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
726 302
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
854 213
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

3
559 231
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

4
457 167
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

5
309 122
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

6
254 181
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
347 165
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

8
248 144
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

9
314 97
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

10
302 125
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

11
268 130
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

12
262 144
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

13
328 139
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

14
261 130
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
265 166
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

16
314 110
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

17
220 47
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

18
485 284
Beyoncé is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

19
341 168
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

20
189 137
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

21
209 131
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

22
350 179
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

23
172 99
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

24
185 151
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
283 126
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

26
259 125
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
222 106
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

28
209 73
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
232 126
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

30
159 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
254 138
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

32
205 93
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

33
135 94
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
176 46
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
301 197
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

36
153 85
Monica is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

37
152 47
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

38
165 86
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

39
115 47
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

40
92 60
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jazz, Blues

41
99 37
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

42
126 66
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

43
90 54
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

44
76 45
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

45
89 53
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

46
90 44
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
104 66
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

48
92 64
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

49
88 43
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music

50
74 43
Mavis Staples is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music