Music

The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated June 21, 2019 8.7k votes 2.1k voters 135.2k views 52 items

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
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
2
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
3
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
4
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
5
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
6
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
7
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
8
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
9
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
10
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
11
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
12
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
13
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
14
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
15
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
16
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
17
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
18
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
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Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
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Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
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Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
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Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
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Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
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Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers
25
Tammi Terrell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Soul Singers