Music

The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers 

Ranker Music
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Updated April 16, 2020 24.2k votes 3.7k voters 203.9k views 71 items

List Rules Vote up the top black female pop singers around the world.

You've sung along to their songs countless times, and might have grown up listening to their music. Now it's time to celebrate the women behind these unforgettable tunes. These are the greatest black female pop singers of all time, as voted on by you. The best black female pop singers come in many forms. Some famous black female pop singers sing the blues while other top pop singers infuse rock into their catchy songs. Many of the best black female pop singers have written chart-topping hit singles.

What artists will you find on this list of the best black female pop singers? Whitney Houston is easily one of he best black female singers of the '80s, and arguably one of the most iconic singers of all time. She charted seven consecutive number-one Billboard Hot 100 hits, including “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” Rihanna is another talented black female pop singer. Perennial favorites like “Natural Woman” and “Think” made Aretha Franklin a worldwide superstar. Other artists featured on this list include African American female singers Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, and Macy Gray.

Which black female pop singer do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Who were the best black female singers of the 2000s and 2010s? Which older black female singers paved the way for them? Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them towards number one, and add any singers who are missing.

list ordered by
1
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Pop music, Dance-pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

More Whitney Houston 

The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time #70 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #3 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

2
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
3
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Rock music, Dance-pop & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: Switzerland

More Tina Turner 

The Best Tina Turner Songs #223 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #54 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

4
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
5
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: United States of America

More Alicia Keys 

The Best Songs Feat. Alicia Keys #11 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #394 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

6
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Pop and Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

More Mariah Carey 

The Best Mariah Carey Songs of All Time #235 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #414 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

7
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
8
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Disco, Pop music & Dance music; Nationality: United States of America

More Diana Ross 

#110 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #996 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #23 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

9
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

More Toni Braxton 

The Best Toni Braxton Songs #469 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #39 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

10
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America

More Mary J. Blige 

The Best Mary J. Blige Albums of All Time #311 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #578 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

11
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

More Janet Jackson 

The Best Janet Jackson Songs #55 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #460 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

12
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Dance-pop; Nationality: United States of America

More Brandy Norwood 

The Best Brandy Norwood Albums of All Time #228 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #700 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

13
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: United States of America

More Aaliyah 

The Best Songs Feat. Aaliyah #60 of 90 Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now? #863 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

14
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: New Wave, Disco & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

More Donna Summer 

The Best Donna Summer Albums of All Time #56 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #33 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

15
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Rhythm and blues, Soul music & Gospel music; Nationality: United States of America

More Gladys Knight 

#98 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #1,208 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timelisted on Mormon Celebrities

16
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Pop music, Contemporary R&B & Soul music; Nationality: United States of America

More Jennifer Hudson 

The Best Jennifer Hudson Songs #181 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #26 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

17
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Guest_d57910f2-fed0-4834-9967-373c9d74c270 added Genre: Ballad, Swing music & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America

More Ella Fitzgerald 

The Best Ella Fitzgerald Albums of All Time #214 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #15 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

18
Ciara is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

More Ciara 

#52 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #783 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #763 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

19
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Guest_d57910f2-fed0-4834-9967-373c9d74c270 added Genre: Torch song, Ballad & Swing music; Nationality: United States of America

More Billie Holiday 

The Unprecedented Rise And Tragic Death Of Billie Holiday #69 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #438 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

20
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Urban contemporary, Hip hop music & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

More Kelly Rowland 

#807 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #358 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #234 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

21
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Adult contemporary music, Pop music & Quiet storm; Nationality: United States of America

More Natalie Cole 

The Best Natalie Cole Albums of All Time #1,062 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #377 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

22
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Guest_d57910f2-fed0-4834-9967-373c9d74c270 added Genre: Rock music, Rhythm and blues & Rock and roll; Nationality: United States of America

More Etta James 

The Best Etta James Albums of All Time #62 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #88 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

23
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Guest_d57910f2-fed0-4834-9967-373c9d74c270 added Genre: Folk music, Rhythm and blues & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

More Nina Simone 

The Best Nina Simone Albums of All Time #144 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #477 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

24
Nicki Minaj is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
25
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Christian music, Pop music & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

More Fantasia 

#68 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #372 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #162 of 225 The Best Current Female Singers