Greatest Soul Group / Artist of All Time


The Top Ten

1 The Temptations The Temptations The Temptations are an American vocal group notable for their success with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.

No question about it!

Hands down the greatest group of all time. Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Paul Williams, Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin. All were capable lead singers and unlike the Jackson 5... Every member had a hit record with they're voice as lead. Just My Imagination, My Girl, Since I Lost My baby, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, I Can't Get Next To You, Cloud Nine, Get Ready, The Way You Do The Things You Do, Ain't too Proud To Beg, I Wish It Would Rain and many many more. Perfect harmonies and could out dance, out sing and out dress any other group in sight!

The Jackson Five were not in the same class as the Temptations as performers - they had Michael, which is true, but the Temptations had some of the best male singers ever to sing soul, pop, show tunes, top-40, American Tin Pan Alley, etc. They are and have been in a class by themselves. The first Motown group to be awarded a Grammy.

The Temptations had two of the greatest songs ever "My Girl" and "Just my Imagination* and loads more to back them up. But as you can see from the list they are in very good company

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2 The Jackson 5 The Jackson 5 The Jackson 5, or Jackson Five, also known as The Jacksons in later years, is an American popular music group. Formed in 1963 under the name the Jackson Brothers, the founding members were Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon.

The beautiful band! Was made from 5 brothers each tried to do the best! But it's seems that in this band was a genius, and this is Michael Jackson, the reason that this band must to be no. 1! - Laryssa

The temptations are better than the Jackson 5 blue, David ruffin, and Eddie Kendrick, also, Paul. Those are the best singers ever. Put a David ruffin record on and we will see who is better

Only Black group to headline a stadium tour, most global record sales, and oh by the way, they gave us Michael Jackson, enough said.

the jackson 5 is honestly the best group ever. everysong i hear i like. and michaels smooth voice is BEAUTIFUL ! and the dance moves, everything just makes you LOVEE the,

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3 James Brown James Brown James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul".

No. 1

Soul Brother No. 1 should be No. 1 on this list... if people were smart.

James brown hands down! Greatest live show artist of all time! Nobody could rock the apollo theatre like this man! When you played that place you'd better come correct!

Please, please, please get it to Number 1. He is the Godfather of Soul

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4 Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, and is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

He is the boom

Really?! Do I really need to share my opinion about Marvin Gaye, he's a genius! He was a damn great artist, it's a pity that he is in 3rd place, shame on you voters = )

Every abuma work of art

Best ever singer - especially when 'pleading' such as in Distant Lover.

He also perfected the technique of harmonizing with himself in 3 different voices - any of which are fantastic.

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

Gladys Knight is indeed the Empress of soul but she must bow to the "Queen" of soul, Aretha Franklin who should be in this spot! - Terrax

I fell in love with her voice the first time I heard it.

Most of the songs out out there from some of the greatest artist Gladys Knight has performed at some time or another and delivered throughout the years on stage and T.V. at 70 years old she still showing us all she's got it and she's not going anywhere she well earns the title the Empress of soul

What a powerful voice!

6 Stevie Wonder Stevie Wonder Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

Countless albums, appealing to generations, spanning decades - continually redefining the genre while shaping modern chart music. An unrivalled musician with a voice that's unique and inspiring. Truly the greatest artist of all time!

7 Ray Charles Ray Charles Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer.

Clearly, this genius should be top ten on the list. He was basically the inventor of soul music and one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. He definitely should be at the very least in the top 3.

Wow what a genius!

Genius of a man

8 Otis Redding Otis Redding Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout.

A career cut too short, just the few years of work that we do have to base our judgement blows away everyone else! His voice, with so much feeling, is so amazing that you almost forget the music that is playing behind it.

Deep music. Soulful voice with unbarred emotion. A great artist. Superb songwriter. Relatable lyrics. If he hadn't died in that plane crash, he would be definitely one of the most popular artists ever.

The maddest, grooving like hell, singing like a possessed god! He makes me want to shake my body, even though I know I shouldn't dance, out of respect for my fellow human beings...

Wow, even though the world only had the pleasure of seeing him alive for such a short time. His music will surely live on till' the end of time. The greatest, no doubt!

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9 Al Green Al Green Albert Leornes Greene, often known as The Reverend Al Green, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the early 1970s.

Al green is the man. he makes me want to boogie even when I'm asleep.

The one and only Al Green!!!!

A better singer than Marvin or Otis.

To many music legends, but Al will always be my first choise!

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10 Earth, Wind & Fire Earth, Wind & Fire Earth, Wind & Fire is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, Latin, and Afro pop. They have been described as one of the most innovative and commercially successful bands of all time.

Come on now, this is the greatest boogie/soul group of all time. Positive uplifting music at its best. No one ever did it better than Maurice White. Music, lyrics, craftsmanship, style, they had it all. Top ten musical group of all time.

Shining star, september, mighty mighty, fantasy, boogie wonderland, lets groove these are all great songs

Love the many talents and superb musicianship that made up this group! So much more than just a bunch of guys singing and dancing. I enjoy their music still today.

I totally agree with you. earth wind and fire is easily the best group of all time

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The Contenders

11 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.

She is the one and only Queen of Soul.

The one and only Queen of Soul.

12 The Ojays

Everlasting mighty, soulful and will be forever in the minds and memories. Music that will make you snap your fingers.

They are still around making money, money, money

Please welcome, and always remember, the Mighty, Mighty O'Jays!

13 Sam Cooke Sam Cooke Samuel Cook, known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music.

Sam Cooke pioneered the genre and was ultimately unmatched as one of the best and most iconic voices of all time. The perfect voice, perhaps somewhat lacking the passion at times of Otis, lent to the quality of just about any song.

Sam Cooke is the BOSS. he inspired and influenced everyone. he has the perfect voice. he is FLAWLESS!... "The Man Who Invented Soul"!

Sam gets my vote. The purest voice of them all. He was as smooth as silk

There is a dance called American smooth and if we invent a music genre called the same Sam Cooke would be it�'s Emperor and he would reign SUPREME, as he already does in Soul. Please let us vote him up this list to the top, where he TRULY belongs. He was the first African American to own his own recording business, a pioneer in the music industry. One of his greatest admirers was Muhammad Ali, yes even the champ had someone he looked up to and Sam Cooke was one of them. They even recorded music together, just check YouTube. Sam Cooke the best there ever was!

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14 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.

She's the Greatest Voice of All Time... An idol for the next generations, no one will ever be like her! Her sound is so special that you will always recognise her! RIP The Voice!

15 The Four Tops

What a shame that virtually nobody at Top Tens knows the name Levi Stubbs.

Levi had the most soulful voice of all - he was able to sing like a saxophone at full blast. A great example of this is 'I just can't walk away'.

50 years of hits make this everlasting group special

16 Prince Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .
17 The Spinners

As usual the Spinners don't get the proper credit for their greatness!


18 Sly & the Family Stone Sly & the Family Stone Sly and the Family Stone was an American band from San Francisco. Active from 1967 to 1983, the band was pivotal in the development of funk, soul, rock, and psychedelic music.

Musically, Sly and the Family Stone is the best (Curtis Mayfield is a close second). The band is very tight and their music has intricacies not present in other soul acts at the time (Except CM).

19 Curtis Mayfield Curtis Mayfield Curtis Lee Mayfield was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, and one of the most influential musicians behind soul and politically conscious African-American music.
20 The Stylistics

This list is truly illegitimate if the Stylistics are not in the top 10 soul groups.

They were and are the best

21 Isley Brothers

Inspired the Beatles and still going timeless

Should be much higher

22 Jackie Wilson Jackie Wilson Jack Leroy "Jackie" Wilson, Jr. was an American soul singer-songwriter and performer. A tenor with a four octave vocal range, he was nicknamed "Mr. Excitement", and was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul.
23 Johnnie Taylor Johnnie Taylor Johnnie Harrison Taylor was a three-time Grammy-nominated American recording artist and songwriter who performed a wide variety of genres, from blues, rhythm and blues, soul, and gospel to pop, doo-wop and disco.

