Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Musicians  

Ranker Music
3.8k votes 391 voters 8.7k 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
110 51
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

2
84 40
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

3
82 43
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

4
50 31
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

5
58 39
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

6
60 41
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

7
70 52
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

8
54 40
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

9
31 18
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

10
48 35
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

11
49 36
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

12
52 39
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

13
35 23
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

14
36 24
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

15
46 37
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

16
42 33
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

17
36 27
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RobLein added Gospel music

18
34 27
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

19
31 25
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

20
26 20
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

21
29 24
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

22
36 32
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

23
35 31
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

24
74 74
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

25
28 24
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

26
15 10
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
42 40
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

28
27 24
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

29
17 13
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

30
23 20
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
skaj added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

31
38 37
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

32
26 25
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

33
18 16
Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Girl group, Pop rap

34
20 19
Shanice is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Pop rock

35
26 26
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

36
10 8
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

37
15 15
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

38
13 13
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

39
18 19
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

40
17 18
Beverley Knight is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues, Pop rock

41
21 23
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

42
9 9
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco

43
2 1
Betty Davis is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RiccardoDiCintio added Rock music, Soul music, Glam rock

44
23 27
Janelle Monae is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Future soul

45
17 20
Vanessa Williams is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians

46
32 39
Nicki Minaj is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Synthpop, Hardcore hip hop

47
2 2
Miriamm is listed (or ranked) 47 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.

48
9 11
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added

49
21 26
Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Jazz

50
19 24
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music