Music
297.4k voters

The Best Singers Of All Time

Updated March 11, 2021 2.3m votes 297.4k 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
    55,751
    34,329
    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
    37,515
    34,321
    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 TimeThe First Time Michael Jackson Moonwalked On Stage, The World Lost Its Mind

  • 3
    30,085
    28,237
    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#43 of 272 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 4
    19,076
    20,904
    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#31 of 32 32 Celebrities Who Have Insane Phobias

  • 5
    22,113
    24,180
    Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and...  more

    More Frank Sinatra 

    The Best Frank Sinatra Albums of All Time#509 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

  • 6
    24,474
    27,936
    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was...  more

    More Elvis Presley 

    13 Conspiracy Theories About Elvis Being Alive That People Still Believe#131 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • 7
    10,733
    12,008
    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
    20,861
    27,170
    Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating...  more

    More Adele 

    The Best Adele Albums, Ranked#2 of 101 The Best Current Female Singers

  • 9
    15,439
    20,390
    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#116 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

  • 10
    13,792
    19,130
    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'#1196 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 11
    13,694
    19,551
    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
    10,260
    14,637
    Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer...  more

    More Ella Fitzgerald 

    The Best Ella Fitzgerald Albums of All Time#135 of 164 The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

  • 13
    14,813
    20,675
    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#5 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • 14
    9,984
    14,147
    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Prince 

    The Best Prince Songs of All Time#5 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 15
    11,699
    16,226
    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#134 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

  • 16
    12,568
    18,853
    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (,...  more

    More David Bowie 

    David Bowie and His Mysterious Connections to the Occult and Paganism#624 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History

  • 17
    13,712
    21,103
    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
    10,111
    16,111
    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#146 of 265 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

  • 19
    12,230
    20,004
    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

  • 20
    8,657
    13,496
    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#53 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

  • 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
    6,733
    11,953
    Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who...  more

    More Karen Carpenter 

    #16 of 24 People Are Sharing The Celebrity Death That Hit Them Hardest And We're Already Crying#113 of 534 The Best Drummers Of All Time

  • 23
    5,271
    8,842
    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Dolly Parton 

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

  • 24
    7,524
    12,514
    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

  • 25
    5,057
    6,658
    Andrea Bocelli, OMRI, OMDSM (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdreːa boˈtʃɛlli]; born 22 September...  more

    More Andrea Bocelli 

    The Greatest Andrea Bocelli Duets Ever#31 of 197 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time