Top 100 Greatest Female Singers

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1.
Madonna
The remarkable, hyper-ambitious Material Girl who never stops reinventing herself, Madonna is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner who has sold over three hundred million records and CDs to adoring fans worldwide. Her film career, however, is another story. Her performances have consistently drawn scathing or laughable reviews from film critics...
 
2.
Diana Ross
Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes, Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children of African-American parents Ernestine Lillian (Moten), a schoolteacher, and Fred Earl Ross, who served in the army...
 
3.
Aretha Franklin
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 started to sing due to her father being a minister...
 
4.
Donna Summer
Soundtrack, American Hustle
Donna Summer rocketed to international super-stardom in the mid-1970s when her groundbreaking merger of R&B, soul, pop, funk, rock, disco and avant-garde electronica catapulted underground dance music out of the clubs of Europe to the pinnacles of sales and radio charts around the world. Maintaining an unbroken string of hits throughout the 70s and 80s...
 
5.
Tina Turner
Soundtrack, GoldenEye
After almost fifty years in the music business, Tina Turner has become one of the most commercially-successful international female rock stars to date. Her sultry, powerful voice, her incredible legs, her time-tested beauty and her unforgettable story all contribute to her legendary status. Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush...
 
6.
Kate Bush
Soundtrack, The Golden Compass
Kate Bush began playing piano at a young age and, by her mid-teens, had composed over 200 songs. Her talent caught the notice of David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) who assisted in arranging her contract with EMI. The first song she released, "Wuthering Heights", soared to #1 in England in 1978. Since then...
 
7.
Billie Holiday
Soundtrack, Schindler's List
Billie Holiday was a true artist of her day and rose as a social phenomenon in the 1950s. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time. Today, Holiday is remembered for her masterpieces, creativity and vivacity...
 
10.
Whitney Houston
Actress, The Bodyguard
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into a musical family on 9 August 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel star Cissy Houston, cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin. She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist Church in Newark...
 
11.
Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi was born at Boulevard Hospital, in Astoria, Queens. She spent her first four years in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Her family then moved to Ozone Park, Queens.
 
12.
Janet Jackson
Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana, to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse) and Joe Jackson, a musician. She is the youngest of ten children. After her birth, her brothers formed a band later called The Jackson 5. She lived at home with her sisters, while her brothers and father lived an extravagant life in Los Angeles...
 
13.
Cher
Actress, Mask
The beat goes on ... and on ... and as strong as ever for this superstar entertainer who has well surpassed the four-decade mark while improbably transforming herself from an artificial, glossy "flashionplate" singer into a serious, Oscar-worthy, dramatic actress ... and back again! With more ups and downs than the 2008 Dow Jones Industrial Average...
 
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15.
Céline Dion
Soundtrack, Titanic
Hailing from the small town of Charlemagne, Québec, Céline Dion has become one of the all-time greatest singers. Céline was born in 1968, the youngest of 14 children. Early in childhood, she sang with her siblings in a small club owned by her parents. From these early experiences, Céline gained the know-how to performing live...
 
16.
Bonnie Tyler
Soundtrack, Metropolis
Born on June 8, 1951 in Skewen, Neath, Wales. She first came to prominence in 1976 with the song, "Lost in France", which made the UK top 10. Following a throat operation, she inadvertently developed her distinct singing voice. She had a transatlantic top 5 hit with "It's a Heartache" in 1978. She...
 
17.
Sade
Soundtrack, Philadelphia
 
18.
Ella Fitzgerald
Soundtrack, The Master
On Saturday, June 15th, 1996, an era in jazz singing came to an end, with the death of Ella Fitzgerald at her home in California. She was the last of four great female jazz singers (including Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae) who defined one of the most prolific eras in jazz vocal style...
 
19.
Debbie Harry
Soundtrack, Scarface
Deborah Harry was born Angela Tremble on July 1, 1945 in Miami, Florida. At three months, she was adopted by Catherine (Peters) and Richard Smith Harry, and was raised in Hawthorne, New Jersey. In the 1960s, she worked as a Playboy Bunny and hung out at Max's Kansas City, a famous Warhol-inhabited nightspot...
 
20.
Minnie Riperton
Soundtrack, Jackie Brown
Minnie Riperton was born November 8, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois, to Thelma Inez (Matthews) and Daniel Webster Riperton, a Pullman porter. At a young age, Riperton, the youngest of eight children, began taking dancing and ballet. Once she reached high school, she began singing in the Hyde Park A Capella Choir...
 
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22.
Karen Carpenter
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Karen Carpenter moved with her family to Downey, California, in 1963. Karen's older brother, Richard Carpenter, decided to put together an instrumental trio with him on the piano, Karen on the drums and their friend Wes Jacobs on the bass and tuba. In a battle of the bands at the Hollywood Bowl in 1966...
 
23.
Kim Carnes
Soundtrack, Flashdance
Raspy-voiced singer/songwriter Kim Carnes was born on July 20, 1945 in Los Angeles, California. Kim wanted to become a successful singer and songwriter ever since she was three. Carnes began her music career in the 60s writing songs for other artists while performing at local clubs and working as a session vocalist...
 
24.
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette has released a series of groundbreaking albums that have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. She has won twelve Juno Awards, seven Grammy® Awards, and has also received an additional fourteen Grammy® nominations. Morissette's international debut album "Jagged Little Pill" remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S...
 
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29.
Stevie Nicks
Soundtrack, School of Rock
Stevie Nicks was born in Phoenix, Arizona. From an early age, she showed a love and aptitude for music, singing country and western duets with her grandfather when she was 4 years old. After moving to San Francisco, she began songwriting and performing at Menlo-Atherton High School, where she met her future long-time companion...
 
32.
Christina Aguilera
Soundtrack, Get Smart
Christina Maria Aguilera was born on December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York, to Shelly Loraine (Fidler) and Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera. Her father is Ecuadorian and her mother, who is American-born, has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced when she was young and she lived with her mother...
 
33.
Anita Baker
Anita was born January 26, 1958 in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She began singing in church choir when she was 12 and at 16 sang in a local group along with high school friends. In 1975 she successfully auditioned for the group Chapter 8, having been approached by bass player David Washington...
 
34.
Alicia Bridges
Born on July 15, 1953, in Lawndale, North Carolina, Alicia Bridges eventually relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where, in her late teens, started doing behind-the-scenes work DJ/VJ-ing before snagging her own recording contract with Polydor in early 1978. She was given full creative control of her choice of material...
 
35.
Jennifer Rush
Born Heidi Stern in New York City, September 28th 1960, she moved to Germany in the beginning of the 80s where she started a huge music career. Her song, "The Power of Love", is in The Guinness Book of World Records as "The best selling disc of a woman in the history of recording music industry in Great Britain".
 
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Natalie Imbruglia
Natalie Jane Imbruglia was born on Tuesday, February 4, 1975, in Sydney, Australia, to Maxene (Anderson) and Elliot Imbruglia. Her father is Sicilain (from Lipari) and her mother has English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish ancestry. She grew up in a small beach town on the New South Wales coast called Berkeley Vale...
 
38.
Kylie Minogue
Actress, Moulin Rouge!
Kylie Ann Minogue was born on 28 May, 1968. The eldest of three children, Kylie's acting career began early, but it was her role as "Charlene" in the Australian soap, Neighbours, which established Kylie as an international star. Her singing career began, purely by accident, when a record company executive heard Kylie's rendition of Little Eva's 1962 hit...
 
39.
Mary J. Blige
Soundtrack, The Help
 
40.
Carly Simon
She was raised in the Riverdale section of New York City with two sisters and a brother. Her father, Richard Simon, played Chopin and Beethoven on the piano. She attended so many Brooklyn Dodgers games with her father that she was made a team mascot before they moved to Los Angeles. She once said if she could see herself in a ballplayer...
 
42.
Nancy Sinatra
Soundtrack, Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Nancy Sandra Sinatra was born the first child of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra on June 8, 1940 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her first television appearance was with her father and Elvis Presley in 1959. She first appeared as a film actress in For Those Who Think Young and Get Yourself a College Girl. Nancy appeared alongside Elvis in the musical comedy Speedway...
 
43.
Adele
Soundtrack, Skyfall
 
44.
Britney Spears
Soundtrack, Bridesmaids
Britney Jean Spears was born in McComb (Mississippi) and raised in rural Louisiana (Kentwood) to Jamie Spears and Lynne Spears. As a child, Britney attended dance classes, and she was great at gymnastics, winning many competitions and the like. But, most of all, Britney loved to sing. At age 8...
 
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k.d. lang
Soundtrack, Twister
 
47.
Shania Twain
Soundtrack, Notting Hill
Shania Twain was born as Eilleen Regina Edwards in 1965, the middle of three daughters to Clarence and Sharon Edwards (sister Jill is two years older and Carrie-Ann three years younger). When she was age 6, her mother remarried Jerry Twain, a full-blooded Ojibwa native from Timmins, Ontario, who adopted her as his own...
 
48.
Melanie C
Soundtrack, Big Daddy
Born on the 12th January 1974 in Merseyside, England, Melanie Chisholm became a member of Spice Girls in 1994. Their three albums sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and they had nine singles at number 1 in the UK. "Northern Star" was her first solo album. On the back of the first single "Goin' Down"...
 
50.
Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé was born in Houston, Texas. Her father, Mathew Knowles, manages Destiny's Child. Her mother, Tina Knowles (née Celestine Ann Beyincé), designs their glittering costumes. Solange Knowles, her sister (they're about 5 years apart), has released her debut album. She dances with her big sister during DC-3 concerts. Beyoncé is of African-American and Creole descent...
 
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54.
Missy Elliott
Soundtrack, The Transporter
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Hip-hop emcee and R&B songwriter Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott has become one of the most esteemed figures in contemporary American music, providing material for artists including MC Lyte, Adina Howard, and Jodeci, as well as working as an arranger, producer...
 
55.
Paula Abdul
Miscellaneous Crew, American Idol
Her father (Harry Abdul) is of Sephardic Jewish background from Syria. Her mother is also Jewish and was born in Canada. Her parents have lived in Syria, Brazil, and Canada - and this varied background has contributed to incredibly different stories in the press about her nationality and/or religion...
 
56.
Fiona Apple
Soundtrack, Bridesmaids
Daughter of former singer Diane McAfee and actor Brandon Maggart. She was classically trained as a pianist as a child and began composing songs when she was eight years old. She crafted a demo tape while in Los Angeles finishing High School. When she returned home to New York for Christmas one of the tapes found its way to a friend who supervised the care of a music industry executive's children...
 
57.
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey was born in Long Island, New York. She is the daughter of Patricia (Hickey), a singer and vocal coach, who is of Irish descent, and Alfred Roy Carey, an engineer, who was of Afro-Cuban ancestry. Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields High School. In June of 1990, Mariah made her debut with "Mariah Carey" which entered at #73...
 
58.
Shakira
Grammy-winning Latina pop singer Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, on February 2, 1977. Her father is a Lebanese American immigrant and her mother a native of Colombia of Italian and Spanish descent. Shakira began her musical career at age 12 and quickly captured fans throughout Latin America. She won the 2001 Best Latin pop Grammy for her "MTV Unplugged" album.
 
59.
Sheryl Crow
Soundtrack, Boyhood
 
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61.
Diana King
Soundtrack, Bad Boys
 
62.
PJ Harvey
Polly Jean Harvey was born in England on October 9th 1969. The daughter of a quarryman father and an artist mother, Polly Jean, or PJ as she is more commonly known, was raised on a sheep farm in Yeovil, Somerset. She learned to play a number of instruments as a child (including guitar, saxophone, and violin) and as a teenager played in several bands...
 
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Beth Orton
Soundtrack, Vanilla Sky
 
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Dido
Soundtrack, Love Actually
 
71.
Lauryn Hill
Soundtrack, Surf's Up
Lauryn Hill, a native of South Orange, New Jersey, first came to attention with the multi-talented Fugees. Their first album, "Blunted On Reality", went virtually unnoticed by the public; their real breakthrough came with the sophomore album, "The Score", which featured "Killing Me Softly"...
 
72.
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...
 
74.
Pat Benatar
Soundtrack, Sesame Street
Pat Benatar was born Patricia Andrzejewski in Brooklyn and raised in suburban Lindenhurst, Long Island. Her mother Millie had sacrificed her own career as an opera singer to bring up Pat and son Andrew. Years later, it was Pat who singing classical, honing the powers of her 4.5-octave voice as a member of Lindenhurst High's musical-theater department...
 
