Best Female Singers of the '60s

Individual female artists or all female groups of the 60's. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Dusty Springfield
To me she was a sexy sultry Goddess who invented herself in the 60's, she made it look easy... She is my favorite of all time female singer. She sang many of Burt Bacharach's song better than Dionne Warwick. I'm a Dionne fan. But to me Dusty had it all from the Phrasing to her look with the sultry eyes, and her sexy way of moving in the 60's. She was a perfectionist to her detriment, unfortunately. I even loved her speaking voice. She had her difficult times in the 70's to 89, but had a great comeback with the Pet Shop Boys. They knew about Dusty's voice and they wanted it on their record. She succumbed to breast Cancer in 1999. She left us way too soon. Gosh she is missed. I hope now she can see how much she was appreciated and loved.
The greatest soul voice Britain ever produced, classy song choices and the kindest sweetest nature makes her the very best of the pile. She was considered 'difficlt' in the studiobecause she was a perfectionist and wanted the best from herself and to make the sounds on vinyl that she heard in her head. But she wasn't a trained musician so it was hard to translate what she wanted. Cue lots of crashing crockery! But we loved her!
Dusty Springfield was one of the most phenomenal singers of all time, not just of the 1960s. I don't think there's a Dusty song that I dislike. Even though she's been gone for almost 13 years, she's still very much alive to her amazingly dedicated fan community and, many of us believe she shows us her "thanks" on a regular basis. I don't think this can be said about anyone else on the list.
[Newest]Best Female singer of all time
More comments about Dusty Springfield

2Shirley Bassey
Shirley had several #1's in the 60's and what's most important is that after 55 years in Show Business, her voice is still as powerful as ever. Her latest CD, 'Get The Party Started' is a HIT, on the DANCE CLUB CIRCUIT. This latest hit is 50 years after her first chart hit, 'As I Love You' which was released in 1958.
intelligent & great vocalist voice & phrasing!
Shirley was phenomenal artist. Her LIVE singing was real magic of voice - powerful, beautiful, deep and very touching. Don't you remember her legendary superhit "Goldfinger" from James Bond movie? Amazing

Irina2932


3Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick simply has the most magical voice. Her gift for melody is unmatched. Walk on By, Say a Little Prayer, Make it Easy on Yourself, Don't Make Me OVer, Any who had a Heart, You'll Never Get to Heaven if you Break my Heart, Promises Promises, Do you know the way to San Jose? , Theme from Valley of the Dolls, This Girl is in love, I'll never Fall in love again and MANY other more Hidden Gems are AMAZING!
Her Majesty of Melisma. About 60 charted hits and five grammys! Cousin Whitney learned from her but has not had her staying power due to a poor marriage choice and too many addictions. Dionne is still on the road and recording 50 years after her start! Her technique is superb (music Doctorate)and NO ONE can handle the treacherous key changes and time signature shifts of the Bacharach/David songbook as can this classy, cool, sophisticated lady!
You just simply need to hear her 60 s recording and no more guessing. Simply the best!
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Sweet voice. You felt her voice

4Janis Joplin
How is she not number one?
She sang with her heart instead of her mind like the musicians that we see in todays world. Her lyrics had a message and that message is still being heard and appreciated today.
Rocks my elephant socks. Which have elephants on them. They are pink and fuzzy. I wear them on my arms and as a scarf. But never on my feet or else they will smell. And who wants smell socks? Not me.
She had the greatest voice ever
No one else will never ever have a voice like that
She was, and still is the best singer out their
She will always be number one
She sang from the heart with meaning
She sang strong
We love you Janis
[Newest]The greatest singer ever.

5Tina Turner
She's a great singer at least she is number 5 I think we all should appreciate what Tina Turner has sung to us. She has great songs that have great Energy! You name the song I bet you'll like it not at least one of Tina's song is to make you smile.
Great Songs and Energy!!!Name the Songs.
Are you kidding? Check out her body of work. Ane her legs. At least number three.
[Newest]Tina turners voice is awesome

6Lesley Gore
She had the best songs in the 60's - It's My Party, Judy's Turn to Cry and You Don't Own Me.
Lesley Gore was and is incredible. Her voice is beautiful and the way she sings gives you chills.
Come on guys! Lesley had the best songs from the 60s! Her voice was so amazing and soulful! She deserves to be much higher on the list, so please vote for Lesley!
[Newest]Brilliant! What more can I say. She was and is beautiful, just like her voice and songs. She's the best!

7Aretha Franklin
She should be well up there. As the first Lady of Soul she deserves much better. She has always been a favourite of mine!
What can you say? She always leaves me speechless, my dream lead singer. As a musician, singer she is way way above position 6 on this vote, she should be at number 1.
Love her! X
She is an inspirational singer who's songs reflect people in good ways and also tell people how to be the best that they can be... Love her!
[Newest]Aretha could - and still can - sing anything from blues, jazz, gospel, soul and straightforward pop, and make it sound better than anyone else could.

8Cilla Black
Cilla has one of the most underrated and most importantly; ignored voices in the music industry due to her later work. Her looks in the 60s were unconventional and her voice was deep and dark like treacle, soulful and astounding, and her back catalogue and production top notch, better than many above her on this list, and certainly more hits. Brian Epstein adored her, comparing her voice with edif Piaf and garland, john Lennon praised and recommended her to many, she appeared on Wed Sullivan doing 5 performances, Carson asked her back, she chickened out of america because she was homesick, she lost it somewhere, but look at her back then and one can only imagine how different the outcome could have been.
People forget Cilla was actually the biggest selling British female recording star of the 60s. Not surprising because she had such a wonderful, powerful, heart-felt voice, a voice that could belt out a song with such emotional and feeling. On top of that she was a real star, and she deserves so much more credit and recognition than she gets. She can still belt out a good tune today! Her renditions of You're My World and Anyone Who Had a Heart are truly two of the greatest recordings ever made, and her hundreds of other pieces are just as brilliant.
Cilla knew how to feel a song and before the nose job could belt it out with the best of them
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The best singer from the 1960s in my opinion, of course there are many singers with better voices around. What cilla had was power in her loud voice and a vulnerability and emotion in the lower register.

9Petula Clark
In 1942 British tank crews pasted the picture of an adorable 10 year old English blonde on the hulls of their tanks for good luck then stopped the Nazis cold in their tracks at ElAlamein. The petite, adorabble English blonde with the big eyes would go on to become the most commercially successful female artist in British recording history and have a string of 14 consecutive US Top 40 hits. No other foreign born female has ever come close. The adorable English blonde... Petula Clark.
She has half a dozen songs that stack up well against many of the artists ranked above her! Hard to compare the early vs. Late 1960s singers, very different styles for the different periods.
Unique phrasing, crystal clear voice, amazing diction and breath control
[newest]
Still listen all the time!

10Lulu
She was the better singer in her time and I love her
Her voice got SOUL!

The Contenders

11The Supremes
The Supremes were a wonderful group. Diana Ross had a beautiful small and subtle vocal. But her delivery was always affective. Her interpretation in the music had set a standard. Also Mary Wilson and Florence put in beautiful harmonies. These three ladies were meant to be in a group together. The amount of #1's they had, proves how important they are to the 1960's decade alone.
My favorite all time female group; they harmonized beautifully. Diana, while some people claim she has a weak voice, I don't see it that way. Her voice is so beautiful and full of emotion; I leave the planet when I hear her sing. She should be #1; she should have received grammys and a lot of her later stuff is excellent: "Force Behind the Power", "Every Day's A New Day", "Red Hot Rhythm and Blues", "Take Me Higher" are excellent albums; she didn't get the promotion from RCA she should have; plus she got a bad rap from some of the black community for sounding too white?
The Supremes got the best of Motown and they gave the best performances back. Diana had the versatility to pull off HDH material and give it an extra boost of energy.

12Etta James
'At last' must be up there with the best.
Just the best. At Last is one of my all time favourite songs.

13Lata Mangeshkar
No matter in which a song is sung and if it is beautiful music lovers like to listen to it. If music lovers can enjoy English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, Arabic and other songs without even understanding a word of what is being sung (but enjoy the BEAT) then why is it that Indian singers are not brought into the competition?
Music lovers also listen to music that is exposed to them and western forums will mostly attract Western music lovers. As such, Indian singers don't stand any chance.
A look at Lata Mangeshkar's site or that of Asha Bhosle, will enlighten music lovers by the FACT that these singers sung over 25 000 songs each, in about 10 different languages and each song as beautiful as the other.
So, how can a western singer, having sung 200 songs in one language be considered the best female singer?
Forums like these should be advertised on Indian websites as well in order to allow Indian Music lovers to vote as well.
No one can match her.
One of the best. Better than the rest of this list.

14Patsy Cline
I love Patsy Cline! She had grace and style like no other and her delivery was magical and natural. You could feel her passion in whatever she sang and always get her audience involved. There was a true tragedy in losing her so early in life and career. She was fantastic!
Just an amazing voice, had she lived a lot of other female singers would not have got into the charts.
Patsy had something unique in her voice that I have never heard since.

15Mama Cass Elliot
Powerful singer who didn't look or sound like anyone else. With the Mamas & the Papas, she helped to create some of the best vocal harmonies in all of pop/rock music.

Blue_Devereaux

God she was amazing!
The best backing voice ever. so powerful

16Connie Francis
Connie Francis could sing songs other female singers would not have attempted, such as Siboney. The range and V8 power of that voice was incredible. She could not only hit notes that others would have avoided, but she could sustain them. She was also modest enough to laugh at some of the rubbish she recorded because it was popular then, but by the mid 60s, ironically as her popularity began to wane, her voice could and did tackle any material with embarrassing ease. Others just could not compete with her versatility and breath-taking power.
Connie Francis is without question one of the top female singers of all times. Many consider her the best. She still has a large, loyal following and her recordings are remembered with great affection. A petite lady with a powerful yet sweet and tremenously melodic voice, she has the gift to bring great emotion to her songs. Sadly, many of her popular hit recordings are never heard on many "oldies" radio stations. You are loved, Connie!
Connie Francis is the best female singer ever. She sings any genre of music, pop, rock n roll, country, jazz, etc. Better than anyone and in 12 languages! Connie has always had style, class, personality, talent, and beauty and is the image of elegance and femininity. She is also a great actress and is a great live performer.
[Newest]The most versatile singer

17Brenda Lee
String of 10 consecutive top 10 hits that was unrivaled until Madonna came along in the 80's. Youngest female to have 2 consecutive #1's on the chart. 12 top 10 hits plus one Christmas classic in a 3 year span... All before she turned 18. She relied on pure talent with no gimmicks.
Little Miss Dynamite with her powerful voice definitely influenced a generation of pop/country female singers. Favorite cuts: Is It True & That's All I gotta Do
Dynamic stage performer. Unmatched lyrical interpretation of songs. John Lennon called her the greatest female singer of her generation.
[Newest]Dynamic voice. No one like her.

18Lorraine Ellison
Love this song my favourite of all time

19Jeannie C. Riley

20Grace Slick
Go Ask Alice! Laugh out loud, Fill Your Head!

Hop off the acid Grace!
One of the best singer's of all time's I love her song go ask Alice & hop off the acid grace
An extremely powerful female voice!
[Newest]One of my biggest inspirations of all time to become a musician myself.

21Barbra Streisand
Barbra deserves to be in the top 3 female singers of ALL time, so the fact that she's 21 on this particular list is somewhat ridiculous. The only person on this list who can possibly beat her is Aretha. I will agree that there are some fantastic voices here (Dionne, Dusty, Gladys, Tina, Shirley, Etta etc). Barbra has an amazing technique and is a great vocal musician.
Never have I heard or seen a talent like her. As well as being a great actress, her singing voice is the stuff of legend. Not only does she possess a wide range in tone & sound! She has the ability to fit in to any style of music and express a very convincing emotion.
Without a doubt! Barbra Streisand is... The Best of the best! She away has been my favorite female vocalist of the 60's. But as this list shows... Their are so... Many other worthy candidates.
[Newest]She is extremely talented and hard working

22Gladys Knight
Great voice. Effortless, yet controlled.
Ms. Knight has to be one of the unsung heroes. Her talent is unsurpassed, vocal range and blend incredible and a style held only by Gladys.
One of motowns best vocal artists a true professional of the first order

23Mary Wells
Mary Wells is the definitive Motown singer with songs like My Guy and The One who Really loves You. What a sweetheart! Tommy Weiss
Love Mary wells I wish I could see her perform on a oldies show. Love her. (my guy) that was my number 1 song number 1'can sing it better then her. Love you Mary Wells God Bless.
I love Mary Wells. Such a sweet and vulnerable voice; she's one of my favorites.

24Linda Jones
Linda Jones the best soul female singer besides Aretha, but died before her time. Her deep gospel roots, and gut wrenching sound made even the most callous man shed a tear. She sang exhausting beyond the last bit of breath in her small body, whose voice was also strong, powerful, and piercing.

25Joan Baez
Diamonds and Rust ("Where are you calling from? A booth in the Midwest. ") and There But for Fortune (And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why... ). Great lyrics, guitar work and a wonderfully clear, perfectly pitched voice.
The most versatile voice. She did it all from rock to romance to folk and country and from protest to sacred songs. She always gave her all to whatever was asked. And - she's still doing it. Touring Europe and selling out the places she appears.
Her voice is so unmistakable and she is such an Icon and her songs have stood the test of time, they wouldn't be outta place in the music world of today in fact she better than some of the artist of today!

26Marianne Faithful
Marianne Faithful. Revisit and listen to her early songs you might just be amazed of what an incredible voice she had as her early folk songs are well worth a listen. Its a pity being dismissed as just the girlfriend of Mick Jagger. In Keith Richards new book Life he credits her with helping write some of the Stones earlier songs. Sorry to say though her very beautiful sounding voice changed so much after her suicide attempt and years of hard drugs and smoking left her voice incredibly different from As Tears go by.

27Jackie DeShannon
Her fantastic pre-Searchers recording of Needles N Pins is a soulful standout. All subsequent versions are weak by comparison.

28Joni Mitchell
Joni painted pictures with her lyrics so vivid that I still see the "sun come in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses". She is genius when it comes to eliciting emotional connection.
Beautiful music and incredibly influential. Can't get enough.

29Diana Ross
I can't believe she's only rated #29? In my book, she's alway's been and always will be #1. The American music listeners can be so shallow and stupid. '

Bruce Marso

30Sandy Denny
Petula eighty this year and still going strong at this very moment New York going mad for her never done well in england don't expest her to get far in this poll but the rest of the world love her and so do I the best she always was and always will be.
She sang with Led Zeppelin in "The Battle of Evermore" RIP Sandy
Check her out on YouTube. Much missed RIP Sandy

31Darlene Love
The most underrated voice of all time. She blows the roof off with Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). And lets not forget her uncredited #1 hit He's A Rebel and He Sure The Boy I Love. You may also know her from Father of the Bride featuring her song Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry. One of the greatest.
This lady should be on top of the list, not where she is here. She is probably the most unappreciated singer of that period. The bio film about her and other backup singers just copped an Academy Award (2014)...20 Feet From Stardom.

32Linda Ronstadt
Fantastic voice could sing anything including opera, kicking rock and roll, 40s ballads country, to name a few styles she excelled at
Great voice. Loved her growing up, and ever since
My favorite. She could do it all, folk, pop, country, big band and light opera. So sad to hear about her illness and the loss of that amazing voice.

33Judith Durham
She has a voice which is surpassed by few if any but she was an Aussie which may have made her less likely to be ranked among the best
Judith is by far the best female voice of the sixties.
Not one of the afore mentioned could match the amazing voice of Judith durham. she stands alone
[Newest]I never get tired of listening to her voice. She is without doubt one of the best female voices of all time.

34Helen Shapiro
FANTASTIC VOCALIST OF HER TIME.
Fantastic singer of the 60s
Great singer great times
[Newest]A truly beautiful voice - so exciting

35Mary Hopkin
Given an international platform by Paul McCartney, she had (still has! ) a voice a pure as honey.
She had the voice of an angel and looked like angel
True sound of pleasant memories of the 60's
Those really were the days.

36Judy Collins
Demonstrative beauty of sound and intent, music beyond just popular sales. A flower child, an idealist in a contemporary culture of rage and despair.

37Ronnie Spector
Love to here her voice wish she would team up again!

38Clodagh Rodgers
Clodagh Rodgers possessed a powerhouse voice and with her emergence into the top of the charts in 1969 with excellent pop gems written by Kenny Young, she really should be better remembered. She constantly changed her image, both fashion-wise and musically, and after the hits had dried up, she was an accomplished cabaret and concert artist with arrangements to match. As well as these accomplishments, she was attractive with million dollar legs and a pretty good actress too!
Very good singer shame those day have gone.
Why has nobody remembered this excellent singer

39Vera Lynn

40Sandie Shaw
Such a talent who has received little praise since she first appeared on the scene some 48 years ago. Well known now to have cowritten much of her own material along with her primary song writer Chris Andrews during the peak of her career in the 1960's. Something which few and far between of her rivals could ever be credited for back in the day. A beautiful lady with a beautiful voice to match. Girl Don't Come, Message Understood and Nothing Comes Easy for me are among her finest work.
Sandie was the greatest artiste that Britain ever produced and one of the very best in the world. She recorded in five different languishes and was the first Uk act to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Brilliant just Brilliant.
To me Sandie Shaw was just brilliant, her voice and that look. She was a great beauty.

41Wanda Jackson
A wild woman from the fifties, infact some might say crazy but she certainly made people stop and listen and could hold her own with the male singers of the day.

42Beverly Bivens
As much as I love Linda Ronstadt, Bivens' was superior to all of the others on this list. She created the San Franscisco sound.
Bev's voice was better than any other singer.

And she must have some magic that adds soul her songs!

I would like to hear super professional experts comment on We Five's Bevins -comparing her singing to anyone in last 100 years.

43Merrilee Rush

44Evie Sands

45Skeeter Davis
The end of the world, is the most beautiful song, part girl part young woman...
I loved every song she sang

46Maggie Bell
Queen of the night

47Kathy Kirby
KK was the most underrated singer of all time
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS TO LOOK AT AND LOVELY TO LISTEN TO - WHAT A VOICE AND WHAT A FIGURE!

48Erma Franklin

49Anita Baker

50Janis Ian
Not a lot of music from this talented singer, but what she produced was terrific.

51Michelle Phillips
Time magazine said she had the "purest soprano in popdom." Her voice combined with Cass Elliot made the Mamas & the Papas superstars. She also co-wrote "California Dreamin'."

52P. Susheela

53Thelma Houston

54Cass Elliot

55Laura Nyro
Once you've heard Laura Nyro sing her own songs (that made mega hits for many other singers/groups) or cover someone else's songs you will never be the same. You will wonder how such a talent could remain relatively unknown. She remains the most astonishing, passionate, creative, totally original vocal talent and singer/songwriter of all time. It's a shame so many people have never heard this American treasure's music. She may just change your life. For starters check out Eli and the 13th Confession. You'll be glad you did.
Unbelievable talent! She plays her own keyboards and sings all the vocals. Four part harmonies with perfectly matched vibrato and expression. Listen to Poverty Train, her ode to cocaine addiction. Arguably her best work - which remains a hidden Jewel to this day.

56Anne Murray
One of the best ever

57Kitty Kallen

58Merry Clayton

59Linda Scott
Lovely voice, one of the best.

60Angela Bofill
With so many hits, she should be a hall of famer. A true jazz singer.

61Vikki Carr
According to Dean Martin "the best girl singer in the business". How can such a great singer have been ignored?

62Ella Fitzgerald
Cannot understand why she hasn't been mentioned previously. She was the greatest.

63Kay Starr
If she was not one of the Best, her singing career would never have lasted for so many generations.

64Doris Day
I don't need to say any thing about Doris. It's all been said before.
One of the Icons of her time.

65Roberta Flack
The first time ever I saw your face

66Joni James

67The Shirelles

68Karen Carpenter
Angelic Alto voice, which had calming and inspirational qualities. She left us too soon because God needed such a voice to lead his choir. She was nothing short of wonderful.
How can Karen be # 39. One of the absolutely greatest voices of all time
The best of all times...never equalled what a voice.
[Newest]The sweetest voice this side of Heaven and now in Heaven

69Carole King
The greatest lyrist of all time. She not only produced her own hits but wrote music for other singers that produced top hits.

70Nancy Sinatra
Maybe not in the same league, vocally, as her Dad, but Nancy make some great pop records in the 60s and 70s and sang them with a beautiful, pure voice, which was/is easy on the ear. Her back catalogue is very impressive back catalogue is something I go back to time and time again.
She is the best as person singer and just being so gorgeous and very sexy women I think she should be in the top ten
Some really out there material recorded Lightning girl summer wine great lyrics

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This list was created 7 years, 150 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 5 times and has been blogged about 2 times.

Updated Saturday, November 22, 2014


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