The Best Gospel Singers and Groups

Over 14.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Gospel Singers and Groups
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Vote up or down for the greatest gospel music artists of all time

Gospel music is one of the oldest forms of music. With its origins being traced back as far as the 17th century, Gospel singers have preached the words of the good book for centuries and are making some of the best gospel and Christian songs of 2018. Gospel singers for a long time had to sing without musical accompaniment outside of clapping and stomping - Black gospel music has a strong tradition of using the human hands and feet as instruments. More recently, these hymns and songs feature the same strong harmonies, but also organs to tambourines to electric guitars. Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, gospel artists became some of the most popular singers in the world. The best gospel singers are wildly popular in the Christian community are closely associated with other Christian singers. Today, within the Christian community, gospel singers are as, if not more popular than Christian rock bands, which is saying a lot.

So, who are the best gospel singers? Any list of gospel artists has to include male gospel singers like Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, BeBe Winans, and Fred Hammond, as well as female Christian singers like CeCe Winans, Yalonda Adams and Shirley Caesar. These gospel singers are considered some of the best in the genre and it's with good reason that they're at or near the top of this poll. The best gospel artists are well represented on this list and with good reason. When you think of Christian singers and gospel artists, you should be able to use this list as a great point of reference.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best gospel singers. If you notice that a gospel singer is missing, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best gospel music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest gospel musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular gospel music bands that you might've heard of.

Most divisive: The Inspirations
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  • Kirk Franklin
    1,888 votes

    Blending contemporary urban sounds with the unmistakable spirit of gospel music, Kirk Franklin has been a trailblazer in the industry for decades. As a choir director, singer, and songwriter, his ability to bridge generational gaps and appeal to diverse audiences is unparalleled. With numerous Grammy Awards under his belt and collaborations with powerhouse artists like Mary J. Blige and Bono, Franklin's contribution to modernizing gospel music without losing its essence is undeniable.

  • CeCe Winans
    1,667 votes

    A shining gem in the storied Winans family, CeCe Winans has made her mark as an extraordinary solo artist in the gospel world. Her angelic voice and heartfelt lyrics have resonated deeply with fans for more than three decades. Besides her impressive collection of Grammy Awards and Dove Awards, Winans' philanthropic efforts further exemplify her commitment to spreading the message of love and faith through music.

  • Yolanda Adams
    1,504 votes

    Yolanda Adams has been a beacon of inspiration for countless listeners with her powerful vocals and unwavering faith. Often referred to as the "Queen of Contemporary Gospel Music," she has captivated audiences worldwide with her moving performances and uplifting messages. Not only has Adams earned numerous awards throughout her career, but she also uses her platform to advocate for education reform and children's health initiatives.

  • Marvin Sapp
    1,548 votes

    As a pastor, singer, and songwriter, Marvin Sapp's spiritual journey has undeniably shaped his soul-stirring music. His emotive vocal delivery combined with his ability to craft deeply personal songs has resonated with fans across generations. Sapp's resilience in the face of adversity serves as a testament to his faith and commitment to sharing hope through his artistry.

  • Fred Hammond
    1,293 votes

    Fred Hammond's distinctive voice and musical versatility have solidified him as a beloved figure in gospel music history. With roots in both traditional gospel choirs and contemporary Christian groups, Hammond's ability to bridge the gap between genres is a testament to his talent and dedication. His work as a singer, songwriter, and producer has not only earned him numerous accolades but also inspired countless up-and-coming artists in the gospel community.

  • Shirley Caesar
    1,299 votes

    Affectionately known as the "First Lady of Gospel Music," Shirley Caesar's illustrious career has spanned over half a century. Her powerful voice and commanding stage presence have made her an enduring icon in the genre. Caesar's unwavering commitment to spreading the gospel through music has earned her countless awards, including multiple Grammy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.