Music
148.4k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.8m votes 148.4k 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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  • 1
    32,861
    21,194

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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    The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time#123 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

  • 2
    20,492
    18,607

    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
    18,619
    15,124

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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    #112 of 534 The Best Drummers Of All Time#245 of 344 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

  • 4
    23,931
    22,174

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

    More Celine Dion 

    The Best Celine Dion Songs#17 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 5
    26,096
    23,826

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

    More Mariah Carey 

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

  • 6
    14,706
    13,695

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

    More Ella Fitzgerald 

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  • 7
    21,308
    22,255

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

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  • 8
    9,715
    10,457

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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  • 9
    10,578
    11,401

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • 10
    7,111
    7,496

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    More Gladys Knight 

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  • 11
    8,990
    9,354

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

    More Dolly Parton 

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  • 12
    17,922
    19,827

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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    The Best Christina Aguilera Albums of All Time#156 of 227 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • 13
    7,246
    7,817

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    More Ann Wilson 

    #78 of 216 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time#15 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 14
    7,952
    8,630

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    More Patsy Cline 

    #12 of 291 The Top Country Artists of All Time#7 of 215 The Greatest Classic Country & Western Artists Of All-Time

  • 15
    6,995
    7,607

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

    More Nina Simone 

    The Best Nina Simone Albums of All Time#41 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • 16
    17,337
    19,547

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

    More Barbra Streisand 

    The Best Barbra Streisand Songs#222 of 272 The Best American Actresses Working Today

  • 17
    8,729
    9,405

    More Judy Garland 

    #5 of 186 The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)#11 of 349 The Best Actresses In Film History

  • 18
    11,334
    12,610

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

    More Donna Summer 

    The Best Donna Summer Albums of All Time#216 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 19
    12,857
    14,402

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

    More Stevie Nicks 

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  • 20
    11,688
    13,030

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

    More Lady Gaga 

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  • 21
    12,336
    14,000

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

    More Amy Winehouse 

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  • 22
    5,346
    5,725

    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

  • 23
    9,088
    10,374

    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

    More Etta James 

    The Best Etta James Albums of All Time#7 of 219 The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

  • 24
    3,787
    4,163

    Dionne Warwick

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

    More Dionne Warwick 

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  • 25
    8,999
    9,979

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

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