Music
297.3k voters

The Best Singers Of All Time

Updated March 11, 2021 2.3m votes 297.3k voters 2.1m views739 items

List RulesIndividual 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    55,720
    34,310
    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British...  more

    More Freddie Mercury 

    All About Mary Austin, The Love Of Freddie Mercury's Life#1 of 489 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • 2
    37,486
    34,303
    Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Michael Jackson 

    The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All TimeThis May Have Been The Strangest Road Trip Ever – If It Indeed Happened Like They Say It Did

  • 3
    30,058
    28,222
    Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and...  more

    More Whitney Houston 

    The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time#26 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • 4
    19,059
    20,886
    Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Aretha Franklin 

    The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time#5 of 100 The Greatest Motown Artists Of All Time

  • 5
    22,098
    24,158
    Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and...  more

    More Frank Sinatra 

    Smooth Facts You Didn't Know About Frank Sinatra#86 of 359 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • 6
    24,452
    27,923
    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was...  more

    More Elvis Presley 

    Elvis Presley And Richard Nixon Once Shared The Strangest White House Meeting Of All Time#131 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • 7
    10,714
    11,995
    Luciano Pavarotti (, also US: , Italian: [luˈtʃaːno pavaˈrɔtti]; 12 October 1935 – 6...  more

    More Luciano Pavarotti 

    #1 of 71 The Greatest Tenors of All Time#7 of 150 Bygone Musicians You Most Want to See Perform as Holograms

  • 8
    20,846
    27,143
    Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating...  more

    More Adele 

    The Best Adele Albums, Ranked#347 of 356 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2021, Ranked

  • 9
    15,426
    20,374
    Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer. Born into a large...  more

    More Celine Dion 

    The Best Celine Dion Songs#113 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

  • 10
    13,772
    19,116
    Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and...  more

    More Elton John 

    All Of The Inaccuracies In 'Rocketman'#455 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021

  • 11
    13,684
    19,543
    Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is...  more

    More Stevie Wonder 

    The Best Stevie Wonder Songs of All Time#41 of 216 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

  • 12
    10,253
    14,625
    Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer...  more

    More Ella Fitzgerald 

    How Marilyn Monroe And Ella Fitzgerald's Friendship Gave Them Both Their Careers#137 of 164 The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

  • 13
    14,797
    20,663
    Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record...  more

    More Mariah Carey 

    The Best Mariah Carey Albums of All Time#26 of 101 The Best Current Female Singers

  • 14
    9,971
    14,139
    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Prince 

    The Best Prince Songs of All Time#1161 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 15
    11,690
    16,218
    George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou; 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was an...  more

    More George Michael 

    #12 of 178 The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band#106 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 16
    12,563
    18,845
    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (,...  more

    More David Bowie 

    The Best David Bowie Songs of All Time#624 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History

  • 17
    13,707
    21,087
    John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an...  more

    More John Lennon 

    15 Conspiracies About John Lennon's Death That People Truly Believe#64 of 136 Famous Accordionists

  • 18
    10,104
    16,098
    Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer,...  more

    More Marvin Gaye 

    The Best Marvin Gaye Songs of All Time#16 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

  • 19
    8,650
    13,479
    Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King...  more

    More Nat King Cole 

    The Best Nat King Cole Albums of All Time#44 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

  • 20
    12,221
    19,982
    Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician,...  more

    More Paul McCartney 

    There Are A Lot Of People Who Still Believe Paul McCartney Died In 1966, And Here's Their "Evidence"#1 of 227 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • 21
    Megan Marie Hart (born 1983) is an American operatic soprano from Eugene, Oregon. A member of...  more

    More Megan Marie Hart 

    #1 of 90 The Greatest Sopranos of All Time#2 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 22
    5,262
    8,829
    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Dolly Parton 

    Stories We Learned About Dolly Parton That Made Us Say, 'Really??'People Share Small Details About Dolly Parton That Prove She Is The Best Human On Planet Earth

  • 23
    7,512
    12,497
    Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga,...  more

    More Lady Gaga 

    Glamorous Lady Gaga Interviews That Remind Us Why She's Our Favorite 'AHS' Cast Member#2 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • 24
    5,048
    6,648
    Andrea Bocelli, OMRI, OMDSM (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdreːa boˈtʃɛlli]; born 22 September...  more

    More Andrea Bocelli 

    The Greatest Andrea Bocelli Duets Ever#33 of 197 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

  • 25
    6,724
    11,937
    Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who...  more

    More Karen Carpenter 

    #114 of 534 The Best Drummers Of All Time#17 of 24 People Are Sharing The Celebrity Death That Hit Them Hardest And We're Already Crying