Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Singers  

Ranker Music
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27.6k votes 4.8k voters 256.1k views 109 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
919 374
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
1,070 255
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

3
691 281
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

4
389 151
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

5
409 186
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
609 257
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

7
290 207
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Jdoggy added Cool jazz, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

8
394 117
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

9
398 141
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

10
292 168
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Gospel music

11
330 173
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

12
416 168
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

13
317 146
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

14
325 158
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
malmrphy added

15
259 158
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

16
215 153
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

17
296 66
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

18
308 192
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

19
571 334
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

20
419 200
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

21
370 144
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

22
427 211
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

23
321 145
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
204 118
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

25
207 168
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Singers
Kasir Radojica added Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music