singers The Greatest Black Female Singers  

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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.

list ordered by

1
364 143
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
292 103
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

3
403 127
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
126 78
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
210 66
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
155 79
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Nina Simone Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
128 57
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Billie Holiday Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

8
113 66
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Shirley Bassey Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

9
140 77
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Roberta Flack Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

10
117 59
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Chaka Khan Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

11
117 72
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dinah Washington Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

12
134 55
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Gladys Knight Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

13
127 74
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Mahalia Jackson Gospel music

14
151 62
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Diana Ross Disco, Pop music, Dance music

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15
130 44
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Etta James Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

16
101 51
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Sade Adu

17
122 66
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Donna Summer New Wave, Disco, Pop music

18
221 129
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Beyoncé Knowles Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

19
123 46
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Lauryn Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

20
147 78
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Alicia Keys Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

21
97 43
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Erykah Badu Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

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22
117 51
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Toni Braxton Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

23
85 59
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Dionne Warwick Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

24
78 48
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Natalie Cole Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

25
116 57
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mary J. Blige Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

26
65 31
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gloria Gaynor Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Disco

27
53 9
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Patti LaBelle Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

28
156 98
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Mariah Carey Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

The Best Female Rock Singers

29
91 51
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Janet Jackson Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

30
79 28
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Anita Baker Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

31
111 57
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Aaliyah Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

32
66 30
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Minnie Riperton Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

33
22 2
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Kelly Rowland Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

34
53 7
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tom Islava added Jennifer Hudson Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

35
124 75
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jason Martin added Rihanna Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

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36
84 40
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Tracy Chapman Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

37
58 38
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Macy Gray Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

38
58 30
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
India.Arie Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

39
56 33
Monica is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Monica Hip hop music, Pop music, Folk music

40
59 31
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Brandy Norwood Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

41
14 1
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Fantasia Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

42
52 36
Celia Cruz is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Celia Cruz Salsa, Salsa music, Bolero

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43
64 24
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jill Scott Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

44
44 36
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Bessie Smith Jazz, Blues

45
19 7
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Coolza added Missy Elliott Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

46
48 27
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
CeCe Winans Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

47
44 31
Faith Evans is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Faith Evans Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

48
48 36
Ashanti is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Ashanti Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

49
38 27
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added Eartha Kitt Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz

50
46 17
Leona Lewis is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
bigcraig added Leona Lewis Pop music, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B