Music

The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated September 18, 2019 216.7k votes 16.6k voters 116.4k views 454 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
Luciano Pavarotti is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
MartyMJJ777 added Opera
2
Megan Marie Hart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hannah Rebora added Opera, Art Song, Classical
3
Leontyne Price is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
4
Joan Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
5
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly
6
Montserrat Caballé... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
7
Marilyn Horne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
8
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B
9
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music
10
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
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
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music
13
Adele is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop, R&B, Soul
14
Renata Scotto is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
15
Tony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
gnicholls added Pop music, Traditional pop music, Easy listening
16
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop, Contemporary R&B
17
Prince is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave
18
Mario Lanza is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Opera
19
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music
20
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
DJ Terrible added R&B, Pop, Hip hop
21
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock
22
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music
23
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Ballad, Country pop, Pop music
24
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music
25
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock