Singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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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
729 305
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
860 216
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

3
562 233
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

4
459 170
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

5
312 122
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

6
256 181
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jdoggy added Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

7
349 165
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

8
252 144
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

9
320 98
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

10
305 126
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

11
271 130
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

12
265 145
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

13
330 140
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

14
264 131
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
267 168
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

16
222 48
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

17
314 115
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

18
486 288
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

19
191 137
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

20
213 131
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

21
345 171
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

22
352 180
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

23
174 100
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

24
186 152
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

25
286 129
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

26
262 127
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

27
223 109
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

28
212 74
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

29
235 128
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

30
161 67
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

31
257 140
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

32
208 95
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

33
137 95
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco

34
178 48
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tom Islava added Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

35
303 198
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

36
154 87
Monica is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

37
169 87
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

38
94 60
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jazz, Blues

39
152 50
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

40
116 49
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

41
100 39
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

42
79 45
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

43
126 69
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

44
92 56
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

45
90 53
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

46
92 45
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

47
93 64
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

48
105 68
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

49
89 43
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music

50
75 44
Mavis Staples is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music