Singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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29.5k votes 5.2k voters 274.8k views 107 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
989 399
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
2
734 303
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music
3
1,136 269
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B
4
444 207
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
5
416 165
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music
6
308 227
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
420 149
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music
8
638 270
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues
9
348 182
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco
10
414 127
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll
11
443 177
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music
12
307 177
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music
13
344 170
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added
14
334 158
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music
15
319 204
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
16
619 358
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music
17
277 168
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music
18
314 76
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad
19
447 217
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
20
399 154
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul
21
222 169
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues
22
455 231
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B
23
342 155
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
213 180
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
348 155
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music