Singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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24.3k votes 4.2k voters 193.9k 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
786 321
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
928 227
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

3
603 244
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

4
509 197
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

5
331 128
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

6
372 172
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
265 188
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jdoggy added Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

8
345 103
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

9
266 152
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

10
333 130
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

11
363 148
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

12
289 157
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

13
288 142
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

14
285 136
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
230 141
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

16
249 53
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

17
196 142
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

18
281 176
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

19
330 128
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

20
366 179
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

21
506 305
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

22
378 190
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

23
196 156
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

24
183 108
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

25
301 134
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

26
280 134
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
237 114
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

28
224 77
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
248 134
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

30
173 69
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
268 145
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

32
217 100
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

33
145 99
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
315 204
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

35
191 54
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
161 91
Monica is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

37
180 93
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

38
98 64
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jazz, Blues

39
125 55
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

40
158 54
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

41
90 49
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

42
135 74
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

43
107 45
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

44
97 56
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

45
97 61
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

46
112 71
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

47
96 48
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
95 68
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

49
91 48
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music

50
78 48
Mavis Staples is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music