Top 10 Best Female Singers of All Time

A great song can make us laugh, cry, or feel like we can conquer the world, and at the center of many of those unforgettable songs is often a brilliant female vocalist. Over the decades, women in music have shattered glass ceilings, taken genres to new heights, and produced some of the most iconic songs in history. Whether you're a fan of soulful ballads, high-energy pop anthems, or intricate vocal acrobatics, there's a singer out there who's hit the right note for you.
The Top Ten
1 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... read more

By far, Whitney has the most voice control ever. She has set the standards for singing that have not been matched. She is also the most influential singer in the world.

The first time I heard Whitney Houston sing, I thought I'd died and landed in heaven. Celine Dion is great, but whoever said that doesn't understand quality. However, if a 1-100 rating were to exist, with the higher the number the better the singer, Celine would be 78 and Whitney would be 97.

I was glad Barbara Streisand wasn't in the top ten. She's too unnatural, all the way Hollywood, and different for no other reason than trying to impart that idea. Whitney is the best ever. She could easily have sung opera, and the world of opera would have gotten unhinged, Maria Callas dethroned. Not only was she the best, but she was also beautiful, and I fell in love every time I saw or heard her.

2 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... read more

Put simply, there is just no other singer in the world that can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up to the same degree as Mariah Carey. It's her range, her tonal sound, her accuracy of pitch, her trills (vocal runs), and her upper power when hitting high notes that made her one of the all-time greats.

Sure, there are many great singers, and she's perhaps not as good as she was in the '90s, but that's more due to her change in musical direction rather than a decline in ability. She has well and truly proved that with her 2010 Christmas Concert recorded in Washington last year. Plus, she writes all her own songs, when too many of the big names these days unfortunately don't!

3 Celine Dion Céline Marie Claudette Dion is a Canadian singer and businesswoman. She is best known for her song "My Heart Will Go On", which is the main theme of the 1997 film Titanic, which was the first film to gross $1 billion at the box office.

Celine deserves the number one spot. Come on, she has recorded songs with some of the world's greatest singers and sings very well in five different languages. She sings like an angel and has such charm about her.

Stop talking about Beyoncé's looks here because we are talking about voices, and by far, Celine is number one. Mariah is number two, Whitney is number three, and of them all, Celine has been the most consistent with her records. She has passed Mariah to become the world's best-selling female vocalist of all time.

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

Firstly, I think the parameters for "Best Female Singer of ALL TIME" should be better defined and be broken down by genre: jazz, soul, R&B, pop, country, etc. There is a big difference between a singer and an entertainer/performer. For example, Christina Aguilera is a fabulous vocalist - perfect pitch, range, and projection. Britney Spears is an entertainer/performer. They are both successful pop artists, but I would not consider Britney Spears for this list. She's an okay singer, but she's much more of an entertainer.

"Of all time" - most of the artists listed here are contemporary and mostly pop. So, perhaps it should be best pop singers of all time?

With that said, Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul and a true singer. None of this autotune business. If you need a computer to make you sound better, backup singers, and dancers to entertain your audience, you're a performer/entertainer, not a singer.

5 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... read more

Christina is clearly an extremely talented singer that puts her all into her music. Her vocal ability is absolutely outstanding. She sings because it's what she loves to do. Christina Aguilera is a very inspiring singer that will never lose her amazing voice.

She is the best singer of the generation and absolutely one of the best singers of all time. She sings to express herself, and she doesn't care if that means fewer album sales or less popularity. Christina, never stop singing.

There are a lot of people who criticize Christina Aguilera for her technique. Some criticize her for her melisma-filled runs. The way I personally see it is as singing full force with everything you possibly have. Christina Aguilera does not sing without feeling what she is singing.

She grew up listening to her favorite artist, Etta James. To blues singers like Etta, there is no "technique" to singing. You sing how you feel. Blues singers do all kinds of runs with trills, squeals, and even screams. People do not seem to understand this. She can sing calm and collected, with little melisma and runs, but that is not what singing is to her. I feel her emotion in every word she says, and that, to me, makes a great singer.

6 Adele Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer and songwriter. Graduating from the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in 2006, Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace the same year. She is best known with her international... read more

Adele has turned soul music into something magical. She has taken pure pain and tragedy and produced the most beautiful, gorgeous works of art that could ever portray such strong emotions. Her voice is so crisp and soulful, no matter where she was in her career.

Every single album is filled with so much pure and raw sensation that can really affect how you feel. You should listen to her songs that aren't as famous, like "Lovesong", "Strangers by Nature", "To Be Loved", "One and Only", "Cry Your Heart Out". They really pronounce how much talent she has, making such poetic lyrics and melodic music. You don't have to like her music, but you can't deny her talent. What she was able to do is beyond words.

7 Beyoncé 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... read more

Her vocal control and sense of melody are from another world, and she never "loses her breath" on stage. Her presence and performances are astonishingly amazing. Among the best female singers, she's probably the best dancer.

And if all this were not enough, she has a natural talent to compose super hits. I think we humans need time to recognize all the talent she has, especially her voice, which is masked by her extraordinary beauty. Despite her success, she always radiates humility and goodness. So yes, I think Bee is the best female artist of all time, and it's a matter of time before she is included at the top of this list, hand in hand with her own idol, Whitney, and with Mariah.

8 Katy Perry Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, professionally known by her stage name Katy Perry, was born on October 25, 1984 in Santa Barbara, California. She is a singer, songwriter, actress and an ambassador on one of the most popular companies of now, UNICEF... read more

I saw Katy be a guest coach on American Idol once. Unlike most singers who just act as cheerleaders and tell the contestants how great they sound or how pretty they look, she actually gave them some advice! What a concept!

She pointed out to them that if they make it big, their life would change. They would have far less privacy, see their family far less often, and be away from home for months at a time. To me, this is much more important than whether they look nice in that dress or that sweater. It's obvious Katy is a good person who cared not just about whether the contestants could make it, but also about whether they were prepared for what's next if they do. Reality shows could use more coaches/judges like her.

9 Amy Lee Amy Lynn Hartzler, known professionally as Amy Lee, is an American singer-songwriter, classically trained pianist and composer. She is also the lead singer to the Arkansas band Evanescence.

A truly beautiful woman with an equally beautiful soul, heart, and voice to match. Her haunting vocals are also soft and sweet, and every lyric she sings sends a message. She is original and one of a kind, with a strong history and family background in music.

She knows what she is doing and takes great care to ensure she's not putting the same album out there every time they release one. She combines instruments that ultimately create the most beautifully dark sounds, haunting and pleasant at the same time. She writes her own music and loves the band and fans. She remains one of the few who doesn't need to show off every inch of skin on her body to gain those fans. I have such high respect for her and everything she stands for. She can change lives and maintain her own life while keeping her personal life personal. She is amazing.

10 Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone, known professionally as Madonna, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically... read more

Agreed, she hasn't got the vocal range like Whitney or Celine, but she has proven many times that she can sing, and pretty darn well at times. When she performs a ballad live and from the heart, it's always full of emotions, which makes the imperfections perfect. And let's face it, she is an entertainer who puts on a show like no one else. And when you dance your ass off, who cares if the singing bit isn't flawless?

Madonna is the Queen and deserves a much higher ranking, if only for the fact that she has left everyone else miles behind her in her thirty-something years as the most successful female performer of all time.

The Newcomers

? Adelina Patti
The Contenders
11 Taylor Swift Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. She was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania. Swift is best known for writing personal songs and has won 13 Grammy Awards... read more

She has gotten me through a lot. 2020 has been a terrible year, and she has helped me feel happy! I love her music, and she writes songs about her life and her thoughts. She is a great role model for young women like myself.

I love her country songs, and I love her pop songs just as much! It is a bold move to switch music genres in the middle of her career, but that's what makes her awesome! I look up to her, and I adore her very much. She is strong, powerful, caring, curious, smart, adventurous, and lots more. I feel like she should be number one!

She has also gone through sexual harassment, and she won the case. She cares for her fans, and that means the world to me. I would do anything that she says I should do. I will always love her music, but I will love her reputation even more!

12 Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress.

On the start of her career, she performed at an event called the Lollapalooza Festival during 2007 whereby a record label company Interscope found her due to her performance... read more

Lady Gaga is a very talented performer! Want to know why? She writes, produces, and actually sings all of her own music. She acts, dances, runs around doing whatever the hell Gaga does, and doesn't lip-sync at concerts.

She might not be the best female vocalist in the world, but hands down she is pretty dang close to being the most talented. She can play a multitude of instruments such as the piano, keytar, synthesizers, and most recently the guitar. She also has amazing dance skills for someone who has barely any classical training. She is very original and has an explanation for every crazy idea and costume. She is also one of the most gorgeous people on this planet, with or without makeup. Gaga is an all-around mega star, idol, friend, and supporter.

13 Rihanna Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian-American pop singer. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, she first entered the music industry by recording demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She ultimately signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning... read more

When you think about it, Rihanna honored the first-ever "Icon Award". She was named the best-selling digital artist of all time, the biggest artist on Facebook, and the most viewed artist on YouTube, among other accolades. She was also named a "Fashion Icon" and received the first-ever "Most Desirable Women In The World" award. Additionally, she has won nine Grammys.

