Music

The Best Singers of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated April 24, 2020 2.4M votes 283.9k 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
1
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the ...more

More Freddie Mercury 

Everything We Know About Freddie Mercury’s Last Relationship #12 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #883 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

2
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant ...more

More Michael Jackson 

The First Time Michael Jackson Moonwalked On Stage, The World Lost Its Mind #69 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #12 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

3
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and ...more

More Whitney Houston 

The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time #14 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #68 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

4
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is ...more

More Frank Sinatra 

Smooth Facts You Didn't Know About Frank Sinatra #71 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #25 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

5
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th ...more

More Elvis Presley 

Elvis Presley And Richard Nixon Once Shared The Strangest White House Meeting Of All Time #131 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timelisted on 1970s Christian Pop Artists

6
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New ...more

More Aretha Franklin 

The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time #6 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearslisted on 1970s Christian Pop Artists

7
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer. Born into a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, she emerged as a teen star in her homeland with a series of ...more

More Celine Dion 

The Best Celine Dion Songs #145 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #15 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

8
Adele is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a recording contract with XL Recordings. In 2007, she ...more

More Adele 

Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Adele #72 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #2 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

9
Luciano Pavarotti is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
mwahahahaha added
Luciano Pavarotti (, also US: , Italian: [luˈtʃaːno pavaˈrɔtti]; 12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming ...more

More Luciano Pavarotti 

#2 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #121 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #29 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

10
Prince is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was ...more

More Prince 

The Best Prince Songs of All Time #55 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #275 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

11
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 ...more

More Elton John 

The Best Elton John Songs, Ranked by Fans #4 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #95 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

12
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and entrepreneur. Referred to as the "Songbird Supreme" by the Guinness World Records, ...more

More Mariah Carey 

The Best Mariah Carey Songs of All Time #6 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like #179 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

13
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou; 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist who rose to fame as a member of the ...more

More George Michael 

#20 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #46 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #134 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

14
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her ...more

More Ella Fitzgerald 

The Best Ella Fitzgerald Albums of All Time #11 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #207 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

15
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music, ...more

More Stevie Wonder 

The Best Stevie Wonder Albums of All Time #103 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #13 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

16
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (, BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry ...more

More David Bowie 

The Best David Bowie Songs of All Time #132 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #57 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

17
Andrea Bocelli is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
alvaro-rivas added
Andrea Bocelli, OMRI, OMDSM (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdreːa boˈtʃɛlli]; born 22 September 1958) is an Italian opera singer, songwriter, and record producer. Celine Dion has said that "if ...more

More Andrea Bocelli 

The Best Andrea Bocelli Albums of All Time #30 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #856 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

18
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her ...more

More Dolly Parton 

Dolly Parton's Humble Roots Explain Her Down-Home Charm #20 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #7 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

19
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Bobikov1007 added
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative ...more

More Lady Gaga 

Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Lady Gaga #165 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #21 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

20
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
SarahBrignell added
Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist and occasional actor who was one of the most influential ...more

More Louis Armstrong 

The Best Louis Armstrong Albums of All Time #15 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #191 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever

21
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
utsavshrestha added
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and ...more

More Beyoncé Knowles 

The Best Songs Ft. Beyonce #253 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #30 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

22
Bruno Mars is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
jozokatzzo added
Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), known professionally as Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer. He is known for his stage ...more

More Bruno Mars 

The Best Songs Ft. Bruno Mars #32 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like #36 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

23
Megan Marie Hart is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Megan Marie Hart (born 1983) is an American operatic soprano from Eugene, Oregon. A member of the Landestheater Detmold, she has appeared in leading operatic roles and concerts in America and

More Megan Marie Hart 

#1 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #1 of 153 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #2 of 77 The Greatest Living Opera Singers

24
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American jazz pianist and vocalist. He recorded over one hundred songs that became hits ...more

More Nat King Cole 

The Best Nat King Cole Albums of All Time #270 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #45 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

25
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Singers of All Time
Diana Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, ...more

More Diana Ross 

#31 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #81 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #981 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time