Music
142.1k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.8m votes 142.1k 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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  • 1
    Whitney Houston
    33,245
    21,693

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • 2
    Karen Carpenter
    18,555
    14,853

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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  • 3
    Celine Dion
    24,350
    22,866

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    NationalityCanada

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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  • 4
    Aretha Franklin
    20,637
    19,410

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

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  • 5
    Mariah Carey
    26,803
    24,361

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

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  • 6
    Ella Fitzgerald
    14,732
    14,157

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • 7
    Adele
    21,737
    22,900

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

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  • 8
    Lady Gaga
    11,816
    12,874

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

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  • 9
    Christina Aguilera
    17,919
    19,932

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • 10
    Nina Simone
    6,818
    7,532

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

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  • 11
    Gladys Knight
    6,859
    7,359

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • 12
    Dolly Parton
    8,930
    9,169

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • 13
    Patsy Cline
    7,801
    8,665

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • 14
    Billie Holiday
    10,383
    11,784

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • 15
    Amy Winehouse
    12,509
    14,283

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • 16
    Linda Ronstadt
    9,288
    10,744

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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  • 17
    Stevie Nicks
    12,803
    14,889

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • 18
    Judy Garland
    8,644
    9,603
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  • 19
    Donna Summer
    11,388
    13,256

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

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  • 20
    Julie Andrews
    9,117
    10,335

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

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  • 21
    Tina Turner
    11,915
    13,989

    Tina Turner

    Rock music, Dance-pop

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

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  • 22
    Diana Ross
    4,190
    3,044

    Diana Ross

    Disco, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • 23
    Ann Wilson
    6,838
    7,962

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • 24
    Barbra Streisand
    17,510
    20,686

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • 25
    Jennifer Hudson
    5,200
    5,664

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

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