Best Female R&B / Soulful Singers of All Time

Must have a R&B/Soul music background. Includes all eras of the last century into this one.

The Top TenXW

1Aretha FranklinAretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer–songwriter and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L.

The greatest singer of any style, of any era. She did not have the artificial support of electronics to enhance her voice. Her sound is pure heavenly. She is not only the "Queen of Soul", she is the "Queen of Female Singers". (period) end of discussion.

She makes everyone else on this list look like an amateur.

One of the most talented people to ever walk on this planet, Ms Aretha Franklin is definitely a legend.

2Patti LabellePatricia Louise Holt-Edwards better known under the stage name Patti LaBelle, is an American singer, author, actress, and entrepreneur.

Second only to Aretha. She has the voice, and maybe the best at improvising during live performances ever in the world. Classy and timeless. There is no shame in her game.

3Anita Baker

Her style is mostly jazz, therefore, she is not appreciated by the mainstream critics as she should be. Listen to her soulful moans and you will discover feeling the music really sounds like.

4Roberta Flack

She has the purest sound of any female vocalist. She never tries to be anything except a singer. Hearing her songs give me the desire to put my head in her lap and close my eyes. When I need a performance, I see Patti. When I need singing, I listen to Roberta.

V1 Comment
5Minnie Riperton

Her life was cut short, and therefore we cannot fully appreciate her talent. But "Loving You" is all one needs to hear to realize what a true "song-bird" sounds like.

6Gladys Knight

Pure soul! No explanations needed. In the 70's and 80's her live performances were second to none. Gladys is the best example of a "soul sister" the world has ever known.

7Mariah CareyMariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She won 5 Grammys, got her documentary movie "Glitter" and also one of the biggest best-selling women in the music industry. ...read more.

In the 80's Mariah threatened to be the best singer ever. Recently, she has gone more to the pop / hip-hop style, and her talent is lost in the noise of this generation. On stage, her style is just shy of a "peep-show". Listen to her album: "Hero" and you will hear the Mariah the world fell in love with.

8Toni BraxtonToni Michele Braxton was October 7th 1967 in Severn, Maryland the oldest of six siblings.She has sold 67 million records worldwide. She is been named the ''Queen of R&B'' and has one of the most distinctive voices of the late 20th century.

Toni is an absolute Goddess with a deep and sultry voice of fire and ice. Just listen to her live performance of Un-break my Heart at the Arista records anniversart in 1990 something with David Forster on Piano and Mr. Clive Davis the master of musical talent jumping out of his chair to give her a resounding standing ovation with the entire audience and the band. Toni knew she had achieved Purr-fection with her ooh and yeah and blowing kisses at the end. I could listen to it and watch her every rhythmic move of her lithe and sensuous body, flowing hair, deep starry eyes and lips made to be possessed and embraced in eternal love. Does that spell it out? I love Toni Braxton and am sorry for the financial and health problems she has had. She deserved none of it. She is down to earth and warm as she is s ravishing beauty. Her voice is so unique I liken her soulful voice to that of the greatest white soul singer I have ever known, Mr. Michael McDonald. They each have that depth of soul in ...more

She is another singer who could be among the best of all time, but followed the trend of modern music, and lost a bit of her soulfulness. Her album "Toni" is the benchmark that we love to hold her to.

Best singer in the world! Sultry, jazzy, and longing ache her voice. Lowest note by a female pop singer of all time (A2). Vote for Toni the Queen of R&B!

9BeyonceBeyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, is an American singer and actress, who started out in the popular pop/r&b girl group Destiny's Child. They had multiple top 5 hits such as "No, No, No", "Say My Name", "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Survivor", "Independent Women", "Bootylicious", and "Jumpin', Jumpin" from ...read more.
10Alicia KeysAlicia Augello Cook, known by the pseudonym Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress.

We would appreciate her talent more, if she was not so beautiful. Most of the lists she makes are about her beauty and not her music. She is a trained musician and her training in music theory is noticeable in her music. If she can avoid the pitfalls of celebrity life, she might get the recognition she deserves.

The Contenders

11Whitney HoustonWhitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 ...read more.

Whitney captured the world in the 80's. A great voice, and most important, for a decade she sang all the right songs, before surrendering to mood altering substances.

12Mary J Blige
13Amy WinehouseAmy Jade Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz.
14Christina AguileraChristina María Aguilera is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known for songs such as "Beautiful", "Genie In A Bottle", "Fighter", "Hurt", "Dirrty", "Your Body", "Lady Marmalade", "Reflection", and "Candyman".
15Teena Marie
16Diana Ross
BAdd New Item

Recommended Lists

P