Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Musicians  

Ranker Music
4.1k votes 442 voters 10.4k 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
121 57
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

2
92 42
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

3
96 45
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

4
53 34
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

5
64 45
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

6
38 21
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

7
65 47
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

8
54 37
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

9
74 57
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

10
52 37
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

11
53 38
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

12
47 35
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

13
55 44
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

14
53 42
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

15
40 29
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RobLein added Gospel music

16
38 27
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

17
37 26
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

18
83 76
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

19
41 33
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

20
33 25
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

21
39 32
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

22
35 28
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

23
45 39
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

24
21 14
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

25
18 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