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.

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
280 101
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

2
178 60
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

3
198 72
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

4
149 54
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

5
155 58
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

6
183 74
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

7
120 47
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

8
102 43
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

9
116 60
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

10
92 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
86 45
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

12
70 33
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

13
83 43
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

14
82 43
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

15
79 43
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

16
74 40
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
73 43
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

18
68 40
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers

19
78 50
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
61 37
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

21
56 34
Tammi Terrell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

22
64 41
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

23
42 23
Mavis Staples is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
MarcNiemann added Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

24
83 59
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

25
50 32
Jill Scott is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Spoken Word Soul, Neo soul, Spoken word

26
54 36
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
53 36
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
42 28
India.Arie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Folk music

29
43 34
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Jazz, Blues

30
40 34
Shirley Bassey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Popular music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

31
36 30
Deniece Williams is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

32
49 44
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

33
7 3
Big Mama Thornton is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kerrie Sweeney added Rhythm and blues, Texas blues

34
36 33
Angie Stone is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Alternative hip hop, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

35
35 32
CeCe Winans is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Hymn, Contemporary worship music

36
65 69
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

37
5 5
Odetta is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kerrie Sweeney added Odetta Blues

38
4 4
Memphis Minnie is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Kerrie Sweeney added Blues

39
32 35
Macy Gray is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

40
0 0
H.E.R. is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
badboychris added H.E.R.

41
29 33
Yolanda Adams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Adult contemporary music, Christian music, Pop music

42
50 59
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

43
41 52
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

44
15 24
Bettye LaVette is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
MarcNiemann added Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

45
14 24
Solange Knowles is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
JoelBaillie added Hip hop music, Neo soul, Dance-pop

46
5 13
Lianne La Havas is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Vasilis Evagelatos added Folk music, Soul music

47
26 39
Leona Lewis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Pop music, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

48
31 46
Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Jazz

49
26 40
Koko Taylor is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
Chicago blues, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues

50
12 24
Ann Peebles is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
MarcNiemann added Rhythm and blues, Memphis soul, Blues