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 Ten

1 Aretha Franklin Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 - August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter and pianist. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister.

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.

2 Patti Labelle Patti Labelle Patricia 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.

3 Anita Baker Anita Baker Anita Denise Baker is a retired American singer-songwriter. Starting her career in the late 1970s with the funk band Chapter 8, Baker eventually released her first solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, which more.

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.

4 Roberta Flack Roberta 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.

Roberta Flack, WOW! WHAT A VOICE! =)

5 Minnie 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.

6 Gladys Knight Gladys Knight Gladys Maria Knight, known as the "Empress of Soul", is an American singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian and author.

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.

7 Mariah Carey Mariah Carey Mariah Carey, born March 27, 1970, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is one of the biggest best-selling women in the music industry, with 18 number 1 records to her name. She is regarded as a sex symbol through her songs and music videos, and she is "well known" for her over-the-top 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.

8 Toni Braxton Toni Braxton Toni 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!

9 Beyonce Beyonce Beyoncé 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 more.
10 Alicia Keys Alicia Keys Alicia 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

11 Whitney Houston Whitney Houston Whitney 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 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.

12 Mary J Blige
13 Amy Winehouse Amy Winehouse Amy 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. She is also a well-known member of the 27 Club, as she overdosed on alcohol at age 27.
14 Diana Ross Diana Ross Diana Ernestine Earle Ross is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes.
15 Christina Aguilera Christina Aguilera Christina 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", "I Turn To You", "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" "What A Girl Wants" and more.
16 Teena Marie
17 Shola Ama
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