Music
149.2k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.8m votes 149.2k voters 2.0m views497 items

List RulesVote up the singers who can bring the best music to your ears with their voices.

List of the best female singers of all time, ranked by music fans and casual critics like you. Who are the greatest female vocalists ever? This list includes all the famous female singers from Aretha Franklin to Stevie Nicks to Christina Perri – those great women in music who have topped the charts for decades, and perhaps landed them a Rolling Stone cover or two. Both solo singers and famous frontwomen in bands are among those on this list, as it is their voices to focus on here, not just their careers. From the celebrated divas of the old guard, to the most popular artists of today, this list aims to celebrate the women whose powerful songs and strong live presence have earned them their spot in history. 

Vote: The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

This list of the top female singers are both living, like Adele and Madonna, and long gone, like Nico and Amy Winehouse, though their albums and singles continue to sell to loyal and new audiences, be they American or located elsewhere in the world. Vote up those great female voices you think should be at the top of the list, and vote down those who you think come in a bit flat. Click "rerank" to make a list of your own!

Rank: The Best Singers of All Time

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  • 1
    33,100
    21,363

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • 2
    20,654
    18,777

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

    More Aretha Franklin 

    The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time#55 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • 3
    18,803
    15,336

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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    #233 of 344 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person#125 of 534 The Best Drummers Of All Time

  • 4
    24,316
    22,300

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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  • 5
    26,239
    24,056

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

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    The Best Mariah Carey Songs of All Time#329 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 6
    14,826
    13,779

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • 7
    21,460
    22,388

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

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  • 8
    10,656
    11,491

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • 9
    9,803
    10,558

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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  • 10
    7,172
    7,571

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

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    #9 of 74 Mormon Celebrities#98 of 489 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • 11
    9,092
    9,444

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • 12
    7,054
    7,664

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

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    The Best Nina Simone Albums of All Time#42 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • 13
    7,317
    7,898

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

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    #16 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock#77 of 216 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

  • 14
    17,982
    19,892

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

    More Christina Aguilera 

    The Best Christina Aguilera Albums of All Time#160 of 230 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • 15
    8,808
    9,449

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  • 16
    7,989
    8,693

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

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    #12 of 291 The Top Country Artists of All Time#8 of 215 The Greatest Classic Country & Western Artists Of All-Time

  • 17
    17,451
    19,617

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • 18
    12,945
    14,475

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • 19
    11,395
    12,678

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

    More Donna Summer 

    The Best Donna Summer Albums of All Time#213 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 20
    11,789
    13,117

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

    More Lady Gaga 

    The Best Lady Gaga Songs of All Time#2 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • 21
    12,432
    14,068

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

    More Amy Winehouse 

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  • 22
    9,075
    10,015

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

    More Julie Andrews 

    #7 of 349 The Best Actresses In Film History#1127 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 23
    3,844
    4,218

    Dionne Warwick

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

    More Dionne Warwick 

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  • 24
    5,400
    5,792

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    More Jennifer Hudson 

    The Best Jennifer Hudson Songs#46 of 214 The Greatest Black Actresses Of All Time

  • 25
    11,688
    13,358

    Tina Turner

    Rock music, Dance-pop

    See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

    More Tina Turner 

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