Music
291.6k voters

The Best Singers of All Time

Updated November 16, 2020 2.5m votes 291.6k voters 2.0m 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
  • Freddie Mercury1
    60,575
    37,771
    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Freddie Mercury 

    All About Mary Austin, The Love Of Freddie Mercury's Life#1 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • Michael Jackson2
    40,260
    36,955
    Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Michael Jackson 

    The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All TimeThe First Time Michael Jackson Moonwalked On Stage, The World Lost Its Mind

  • Whitney Houston3
    31,888
    30,770
    Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Whitney Houston 

    The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time#1 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • Frank Sinatra4
    23,479
    25,678
    Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and... more on WikipediaSpotify buy button

    More Frank Sinatra 

    Smooth Facts You Didn't Know About Frank SinatraThe Best Frank Sinatra Albums of All Time

  • Aretha Franklin5
    19,876
    22,253
    Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Aretha Franklin 

    The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All TimeYou Will R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aretha Franklin Even More When You Hear About Her Remarkable Life

  • Elvis Presley6
    25,652
    29,806
    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Elvis Presley 

    The Best Elvis Presley Songs of All Time13 Conspiracy Theories About Elvis Being Alive That People Still Believe

  • Luciano Pavarotti7
    10,804
    12,580
    Luciano Pavarotti (, also US: , Italian: [luˈtʃaːno pavaˈrɔtti]; 12 October 1935 – 6... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Adele8
    22,212
    28,688
    Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Adele 

    Fun Facts You Didn't Know About AdeleThe Best Adele Albums, Ranked

  • Celine Dion9
    16,186
    21,332
    Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer. Born into a large... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Celine Dion 

    The Best Celine Dion SongsThe Best Celine Dion Albums of All-Time

  • Elton John10
    14,339
    20,114
    Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Elton John 

    All Of The Inaccuracies In 'Rocketman'The Best Elton John Songs, Ranked by Fans

  • Stevie Wonder11
    14,309
    20,947
    Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is... more on WikipediaSpotify buy button

    More Stevie Wonder 

    The Best Stevie Wonder Songs of All TimeThe Most Underrated Stevie Wonder Songs

  • Ella Fitzgerald12
    10,599
    15,479
    Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer... more on WikipediaSpotify buy button

    More Ella Fitzgerald 

    How Marilyn Monroe And Ella Fitzgerald's Friendship Gave Them Both Their CareersThe Best Ella Fitzgerald Albums of All Time

  • Mariah Carey13
    15,377
    21,681
    Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Mariah Carey 

    The Best Mariah Carey Songs of All TimeThe Best Mariah Carey Albums of All Time

  • Prince14
    10,293
    14,691
    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Prince 

    The Best Prince Songs of All Time10 Songs You Had No Idea Were Written by Prince

  • George Michael15
    12,101
    16,865
    George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou; 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • David Bowie16
    13,149
    20,141
    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More David Bowie 

    Fun Facts You Didn't Know About David BowieThe Best David Bowie Songs of All Time

  • John Lennon17
    14,434
    22,575
    John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More John Lennon 

    15 Conspiracies About John Lennon's Death That People Truly BelieveThe Best John Lennon Songs

  • Nat King Cole18
    8,988
    14,287
    Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Nat King Cole 

    The Best Nat King Cole Albums of All Time#59 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • Marvin Gaye19
    10,460
    17,272
    Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Marvin Gaye 

    The Best Marvin Gaye Songs of All TimeThe Best Marvin Gaye Albums of All Time

  • Paul McCartney20
    12,810
    21,581
    Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Paul McCartney 

    The Best Paul McCartney SongsThe Best Paul McCartney Albums of All Time

  • Andrea Bocelli21
    5,167
    6,391
    Andrea Bocelli, OMRI, OMDSM (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdreːa boˈtʃɛlli]; born 22 September... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Andrea Bocelli 

    The Greatest Andrea Bocelli Duets EverThe Best Andrea Bocelli Albums of All Time

  • Lady Gaga22
    7,715
    12,310
    Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Lady Gaga 

    The Best Lady Gaga Songs of All TimeFun Facts You Didn't Know About Lady Gaga

  • Dolly Parton23
    5,286
    8,597
    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Dolly Parton 

    26 Weird And Charming Facts About Dolly PartonStories We Learned About Dolly Parton That Made Us Say, 'Really??'

  • Louis Armstrong24
    5,772
    9,195
    Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Louis Armstrong 

    The Best Louis Armstrong Albums of All Time#84 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • Diana Ross25
    4,901
    8,174
    Diana Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button