Top 10 Best Female Singers and Groups of the '60s

Individual female artists or all female groups of the 60s.
The Top Ten
1 Dusty Springfield Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, known professionally as Dusty Springfield, was an English pop singer and record producer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s.

To me, she was a sexy, sultry goddess who invented herself in the '60s. She made it look easy. She is my favorite female singer of all time. She sang many of Burt Bacharach's songs 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 '60s.

She was a perfectionist to her detriment, unfortunately. I even loved her speaking voice. She had her difficult times from the '70s to '89 but had a great comeback with the Pet Shop Boys. They knew about Dusty's voice and 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.

2 Janis Joplin Janis Joplin (1943-1970) was an American singer who rose to fame as the main singer of acid band Big Brother and the Holding Company. She was known for her eccentric hippie style and psychedelic rock music.

I believe Janis was the BEST female vocalist of the 1960s rock scene. She was not afraid to let it rock out and was always willing to give her time to jam with other musicians. Music was her lifeblood. She had a sweet personality and was a fabulous songstress. I miss her bluesy voice. Vinyl just couldn't capture the sweetness and pain in her voice.

I lived in California, went there in 1969, and remember Janis's death. She was a great singer, and I have her album "Pearl," which I have never played. She was natural, not a phony like today's female "singers," which rely on disgusting methods to get attention. Janis was a real down-to-earth talent, and what a tragedy to have her die so young!

3 Barbra Streisand Barbara Joan Streisand, known professionally as Barbra Streisand, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker.

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 hers. 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 and sound, but she also has the ability to fit into any style of music and express very convincing emotion.

4 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... read more

Why Aretha isn't number one, I'll never know. I love Dusty, believe me, I do. However, she's number one on the list right now for doing what many white artists at that time did: mock and steal Black artists' work. Dusty became widely popular with vast audiences off of a song that was originally intended for the soulful voice of Ms. Franklin.

Why Dusty is number one for mimicking the sounds of Motown and Columbia Records, I have no idea. I think name brands should be number one and dupe brands should be number six. Just saying.

5 Dionne Warwick Marie Dionne Warrick is an American singer, actress and TV-show host, who became a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and a United States Ambassador of Health.

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, Anyone 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!

6 Mama Cass Elliot Ellen Naomi Cohen known professionally as Mama Cass and later on as Cass Elliot, was an American singer and voice actress. She was a member of the singing group the Mamas & the Papas. After the group broke up, Elliot released five solo albums. In 1998, she was posthumously inducted into the Rock and... read more

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

Should be higher on the list! Amazing voice, so powerful. She did so much more than sing! She defied what people expected of a star!

What an amazing, electrifying voice Cass had! Rest in peace. Love you, girl. I hope you're dancing and singing in heaven.

7 Lesley Gore

She is my favorite female vocalist of all time. "Maybe I Know" was my all-time favorite. I recorded a few seconds of it in the '60s with an old reel-to-reel recorder and played it over and over. She should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I wanted to see her perform live, but now it's too late, and it's my turn to cry. She was extraordinary, but we have her music to remember her forever.

Lesley Gore was THE best singer in the whole dang world! Everything from "It's My Party," "Judy's Turn to Cry," "She's a Fool," "Maybe I Know," and "That's the Way Boys Are" were some of the best songs that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I am only 21 years old, but oldies are the best thing to listen to for me!

8 Tina Turner Tina Turner, née Anna Mae Bullock, was a singer, dancer, actress and author, whose career spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards.

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!

Name the song, I bet you'll like it. At least one of Tina's songs is sure to make you smile.

Tina is "simply the best!" She is a great singer, great dancer, an all-around awesome person, and "River Deep - Mountain High" is one of the strongest performances of all time. Long live the Queen!

Are you kidding? Check out her body of work and her legs. She should be at least number three.

9 Shirley Bassey Dame Shirley Veronica Bassey is a Welsh singer whose career began in the mid-1950s, best known both for her powerful voice and for recording the theme songs to the James Bond films Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker.

Shirley was a phenomenal artist. Her live singing was the real magic of voice - powerful, beautiful, deep, and very touching. Don't you remember her legendary superhit "Goldfinger" from the James Bond movie? Amazing.

Shirley had several #1's in the '60s, 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.

Shirley Bassey is among the top 10 or 20 of all time. And you are right. Her voice and performance are still fantastic. P.S. She's Welsh!

10 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.

It's one thing to sing, but it's another to "reach out and touch somebody's hand." It is Diana Ross who inspired in me the desire to move an audience, to make them feel something, to connect.

It's my hope to be a messenger through music and help "make this world a better place" if I can!

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

Bruce Marso

The Contenders
11 The Supremes The Supremes were an American female singing group and the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.

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.

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.

12 Ella Fitzgerald Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella.

I cannot understand why she hasn't been mentioned previously. She was the greatest.

No one could ever, and never will be able to, sing scat like Ella!

13 Little Peggy March

Peggy's world #1 hit "I Will Follow Him" was so well received that it will be popular until the end of time.

14 Connie 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 breathtaking power.

15 Grace Slick Grace Barnett Slick is an American singer-songwriter, musician, artist, and former model, widely known in rock and roll history for her role in San Francisco's burgeoning psychedelic music scene in the mid–1960s.

What an amazing musician - being able to take her classical training and use her voice in a way to bring new psychedelia to the music she was performing. So talented.

Hands down, one of my most favorite songs to sing is "White Rabbit." "Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call."

She is one of my biggest inspirations of all time to become a musician myself.

16 Joni Mitchell Roberta Joan Mitchell, professionally known as Joni Mitchell, is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell's songs often reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy.

Joni painted pictures with her lyrics so vivid that I still see the "sun come in like butterscotch and stick to all my senses." She is a genius when it comes to eliciting an emotional connection.

Joni Mitchell has a diversified range of styles from folk to rock to jazz. Most of her songs are ballads, which I really enjoy.

Loved Joni, loved listening to her music on big Klipschorn corner speakers, smoking pot, and hanging out with friends!

17 The Shirelles The Shirelles were an American girl group notable for their rhythm and blues, doo-wop and soul music and gaining popularity in the early 1960s.

These ladies deserve a lot more credit for Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and Mama Said. That is enough said. These ladies can sing.

18 Skeeter Davis

The End of the World is the most beautiful song, part girl, part young woman.

The best song of the sixties was her "The End of the World." Just ask Lou Simon!

19 Cher Cher is an American singer and actress. Described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry, she is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances during her five-decade-long... read more

A legend. One of the very few musicians to debut in the '60s and still be around.

What a thrilling, dark, powerful voice, and so many great hits.

Always amazing. Great actress too.

20 Patsy Cline Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia. She became a professional country singer in the 1950s, and became one of the most important artists in American music history. Patsy died on March 5, 1963, in a plane crash in Camden, Tennessee. She was inducted... read more

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.

It was a true tragedy losing her so early in life and career. She was fantastic!

Her voice was "Crazy." My grandmother, who was my closest musical inspiration, sang that song, so Patsy is near and dear to my heart. Every time I hear her, it reminds me of my Grandma Sacco!

Just an amazing voice. Had she lived, a lot of other female singers would not have gotten into the charts.

21 Petula Clark Petula Sally Olwen Clark, CBE (born 15 November 1932) is a British singer, actress, and songwriter. She has had one of the longest careers of any British singer, spanning more than seven decades.

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 El Alamein. The petite, adorable 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! It's hard to compare the early vs. late 1960s singers, very different styles for the different periods.

22 Joan Baez Joan Chandos Baez is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice.

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. Her songs have stood the test of time. They wouldn't be out of place in the music world of today.

In fact, she is better than some of the artists of today!

I lived in the same house she did on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii in the '70s. It was wonderful to hear her practice for her show!

Sitting on the beach before I moved in!

23 Cilla Black Priscilla Maria Veronica White, known by her stage name Cilla Black, was an English singer, television presenter, actress, and author.

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.

Her back catalogue and production are top-notch, better than many above her on this list, and certainly with more hits. Brian Epstein adored her, comparing her voice with Edith Piaf and Garland. John Lennon praised and recommended her to many. She appeared on Ed Sullivan, doing five performances. Carson asked her back.

She chickened out of America because she was homesick. She lost it somewhere, but looking at her back then, one can only imagine how different the outcome could have been.

24 Linda Scott
25 Etta James Etta James was an American singer who spanned a variety of music genres including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel.

Just the best. At Last is one of my all-time favorite songs.

At Last must be up there with the best.

One of the most powerful voices of her time. Love always, Rodney J Stork Sr.

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