Music

The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years  

Ranker Music
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159.3k votes 12.2k voters 99.1k views 453 items

List Rules Only singers who have made new music since the late-'80s. Vote on their vocal ability, regardless of the genre.

One of the most debated topics in music is who are the greatest singers of the past 30 years. Whether you're a huge Whitney Houston fan, or you've never missed one of Mariah Carey's live Christmas concerts, the best modern singers of the last 30 years are some of the greatest talents the world has ever seen. From Michael Jackson's perfect performances, to Freddie Mercury's incredible vocal range, music fans have gathered a list of the best singers of the last 30 years for you to rank.   

Who's one of the best singers of the past 30 years? For many, Madonna tops the list. When Madge arrived on the scene in the early '80s, she completely rocked the world of pop music with her third single, "Holiday," and blew everyone away. She followed that up with hit classics like "Lucky Star," "Like a Virgin," and "Material Girl," and the rest was history. Although his time on earth was short, Kurt Cobain revolutionized the grunge music scene with his gravely vocals and unruly guitar sounds. Cobain's unique combination of singing and screaming earned him a spot among the best on this list.  

Other favorite singers on this list include Celine Dion, Prince, Sting, Billy Corgan, and many others. Vote up the best singers of the past 30 years below, and be sure to add any you feel belong in the discussion for the great singers of the past 30 years.
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list ordered by
1
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly
2
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B
3
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music
4
Adele is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music
5
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music
6
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
7
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B
8
Luciano Pavarotti is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
MartyMJJ777 added Opera
9
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music
10
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music
11
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music
12
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop
13
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock
14
Prince is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave
15
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music
16
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
DJ Terrible added Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music
17
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock
18
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
DJ Terrible added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music
19
Leontyne Price is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
20
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues
21
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Michael Strutt added Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music
22
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music
23
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music
24
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
25
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana