Singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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30k votes 5.3k voters 281.9k views 106 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
1,009 411
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
2
747 307
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music
3
1,152 272
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B
4
422 167
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music
5
319 234
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jdoggy added Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz
6
457 214
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
7
428 155
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music
8
646 272
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues
9
356 185
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco
10
425 129
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll
11
453 178
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music
12
311 179
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music
13
341 161
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music
14
350 174
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added
15
324 207
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
16
285 170
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music
17
628 367
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music
18
320 79
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad
19
453 220
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
20
406 158
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul
21
223 171
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues
22
466 236
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B
23
350 159
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues
24
216 184
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
292 97
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz