Music

The Best Female Vocalists Ever 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated January 2, 2020 1.9M votes 137.7k voters 1.8M views 677 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 #14 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #65 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

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 

The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time #6 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearslisted on 1970s Christian Pop Artists

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 #15 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #144 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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 #179 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #6 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

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 

#21 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #220 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #154 of 753 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 #12 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #206 of 1,891 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 #124 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #116 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

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 #156 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #72 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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 #24 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #163 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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 #48 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #69 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists 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 #53 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #235 of 1,891 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 

25 Weird And Charming Facts About Dolly Parton #20 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #26 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

13
Patsy Cline is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
14
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Rhythm and blues, Soul music & Gospel music; Nationality: United States of America

More Gladys Knight 

#1,144 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #52 of 784 The Best Singers of All Timelisted on Mormon Celebrities

15
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
Genre: Doo-wop, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: England

See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

More Amy Winehouse 

‘Amy’ Is A Deeply Upsetting Documentary That Forced Us To Re-Examine Her Tragedy #126 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearslisted on Members of The 27 Club

16
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 16 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 #61 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #53 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

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 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #179 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

18
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 18 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 #33 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #219 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

19
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
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 

#67 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #206 of 372 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #416 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

21
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
22
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 22 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 #91 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #60 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

23
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 23 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 #155 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #188 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

24
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
25
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Vocalists Ever
mal1 added Genre: R&B, Pop & Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

See: The Best Songs of Beyoncé

More Beyoncé Knowles 

The Best Songs Ft. Beyonce #142 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #250 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World