Music
144.4k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.9m votes 144.4k voters 1.9m 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
    34,062
    22,137

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • Karen Carpenter2
    19,205
    15,299

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

    Amazon buy button
  • Aretha Franklin3
    21,186
    19,673

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

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  • Mariah Carey4
    27,347
    24,886

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

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  • Celine Dion5
    24,888
    23,273

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    NationalityCanada

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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  • Ella Fitzgerald6
    15,120
    14,382

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • Adele7
    22,192
    23,361

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

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  • Christina Aguilera8
    18,314
    19,932

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • Billie Holiday9
    10,718
    11,977

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • Nina Simone10
    7,066
    7,788

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

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  • Gladys Knight11
    7,163
    7,591

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Dolly Parton12
    9,197
    9,508

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • Lady Gaga13
    12,171
    13,435

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

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  • Amy Winehouse14
    12,816
    14,694

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • Ann Wilson15
    7,142
    8,098

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Judy Garland16
    8,897
    9,809
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  • Patsy Cline17
    7,801
    8,914

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Stevie Nicks18
    13,147
    15,113

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • Donna Summer19
    11,662
    13,403

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

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  • Barbra Streisand20
    17,923
    20,851

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • Julie Andrews21
    9,367
    10,496

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

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  • Etta James22
    9,426
    10,984

    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

    Amazon buy button
  • Jennifer Hudson23
    5,407
    5,880

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Diana Ross24
    4,449
    3,184

    Diana Ross

    Disco, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Tina Turner25
    12,109
    14,199

    Tina Turner

    Rock music, Dance-pop

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

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