Singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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21.1k votes 3.6k voters 147.9k views 111 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
682 276
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
529 217
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

3
782 205
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

4
240 170
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jdoggy added Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

5
328 155
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
412 144
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

7
287 116
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

8
290 89
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

9
238 137
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

10
280 117
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

11
310 128
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

12
242 135
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

13
244 123
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

14
245 120
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
257 160
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

16
461 257
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

17
291 102
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

18
181 134
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

19
193 43
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

20
191 121
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

21
183 145
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

22
317 162
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

23
317 169
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

24
265 116
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

25
156 93
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

26
239 119
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
207 101
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

28
196 66
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
208 113
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

30
242 121
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

31
153 64
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

32
130 79
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
281 174
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

34
169 85
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

35
157 40
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tom Islava added Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

36
142 81
Monica is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

37
142 46
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

38
154 83
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

39
85 58
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jazz, Blues

40
85 46
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

41
107 47
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

42
89 34
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

43
114 62
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

44
72 43
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

45
98 62
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

46
82 51
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

47
81 41
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

48
85 62
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

49
83 41
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music

50
89 78
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul