Entertainment The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years  

Ranker Music
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114.3k votes 8.7k voters 81.3k views 402 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.
list ordered by

1
1,452 1,609
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

2
1,176 1,691
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
1,161 1,681
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
1,236 1,420
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

5
837 1,261
Adele is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music

6
1,157 1,091
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop

7
883 1,010
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music

8
929 1,567
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

9
968 1,343
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music

10
882 1,254
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
DJ Terrible added Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

11
746 1,005
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

12
386 451
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

13
492 597
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

14
460 625
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
398 508
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

16
442 577
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

17
682 1,130
Prince is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

18
300 391
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Michael Strutt added Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

19
258 216
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

20
349 762
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
DJ Terrible added Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

21
660 1,048
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

22
752 677
Ranker Video
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

23
253 301
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

24
652 579
Ranker Video
Peter Lennodo

25
452 690
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

26
238 268
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
George Stripling added Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

27
332 642
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Kasir Radojica added Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul

28
230 297
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

29
474 867
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

30
233 283
Jon Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Glam metal, Classic rock, Rock music

31
247 346
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added New Wave, Rock music, Heavy metal

32
1,826 2,038
Jackie Evancho is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
bugnutsrunnels added Crossover

33
305 483
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

34
266 398
Bruno Mars is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Alternative hip hop, Pop music, Rock music

35
174 233
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Disco, Pop music, Dance music

36
247 344
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

37
201 362
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
thebigE added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave

38
152 193
Joe Cocker is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

39
256 439
Steven Tyler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Blues-rock, Pop music, Heavy metal

40
319 389
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Synthpunk, Pop punk

41
388 711
Sting is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

42
175 308
Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
jay-dewberry-backroads added Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop

43
177 228
Rod Stewart is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added New Wave, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

44
187 315
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

45
172 262
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Urban contemporary, Merengue music, Synthpop

46
196 222
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Ballad, Country pop, Pop music

47
296 581
Bono is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Rock music, Alternative rock, Post-punk

48
363 594
Luther Vandross is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B

49
178 265
Ed Sheeran is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Hip hop music, Indie, Pop music

50
127 157
Tony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
gnicholls added Pop music, Traditional pop music, Easy listening