There are countless great singers in the world, but who is the best of all time? That’s a question that has been debated by music lovers and enthusiasts for years. There are so many factors to consider – vocal range, technique, power, style, etc. – that it’s difficult to come up with a definitive answer.
However, after careful consideration, we have compiled a list of the 10 best singers of all time. Keep reading to see who made the cut!
The list of 20 best singers of all time is long and difficult to rank. However, we hope that this article has helped you find your favorite singer by giving a brief overview of who they are as well as what makes them special among other talented artists out there!
If someone deserves recognition for being considered a one-of-a-kind talent with an amazing voice please leave us a comment below so I can update my rankings accordingly.”
20 Best Singers of All Time
so lets start with one of the iconic figure in music history..
Aretha Franklin is a legendary figure in the world of music. She is best known for her soulful voice and her ability to connect with her fans. Franklin has won numerous awards throughout her career, including 18 Grammy Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She is famous for her signature song, “Respect.” “Respect” was originally written by Otis Redding, but Franklin’s version quickly became an anthem for the Civil Rights movement. It remains one of the most popular and iconic songs of all time. Thanks to her talent and her passion for music, Aretha Franklin has left a lasting legacy that will continue to inspire people for generations to come.
Freddie Mercury was a singer, songwriter and producer who was best known as the lead singer of the rock band Queen. He was born in Zanzibar in 1946 and his real name was Farrokh Bulsara. Freddie grew up in India and went to England to study art at the Ealing School of Art.
He started his musical career playing in a number of small bands before joining Queen in 1970. Freddie wrote many of Queen’s biggest hits including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites the Dust”.
He was an incredible live performer and was known for his powerful voice and flamboyant stage persona. Freddie Mercury died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991, just one day after announcing that he had the disease. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Stevie Wonder is a legendary musician who has won dozens of awards and achieved massive success with hits like “Superstition” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” He was born Stevland Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1950. At the age of four he lost his sight due to a congenital condition called retinopathy of prematurity.
Despite this setback, Wonder went on to become one of the most successful recording artists of all time. He started playing music at an early age and signed his first record contract when he was just 11 years old. By the age of 13, he had released his first album, “The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie.” Wonder went on to have a hugely successful career, winning multiple Grammys and becoming one of the best-selling artists of all time.
His 1970 album “Talking Book” features some of his most iconic hits, including “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” Wonder is a trailblazer in the world of music, and his impact is still felt today.
Michael Jackson is a name that needs no introduction. He is a legend in the music industry, and his influence is still felt today, more than a decade after his death.
Jackson was born in 1958 in Gary, Indiana, and he began his musical career at a young age as part of the Jackson 5. He went on to release a string of hit solo albums, including Thriller, which is the best-selling album of all time. Jackson was also a trailblazer in the music video industry, and his groundbreaking videos for songs like “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” helped to define the genre.
In addition to his work in music, Jackson was also a noted philanthropist, and he used his platform to raise awareness for important causes.
He won numerous awards during his lifetime, including 13 Grammy Awards and 26 American Music Awards. Michael Jackson was truly a one-of-a-kind talent, and his impact on popular culture is still evident today.
Mariah Carey is a renowned American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She rose to fame in the early 1990s with her self-titled debut album, which went multiplatinum and spawned a series of hit singles, including “Vision of Love” and “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” Carey has since released numerous successful albums, including “Butterfly” and “The Emancipation of Mimi,” both of which topped the charts and won Grammy Awards.
She has also starred in a number of films, including “Precious” and “The Butler.” Carey has sold more than 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. In addition to her commercial success, she has also received critical acclaim for her vocal abilities, receiving five Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
James Brown (1933-2006) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer who left a lasting impact on the music industry. Often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul,” Brown was a pioneer of funk music and is credited with helping to turn popular music into a more racially diverse genre.
Born in poverty in South Carolina, Brown rose to prominence in the 1950s with hit songs like “Please, Please, Please” and “I Got You (I Feel Good).” He went on to release more than 100 albums and singles over his decades-long career, earning numerous awards and accolades along the way. One of his most famous songs, “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud,” became an anthem for the Civil Rights movement. James Brown’s contribution to music is undeniable, and his legacy continues to inspire artists today.
Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12th, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The only child of Italian immigrants, he was raised in a tenement house on the city’s waterfront. As a youngster, he pursued a career as a professional boxer before finding his true calling as a musician. He began singing in local nightclubs and soon developed a following. In 1940, he made his first recordings with the bandleader Harry James. Three years later, he signed with Columbia Records and released his first album, “The Voice of Frank Sinatra.”
Over the next two decades, Sinatra would come to be known as one of the greatest singers of all time. He popularized a new style of singing called “The Crooner,” and recorded many classic songs such as “Fly Me to the Moon” and “My Way.” He also starred in a number of films, winning an Academy Award for his performance in “From Here to Eternity.”
In 1971, he returned to recording with his ground-breaking album “Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely.” Throughout his career, he won numerous awards and honors, including Grammy Awards, Golden Globes, and an Emmy Award. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.
Elton John, born as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, is an English singer, songwriter, and pianist. John has sold more than 300 million records during his lifetime. He has won five Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and a Disney Legend award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992. Elton John has released over 30 albums throughout his career.
His most famous song is “Candle in the Wind 1997” which he performed at Princess Diana’s funeral. This version of the song sold 37 million copies worldwide and is one of the best-selling singles of all time. Another one of John’s famous songs is “Rocket Man.” This song was ranked number 245 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. It was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. Elton John continues to tour all over the world and is currently working on new music.
Otis Redding was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is considered one of the greatest soul artists of all time. His most famous song, “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay,” was released posthumously after his untimely death in a plane crash in 1967. It became a worldwide hit and is still popular today.
Otis Redding was born in 1941 in Dawson, Georgia. He began his musical career as a gospel singer but soon switched to secular music. He achieved success with his first major hit, “Respect,” in 1965. Otis Redding continued to release chart-topping hits until his untimely death at the age of 26.
He won numerous awards during his career, including a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay.” Otis Redding’s short but impactful career has cemented his place as one of the greatest soul artists of all time.
Roy Orbison was an American singer, songwriter, and musician who found success in the early 1960s with a unique style that combined country, pop, and rockabilly. His recordings for Monument Records, including “Only the Lonely” and “Crying,” established him as one of the most successful recording artists of the time.
Despite his success, Orbison experienced personal tragedy in his life, including the death of his wife in a motorcycle accident and the loss of two of his sons in separate accidents. These tragedies informed his songwriting and helped to make him one of the most emotive vocalists of his generation.
Orbison continued to record and perform until his untimely death in 1988 at the age of 52. Today, his music remains popular and continues to influence new generations of musicians.
Sam Cooke was a singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur who helped to shape the sound of popular music in the 1960s. Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Cooke began his career as a gospel singer with the legendary Soul Stirrers. He went on to achieve great success as a solo artist, with hits like “You Send Me,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and “Bring It On Home To Me.” In 1964, he founded his own record label, SAR Records, which helped to promote the careers of other R&B and soul artists.
Cooke was also a powerful civil rights advocate, using his platform to speak out against injustice. Tragically, he was shot and killed at the age of 33. Despite his short life, Sam Cooke left a lasting legacy as one of the most influential musicians of his generation.
Bob Marley is one of the most famous reggae musicians of all time. He was born in Jamaica in 1945 and started his musical career in 1963. His band, Bob Marley and the Wailers, released their first album in 1968.
Marley’s distinctive style of music quickly gained popularity, and he became one of the most successful reggae artists of all time. He won numerous awards, including Grammy Awards and a Brit Award. His most famous song is “One Love,” which is still popular today. Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981, but his music continues to be loved by fans around the world.
Elvis Presley was one of the most popular musicians of the 20th century. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13.
His unique style of combining country, gospel, and rhythm and blues made him one of the most influential artists of his generation. His first record, “That’s All Right,” was released in 1954 and quickly rose to the top of the charts. Presley went on to release a string of hits throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Suspicious Minds.”
He also starred in a number of successful films, such as “Jailhouse Rock” and “Viva Las Vegas.” In addition to his musical accomplishments, Presley was also known for his flamboyant stage presence and good looks. He died of a heart attack on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. Despite his tragic death, Elvis Presley’s legacy continues to live on through his music.
Whitney Houston was one of the most successful singers of all time. Born in 1963, she started singing as a child and went on to have a long and successful career. Her debut album, ‘Whitney Houston’, was released in 1985 and she quickly became one of the biggest stars in the world. Her second album, ‘Whitney’, was even more successful than her first and cemented her place as one of the greatest singers of her generation.
She went on to release several more albums throughout her career, including the hugely successful ‘Bodyguard’ soundtrack in 1992. Whitney Houston won numerous awards during her lifetime, including five Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Emmy Awards. She is also one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over 200 million records sold worldwide.
Her most famous song is ‘I Will Always Love You’, which was originally released in 1992 and became an international hit.
Bob Dylan is one of the most iconic and influential musicians of the 20th century. Born Robert Zimmerman in 1941, Dylan grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and began playing music as a teenager. He soon adopted the stage name Bob Dylan, inspired by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. In 1961, Dylan moved to New York City, where he became a central figure in the city’s folk music scene.
His debut album, released in 1962, featured a number of traditional folk songs, but also showcased his own songwriting talents. Over the course of his career, Dylan has released more than 50 albums and has won numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential musicians of all time.
Etta James was an American singer who performed a wide range of genres, including blues, R&B, soul, and rock and roll. She is best known for her 1961 hit single “At Last,” which has been covered by numerous artists over the years. Born in Los Angeles in 1938, James began singing in local bars and clubs at a young age. She soon caught the attention of bandleader Johnny Otis, who helped her launch her career.
In 1955, she signed with Chess Records and released her debut album, At Last!, which featured several of her signature songs. During her career, James won four Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. She continued to perform and record until her death in 2012.
Paul McCartney is a world-renowned musician, best known as a member of the Beatles. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1942, and rose to fame in the 1960s as part of one of the most successful bands of all time. McCartney continued to enjoy success after the break-up of the Beatles, both as a solo artist and as part of the duo Wings.
He has been involved in music for over six decades and is widely considered to be one of the greatest songwriters of all time. McCartney has won multiple Grammy Awards and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His most famous songs include “Yesterday,” “Let it Be,” and “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
Mick Jagger is a singer, songwriter and actor who rose to prominence as the lead vocalist and primary songwriter for the Rolling Stones. Over the course of his 50-year career, Jagger has released nine solo albums and won multiple Grammy Awards. He is also one of the world’s most recognizable performers, thanks to his dynamic stage presence and distinctive vocal style. Born in Dartford, England, in 1943, Jagger began his career as a teenager, performing with various bands before teaming up with Keith Richards to form the Rolling Stones in 1962.
The band’s early hits included “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Paint It Black.” The Stones have continued to tour and record over the years, and Jagger remains an active and popular solo artist. In addition to his musical accomplishments, he has also appeared in films such as Performance (1970) and Freejack (1992).
Paul David Hewson, better known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer, songwriter, and actor. He is best known as the frontman of the rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin and rose to fame as a member of U2 after the release of their debut album Boy (1980). The band went on to achieve critical and commercial success with a series of subsequent albums, including The Joshua Tree (1987) and Achtung Baby (1991).
As a solo artist, Bono has released two albums: All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004). He has also collaborated with other artists on a number of occasions. In addition to his musical career, Bono is also known for his activism, especially his work related to the ONE Campaign and Live Aid. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including 22 Grammy Awards.
Tina Turner is a world-famous singer who is known for her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence. Born in Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner began her singing career with her husband, Ike Turner, in the 1950s.
The pair soon rose to fame with their explosive live performances and hits like “Proud Mary” and “Nutbush City Limits.”
In the 1980s, Turner embarked on a hugely successful solo career, releasing a string of hits including “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “We Don’t Need Another Hero.”
To date, Turner has won eight Grammy Awards and has sold over 180 million records worldwide. She remains one of the best-selling artists of all time.
Ray Charles is one of the most iconic American musicians of the 20th century. He rose to fame in the 1950s with his unique style of soul and rhythm & blues, which helped to shape the sound of popular music for decades to come. Among his many hits are “I’ve Got a Woman,” “Hit the Road Jack,” and “Georgia on My Mind,” which was declared the official state song of Georgia in 1979.
Throughout his career, Charles won 12 Grammy Awards, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy.
He was also inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame, cementing his legacy as one of the most influential and respected musicians of all time.
Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and musician who helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s. He was born in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1939, and began singing in his local church choir. Gaye later joined the doo-wop group the Moonglows, before embarking on a solo career.
His debut album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, was released in 1961. Gaye found success with a series of hits including “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and “I Heard It through the Grapevine.” In 1971, he released the groundbreaking album What’s Going On, which explored social and political issues such as police brutality and the Vietnam War.