While her voice may not be the strongest, the whole world recognizes its special quality and the abundance of emotions it conveys. Rihanna possesses a very nice, simple, and strong personality, among other attributes that contribute to her status as the number one artist in history!

14 Ariana Grande Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her four-octave vocal range has received critical acclaim, and her personal life has been the subject of widespread media attention. She has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including two Grammy... read more

There are no words to describe her talent (I mean this as a compliment). While many of the people on this list do have immense talent and deserve fame, Ariana Grande does as well. Her voice is beautiful and angelic when she wants it to be, but also insanely powerful and versatile. All types of her voice are amazing (soprano, mezzo-soprano), including her older voice as well as her more matured voice.

She was talented enough to perform in Broadway musical theater. If you watch her Still Hurting Cover, as well as her live Dangerous Woman Tour and Sweetener Tour performances, she puts so much effort and passion into each performance. She genuinely enjoys making music and helping others, which is a quality that I thought was always very important in a singer. While her more mainstream songs such as Side to Side and No Tears Left To Cry are much more well-known, she is very underrated as a vocalist. Also, she gets so much hate for no apparent reason. Don't judge a person cruelly when everyone has flaws.

15 Pink Alecia Beth Moore known professionally as P!NK, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress.

If this is a competition in vocal perfection, then we would need both Maria Callas, Anna Netrebko, and Randy Crawford at the top of this list. But in the pop-rock business, Pink is indeed recognized among her colleagues as one of the most naturally gifted and original vocal performers alive and well today.

Her voice is definitely one of the most recognizable and powerful female vocals I've heard, apart from Janis Joplin and maybe Diamanda Galas. Look up her blues-rocker "Free" or her cover of "Me and Bobby McGee" on YouTube if you don't know what I'm talking about.

16 Demi Lovato Demetria Devonne "Demi" Lovato is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. After appearing on the children's television series Barney & Friends as a child, she received her breakthrough role as Mitchie Torres in the Disney Channel television film Camp Rock and its sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam... read more

Demi Lovato is one of the best singers of this generation. She has a great voice and incredible vocals. Seriously, she performs live better than any other singer of this generation.

When I first heard Skyscraper, I thought she was amazing but doubted if she could sing live exactly like the original song. However, when I saw her performing Skyscraper with high vocals and a very high pitch live, I felt she had real talent in singing, unlike Selena Gomez, who can't sing live without the support of a chorus. Vote for the great-voiced Demi Lovato.

17 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.

She isn't even in the top 10?! It is appalling that she is below such awful singers. Though I must say, Whitney Houston can bring the house down, and I'm glad she's up there.

But so many great singers are being denied their rightful title. Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner should be up in the top 10. It enrages me that Etta James isn't even on here. Her voice is absolutely gorgeous.

Just because Janis doesn't sound like any mainstream, no-talent singer doesn't mean she's worthless. Her voice has soul and power, and I just sit back in amazement whenever I listen to her. It's raw and beautiful. She should be number one! You people have such poor musical taste. It makes me want to cry.

18 Avril Lavigne Avril Ramona Lavigne is a Canadian–French singer-songwriter and actress. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million.

No, I'm not a random fan who votes Avril up just because she's lovable and all (even though, yes, she definitely is). I vote up Avril because I truly believe she is an amazing singer. She can sing with a weak, vulnerable voice, yet she can rock out and radiate young punk energy to the crowd. I don't believe she is given enough recognition as a singer.

You can say her vocal range is slightly above average and compare her to Whitney Houston in terms of vocal ability, but I argue for vocal emotion and performance. When she sings, she touches my heart if she sings a slow number and makes me excited when she rocks out with a sick beat. Another trait of Avril's amazing voice is that she always seems to enunciate each lyric precisely when she sings. I almost never mishear lyrics from Avril's singing. I love Avril, but that is not the reason I vote for her to be the best singer. I vote for her because she is.

19 Britney Spears Britney Jean Spears, born on December 2, 1981, is an American former singer and actress. She was born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana. As a child, she performed acting roles in stage productions and television shows, such as "The Mickey Mouse Club," before signing with Jive... read more

Britney Spears started her career when she was 11 years old, making her a truly special singer. The vast majority of her albums have been ranked as the best on the Billboard 100, and they're also great and catchy. She's also a talented performer. Haters say she lip-syncs because she can't sing, but that's not true.

