Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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26.2k votes 4.6k voters 233.5k views 108 items

List Rules Vote up the top black female vocalists around the world.

Making some of the best R&B songs of 2018, they've provided the soundtrack to your first dance, your birthday bash, and your cross-country road trip. These are the greatest black female singers of all time, from Aretha to Mariah to Sade, as ranked by music enthusiasts like you. The women featured here are standouts in a number of genres. Some famous black female singers sing the blues while other top black woman artists are pop superstars. Many of the best black female singers have reached the top of the charts with their catchy tunes.

What artist will you vote to the top of this list of the best black female singers? Maybe you're one of the millions of Beyonce fans. The singer's powerful voice and killer dance moves have earned her plenty of acclaim as one of the best black singers, but listeners also love her for her way of redefining pop music with her innovative hits. Lauryn Hill's soulful vocals helped the singer take home five Grammy awards for her iconic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Other artists featured on this list include Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, and Erykah Badu.

Do you have a favorite black female singer? This list includes African American women as well as black female vocalists from other countries. Give the best singers a thumbs up to move them towards the number-one spot, and add any singers who are missing.

list ordered by

1
867 351
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
1,014 249
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

3
660 267
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

4
366 139
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

5
573 235
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

6
395 178
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
280 199
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jdoggy added Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

8
374 112
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

9
376 137
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

10
285 161
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

11
317 166
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

12
314 151
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

13
397 161
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

14
301 143
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
246 149
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

16
208 146
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

17
281 60
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

18
297 186
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

19
550 324
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

20
398 190
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

21
351 137
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

22
407 200
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

23
203 159
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

24
305 140
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

25
196 112
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm