The Greatest Singers of All Times

by SteelKeez | created - 22 Aug 2011 | updated - 19 Mar 2012 | Public

1. Teddy Pendergrass

Soundtrack | The Nutty Professor

Teddy Pendergrass was born on March 26, 1950 in Kingstree, South Carolina, USA as Theodore DeReese Pendergrass. He was married to Joan Pendergrass and Karen Still. He died on January 13, 2010 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA.

2. Freddie Mercury

Soundtrack | Flash Gordon

Freddie Mercury was born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, sent him off to a private school in India, from 1955 til 1963. In 1964, he and his family flew to England. In 1966 he started his education at the Ealing College of Art, where he graduated in 1969. He ...

3. Aretha Franklin

Actress | The Blues Brothers

Several Grammy award wins, the first women to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and dubbed as the Queen Of Soul. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Aretha was born to parents, Barbra Singers homemaker, and Clarence Franklin a baptist minster. Aretha Franklin ...

4. Ray Charles

Actor | The Blues Brothers

A tragic fate may have given this visionary a heightened sensitivity, perception, awareness, even expansion to his obvious musical gifts that he may have never touched upon had he not suffered from his physical affliction. Whatever it was, Ray Charles revolutionized American music and was ...

5. Michael Jackson

Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together, ...

6. Prince

Soundtrack | Under the Cherry Moon

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His father's stage name was "Prince Rogers". His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth, ...

7. Marvin Gaye

Soundtrack | High Fidelity

Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. He was married to Jan Gaye and Anna Gordy Gaye. He died on April 1, 1984 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

8. Al Green

Soundtrack | Pulp Fiction

Al Green was born on April 13, 1946 in Forrest City, Arkansas, USA as Albert Greene. He was previously married to Shirley Kyles.

9. Barry Gibb

Soundtrack | Saturday Night Fever

If you were to try and summarize Barry Gibb's forty-five year career in the music industry in a single phrase you would probably come up with something such as "versatile". Barry Gibb continues to remain an important, relevant figure in the music industry due to his willingness to adapt his music, ...

10. Burton Cummings

Soundtrack | Melanie

Burton Cummings got his start in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada performing in a number of bands. Ultimately, the Guess Who became one of the most popular of all rock bands in the 1970s. Cummings came into contact with several other Winnipeg musicians. Randy Bachman was part of the Guess Who for many ...

11. Steve Perry

Soundtrack | Monster

Steve Perry was born on January 22, 1949 in Hanford, California, USA.

12. Luther Vandross

Soundtrack | The Goonies

He was the heartbeat of R&B during the 1980s and 1990s, yet led a productive singing and songwriting life prior to this preeminence. The soul balladeer's strong commitment to the art of music continued on its Grammy-winning course, even after an acute stroke in 2003 left him severely incapacitated ...

13. Sade

Soundtrack | Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Sade was born on January 16, 1959 in Ibadan, Nigeria as Helen Folasade Adu. She was previously married to Carlos Scola.

14. Little Richard

Actor | Last Action Hero

Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as Little Richard, the self-proclaimed "Architect of Rock 'n' Roll", traveled in his early days with the legendary vaudeville star Spencer "Snake" Anthony. One of Richard's early bands had the young, then unknown singer James Brown (the Godfather of Soul), a ...

15. Lenny Williams

Actor | 3 Ways to Get a Husband

Lenny Williams was born on February 16, 1945 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. He is an actor, known for 3 Ways to Get a Husband (2010), Rock Concert (1973) and Soul Alive (1977). He has been married to Deborah Williams since 1983. They have one child. He was previously married to Pearl and Dorothy.

16. Patti LaBelle

Actress | Idlewild

Patti LaBelle, born Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards, is an American singer, author, and actress. Patti began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer of the band Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. A decade later the group changed their name to Labelle and recorded the hit song "Lady Marmalade". ...

17. Teena Marie

Soundtrack | The Goonies

Teena Marie was born on March 5, 1956 in Santa Monica, California, USA as Mary Christine Brockert. She died on December 26, 2010 in Pasadena, California.

18. Smokey Robinson

Soundtrack | The Boat That Rocked

Multi-talented performer/writer/producer Smokey Robinson's career, and life, is inextricably tied up with Motown Records' founder Berry Gordy (his first two children are named Tamla, for the Gordy-owned label Smokey recorded for, and Berry, for Gordy himself). He and Gordy have had a professional ...

19. Janis Joplin

Soundtrack | Watchmen

Janis Lyn Joplin was born at St. Mary's Hospital in the oil-refining town of Port Arthur, Texas, near the border with Louisiana. Her father was a cannery worker and her mother was a registrar for a business college. As an overweight teenager, she was a folk-music devotee (especially Odetta, ...

20. Sammy Davis Jr.

Actor | The Cannonball Run

Sammy Davis Jr. was often billed as the "greatest living entertainer in the world".

He was born in Harlem, Manhattan, the son of dancer Elvera Davis (née Sanchez) and vaudeville star Sammy Davis Sr.. His father was African-American and his mother was of Puerto Rican ancestry. Davis Jr. was known as ...

21. Otis Redding

Soundtrack | Mr. Nobody

Otis Redding was born on September 9, 1941 in Dawson, Georgia, USA as Otis Ray Redding Jr. He was married to Zelma Atwood. He died on December 10, 1967 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

22. Frankie Lymon

Soundtrack | American Graffiti

Frankie Lymon was born on September 30, 1942 in Harlem, New York City, New York, USA as Franklin Lymon. He was married to Emira Lymon, Zola Taylor and Elizabeth Waters. He died on February 28, 1968 in New York City.

23. Stevie Wonder

Soundtrack | The Woman in Red

Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, United States, to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. Due to being born six weeks premature, Stevie Wonder was born with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which made him blind. Stevie Wonder, even with this disability, made his ...

24. Frank Sinatra

Actor | The Manchurian Candidate

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. ...

25. B.B. King

Actor | Blues Brothers 2000

B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925 as Riley B. King. He was married to Sue Carol Hall and Martha Lee Denton. He died on May 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

26. Sly Stone

Soundtrack | Stealth

Sly Stone was born on March 15, 1943 in Dallas, Texas, USA as Sylvester Stewart. He was previously married to Kathy Silva.

27. Sting

Soundtrack | The Emperor's New Groove

Sting was born Gordon Matthew Sumner on 2 October, 1951 in Wallsend, North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England, the eldest of four children of Audrey (Cowell), a hairdresser, and Ernest Matthew Sumner, an engineer and milkman. He received his name from a striped sweater he wore which looked like a bee...

28. Frankie Valli

Soundtrack | Grease

Frankie Valli was born on May 3, 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, USA as Francis Stephen Castelluccio. He was previously married to Randy Clohessy, MaryAnn Hannigan and Mary Mandel.

29. David Ruffin

Soundtrack | The Addiction

The man most of us know by his unmistakable, calming yet disturbed raspy voice was born Davis Eli Ruffin on January 18, 1941, in Whynot, Mississippi. His father, Eli Ruffin, was a Baptist minister. Only months after his birth his mother Ophelia Ruffin died, and his father later remarried, to a ...

Temptations lead singer

30. The Dells

Soundtrack | Original Gangstas

Members have included Marvin Junior (d. 2013), Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, Lucius McGill, Mickey McGill, Johnny Carter (d. 2009), Johnny Funches (d. 1998).

31. El DeBarge

Soundtrack | Lost

El DeBarge was born on June 4, 1961 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA as Eldra DeBarge. He is married to Monique DeBarge. They have one child. He was previously married to Tracey Ferguson.

32. Chaka Khan

Actress | The Blues Brothers

Chaka Khan was born on March 23, 1953 in Great Lakes, Illinois, USA as Yvette Marie Stevens. She has been married to Doug Rasheed since 2001. She was previously married to Richard Holland and Hassan Khan.

33. Russell Thompkins Jr.

Soundtrack | The Hunting Party

Russell Thompkins Jr. was born on March 21, 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Russell Allen Thompkins Jr. He is an actor, known for The Hunting Party (2007), Soul Train (1971) and Top of the Pops (1964).

The Stylistics lead singer

34. Johnnie Taylor

Soundtrack | Bedazzled

Johnnie Taylor was born on May 5, 1937 in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, USA as Johnnie Harrison Taylor. He was married to Gerlean Rockett. He died on May 31, 2000 in Dallas, Texas, USA.

35. Gladys Knight

Actress | Hollywood Homicide

Gladys Knight was born on May 28, 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Gladys Maria Knight. She is an actress, known for Hollywood Homicide (2003), Unbeatable Harold (2006) and Pipe Dreams (1976). She has been married to William McDowell since April 12, 2001. She was previously married to Les Brown, ...

36. Little Anthony and the Imperials

Soundtrack | The Brother from Another Planet

Members have included Anthony Gourdine (aka Little Anthony), Clarence Collins), Ernest Wright, Harold Jenkins, John DiGiulio, Nathaniel Rodgers, Tracy Lord, Ronald Ross, Sammy Strain, George Kerr, Kenny Seymour, Bobby Wade, Sherman James, Ron Stevenson.