When she puts on a show, it includes heavy dancing, so how would she be able to sing? She's such an icon. This is why she is the true Queen of Pop. One of her performances may be more iconic than your favorite artist's entire career. That's why she's so memorable and will always be in our hearts.

20 Selena Gomez Selena Marie Gomez is an American actress and singer. She is best known for songs like "Come & Get It", "Good For You", "Same Old Love", and "It Ain't Me". Selena Gomez's voice is mezzo-soprano but she usually sings in alto. She is best known for her role as Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place.

Selena Gomez is not the most popular singer, but she was a few years ago. She has released Kiss & Tell, A Year Without Rain, When the Sun Goes Down, and Stars Dance all in four years. Her hit single, Naturally, was on top of the charts in 2009 with Kiss & Tell. On her second album, A Year Without Rain, was a sensation. Some of her top songs on this album were Round & Round, A Year Without Rain, and Live Like There's No Tomorrow, which was also used in the Disney Channel movie Ramona & Beezus.

On her third album, which came out in the summer of 2012, her hit songs were Who Says and Whiplash. Then, the wait was totally worth the while because Stars Dance came out in the summer of 2013. She released Come & Get It and performed it several times everywhere. Her other songs that were big on this album were Stars Dance and Birthday. Selena has been doing pretty good so far in her career. Don't give up, Selena!

21 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.

Tina Turner is such an interesting meld of styles. In almost anything she sings, she sings with a bluesy tinge, the energy and sexual fire that would stand up to any male rocker, all while she sings with the conviction of a church girl gone bad. Her voice, expressive and passionate, she is quite possibly one of the most versatile singers to ever set foot on stage.

From gut-bucket R&B to lush orchestral rock to reggae-influenced pop, to the explosive rock and roll records, to lush twangy country, Tina Turner is the singer's singer and embodies a woman able to reinvent herself and survive the test of time.

22 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.

Ella Fitzgerald is in a league of her own. Her virtuosity lies not only in her vocal control or fireworks in the whistle register but in the tremendous emotion in her voice and her unparalleled creativity. She had a sense of rhythm and harmony that has not been seen since the bebop era, and with every performance came powerful inventions that would leave you stunned every time.

Given current trends in music, it is impossible to see Ella at the top of this list, but it is equally impossible for a true genius like her to be left off of it.

23 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.

Amy was the greatest voice of this time. Her time on this planet should be appreciated more. Her vocals were the most unique, and she inspired many upcoming artists and many amazing artists we have today, such as Adele, Duffy, and even, dare I say, Lady Gaga.

She should be remembered for her voice, her music, and her genius. She knew how to play guitar, drums, and piano. She wrote all of her songs and sang the most amazing acoustic sets. She was down-to-earth, sweet, funny, and a lyrical and musical genius. She may not have known it herself, but anybody with ears would be able to tell that. I love you, Amy. RIP.

24 Kelly Clarkson Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter and children's book author. She rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of the television series American Idol, which earned her a record deal with RCA Records. Clarkson's debut single, "A Moment Like This", topped the US Billboard... read more

Kelly Clarkson is simply the most versatile, naturally gifted singer of our lifetime. Because of her American Idol past, she is not always taken seriously, and that is a shame. One only has to listen to her sing live to know this girl has it all - an uncanny sense of pitch, impeccable control, and an innate sense of the emotion of a song.

Go on YouTube and listen to her live versions of Up to the Mountain, Why Haven't I Heard From You, Tennessee Waltz, Ave Maria, My Country 'Tis of Thee, Cryin', and then name a single other singer who could pull all those off. The answer - no one.

25 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 career, which has led to her being nicknamed the Goddess of Pop.

She is actually Ranked number 5 in the world... according to sales
Absolutely no way.. Need to check actual record sales...
1. Celine Dion 200 Million Records sold
2. Barbra Streisand 180 Million Record Sold
3. Mariah Carey 150 Million Records sold
4. Madonna 140 Million Records sold
5. Cher 130 Million Records sold
6. Dolly Parton 125 Million Records sold
7. Faith Hill - was Whitney until she stopped recording 126 Million Records sold
8. Shania Twain 122 Million Records sold
9. Whitney Houston 120 Million Records sold
10. Gloria Estefan 110 Million Records sold

Finally, I found her. I CANNOT fathom such a list where Cher, a true musical legend, is numbered 104. It is for this reason, I do not place credence in your list. All these one-hit wonders appearing a the top of the list is just beyond comprehension.

To quote Wikipedia:
"Cher is an American recording artist, Emmy Award"winning television personality, award-winning actress, director, record producer and philanthropist. Referred to as the Goddess of Pop, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in film, music and television. She is the only person in history to have received all of these awards. "


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