Singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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21.5k votes 3.7k voters 154.5k 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
703 283
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
809 210
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

3
545 221
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

4
427 152
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

5
335 157
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
246 175
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
295 117
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

8
241 139
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

9
298 89
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

10
286 118
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

11
251 125
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

12
314 131
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

13
246 137
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

14
249 123
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
258 161
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

16
301 103
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

17
470 267
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

18
203 43
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

19
183 134
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

20
197 123
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

21
323 164
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

22
184 146
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

23
273 117
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

24
326 174
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

25
158 95
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

26
246 119
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
201 67
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

28
212 102
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

29
214 117
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

30
244 126
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

31
155 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
186 86
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

33
130 89
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
288 189
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

35
164 42
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
145 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
158 83
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

38
143 46
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

39
89 58
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jazz, Blues

40
87 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
109 47
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

42
91 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
116 62
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

44
73 44
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

45
99 62
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

46
83 51
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

47
82 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
87 62
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

49
85 41
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music

50
71 41
Mavis Staples is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music