Gaye won multiple Grammy Awards throughout his career and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He died tragically on April 1, 1984, after being shot by his father. Gaye’s impact on popular music is still felt today, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest soul artists of all time.
Robert Plant is a British singer and songwriter who rose to fame as the frontman of the rock band Led Zeppelin. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock singers of all time, and his powerful, blues-influenced vocals have earned him numerous accolades, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Plant’s distinctive vocal style was influenced by early rock and roll singers like Little Richard and Elvis Presley, as well as delta blues musicians like Howlin’ Wolf.
Over the course of his career, he has released numerous solo albums and collaborated with a variety of artists, including bluegrass musician Alison Krauss on the Grammy-winning album Raising Sand. Though he has been active in music for over 50 years, Robert Plant remains one of rock’s most iconic and enduring figures.
Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as Prince, was a musician and songwriter who achieved international fame in the 1980s. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 7, 1958, and began playing piano at the age of seven. He went on to play in a number of bands during his teenage years before releasing his debut album, For You, in 1978.
Prince found success with his second album, 1979’s Prince, which contained the hit singles “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” In 1980, he released the album Dirty Mind, which included the controversial song “Head.” Three years later, Prince achieved his breakthrough with the album 1999. The album’s title track became one of his biggest hits, and it helped to make him one of the most popular musicians of the decade.
Throughout his career, Prince won seven Grammy Awards and an Academy Award for his work on the film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Prince died on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57.
Al Green is a singer, songwriter and record producer who found fame as a pioneer of soul music in the 1970s. Born in Forrest City, Arkansas, in 1946, Green began his career singing gospel music in his father’s church. He soon crossed over into the R&B world, and found success with a string of hits including “Tired of Being Alone,” “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still in Love With You.” In 1972, Green had a near-fatal accident when he was scalded by boiling water after an argument with his girlfriend.
The incident deepened his religious faith, and he later returned to gospel music. However, he continued to find success with pop audiences as well, thanks to songs like “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” and “Love and Happiness.” To date, Green has won eight Grammy Awards and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson was the founder and front man of the Motown vocal group the Miracles, for which he was also chief songwriter and producer.
His career as a solo artist includes 31 Top 40 hits, including “Tears of a Clown”, “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”, and “Cruisin’.” As a writer of Hitsville USA, he is credited with 38 top 40 hits. He received the 1988 Grammy Legend Award and in 2007 was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Miracles. In 2016, Robinson was ranked number eight on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. According to BMI, Robinson has garnered over 165 million performance royalties to date.
Smokey Robinson is most famous for his work as a solo artist and with The Miracles. Some of his most famous songs include “The Tears of a Clown”, “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”, and “Cruisin’.” He has won numerous awards throughout his career, including inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Robinson was ranked number eight on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time in 2016.
Kenny Rogers is a country music singer who has enjoyed a long and successful career. Born in Texas in 1938, Rogers got his start in the music business as a member of the band The Bobby Doyle Three. He soon went solo, and his first album was released in 1966. It wasn’t until 1977, however, that Rogers reached widespread fame with the release of “Lucille.” The song became a huge hit, and it helped to make Rogers a household name.
Since then, he has released many more successful albums and singles, cementing his place as one of the most popular country music artists of all time. To date, Rogers has won three Grammy Awards and three American Music Awards.
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born January 19, 1946, in a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Pittman Center, Tennessee. She was one of 12 children born to Avie Lee and Robert Lee Parton, both of whom were sharecroppers. Parton began performing as a child, singing on local radio and television shows. When she was 10 years old, she made her Grand Ole Opry debut. In 1964, she moved to Nashville and signed with Mercury Records. Her self-titled debut album was released that same year.
During the 1970s, Parton became one of the most successful country artists of all time. She achieved crossover success with her pop-influenced recordings, such as 1974’s “I Will Always Love You” and 1977’s “Here You Come Again.” Both of these songs topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and helped to broaden Parton’s appeal beyond the country audience.
In addition to her chart success, Parton has also won several Grammy Awards and has been inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. “Jolene” is widely considered to be her signature song.
Celine Dion is a Canadian singer who rose to fame in the late 1980s with her string of French-language hits. She is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. Her most famous song, “My Heart Will Go On” from the Titanic soundtrack, won her an Academy Award and became one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Dion has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and she was honoured with the Legend Award at the World Music Awards in 2008. In addition to her musical career, Dion is also known for her philanthropy; she has supported various charities and causes throughout her life.