Music

The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated July 20, 2020 24.8k votes 3.8k voters 213.3k views 72 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 #13 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #3 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time

2
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America

More Aretha Franklin 

The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time #6 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearslisted on 1970s Christian Pop Artists

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 #35 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #138 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time

4
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: R&B, Pop & Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

More Beyoncé Knowles 

The Best Songs Ft. Beyonce #141 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #21 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time

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 #64 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #161 of 784 The Best Singers 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 #176 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #11 of 784 The Best Singers 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 

#31 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #82 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #25 of 784 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 Albums of All Time #166 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #539 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time

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 #158 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #640 of 784 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 #192 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #661 of 784 The Best Singers 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 

Whatever Happened to Brandy? #51 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #257 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

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 #97 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #75 of 90 Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now?

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 #46 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #33 of 784 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 

#107 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #1,148 of 1,891 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 #153 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #586 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time

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 #11 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #14 of 784 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 

#782 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #846 of 853 The Best Actresses in Film History #55 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

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 #529 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #60 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists 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 

#717 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #796 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #249 of 677 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 #139 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #474 of 784 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 #472 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #90 of 1,891 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 #546 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #143 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

24
Nicki Minaj is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Hip hop, Pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: Trinidad and Tobago

More Nicki Minaj 

The Best Nicki Minaj Songs #291 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #854 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

25
Janelle Monáe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Genre: Contemporary R&B, Hip hop & Soul; Nationality: United States of America

More Janelle Monáe 

The Best Janelle Monáe Albums, Ranked #423 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #66 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years