Music
146.6k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.8m votes 146.6k voters 2.0m views602 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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  • Whitney Houston1
    32,986
    21,351

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • Karen Carpenter2
    18,664
    15,124

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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    #113 of 532 The Best Drummers Of All Time#18 of 24 People Are Sharing The Celebrity Death That Hit Them Hardest And We're Already Crying

  • Aretha Franklin3
    20,600
    18,796

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

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

  • Mariah Carey4
    26,405
    24,081

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

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    The Best Mariah Carey Albums of All Time#13 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time

  • Celine Dion5
    24,173
    22,360

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    NationalityCanada

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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  • Ella Fitzgerald6
    14,721
    13,825

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • Adele7
    21,509
    22,471

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

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  • Linda Ronstadt8
    9,655
    10,434

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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    #301 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100#52 of 568 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures

  • Nina Simone9
    7,000
    7,568

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    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

  • Billie Holiday10
    10,534
    11,483

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • Christina Aguilera11
    18,090
    20,019

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • Gladys Knight12
    7,089
    7,432

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Patsy Cline13
    7,979
    8,634

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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    #4 of 160 The Top Female Country Singers#5 of 215 The Greatest Classic Country & Western Artists Of All-Time

  • Dolly Parton14
    9,009
    9,306

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • Ann Wilson15
    7,128
    7,821

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Barbra Streisand16
    17,461
    19,859

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • Lady Gaga17
    11,772
    13,088

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

    Amazon buy button

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  • Stevie Nicks18
    12,845
    14,550

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • Judy Garland19
    8,709
    9,444
    Amazon buy button

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  • Donna Summer20
    11,404
    12,806

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

    Amazon buy button

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  • Amy Winehouse21
    12,422
    14,146

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • Jennifer Hudson22
    5,317
    5,686

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Etta James23
    9,147
    10,473

    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

    Amazon buy button

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  • Dionne Warwick24
    3,737
    4,120

    Dionne Warwick

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Tina Turner25
    11,665
    13,533

    Tina Turner

    Rock music, Dance-pop

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

    Amazon buy button

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