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
811 244
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
725 216
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
716 211
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
540 163
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
838 163
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
517 157
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
492 155
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
598 151
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
395 108
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
317 150
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
253 127
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
233 98
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
289 113
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
302 104
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
286 97
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 99
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
235 88
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
188 81
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
228 73
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
283 102
Luther Vandross is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B

21
259 110
Prince is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

22
274 105
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
223 77
Gladys Knight & the Pips is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music

24
287 114
Barry White is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

25
234 86
The Isley Brothers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

26
230 84
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

27
145 100
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
192 72
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
195 64
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
155 60
Sly & the Family Stone is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Zaliste added Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

31
164 38
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

32
203 67
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
133 54
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
136 61
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
253 106
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
113 64
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
136 68
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
142 57
Commodores is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

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

40
185 91
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time

41
103 41
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
147 60
Percy Sledge is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music

43
144 56
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 25
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
110 53
The Chi-Lites is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Zaliste added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

46
107 52
The Miracles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Disco, Rhythm and blues

47
153 86
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
145 66
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

49
108 42
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 23
Mary Wells is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time
Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues