Female Professionals The Best Female Musicians of All Time  

Ranker Music
10.4k votes 623 voters 2.6k views 95 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
214 184
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

2
159 162
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

3
127 130
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time

4
125 134
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Ballad, Country pop, Pop music

5
127 137
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

6
136 150
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music

7
132 146
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music

8
128 141
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

9
115 125
Enya is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
New Age music, Folk music of Ireland, World music

10
125 138
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

11
116 127
Alanis Morissette is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

12
127 141
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

13
117 129
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave

14
122 136
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Country pop, Pop music, Soft rock

15
116 129
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

16
138 159
Cher is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Hip hop music, Rock music, Dance-pop

17
160 188
Miley Cyrus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Bubblegum pop, Synthpop

18
113 131
Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Urban contemporary, Bubblegum pop, Synthpop

19
77 89
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Girl group, Doo-wop, Psychedelic soul

20
48 52
The Pointer Sisters is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Girl group, New Wave, Pop music

21
68 80
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

22
81 99
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

23
52 62
Björk is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house

24
134 182
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

25
97 138
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

26
93 140
Sia Furler is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Pop music, Trip hop, Dance-pop

27
62 94
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

28
1 2
Nicole Scherzinger is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Renato Silva Santos added Hip hop music, Synthpop, Pop music

29
0 2
Maria Brink is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Renato Silva Santos added

30
0 2
Avril Lavigne is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Renato Silva Santos added Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

31
0 3
Taylor Momsen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Renato Silva Santos added Pop punk, Rock music, Post-grunge

32
38 79
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

33
25 57
Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock

34
11 31
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

35
17 44
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

36
34 80
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpunk, Pop punk

37
12 37
Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
New Wave, Rock music, Punk rock

38
14 41
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
New Wave, Rock music, Heavy metal

39
22 57
Heart is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock

40
26 65
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

41
32 77
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul

42
41 95
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

43
11 36
Brenda Lee is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Pop music, Rockabilly, Country

44
12 38
PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Punk blues, Grunge, Electronica

45
12 38
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

46
18 50
Patti Smith is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

47
4 18
Karen O is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Alternative rock, Art rock, Indie rock

48
4 18
Yeah Yeah Yeahs is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Dance-punk, Rock music, Garage punk

49
3 15
Lzzy Hale is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time

50
41 96
Adele is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female Musicians of All Time
Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music