Johnnie Taylor No. 69? You got to be kidding. He deserves at least in the first top 10

24 The Miracles

Without these guys motown would have never been as big as it was. They helped Berry Gordy start Motown as they brought talent to motown and they wrote and produced tons of songs for the temps, marvin gaye, stevie wonder, supremes, mary wells, jackson 5, the 4 tops and even influenced the beatles. More groups have remade their songs than any other Motown group or artists and they had more top 40 hits than the other groups.

Without the Miracles Motown would not have had the success it had. They had the most angelic harmony and had the most all around impact on Motown with their singing, songwriting, A&R work and production. They were the most copied group. They were even copied by groups like the Beatles.

25 The Chi-Lites

Awesome group. Should be in the rock and roll hall fame and higher on this lit.

26 Bobby Womack
27 Ben E. King Ben E. King Benjamin Earl King, known as Ben E. King, was an American soul and R&B singer and record producer. He was perhaps best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me"—a US Top 10 hit


28 Donny Hathaway Donny Hathaway Donny Edward Hathaway was an American jazz, blues, soul and gospel singer, songwriter, arranger and pianist.
29 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
30 David Ruffin David Ruffin David Eli Ruffin was an American soul singer and musician most famous for his work as one of the lead singers of The Temptations during the group's "Classic Five" period as it was later known.

Amazing singer combining passion, vulnerability, range, and downright soulfulness

He is amazing how he sings should be number 1

31 George Clinton

Why is he here when he sings funk

Listen to George Clinton & The Parliaments first hit song "Testify". Dr. Funkenstein does have a soul background! - Terrax

32 Faith Evans Faith Evans

A great singer but 2 high on the list and ahead of too many legends

33 The Commodores

Lionel Richie is one of the best singers ever this list is the most retarded list ever

34 Luther Vandross Luther Vandross Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. was an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Throughout his career, Vandross was an in-demand background vocalist for several different artists.

Whats that... Here all stupid!

Luther was the greatest soul man of all time...

Death and forgotten

35 Barry White Barry White Barry Eugene Carter, better known by his stage name Barry White, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and composer.

The "maestro" of The love Unlimited Orchestra should be higher on this list. His body of work is enormous! The true innovator of "Baby-Making music"! - Terrax

Should be higher up the list!

36 The Delfonics
37 Teddy Pendergrass Teddy Pendergrass Theodore DeReese Pendergrass was an American singer–songwriter and composer. He first rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in the 1970s before a successful solo career at the end of the decade.

Nobody had more soul then Teddy P. The emotion in his voice was on unparalleled. I think he was the most overlooked great singer of all time.

Fantastic artist, his songs are so so moving

What a great artist!

38 Jeffrey Osborne Jeffrey Osborne Jeffrey Linton Osborne is an American musician, singer-songwriter, lyricist, and lead singer of the band LTD.
39 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.

Only 35th?

40 Wilson Pickett Wilson Pickett
41 Sam & Dave
42 Solomon Burke

The King Of Rock 'n' Soul - Everybody needs somebody to love...

43 Isaac Hayes Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes was such a beast that he made this list twice! Love YA CHEF! R.I.P. "You, and Me, and Her, Simultaneous Lovin BABY! "

44 Patti LaBelle Patti LaBelle Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards better known under the stage name Patti LaBelle, is an American singer, author, actress, and entrepreneur.
45 Minnie Riperton
46 Sade Sade Helen Folasade Adu, known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade, is an English singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, and record producer.
47 Howard Tate
48 Billy Paul

Me and mes jones

49 Maxwell Maxwell Gerald Maxwell Rivera,, better known by his stage names Maxwell and Musze, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor.
50 John Legend John Legend John Roger Stephens, better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor.

John Legend is legend. I keep on repeating his songs. I love his new single All Of Me which is just so fluent and soothing. Its just wonderful how he sings. He will definitely be the best soul singers of our generation.

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List Stats

1,000 votes
100 listings
12 years, 28 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. James Brown
2. The Temptations
3. Aretha Franklin
1. James Brown
2. Prince
3. Sly & the Family Stone
1. The Temptations
2. Earth, Wind & Fire
3. Sam Cooke

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