Music
148.2k voters

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

Updated November 6, 2020 1.8m votes 148.2k 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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  • 1
    32,776
    21,159

    Whitney Houston

    Pop music, Dance-pop

    See: The Best Albums Of Whitney Houston

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  • 2
    20,447
    18,575

    Aretha Franklin

    Pop music, Rock music

    See: The Best Albums Of Aretha Franklin

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    The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time#55 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • 3
    18,573
    15,089

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    See: The Best Carpenters Albums of All Time

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    #112 of 532 The Best Drummers Of All Time#2 of 59 History's Greatest Female Drummers, Ranked

  • 4
    23,893
    22,128

    Celine Dion

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Celine Dion

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    The Best Celine Dion Songs#113 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

  • 5
    26,059
    23,778

    Mariah Carey

    Pop, Contemporary R&B

    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

  • 6
    14,676
    13,681

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    See: The Best Albums Of Ella Fitzgerald

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  • 7
    21,268
    22,228

    Adele

    Pop, R&B

    See: The Best Adele Music Videos 

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  • 8
    9,683
    10,439

    Linda Ronstadt

    New Wave, Rock music

    See: The Best Albums Of Linda Ronstadt

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  • 9
    10,550
    11,386

    Billie Holiday

    Torch song, Ballad

    See: The Best Songs Of Billie Holiday

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  • 10
    7,092
    7,477

    Gladys Knight

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

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    #9 of 74 Mormon Celebrities#359 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • 11
    17,895
    19,803

    Christina Aguilera

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    See: The Best Songs Of Christina Aguilera

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  • 12
    8,960
    9,325

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    See: The Best Songs of Dolly Parton

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  • 13
    7,223
    7,799

    Ann Wilson

    Rock music, Folk rock

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    #78 of 216 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time#15 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 14
    7,934
    8,611

    Patsy Cline

    Rock music, Swing music

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

  • 15
    6,977
    7,593

    Nina Simone

    Folk music, Rhythm and blues

    See: The Best Albums of Nina Simone

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  • 16
    8,712
    9,386

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  • 17
    17,307
    19,531

    Barbra Streisand

    Adult contemporary music, Show tune

    See: The Best Songs Of Barbra Streisand

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  • 18
    11,315
    12,600

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    See: The Best Songs Of Donna Summer

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  • 19
    12,826
    14,392

    Stevie Nicks

    Classic rock, Pop music

    See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Nicks

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  • 20
    11,659
    13,001

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    See: The Best Songs of Lady Gaga 

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    The Best Lady Gaga Songs of All Time#2 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • 21
    12,312
    13,976

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    See: The Best Songs Of Amy Winehouse

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  • 22
    5,326
    5,714

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    More Jennifer Hudson 

    The Best Jennifer Hudson Songs#130 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 23
    8,976
    9,963

    See: The Best Julie Andrews Albums

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  • 24
    9,068
    10,368

    Etta James

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    See: The Best Songs Of Etta James

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  • 25
    3,759
    4,151

    Dionne Warwick

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

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