Entertainment The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years  

Ranker Music
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115.4k votes 8.8k voters 82k 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
1,477 1,618
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

2
1,189 1,705
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
1,180 1,692
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
1,245 1,437
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
847 1,274
Adele is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music

6
1,165 1,103
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop

7
889 1,019
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
941 1,579
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
972 1,359
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
888 1,273
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
397 455
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
506 599
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

13
753 1,010
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

14
471 630
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
407 513
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
450 582
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
307 396
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Michael Strutt added Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
687 1,131
Prince is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

19
265 219
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
357 772
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
665 1,050
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
259 303
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

23
752 681
Ranker Video
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

24
455 693
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
652 584
Ranker Video
Peter Lennodo

26
241 269
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
336 649
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
234 304
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
481 872
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
239 291
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
308 487
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

32
251 353
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added New Wave, Rock music, Heavy metal

33
1,830 2,040
Jackie Evancho is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
bugnutsrunnels added Crossover

34
267 403
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
177 235
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
251 346
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
259 442
Steven Tyler is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Blues-rock, Pop music, Heavy metal

38
202 365
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
thebigE added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave

39
153 195
Joe Cocker is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

40
391 712
Sting is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

41
177 309
Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
jay-dewberry-backroads added Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop

42
320 394
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Synthpunk, Pop punk

43
179 230
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
189 317
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
174 270
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
198 224
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
297 584
Bono is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Rock music, Alternative rock, Post-punk

48
365 595
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
126 106
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

50
351 703
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock