Soul The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers  

Ranker Music
5.1k votes 1.1k voters 53.4k views 49 items

List Rules Vote up the top black women soul singers and vocalists.

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
265 93
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
189 64
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
169 56
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

4
174 68
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

5
140 50
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

6
142 52
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

7
116 42
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

8
93 40
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

9
110 57
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

10
87 43
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

11
77 38
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

12
67 31
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

13
79 40
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

14
80 41
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

15
76 42
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

16
70 38
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kasir Radojica added Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

17
69 39
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

18
58 32
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

19
76 47
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

20
63 38
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers

21
54 31
Tammi Terrell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

22
42 21
Mavis Staples is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
MarcNiemann added Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

23
61 38
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

24
78 54
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

25
47 28
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

26
49 34
Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

27
50 35
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

28
38 25
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

29
40 33
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Jazz, Blues

30
47 41
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

31
38 33
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

32
33 29
Deniece Williams is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

33
34 31
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

34
5 1
Big Mama Thornton is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kerrie Sweeney added Rhythm and blues, Texas blues

35
34 32
Angie Stone is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Alternative hip hop, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

36
4 3
Odetta is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kerrie Sweeney added Odetta Blues

37
3 2
Memphis Minnie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kerrie Sweeney added Blues

38
31 33
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

39
59 64
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

40
26 32
Yolanda Adams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Christian music, Pop music

41
46 56
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

42
39 50
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

43
5 12
Lianne La Havas is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Vasilis Evagelatos added Folk music, Soul music

44
25 37
Leona Lewis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

45
30 44
Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Jazz

46
13 23
Bettye LaVette is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
MarcNiemann added Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

47
25 39
Koko Taylor is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Chicago blues, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues

48
11 22
Solange Knowles is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
JoelBaillie added Hip hop music, Neo soul, Dance-pop

49
9 21
Ann Peebles is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
MarcNiemann added Rhythm and blues, Memphis soul, Blues