Singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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18.7k votes 3.2k voters 129.4k views 112 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 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.

1
578 254
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
476 203
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

3
698 189
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
210 148
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
369 129
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
289 137
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Nina Simone Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
250 108
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Billie Holiday Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

8
213 122
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Mahalia Jackson Gospel music

9
248 107
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Gladys Knight Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

10
250 82
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Etta James Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

11
273 116
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Diana Ross Disco, Pop music, Dance music

12
215 124
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Chaka Khan Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

13
214 111
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Sade Adu

14
237 150
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Roberta Flack Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

The Greatest Female Gospel Singers

15
411 230
Beyoncé is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Beyoncé Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

16
218 112
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Donna Summer New Wave, Disco, Pop music

17
253 91
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Lauryn Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

18
166 123
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dinah Washington Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

19
169 107
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dionne Warwick Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

20
170 134
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Shirley Bassey Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

21
283 145
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Alicia Keys Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

22
155 34
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Patti LaBelle Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

23
229 103
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Toni Braxton Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

24
276 153
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mariah Carey Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

25
134 85
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Natalie Cole Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

26
186 91
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Erykah Badu Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

27
172 59
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
209 108
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mary J. Blige Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

The Best Female Rock Singers

29
215 108
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Aaliyah Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

30
175 104
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Janet Jackson Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

31
136 57
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Minnie Riperton Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

32
116 71
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gloria Gaynor Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco

33
248 149
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Rihanna Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

34
124 69
Monica is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Monica Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

35
132 34
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

Great One Hit Wonder Artists of the '90s

36
147 78
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Brandy Norwood Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

37
142 75
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tracy Chapman Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

38
126 44
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jill Scott Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

39
97 44
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
CeCe Winans Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

40
78 28
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Fantasia Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

41
77 55
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Bessie Smith Jazz, Blues

42
105 58
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
India.Arie Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

The Best Lesbian Singers of All Time

43
69 40
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Missy Elliott Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

44
62 39
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
egghead added Nancy Wilson Pop music, Cabaret, Jazz

45
86 57
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Faith Evans Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

46
81 60
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Celia Cruz Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

47
84 73
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Macy Gray Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

48
70 48
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Eartha Kitt Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

49
67 36
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Kelly Rowland Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

50
72 38
Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Josephine Baker Music hall, Cabaret, French pop music