Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Musicians  

Ranker Music
4.3k votes 457 voters 10.9k 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
126 59
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

2
103 45
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

3
98 43
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

4
42 22
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

5
55 35
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
58 38
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

7
58 38
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

8
57 38
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

9
66 47
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

10
78 59
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

11
67 49
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

12
41 27
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

13
49 36
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

14
87 76
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

15
57 46
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

16
41 30
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RobLein added Gospel music

17
39 28
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

18
35 25
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

19
54 45
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

20
43 34
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

21
23 14
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

22
47 39
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

23
41 33
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

24
37 29
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

25
19 11
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz