Music
145.9k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.8m votes 145.9k 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
    33,047
    21,415

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • Karen Carpenter2
    18,676
    15,052

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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  • Aretha Franklin3
    20,588
    18,898

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

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  • Mariah Carey4
    26,455
    24,123

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

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  • Celine Dion5
    24,230
    22,424

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    NationalityCanada

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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  • Ella Fitzgerald6
    14,686
    13,896

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • Adele7
    21,503
    22,562

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

    Amazon buy button

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  • Linda Ronstadt8
    9,626
    10,435

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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  • Billie Holiday9
    10,472
    11,554

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • Christina Aguilera10
    18,139
    20,082

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • Nina Simone11
    6,940
    7,569

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

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  • Patsy Cline12
    7,971
    8,652

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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    #4 of 160 The Top Female Country Singers#6 of 215 The Greatest Classic Country & Western Artists Of All-Time

  • Gladys Knight13
    7,075
    7,415

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Dolly Parton14
    8,965
    9,309

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • Ann Wilson15
    7,086
    7,841

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Barbra Streisand16
    17,500
    19,954

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • Lady Gaga17
    11,770
    13,099

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

    Amazon buy button

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  • Stevie Nicks18
    12,828
    14,603

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • Judy Garland19
    8,676
    9,489
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  • Donna Summer20
    11,423
    12,865

    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
    12,433
    14,220

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • Jennifer Hudson22
    5,285
    5,681

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Dionne Warwick23
    3,718
    4,119

    Dionne Warwick

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Julie Andrews24
    9,066
    10,171

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

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  • Tina Turner25
    11,701
    13,631

    Tina Turner

    Rock music, Dance-pop

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

    Amazon buy button

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