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

  • 1

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • 2

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    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

  • 3

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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  • 4

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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

  • 5

    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

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • 7


    Pop, R&B

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  • 8

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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  • 9

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • 10

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

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  • 11

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • 12

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • 13

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    More Ann Wilson 

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  • 14

    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

    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#41 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • 16

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • 17

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  • 18

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

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  • 19

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • 20

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

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  • 21

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • 22

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

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  • 23

    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

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  • 24

    Dionne Warwick

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

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  • 25

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