Soul The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time  

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List Rules Only soul singers and groups. If an artist is known for their brand of soul music, then they can be added.

Combining elements of jazz, R&B, and traditional gospel music, soul is a genre that became popular in the 1950s and hasn't looked back since. Though there have been periods where soul has thrived more so than others, the best soul singers are widely regarded as some of the most popular figures in music history. In fact, soul singers are considered by many to be the backbone of the modern music movement. Though it may not seem obvious on the surface, soul music came from influential labels like Stax, Motown, and Atlantic Records, all of which played an important role in shaping the music business. That aside, the best soul singers have dominated the charts and their importance has spanned across multiple generations and has led to multiple soul music subgenres. No matter how you slice it, soul music artists are widely important and their rollicking, soulful songs are part of the great American songbook.

So, who are the best soul singers? Any list of soul music artists has to include names like Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Al Green, James Brown and Marvin Gaye. These soul singers are just a tip of the iceberg as there are so many amazing soul music artists that it's impossible to just name a few. Their influence can't be stated enough and even today, their songs are radio staples and some the easiest identifiable songs in music history.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best soul singers of all time. If you like soul music and know soul music artists, then feel free to cast your vote on this list. If you think someone is missing, feel free to add them to the list.This list answers the questions "who are the best soul music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest soul music 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 soul music bands that you might've heard of.
list ordered by

1
831 253
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music

2
741 221
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

3
739 213
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

4
556 171
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

5
850 167
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

6
524 158
Al Green is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

7
505 156
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

8
611 152
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

9
400 110
The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

10
323 154
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

11
255 129
Wilson Pickett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Southern soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

12
239 101
Jackie Wilson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

13
291 119
Smokey Robinson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

14
309 107
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

15
291 98
Curtis Mayfield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Psychedelic soul, Chicago soul, Rhythm and blues

16
251 102
Bill Withers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Smooth soul, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

17
239 89
Four Tops is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music

18
191 82
Sam & Dave is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Southern soul, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

19
231 74
Donny Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
crmflava added Blues-rock, Pop music, Chicago soul

20
267 113
Prince is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
285 104
Luther Vandross is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B

22
275 106
Earth, Wind & Fire is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Disco, Rock music, Black metal

23
294 116
Barry White is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

24
225 78
Gladys Knight & the Pips is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music

25
239 88
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

26
235 87
The Isley Brothers is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

27
147 102
Ike & Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

28
195 73
Ben E. King is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

29
198 65
The O'Jays is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Philadelphia soul, Disco, Quiet storm

30
170 39
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

31
156 61
Sly & the Family Stone is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Zaliste added Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

32
211 68
Teddy Pendergrass is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Jazz, Soul music

33
137 55
Bobby Womack is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Vvvvvvv added Southern soul, Doo-wop, Soul blues

34
138 62
David Ruffin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
GarlandC.KingJr. added Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

35
258 108
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

36
116 65
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

37
137 69
The Spinners is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Smooth soul, Philadelphia soul, Pop music

38
143 60
The Stylistics is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Zaliste added Rhythm and blues, Soul music

39
142 59
Commodores is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

40
188 92
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time

41
107 43
The Jackson 5 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Bubblegum pop, Motown Sound, Disco

42
150 61
Percy Sledge is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music

43
147 57
Roberta Flack is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

44
77 26
The Drifters is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

45
107 52
The Miracles is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Disco, Rhythm and blues

46
110 54
The Chi-Lites is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Zaliste added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

47
154 87
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

48
147 67
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

49
109 43
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Girl group, Doo-wop, Psychedelic soul

50
66 25
Mary Wells is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues