Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Musicians  

Ranker Music
4.7k votes 496 voters 12.2k 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
140 62
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B
2
115 47
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
3
104 46
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues
4
63 37
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
5
65 40
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music
6
64 40
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music
7
46 25
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music
8
86 61
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
9
63 41
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul
10
72 50
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music
11
72 54
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B
12
45 29
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco
13
96 79
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music
14
53 38
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll
15
28 16
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music
16
42 30
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm
17
39 28
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad
18
44 33
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RobLein added Gospel music
19
61 50
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music
20
44 35
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Disco, Pop music, Dance music
21
40 31
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop
22
35 26
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
23
57 49
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop
24
51 43
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop
25
50 42
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul