Music
144.8k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.9m votes 144.8k 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
    34,180
    22,183

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • Karen Carpenter2
    19,272
    15,373

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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  • Aretha Franklin3
    21,241
    19,703

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

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  • Mariah Carey4
    27,411
    24,946

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Mariah Carey Songs

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  • Celine Dion5
    24,951
    23,308

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    NationalityCanada

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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  • Ella Fitzgerald6
    15,156
    14,417

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • Adele7
    22,262
    23,406

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

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  • Christina Aguilera8
    18,360
    19,932

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    NationalityUnited States of America, Ecuador

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • Nina Simone9
    7,105
    7,817

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

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  • Billie Holiday10
    10,762
    11,991

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • Gladys Knight11
    7,199
    7,619

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Dolly Parton12
    9,231
    9,562

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • Lady Gaga13
    12,228
    13,494

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

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  • Ann Wilson14
    7,202
    8,121

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Amy Winehouse15
    12,855
    14,751

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • Stevie Nicks16
    13,194
    15,142

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • Judy Garland17
    8,922
    9,830
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  • Barbra Streisand18
    17,980
    20,875

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • Patsy Cline19
    7,801
    8,944

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button
  • Donna Summer20
    11,696
    13,422

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

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  • Julie Andrews21
    9,385
    10,508

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

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  • Etta James22
    9,451
    10,990

    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    NationalityUnited States of America

    See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

    Amazon buy button
  • Jennifer Hudson23
    5,436
    5,893

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button
  • Diana Ross24
    4,467
    3,200

    Diana Ross

    Disco, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button
  • Dionne Warwick25
    3,767
    4,291

    Dionne Warwick

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Amazon buy button

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