Music

The Greatest Black Female Musicians 

Ranker Music
Updated June 14, 2019 5.5k votes 654 voters 15.5k 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
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
2
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
3
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
4
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
5
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
6
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
7
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
8
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
9
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
10
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
11
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
12
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
13
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
14
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
15
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
16
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
17
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
18
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
19
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
20
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
21
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
22
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
23
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
24
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
25
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians