Bands/Musicians The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years  

Ranker Music
Originally by
109.8k votes 8.3k voters 78.7k views 372 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.

1
1,354 1,552
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Freddie Mercury Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

2
1,187 1,343
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Celine Dion Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

3
1,112 1,643
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Whitney Houston Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

4
1,089 1,632
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

5
1,124 1,046
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
George Michael Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop

6
795 1,212
Adele is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Adele Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music

7
851 959
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Barbra Streisand Adult contemporary music, Show tune, Traditional pop music

8
874 1,525
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Mariah Carey Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

9
868 1,182
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
DJ Terrible added Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

10
939 1,288
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Christina Aguilera Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music

11
720 967
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

12
444 567
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

13
431 605
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

14
347 429
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

15
382 485
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

16
657 1,107
Prince is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

17
283 370
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Michael Strutt added Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
409 557
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Tina Turner Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

19
752 654
Ranker Video
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

20
649 1,032
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Annie Lennox Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

21
652 557
Ranker Video
Peter Lennodo

The Best Gangster Biopics

22
237 197
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

23
330 718
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
DJ Terrible added Beyoncé Knowles Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

24
238 287
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

25
434 659
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Alicia Keys Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

26
227 221
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
George Stripling added Robert Plant Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

27
219 258
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Lionel Richie Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

28
318 582
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Kasir Radojica added Amy Winehouse Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul

Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

29
237 287
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Pat Benatar New Wave, Rock music, Heavy metal

30
455 799
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

31
168 210
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Diana Ross Disco, Pop music, Dance music

32
1,761 2,022
Jackie Evancho is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
bugnutsrunnels added Jackie Evancho Crossover

33
247 371
Bruno Mars is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Bruno Mars Alternative hip hop, Pop music, Rock music

34
210 247
Jon Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Jon Bon Jovi Glam metal, Classic rock, Rock music

35
235 331
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
but chickens double d added Mick Jagger Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
297 465
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

37
196 349
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
thebigE added Debbie Harry Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave

38
145 183
Joe Cocker is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Joe Cocker Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

39
305 378
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
P!nk Hip hop music, Synthpunk, Pop punk

40
172 217
Rod Stewart is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Rod Stewart New Wave, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

41
247 425
Steven Tyler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Steven Tyler Blues-rock, Pop music, Heavy metal

42
161 247
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Coolza added Shakira Urban contemporary, Merengue music, Synthpop

The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

43
165 294
Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
jay-dewberry-backroads added Chris Cornell Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop

44
381 698
Sting is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

45
179 301
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

46
119 145
Tony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
gnicholls added Tony Bennett Pop music, Traditional pop music, Easy listening

47
288 567
Bono is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Bono Rock music, Alternative rock, Post-punk

48
283 429
Shania Twain is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
MChi added Shania Twain Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

49
193 211
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Cohen0816 added Dolly Parton Ballad, Country pop, Pop music

50
340 682
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock