Greatest Motown Singers

The Top TenXW

1Michael Jackson

I love Michael. He was very talented. He was gone to soon. My favorite song by him is I Want You Back. He deserves to be number one. YOU GO BOY!

He was the one who gave Motown longevity and catapult the label to legendary status. Michael along with Bob Marley and Elvis are among the most iconic figures of the 20th century.

He's great! I wish I could have seen him in concert, he has a great musical talent and voice! My favorite song by him was "thriller. " I have also enjoyed his moon walk. He deserve's to be number one! Thank you...

I think michael jackson is the most wonderful singer ever

V11 Comments
2Gladys Knight

Berry Gordy should have given more attention to her! What a beautiful woman with a tremendous voice and passion for her talent!

After Aretha, Gladys stands alone. Every song she sang came from way down in a place, where unlike many could not only go, but stay!

If God needed a voice to represent the world it would be Gladys Knight

The Empress of Soul

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3Marvin Gaye

I am only 16 years old, have listened to many old Motown singers, they have all had a hit or two that caught my attention. Te first time I heard Marvin's voice, I was instantly hooked. It is hard to explain in words. In a way he had a simple voice, but it has a certain sound to it that makes people listen. I can hear the struggles in his voice. You can't just listen to " Let's Get it On", "What's going on", and "sexual healing". While those songs are certainly some of his best, he has many other unappreciated titles under his belt. I recommend the gold album on iTunes. It starts out with happy songs while he was becoming known, but as the album continues he begins sounding more worried and depressed. He certainly has something for everyone.

Your right I'm only ten and know every single song from each artists

Marvin Gaye is way better than Michael Jackson by a LONG MILE! Michael's songs were good but Marvin's songs could touch the heart and soul. If you disagree with me then you should listen to his classic album "What's Going On" and you will see that Marvin is better!

Marvin wanted to be a jazz crooner but after poor record sales, Motown decided that he should try some "soul pop" and songs like "stubborn kind of fellow", how sweet it is, "try it baby" followed. With these songs he developed into a very smooth, sharp, slick soul crooner...more similar to Sam Cooke but more laid-back because of his previous smooth jazz swagger.

Marvin Gaye should be #1 if you have an ear for vocalist you would know that without a doubt!

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4Levi Stubbs (The Four Tops)

You haven't heard this great man sing till you've heard what the Tops are NOT famous for! His interpretations of Honey and Climb Every Mountain, to name two, unreleased tracks- Just A Little Love and Old Fashioned Man (all on YouTube) show how diverse, emotional and varied his voice was. No one does passion and emotion like Levi Stubbs, listen to Ask the Lonely, Baby I Need Your Loving, I'll Never Leave Again and I Believe In You and Me. But never wanting the limelight he was and always will be known as part of the Four Tops, if people listen to these 5 odd tracks before voting, Levi Stubbs should be top and deservedly so!

Whenever I hear his voice it put's a huge smile on my heart. His is the best voice that I have heard, because it is SO different to everyone else's. He was just fabulous, a superb singer of songs that were transformed into brilliant experiences. What wouldn't I give to have voice like his!

Levi Stubbs was one of the most intense male vocalist I've ever heard but I wouldn't say he was better than Sam Cooke. Cooke had a better singing tone and pitch but Stubbs definitely had the intensity of Cooke, Redding, Pickett and my personal favourite James brown.

My personal favourite, amazing voice, Marvin Gaye even said Levis voice was better

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5Sam Cooke

One of the all time best! How can he be so low? Definitely top five, he was one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time!

Should be in the top three!

6Stevie Wonder

Stevie is a very influential and amazing singer that is a lot better than a lot of Motown singers because of his pitch perfect singing and voice quality. He should be regarded higher than the other artists.

He is such an under rated artist. I think he is a musical genius.

Stevie was so versatile. From high energy like Signed Sealed Delivered and Supersticious to low and smooth like Golden Lady, I Believe and Boogie on Reggae Woman, his voice range was better than any other major solo recording artist in history. He really should be number 1. MJ may have been more popular, but Stevie had way better vocal abilities.

Absolutely the greatest artist and musical genius ever

V9 Comments
7David Ruffin (The Temptations)

David was the best there was. The others were great but David had the soul of his people and ancestors. Even Marvin Gaye said david had something great in his voice that Marvin himself lacked. I'm tired of all the negative talk I hear about David. A lot of people are hearing the same junk and are judging him and neglecting and ignoring his legacy. David gave to us the voice and soul no other has given. I truly love this man. He wasn't perfect and he made many mistakes but who hasn't made mistakes. We all have made mistakes so why do we expect that David should have been perfect. He was human and he was a man. Now this book" my temptation" must have been written by some sicko. First of all she made the statement that she could here David telling her to write and publish the book. Now why would David come to her in a vision, dream or any other way and tell her to bash his name and legacy like that. Why would he want the world to remember him in that way.? He wouldn't. So we know this very troubled and psycho lady is lying. It's obvious he didn't love her and she is out for bloody revenge. Now if any woman should have been disappointed it should have been Sandra, his wife. She doesn't talk about how she dated and purposefully got pregnant by him. But Sandra has kept her dignity and her true love for David by not smearing his name, memory and legacy. That is why he married Sandra he knew she was an honorable woman. He did not marry Jenna Sapia because he knew from the beginning she was after him because if his fame and fortune. David was not a dumb man even though he might have done some dumb things which we all do at some time or another. Now this son David Jr. Is just as bad as his mom. He hell and high water on his mother side with this junk yet he's busy trying to ride his way to fame on David Sr. Accomplishments and talents. But like David Ruffin Sr. Said there ain't but one David Ruffin. Now we know David Jr wasn't born a ruffin he was born a Sapia and David sr obviously was going to keep it that way. After all he only gave the boy his last name to keep from going to jail. Is that woman and her son delusional? I think so! Please forget this woman and her bitterness over a man she could never have and she never will. The sick woman even made the statement they would get it right in the next life after all the dirt she wrote about him. Now that's sick. Besides if he didn't want her dumb ass in this life why would he want her in another one. Please keep his legacy alive in a positive way. The man was a sensitive and outstanding singer and performer. Lets remember the good and forgive the bad.

Signed David Eli Ruffin's number 1 fan

You all r crazy I read where Marvin said when he first herd David sing he herd what his voice was lacking. If where talking about voices its no competition ruff is the greatest. Smokey Robinson & Gladys before David is a joke & a reminder that people don't know music. By the way David didn't sing cloud nine but thanks anyway.

David ruffin is best #1 because if it wasn't for him or marvin, stubb it woudnt be no micheal jackson because mj looke up to them but mj is in the top five.

Who could sing like David? Nobody. There no emulators. That raw, gritty, powerful perfect pitch, gave Ruffin a first class seat in a room of his own!

V16 Comments
8Smokey Robinson

Great singer and an amazing poet! Tracks of my Tears is his finest work but he has written many great songs which he's given away to other artists!

Love him, sing his songs all the time

He's the best he has his own way of singing. He don"t copy no one When Smokey sing you know just who you listing to. Just listing to voice he can do things other singer can't he's what u call a pure singer even at his age now.

9Eddie Kendricks (The Temptations)

The greatest falsetto there was... The guy could sing like an angel and his smile would light up a room and was just as vital too the temps as ruffin... If ruffin is the greatest of all time A... Then this guy is greatest of all time B.

Eddie sang solos, leads, duets, background, soul, show tunes, R&B, Tin Pan Alley, and Disco. He out sang Diana Ross on "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" and "I'll Try Something New" and was he set the template for every falsetto singer who came after him. A Grammy Award winner, he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Temptation. Eddie was in a class by himself.

I preferred is type of singing to David Ruffin. Ruffin's clearly wanted to totally dominate every performance but Eddie was too effortless, slick and slippery for that cat! David's style now sounds OUT of date and Eddie's swagger is in sync with todays rnb sound. I'm sure even Pharell Williams would agree. Listen to one his solo songs "intimate friends". That cat purrs like some gangster pimp!

He should have stayed

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10Diana Ross

Diana Ross introduced Motown to the world and much of her work is so underappreciated Surrender Album produced by Ashford ^^ Simpson will stand up against any motown album and it's virtually unknown.

I love Michael Jackson he's my favourite artist in thr world I'm a massive fan but I think Diana ross is special when it comes to Motown she's the queen of Motown for sure she may even be the greatest Motown artist she has many brilliant songs she is so talented and she is special really special.

Diana Ross is the image of a superstar. Her versatility and longevity and sheer number of hits have proved that.

Diana Ross is the whole package. She can sing any genre. Best Motown singer, best worldwide singer. A class act.

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The Contenders

11The Dells

They were great groups

12Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men)
13Edwin Starr
14Tina Turner

I love her she is so amazed love her style

15Martha Reeves

Love this group! They were the best!

16Brenda Holloway
17Barbara McNair

She needs to be recognized as a great singer and stunningly beautiful, Motown did not know what they had.

18Mary Wells
19Al Green

He is simply wonderful

20Janelle Monae

She is such an amazing singer and I wish people would listen to singers like her then that rap hip hop crap is so popular and I don't know why.

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List StatsUpdated 29 Nov 2015

1,000 votes
29 listings
7 years, 228 days old

Top Remixes

1. Sam Cooke
2. Gladys Knight
3. Levi Stubbs (The Four Tops)
1. Marvin Gaye
2. David Ruffin (The Temptations)
3. The Dells



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