Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Musicians  

Ranker Music
3.5k votes 344 voters 7.5k views 85 items

List Rules Vote up the top black women musicians around the world.

If you're an audiophile, chances are you own albums by many of the women on this list. These are the greatest black female musicians of all time, as voted on by you and your fellow music fans. But what genre should reign supreme? Some famous black female musicians sing the blues while other top black woman musicians are pop superstars. Many of the best black female musicians have topped the charts time and time again.

What artists will you find on this list of the best black female musicians? Maybe Tina Turner is your pick for number one. By combining R&B, rock, soul, pop, the blues, and her infectious energy, Turner has earned a reputation as a truly incredible live performer. Alicia Keys is another talented African-American female musician who specializes in blending genres. Perhaps the most innovative musician of modern times – regardless of race or gender – is Beyonce. The pop icon continues to explore new musical territory with every album. Other talented performers featured on this list include Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, and Missy Elliott.

Which of these superstars should top the list? Give your personal picks a thumbs up to move them towards number one, and add any musicians who are missing.

list ordered by

1
76 36
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
87 46
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

3
67 37
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

4
44 29
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

5
45 31
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

6
62 49
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

7
44 33
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

8
45 34
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

9
70 60
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

10
44 35
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

11
39 31
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

12
43 36
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

13
42 35
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

14
32 25
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RobLein added Gospel music

15
29 23
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

16
43 38
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

17
41 36
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

18
23 17
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

19
31 26
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

20
18 12
Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Girl group, Pop rap

21
27 23
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

22
25 21
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

23
15 10
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

24
34 31
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

25
33 30
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

26
13 8
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

27
26 23
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

28
25 22
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

29
21 18
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
skaj added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

30
20 17
Shanice is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Pop rock

31
36 35
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

32
10 6
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

33
25 23
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

34
17 16
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

35
23 23
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

36
9 7
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco

37
24 25
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

38
17 17
Beverley Knight is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues, Pop rock

39
20 21
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

40
14 14
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

41
14 14
Leona Lewis is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Pop music, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

42
12 12
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

43
17 18
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

44
2 1
Miriamm is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Cynthia Adinig added Miriamm R&B, Soul -

Songstress Miriamm has had the privilege of sharing her voice in places around the world from the United States to Japan, from Switzerland to Germany in concerts and stage plays. From Jill Scott to India. Arie. and Aretha Franklin to Will Downing, Miriamm has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the business.  Miriamm hit the big screen in the feature film “Cadillac Records” (Sony Music Films), portraying the role of background singer for Etta James (Beyonce’ Knowles). Miriamm’s musical repertoire includes three CDs.

45
1 0
Betty Davis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RiccardoDiCintio added Rock music, Soul music, Glam rock

46
31 37
Nicki Minaj is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Synthpop, Hardcore hip hop

47
22 26
Janelle Monae is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Future soul

48
20 24
Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Jazz

49
18 22
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music

50
17 21
Ciara is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B