Music

The Best Female Musicians of All Time 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated March 27, 2020 39.7k votes 3.4k voters 38.2k views 158 items

List Rules Vote up the female bands and musicians of all time, regardless of genre.

When it comes to the best female musicians of all time, there's a long list of female powerhouses that could be considered the greatest of all time. Whether it be a female-led band like Blondie or a group of female singers like the Supremes, music has seen some incredible females throughout its history. Of course, you also have to consider all the single ladies out there. You know, the top female vocalists like Etta James, Mariah Carey, Adele and P!nk, who made careers of their very own (among a great deal of others).

So, while you may have a favorite female singer of all-women band, it's time to rank the top female musicians of all time. That means any genre, any type of group, and any type of woman. From the girl groups of the 60s and 70s to the top female singers out right now, you certainly have your work cut out for you. Some of the greatest musical acts of all time have been led by females and some have been exclusively female. In fact, some even led bands and had successful solo careers—and both can be found on this list. That means if you like Gwen Stefani's music more than No Doubt, vote accordingly! 

Check out the extensive list of female musicians below and vote up your favorites, or those who you think are the absolute best. In short, who made the best music? Keep in mind, you can vote any female bands and singers down, as well as add your own picks to the list if they're missing. 

list ordered by
1
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America
2
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Pop music, Dance-pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America
3
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Ballad, Swing music & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America
4
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Rock music, Dance-pop & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: Switzerland
5
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Torch song, Ballad & Swing music; Nationality: United States of America
6
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Disco, Pop music & Dance music; Nationality: United States of America
7
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Pop and Electronica; Nationality: United States of America
8
Adele is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Pop, R&B & Soul; Nationality: England
9
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: United States of America
10
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Classic rock, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
11
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Ballad, Country pop & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
12
Heart is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
13
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Adult contemporary music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: Canada
14
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Doo-wop, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: England
15
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Jacob Bernstein added Genre: Folk music, Rhythm and blues & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
16
Cher is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Hip hop music, Rock music & Dance-pop; Nationality: United States of America
17
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Pop, Dance & Electronic; Nationality: United States of America
18
Patsy Cline is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Rock music, Swing music & Rockabilly; Nationality: United States of America
19
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: New Wave, Disco & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
20
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
21
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Folk music; Nationality: United States of America
22
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Blue-eyed soul, New Wave & Pop music; Nationality: Scotland
23
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Jacob Bernstein added Genre: Synthpop, Pop rock & Alternative rock; Nationality: England
24
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Rock music, Rhythm and blues & Rock and roll; Nationality: United States of America
25
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Genre: Pop and Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America