singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

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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 singers 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, 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
425 175
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
345 133
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

3
492 147
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Whitney Houston Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

4
150 96
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jdoggy added Sarah Vaughan Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

5
252 80
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tina Turner Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

6
191 94
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Nina Simone Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
162 67
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Billie Holiday Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

8
131 81
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dinah Washington Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

9
144 77
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Chaka Khan Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

10
162 67
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Gladys Knight Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

11
143 82
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Mahalia Jackson Gospel music

12
130 84
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Shirley Bassey Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

13
187 78
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Diana Ross Disco, Pop music, Dance music

14
165 100
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Roberta Flack Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

Gay Actors Who Play Straight Characters

15
124 58
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Sade Adu

16
146 71
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Donna Summer New Wave, Disco, Pop music

17
163 54
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Etta James Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

18
276 152
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Beyoncé Knowles Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

19
159 51
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Lauryn Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

20
109 66
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dionne Warwick Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

21
118 50
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Erykah Badu Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

22
139 61
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Toni Braxton Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

23
176 99
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Alicia Keys Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

24
139 70
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mary J. Blige Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

25
75 14
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Patti LaBelle Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

26
88 57
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Natalie Cole Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

27
103 34
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Anita Baker Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

28
115 62
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Janet Jackson Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

The Best Female Duos in Music

29
77 39
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gloria Gaynor Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco

30
181 111
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mariah Carey Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

31
137 67
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Aaliyah Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

32
159 88
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Rihanna Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

33
82 36
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Minnie Riperton Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

34
97 51
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tracy Chapman Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

35
72 14
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tom Islava added Jennifer Hudson Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

36
66 46
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Macy Gray Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

37
69 39
Monica is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Monica Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

38
70 35
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
India.Arie Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

39
74 38
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Brandy Norwood Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

40
61 40
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Celia Cruz Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

41
77 27
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jill Scott Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

42
52 39
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Bessie Smith Jazz, Blues

Every Song in Guys and Dolls, Ranked by Singability

43
51 30
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Eartha Kitt Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

44
59 37
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Faith Evans Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

45
33 10
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Kelly Rowland Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

46
32 16
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Missy Elliott Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

47
61 43
Ashanti is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Ashanti Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

48
64 40
Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Queen Latifah Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Jazz

49
35 24
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Nancy Wilson Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

50
55 31
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
CeCe Winans Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music