Music
142.4k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.9m votes 142.4k 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

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Whitney Houston
    33,383
    21,750

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

    Amazon buy button
  • 2
    Karen Carpenter
    18,662
    14,919

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

    Amazon buy button
  • 3
    Aretha Franklin
    20,724
    19,440

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

    Amazon buy button

    More Aretha Franklin 

    The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All TimeYou Will R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aretha Franklin Even More When You Hear About Her Remarkable Life

  • 4
    Mariah Carey
    26,887
    24,427

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

    Amazon buy button

    More Mariah Carey 

    The Best Mariah Carey Songs of All Time#124 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 5
    Celine Dion
    24,426
    22,930

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    NationalityCanada

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

    Amazon buy button

    More Celine Dion 

    The Best Celine Dion SongsThe Best Celine Dion Albums of All-Time

  • 6
    Ella Fitzgerald
    14,783
    14,198

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

    Amazon buy button

    More Ella Fitzgerald 

    The Best Ella Fitzgerald Albums of All TimeHow Marilyn Monroe And Ella Fitzgerald's Friendship Gave Them Both Their Careers

  • 7
    Adele
    21,808
    22,971

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

    Amazon buy button

    More Adele 

    The Best Adele Albums, RankedFun Facts You Didn't Know About Adele

  • 8
    Christina Aguilera
    17,967
    19,932

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

    Amazon buy button

    More Christina Aguilera 

    The Best Christina Aguilera Albums of All TimeThe Best Christina Aguilera Songs

  • 9
    Nina Simone
    6,854
    7,580

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

    Amazon buy button

    More Nina Simone 

    The Best Nina Simone Albums of All Time#42 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • 10
    Lady Gaga
    11,861
    12,963

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

    Amazon buy button

    More Lady Gaga 

    The Best Lady Gaga Songs of All TimeFun Facts You Didn't Know About Lady Gaga

  • 11
    Gladys Knight
    6,903
    7,408

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button
  • 12
    Dolly Parton
    8,967
    9,229

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

    Amazon buy button

    More Dolly Parton 

    26 Weird And Charming Facts About Dolly PartonHilarious Dolly Parton Interview Moments That Made Us Love Her Even More

  • 13
    Billie Holiday
    10,423
    11,818

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

    Amazon buy button

    More Billie Holiday 

    The Best Billie Holiday Albums of All TimeThe Unprecedented Rise And Tragic Death Of Billie Holiday

  • 14
    Patsy Cline
    7,801
    8,706

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button
  • 15
    Amy Winehouse
    12,552
    14,344

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

    Amazon buy button

    More Amy Winehouse 

    ‘Amy’ Is A Deeply Upsetting Documentary That Forced Us To Re-Examine Her TragedyThe Best Amy Winehouse Songs

  • 16
    Linda Ronstadt
    9,288
    10,773

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

    Amazon buy button

    More Linda Ronstadt 

    #104 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#16 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

  • 17
    Stevie Nicks
    12,857
    14,922

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

    Amazon buy button

    More Stevie Nicks 

    Fascinating Stories From Stevie Nicks’s Love LifeThe Best Stevie Nicks Albums of All Time

  • 18
    Judy Garland
    8,677
    9,632
    Amazon buy button
  • 19
    Tina Turner
    11,947
    14,020

    Tina Turner

    Rock music, Dance-pop

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Tina Turner

    Amazon buy button

    More Tina Turner 

    The Best Tina Turner SongsThe Best Tina Turner Albums of All Time

  • 20
    Ann Wilson
    6,888
    7,979

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button
  • 21
    Donna Summer
    11,432
    13,282

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

    Amazon buy button
  • 22
    Jennifer Hudson
    5,233
    5,697

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button

    More Jennifer Hudson 

    The Best Jennifer Hudson Songs#25 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • 23
    Julie Andrews
    9,144
    10,373

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

    Amazon buy button

    More Julie Andrews 

    #19 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World#33 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time

  • 24
    Barbra Streisand
    17,576
    20,708

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

    Amazon buy button

    More Barbra Streisand 

    The Best Barbra Streisand SongsThe Best Barbra Streisand Movies

  • 25
    Diana Ross
    4,235
    3,069

    Diana Ross

    Disco, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button