
9,476 14,401
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Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is an English singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since ...more

13
9,727 15,146
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Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music
David Bowie is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the ...more

14
7,852 13,243
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Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music
Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter and musician. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records, first as an in house session player in the 1960s and later as a solo artist with a ...more

15
8,176 14,618
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Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock
Robert Anthony Plant, CBE is an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Possessing a powerful and wide vocal range he ...more

16
10,901 15,566
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Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B
Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and occasional actress. She rose to prominence after releasing her self-titled debut studio album Mariah Carey in 1990; it went ...more

17
7,234 12,011
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Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music
Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and ...more

18
7,490 13,258
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Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana
John R. "Johnny" Cash was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as ...more

19
6,159 10,441
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Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music
Nathaniel Adams Coles, known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his soft, baritone voice, ...more

20
6,676 11,962
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Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music
Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician and composer, who is sometimes referred to as "The Genius". He pioneered the ...more

21
9,901 12,080
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Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop
Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, widely known by his stage name George Michael, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. Michael rose to superstardom during the ...more

22
7,220 12,540
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Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music
Barbra Joan Streisand is an American singer, songwrighter, actress, director, writer, composer, producer, designer, author, photographer, and activist. During a career spanning six decades, she ...more

23
8,650 13,887
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Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music
Christina María Aguilera is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in Staten Island, New York and raised in Rochester and Wexford, Pennsylvania, she appeared on the television ...more

24
6,258 8,710
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Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave
Prince Roger Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. A major figure in popular music for over three decades, Prince is renowned ...more

25
6,517 8,410
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mwahahahaha added Opera
Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all ...more