75.
Courtney Love
The daughter of Grateful Dead devotee and first manager Hank Harrison and psychotherapist Linda Caroll, Courtney Love was born Courtney Michelle Harrison in San Francisco, California in 1964. Love spent her early years living in hippie communes in Oregon and at schools in Europe and New Zealand, under the care of her mother and other family members...
 
76.
Tracy Chapman
Soundtrack, One Day
 
77.
Tori Amos
Soundtrack, Twister
Born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963 in Newton, North Carolina (but moving to Baltimore, Maryland very shortly thereafter), singer/songwriter and sometimes-actress Tori Amos has accumulated one of the most ravenous, cult- like followings known to the entertainment industry. After cutting a 45"RPM record at the age of 18 called "Baltimore" (which...
 
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Amy Winehouse
Soundtrack, About Time
Amy Winehouse was a five-time Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter known for such hits as 'Rehab' and 'You Know I'm No Good' among her other works. She was born Amy Jade Winehouse, on September 14, 1983, in Enfield, London, England to a Jewish family with Russian ancestry on her mother's side...
 
81.
Joni Mitchell
Soundtrack, Love Actually
Joni Mitchell is one of the most highly regarded and influential songwriters of the 20th century. Her melodious tunes support her poetic and often very personal lyrics to make her one of the most authentic artists of her time. As a performer she is widely hailed for her unique style of playing guitar...
 
83.
Norah Jones
Actress, Ted
Norah Jones (born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar; March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. She is a daughter of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is Anoushka Shankar's half-sister. In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away with Me...
 
84.
Vanessa Williams
Actress, Eraser
Vanessa Lynn Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and she has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television...
 
85.
Barbra Streisand
Actress, Funny Girl
Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...
 
86.
Alicia Keys
Soundtrack, Men in Black
Alicia Keys was born in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, to Teresa (Augello), a paralegal who was also an occasional actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Her father is African-American, and her mother, who is caucasian, is of Italian and English/Irish/Scottish ancestry. Alicia began taking piano lessons at age seven at her mother's insistence...
 
87.
Jennifer Warnes
Singer/songwriter Jennifer Warnes has enjoyed enormous crossover success not only on the pop and country music charts alike, but also for her often exceptional song contributions to several hit movies. Jennifer was born on March 3, 1947 in Seattle, Washington and raised in Anaheim, California. She made...
 
88.
LeAnn Rimes
Music Department, Coyote Ugly
LeAnn started singing at age 3, and has sold over 20 million records since. She was born August 28, 1982 in Jackson, Mississippi. By age 7, LeAnn made her stage debut in a Dallas musical production of "A Christmas Carol". Later, she would sing "The Star Spangled Banner" to open Dallas Cowboys football games...
 
89.
Gloria Estefan
Soundtrack, Futurama
 
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Jessica Simpson
Jessica Ann Simpson was born July 10, 1980 in Abilene, Texas, to Tina Ann (Drew) and Joe Truett Simpson, a psychologist and Baptist youth minister. She grew up in Richardson, Texas, living a normal childhood. In church, she was able to shine, using her gifted voice to attract an independent record producer...
 
93.
Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes
Soundtrack, We're the Millers
Controversial, flamboyant, and spontaneous are probably the best words to describe Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Born in Philadelphia, and raised throughout the world as the daughter of a U.S. Army serviceman, Lisa Lopes became one of the most important trendsetters in the 1990s music scene. After relocating to Atlanta during her young adult years...
 
94.
Dolly Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on January 19, 1946, one of 12 children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and Avie Lee Parton (née Owens). Dolly grew up on a run-down farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. At 12, she was appearing on Knoxville TV and, at 13, she was already recording on a small label and appearing at the Grand Ole Opry...
 
95.
Joan Jett
Soundtrack, Shrek
Joan Jett rose to fame in the 1970s all-girl rock band The Runaways. Her cover of "I Love Rock and Roll" was a number one hit in 1982; "Crimson and Clover" was another hit for her. Jett has appeared as Columbia in the Broadway production of "The Rocky Horror Show".
 
96.
Gwen Stefani
Soundtrack, 50 First Dates
Gwen Renee Stefani was born on October 3, 1969 at St. Jude's Hospital in Fullerton, California. She was one of four children born to Dennis Stefani and Patti Flynn. Her siblings are Eric Stefani, Jill and Todd Stefani. Her father is of Italian descent and her mother's ancestry is English, Irish...
 
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Candi Staton
Soundtrack, Layer Cake
 
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