Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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28.6k votes 5k voters 265.6k views 108 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
958 386
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
713 293
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

3
1,106 262
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

4
425 197
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

5
301 219
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
401 161
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

7
406 147
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

8
619 266
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

9
339 178
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

10
405 123
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

11
431 171
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

12
326 154
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

13
334 166
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

14
298 174
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

15
314 199
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

16
594 344
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

17
268 163
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

18
302 73
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

19
431 209
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

20
216 161
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

21
386 151
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

22
442 222
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

23
209 176
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
331 153
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

25
339 150
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music