Singers The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers  

Ranker Music
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List Rules Vote up the top black women soul singers and vocalists of yesterday and today.

Their songs are iconic. Their voices are unforgettable. These are the greatest black female soul singers of all time, as ranked by music lovers like you. Although these women all specialize in soul, their individual musical styles remain unique. Some famous black female soul singers sing the blues while other top black woman soul singers infuse gospel into their heartfelt songs. Many of the best black female soul singers have written chart-topping hit singles, and can be considered some of the greatest female singers ever.

What artists will you find on this list of the best black female soul singers? Aretha Franklin is known as the Queen of Soul. “Respect," “Think,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” are just a few of the classic numbers that helped her earn her royal nickname. Etta James is another great singer who injects soul into her biggest songs. But the genre isn't a thing of the past – take Erykah Badu, one of the central artists of the neo-soul revival in the 1990s. Or Queen Bey herself, who blends soul sounds into her pop smashes. Other notable artists you'll see here include Nina Simone, Natalie Cole, and Chaka Khan.

Which black female soul singer do you think is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them to the top of the list, and please add any musicians that are missing.

list ordered by

1
312 108
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
215 75
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

3
192 63
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

4
173 62
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

5
204 79
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

6
166 58
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

7
117 43
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

8
132 48
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

9
124 60
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

10
98 46
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

11
75 33
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

12
93 43
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

13
86 43
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

14
91 43
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
79 40
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kasir Radojica added Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

16
66 37
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

17
78 44
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

18
74 41
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers

19
71 42
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

20
83 52
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

21
47 23
Mavis Staples is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
MarcNiemann added Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

22
59 34
Tammi Terrell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

23
88 61
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

24
57 36
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

25
52 32
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word