Music
146.4k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.8m votes 146.4k 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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  • Whitney Houston1
    33,229
    21,508

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • Karen Carpenter2
    18,785
    15,179

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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  • Aretha Franklin3
    20,739
    18,959

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

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  • Mariah Carey4
    26,568
    24,269

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

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

  • Celine Dion5
    24,330
    22,534

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    NationalityCanada

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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  • Ella Fitzgerald6
    14,791
    13,943

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • Adele7
    21,643
    22,660

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

    Amazon buy button

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  • Linda Ronstadt8
    9,663
    10,516

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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  • Nina Simone9
    7,017
    7,625

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

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  • Billie Holiday10
    10,568
    11,586

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • Christina Aguilera11
    18,164
    20,146

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • Gladys Knight12
    7,122
    7,473

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Patsy Cline13
    7,990
    8,698

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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    #4 of 160 The Top Female Country Singers#221 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • Dolly Parton14
    9,049
    9,376

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • Ann Wilson15
    7,149
    7,889

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Lady Gaga16
    11,867
    13,175

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

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  • Barbra Streisand17
    17,574
    20,041

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • Stevie Nicks18
    12,926
    14,666

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • Judy Garland19
    8,739
    9,528
    Amazon buy button

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  • Donna Summer20
    11,462
    12,915

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

    Amazon buy button

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  • Amy Winehouse21
    12,501
    14,281

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • Jennifer Hudson22
    5,342
    5,728

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button

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  • Etta James23
    9,196
    10,571

    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

    Amazon buy button

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    The Best Etta James Albums of All Time#23 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • Julie Andrews24
    9,097
    10,209

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

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  • Tina Turner25
    11,750
    13,664

    Tina Turner

    Rock music, Dance-pop

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

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