Music

The Best Female Vocalists Ever 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated January 2, 2020 1.9M votes 133.8k voters 1.8M views 935 items

List Rules Vote 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

list ordered by
1
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Pop music, Dance-pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

More Whitney Houston 

The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time #70 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #450 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

2
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

More Aretha Franklin 

You Will R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aretha Franklin Even More When You Hear About Her Remarkable Life The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time #437 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

3
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Adult contemporary music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: Canada

See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

More Celine Dion 

The Best Celine Dion Songs #144 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #179 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

4
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Pop and Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

More Mariah Carey 

The Best Mariah Carey Songs of All Time #235 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #420 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

5
Karen Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
mal1 added Genre: Pop music and Soft rock; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

More Karen Carpenter 

#29 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #77 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #155 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive

6
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
KenWeiner added Genre: Ballad, Swing music & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

More Ella Fitzgerald 

The Best Ella Fitzgerald Albums of All Time How Marilyn Monroe And Ella Fitzgerald's Friendship Gave Them Both Their Careers #216 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

7
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
tiummy added Genre: Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

More Christina Aguilera 

The Best Christina Aguilera Albums of All Time #244 of 311 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #433 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

8
Adele is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Pop, R&B & Soul; Nationality: England

See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

More Adele 

Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Adele #73 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #1 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

9
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Ashtro1969 added Genre: Pop, Dance & Electronic; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

More Lady Gaga 

Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Lady Gaga #159 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #2 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

10
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: New Wave, Disco & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

More Donna Summer 

The Best Donna Summer Albums of All Time #55 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #33 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

11
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Jeff Bazell-Derby added Genre: Adult contemporary music, Show tune & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

More Barbra Streisand 

The Best Barbra Streisand Songs #212 of 327 The Best Actresses Working Today #272 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

12
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Ballad, Country pop & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

More Dolly Parton 

Dolly Parton's Humble Roots Explain Her Down-Home Charm #4 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #28 of 311 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

13
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Rhythm and blues, Soul music & Gospel music; Nationality: United States of America

More Gladys Knight 

#98 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #1,234 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timelisted on Mormon Celebrities

14
Patsy Cline is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Rock music, Swing music & Rockabilly; Nationality: United States of America

More Patsy Cline 

#71 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #48 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #2 of 157 The Top Female Country Singers

15
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
16
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
17
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Folk music, Rhythm and blues & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

More Nina Simone 

The Best Nina Simone Albums of All Time #144 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #465 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

18
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
KenWeiner added Genre: Torch song, Ballad & Swing music; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

More Billie Holiday 

The Unprecedented Rise And Tragic Death Of Billie Holiday The Best Billie Holiday Albums of All Time #69 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

19
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Rock music, Dance-pop & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: Switzerland

See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

More Tina Turner 

The Best Tina Turner Songs The Best Tina Turner Albums of All Time #224 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

20
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Doo-wop, Girl group & Ballad; Nationality: United States of America

More Patti LaBelle 

#423 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #142 of 163 The Best Hallmark Channel Actresses #455 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

21
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
22
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
mal1 added Genre: Pop music, Contemporary R&B & Soul music; Nationality: United States of America

More Jennifer Hudson 

The Best Jennifer Hudson Songs #181 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #26 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

23
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
24
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
huckleberry21 added Genre: Rock music, Rhythm and blues & Rock and roll; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

More Etta James 

The Best Etta James Albums of All Time #63 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #88 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

25
Kelly Clarkson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
FredNichols added Genre: Country, Pop & Blues; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs Of Kelly Clarkson

More Kelly Clarkson 

The Best Kelly Clarkson Albums of All Time #7 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #390 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time