Music

The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
Originally by
33.4k votes 5.9k voters 319.9k views 130 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.

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page.
list ordered by
back to page 1
26
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music
27
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music
28
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
29
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad
30
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
31
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm
32
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco
33
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop
34
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music
35
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jazz, Blues
36
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tom Islava added Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music
37
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz
38
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop
39
Monica is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music
40
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B
41
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop
42
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz
43
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music
44
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music
45
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music
46
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word
47
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero
48
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop
49
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music
50
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul