Top 50 Most Popular Black Female Singers

Top 50 Most Popular Black Female Singers

Black Americans have contributed greatly to the arts and culture of The USA. They brought a unique flavour of music to the mainstream. The sounds of blues, jazz, and gospel music were combined with the right mix of beats to make an unforgettable style.

Black singers could belt out soulful love ballads, jazz tunes, and also fast-paced dance numbers that make it impossible to not dance. They have evolved from these styles to create R&B and hip-hop music that we love.

They also diversified to make rap tunes, but that is for another list. In this piece, ENTOIN focuses on the amazing contributions made by Black Female Singers over the decades. We have tried to create an all-encompassing list from classics to the current age.

As a result, we have had to let go of a few golden gems. However, we have collated a list of the most memorable names in the music scene. Here is a list of the most popular Black American female singers who have enthralled us with their soulful, earthy music that could move us to tears and make us dance all night.

I have ranked them in the order of my favourites, but they are, by no means, less talented or charismatic than others.

1. Beyoncé

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and producer born in Houston, Texas, in 1981. She first rose to fame in the late 1990s as a member of the girl group Destiny’s Child, which became one of the best-selling groups of all time.

After the group disbanded, Beyoncé embarked on a successful solo career, releasing hit albums such as “Dangerously in Love,” “B’Day,” and “Lemonade.” Her music style blends elements of pop, R&B, hip-hop, and soul, with lyrics often exploring themes of female empowerment and Black identity.

Beyoncé has won numerous awards throughout her career, including 28 Grammy Awards, making her the most-awarded female artist in Grammy history. She is also an actress, with notable roles in films such as “Dreamgirls” and “The Lion King.” Beyoncé is widely regarded as one of the greatest music artists of all time and a cultural icon.

2. Rihanna

Rihanna is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman born in 1988. She first gained recognition in the mid-2000s with her debut album “Music of the Sun” and hit songs such as “Pon de Replay” and “SOS.” Rihanna’s music style has evolved throughout her career, blending elements of pop, R&B, reggae, and dancehall.

Her hits include “Umbrella,” “Diamonds,” and “Work.” Rihanna has won numerous awards throughout her career. They include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, and a CFDA Fashion Icon Award.

She has also acted in films such as “Battleship” and “Ocean’s 8.” Rihanna is widely regarded as one of the best-selling music artists of all time and a cultural icon known for her boundary-pushing fashion sense, humanitarian work, and entrepreneurship.

3. Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was an American singer, actress, and model born in 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. She rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s as one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Her hit songs include “I Will Always Love You,” “Greatest Love of All,” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Houston’s music style blended pop, R&B, and soul, with her powerful vocals and range earning her the nickname “The Voice.” In 2023, Rolling Stone magazine ranked her number two on the list of greatest singers of all time.

She won numerous awards throughout her career, including seven Grammy Awards, 22 American Music Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, and a BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Houston also acted in films such as “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.” Houston’s legacy as a cultural icon continues to inspire new generations of artists and fans, even after her untimely death in 2012.

4. Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, and actress born in New York in 1969. She rose to fame in the 1990s with her powerful vocals, and signature whistle register.

The Guinness Book of Records calls her the “Songbird Supreme”. Mariah Carey’s hit songs include “Vision of Love,” “Emotions,” “Hero,” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Carey’s music style blends pop, R&B, and soul with lyrics that often explore themes of love, heartbreak, and self-empowerment.

She has won numerous awards throughout her career, including five Grammy Awards, 19 World Music Awards, and a Billboard Icon Award. Carey has also acted in films and television shows, including “Precious” and “Empire.” She is widely regarded as one of the best-selling music artists of all time and one of the greatest vocalists of her generation.

5. Mary J Blige

Mary J. Blige is an American singer, songwriter, and actress born in New York City in 1971. She rose to fame in the 1990s as a pioneer of the hip-hop soul genre, which combined R&B and hip-hop music.

She is often referred to as the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.” Blige’s music style is highlighted by her powerful voice and honest lyrics that often explore themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery.

Her hits include “Real Love,” “Not Gon’ Cry,” and “Family Affair.” Blige has won numerous awards throughout her career, including nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, and a BET Lifetime Achievement Award.

She was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards. She has also acted in films and television shows, including “Mudbound” and “Power Book II: Ghost.” Blige is widely regarded as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time and a cultural icon.

6. Diana Ross

Diana Ross is an American singer, actress, and record producer born in Detroit in 1944. She rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the Motown group The Supremes in the 1960s.

She produced hit singles such as “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Ross left The Supremes in 1970 to pursue a solo career, and her hits as a solo artist include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’m Coming Out,” and “Upside Down.” She also acted in the film Lady Sings the Blues, which earned her an Academy Award nomination.

She has won numerous awards throughout her career, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ross is known for her dynamic voice, fashion sense, and contributions to music and culture, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest female singers of all time.

7. Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is an American singer, songwriter, and musician born in New York City in 1981. She began her career in the late 1990s and rose to fame with her debut album, “Songs in A Minor,” which won five Grammy Awards in 2002.

Keys’ music style is a blend of soul, R&B, and hip-hop, with lyrics that often explore themes of love, empowerment, and social issues. Her hits include “Fallin’,” “No One,” “Empire State of Mind,” “You Don’t Know My Name”, “If I Ain’t Got You”, and “Diary”.

Keys has won numerous awards throughout her career, including 15 Grammy Awards and an NAACP Image Award. Keys is widely regarded as one of the best-selling music artists of all time and a cultural icon.

She is also known for her philanthropic work, including founding the Keep a Child Alive charity, which provides treatment and support for people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

8. Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer born in 1966 in Gary, Indiana. She began her career in the entertainment industry as a child actress on the TV show “Good Times” before transitioning to music in the 1980s.

She already had exposure to music due to her brothers singing in the Jackson 5. Jackson’s music style is a blend of pop, R&B, hip-hop, and dance music, with lyrics that often explore themes of love, sexuality, and social issues.

Her hits include “Nasty,” “Rhythm Nation,” “That’s the Way Love Goes,” and “All for You.” Jackson has won numerous awards throughout her career, including six Grammy Awards and a Billboard Icon Award.

She is also known for her dynamic dance performances, innovative music videos, and socially conscious lyrics. Jackson is widely regarded as a pop culture icon and one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

9. Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson is an American singer, actress, and spokesperson. She was born on September 12, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois. Hudson first rose to prominence in 2004 as a contestant on the third season of American Idol.

Although she finished seventh on the show, she gained widespread recognition for her powerful voice and dynamic performances. In 2006, Hudson made her film debut in the hit musical Dreamgirls, which earned her numerous awards and critical acclaim, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Since then, she has appeared in a number of films, including Sex and the City, The Secret Life of Bees, and Sing. Hudson has also enjoyed a successful music career, releasing several albums and earning numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.

She is known for her soulful voice, impressive range, emotional performances and is widely regarded as one of the most talented singers of her generation.

10. Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist born in Memphis in 1942. She is often referred to as the “Queen of Soul” for her powerful and distinctive voice, which combined elements of gospel, R&B, and pop music.

Franklin’s hits include “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and “Think,” among many others. Her influence on music was significant, as she helped to popularise soul music and inspire generations of musicians with her vocal style and powerful performances.

Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards throughout her career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time and a cultural icon.

Franklin passed away in 2018 at the age of 76.

11. Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson was an American gospel singer and civil rights activist born in New Orleans in 1911. She began her singing career in the church choir and later became one of the most influential gospel singers of the 20th century.

Jackson’s powerful and soulful contralto voice, combined with her deep religious faith, helped popularise gospel music outside of the church and introduced it to a wider audience. Her hits include “How I Got Over,” “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and “Move On Up a Little Higher.” She sang the national anthem at John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Ball in 1961. Jackson’s influence on music and the civil rights movement was significant, as she performed at the March on Washington in 1963 and her music became an anthem for the movement.

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She is widely regarded as one of the greatest gospel singers of all time.

12. Tina Turner

Tina Turner is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame in the 1960s as the lead vocalist of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. Her music combines elements of rock, soul, R&B, and pop with a high-energy performance style that includes powerful vocals, dynamic dance moves, and extravagant costumes.

Turner’s influence on music is significant, as she helped to pave the way for women in rock and roll and inspired many artists with her electrifying performances. Her hits include “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and “Private Dancer.” Turner has won numerous awards throughout her career, including 12 Grammy Awards, and is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

She also acted in films like Tommy, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and Last Action Hero.

13. Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer and one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. Born in 1917 in Virginia, she began singing at a young age and went on to become one of the most celebrated and popular jazz singers of her time.

Fitzgerald’s music was renowned for her incredible range, technical skill, and improvisational ability. She recorded over 200 albums and won 13 Grammy Awards throughout her career. Her influence on jazz and popular music was significant, as she helped to popularise scat singing and inspired many other singers with her unique vocal style.

Fitzgerald was also known for breaking down racial barriers in the music industry, as she was the first African-American woman to win a Grammy Award. Today, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

14. Etta James

Etta James was an American singer known for her soulful and powerful voice that combined elements of R&B, blues, jazz, and gospel music. Born in 1938 in Los Angeles, California, she began singing in church and later pursued a career in music.

Her hits included “At Last,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.” James’ music was renowned for its emotional depth and raw intensity, and her performances were often described as electrifying.

Her popularity was due, in part, to her ability to connect with audiences through her music, which spoke to universal themes of love, heartbreak, and perseverance. James’ influence on music has been felt across genres and generations, and she is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

15. Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday was an American jazz singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1930s and 1940s. Known for her unique vocal style and ability to infuse emotion into every performance, Holiday’s music conveys her ability to blend different genres, including jazz, blues, and swing.

Holiday’s hit songs included “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit,” and “Lover Man.” She also worked with several prominent jazz musicians, including Teddy Wilson, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

During the peak of her career, Holiday faced significant challenges, including racism, drug addiction, and legal troubles. Despite these challenges, she remains an influential figure in American music history. She built a legacy as a pioneering jazz musician, and she continues to inspire new generations of artists.

She was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

16. Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the late 1980s with her unique blend of folk, rock, and pop music. Known for her socially conscious lyrics and soulful, introspective vocals, Chapman’s music often addresses issues of social justice and inequality.

Chapman’s eponymous debut album, released in 1988, featured hit songs such as “Fast Car” and “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution,” which established her as a rising star in the industry. She went on to release several successful albums, including “Crossroads” and “New Beginning,” and has won multiple Grammy Awards throughout her career.

Chapman’s music has raw, emotional lyrics and highlights her ability to capture the human experience with honesty and depth. She remains a beloved and influential figure in American music, inspiring new generations of artists with her soulful sound and socially conscious message.

17. Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan is an American singer, songwriter, and activist who rose to fame in the 1970s with her unique blend of funk, soul, and R&B music. She began her career as the lead vocalist of the band Rufus before launching a successful solo career.

Khan is known for her powerful, soulful vocals and ability to infuse different genres into her music. She has released numerous hit songs, including “I’m Every Woman,” “Ain’t Nobody,” and “Through the Fire.” Khan has won multiple Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She is also a philanthropist and activist, working on behalf of several causes, including HIV/AIDS awareness and women’s rights. Khan’s legacy as an influential figure in music and as a trailblazer for women and people of colour in the industry continues to inspire and influence new generations of artists.

18. Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole was an American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame in the 1970s with her unique blend of R&B, pop, and jazz music. She was the daughter of legendary singer Nat King Cole and her early music was heavily influenced by his style.

Cole released several successful albums throughout her career, including “Unforgettable… with Love,” a tribute to her father, which won multiple Grammy Awards. Her hit songs included “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Miss You Like Crazy,” and “Pink Cadillac.” Cole also acted in several films and television shows and hosted her own talk show, “The Natalie Cole Show.” Throughout her career, she received numerous accolades, including nine Grammy Awards, and remains an influential figure in American music history.

19. Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight is an American singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s as the lead vocalist of Gladys Knight & the Pips. Known as the “Empress of Soul,” Knight’s music had distinctive powerful vocals and the ability to blend different genres, including soul, R&B, and pop.

Knight and the Pips released several hit songs, including “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye),” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Knight also had a successful solo career, releasing several albums and hit singles.

All through her career, Knight received numerous accolades, including seven Grammy Awards and inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame. She remains an influential figure in the music industry and a beloved icon of soul music.

20. Big Mama Thornton

Big Mama Thornton was an American blues singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s. She was known for her powerful, soulful vocals and ability to blend different genres of music, including blues, R&B, and rock and roll.

Thornton is best known for her original recording of “Hound Dog,” which became a hit for Elvis Presley a few years later. She also recorded other classic blues songs such as “Ball and Chain” and “Let’s Go Get Stoned.” Despite her success, Thornton struggled with financial and personal issues throughout her career.

However, she continued to perform and record music, and was recognized as a pioneer of blues and rock and roll. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984 and remains an influential figure in American music history.

21. Donna Summer

Donna Summer was an American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame in the 1970s with her unique blend of disco, R&B, and pop music. She began her career in musical theatre before transitioning to a solo career in the mid-1970s.

Summer’s music was characterised by her powerful, soulful vocals, and ability to infuse different styles into her music. Her hit songs, including “Love to Love You Baby” and “I Feel Love,” helped define the disco era and influenced dance music for decades to come.

Summer received numerous accolades, including five Grammy Awards and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She also continued to act and appeared in films such as “Thank God It’s Friday” and “Tootsie.” Despite her untimely death in 2012, Summer remains an icon of dance music and a legendary figure in the music industry.

22. Aaliyah

Aaliyah was an American singer, actress, and model known for her distinctive R&B and pop sound. She rose to fame at a very young age, in the mid-1990s with her debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number,” produced by R. Kelly.

She continued to release successful albums, including “One in a Million” and her self-titled album “Aaliyah,” before her tragic death in a plane crash in 2001. Aaliyah’s music was identified by her smooth, sultry vocals and innovative production style, which blended elements of R&B, hip-hop, and electronic music.

She was known for her ability to bridge the gap between genres and create a unique sound that was both modern and timeless. Throughout her career, Aaliyah received numerous awards and nominations, including Grammy nominations, and she remains an influential figure in the music industry to this day.

Her legacy continues to inspire and influence new generations of artists.

23. Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt was an American singer, actress, and dancer known for her unique style and captivating performances. She started her career in the 1940s, performing in nightclubs and on Broadway before transitioning to Hollywood in the 1950s, where she appeared in several films.

Kitt’s style rose to prominence for her sultry voice, commanding stage presence, and ability to infuse jazz, blues, and pop into her music. She was also known for her striking looks and ability to captivate audiences with her sensuality and wit.

Throughout her career, Kitt released several hit songs, including “Santa Baby” and “C’est Si Bon,” and received numerous accolades, including multiple Grammy nominations and a Tony Award. She was also a civil rights activist and used her platform to speak out against injustice and discrimination.

24. Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame in the 1990s as a member of the Fugees, a hip-hop group. She launched her solo career in 1998 with the release of her album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” which combined elements of R&B, soul, and hip-hop and featured socially conscious lyrics that resonated with audiences worldwide.

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Hill’s unique style has her powerful, soulful voice, thoughtful and introspective lyrics, and ability to blend different genres seamlessly. She was known for her socially conscious themes, which dealt with issues like race, poverty, and gender inequality.

She also incorporated elements of reggae and gospel into her music, creating a truly unique and timeless sound. Lauryn Hill has withdrawn from the public eye. Throughout her career, Hill has received numerous accolades, including several Grammy Awards, and has been recognized as one of the most influential artists of her generation.

25. Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the 1970s with her disco hits “I Will Survive,” “Let Me Know (I Have a Right),” “I Am What I Am,” etc.

Her powerful voice, upbeat rhythms, and empowering lyrics are the highlights of her songs. “I Will Survive” became an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community and women’s rights movement and has since become a cultural touchstone.

Gaynor had multiple other hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “I Am What I Am.” Her music has influenced countless artists and continues to be played in clubs and at events around the world.

Gaynor has also been an advocate for various charitable causes, including AIDS research and disaster relief efforts. Her legacy as a trailblazing artist and cultural icon continues to resonate with audiences today.

26. Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick is an American singer, actress, and television host who rose to prominence in the 1960s. Her music is a blend of pop, soul, and R&B. She is known for her smooth and soulful voice and sophisticated arrangements.

She was one of the most charted vocalists of all time, with 56 of her singles featuring in the Billboard Hot 100 list. Warwick had a string of hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Walk On By,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.” She was also known for her collaborations with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Warwick’s popularity continued into the 1980s and 1990s with hits such as “That’s What Friends Are For” and “Heartbreaker.” She has won multiple Grammy Awards and is known for her charitable work and advocacy for AIDS research.

Warwick’s music remains a beloved part of the American musical canon.

27. T-Boz

T-Boz is a powerhouse vocalist and a chameleon, blending soulful R&B with pop hooks and sassy raps. She was a member of the group TLC. Her voice shines through in songs like “Waterfalls,” “Red Light Special,” and “No Scrubs.”

She sang about heartbreak in “Unpretty” and challenged societal expectations in “If They Only Knew.” Her energy is infectious, whether she’s belting out anthems like “Creep” or grooving to the funky bass lines of “CrazySexyCool.”

T-Boz’s artistry is a testament to her versatility, her emotional depth, and her unapologetic individuality. She’s not just a member of TLC; she’s a force of nature who continues to inspire and empower through her music.

28. Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack is an American singer-songwriter and pianist who rose to prominence in the 1970s. Her music is a blend of soul, jazz, and pop, and it is distinguishable due to her smooth and soothing voice, intricate piano playing, and emotionally charged lyrics.

Flack’s songs often dealt with themes of love, relationships, and social justice, and she was known for her ability to convey deep emotion through her music. She is perhaps best known for her hit songs “Killing Me Softly With His Song” and “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” which won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year in 1973 and 1974, respectively.

Flack was an influential performer in the sub-genre of contemporary R&B called Quiet Storm. She has continued to record and perform throughout her career, and her music remains a beloved part of the American musical landscape.

29. Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey is the stage name of Gertrude Pridgett. She was an American blues singer who gained popularity in the 1920s. She is often referred to as the “Mother of the Blues” for her contributions to the development of the genre.

Rainey’s music was identifiable by her powerful and expressive voice, which she used to convey a range of emotions, from joy and celebration to sadness and pain. Her songs often dealt with themes of love, heartbreak, and the struggles of African Americans in the South.

Rainey recorded over 100 songs during her career, and her influence can be heard in the work of many later blues and jazz musicians. She is also known for mentoring and supporting other women in the industry, particularly Bessie Smith.

30. Cardi B

Cardi B is a rapper, songwriter, and actress from the United States who first gained fame on the reality show “Love & Hip Hop: New York.” She was born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar Cephus but took up the stage name Cardi B.

She was also popular on the social media app Vine and Instagram. Her music is a blend of trap and hip-hop, featuring hard-hitting beats and lyrics that are often explicit and boastful.

She gained widespread attention with her breakout single “Bodak Yellow” in 2017, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned her a Grammy nomination. Since then, she has released multiple hit singles and albums, including “Invasion of Privacy” and “WAP” with Megan Thee Stallion.

Cardi B is also known for her outspoken personality and social media presence and has been vocal about her political views and advocacy for women’s rights.

31. Jhené Aiko

Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, simply known as Jhené Aiko, is a multifaceted American singer-songwriter. Aiko possesses a unique voice that effortlessly glides through R&B melodies.

Her songs are infused with soul and often delve into themes of love, loss, self-discovery, and spirituality. Tracks like “Sativa,” “Triggered (Freestyle),” and “While We’re Young” showcase her vocal prowess and captivating songwriting.

Aiko seamlessly blends R&B with elements of hip-hop, alternative, and even Japanese influences. This genre-bending approach makes her music fresh and unpredictable. Her albums like “Souled Out” and “Chilombo” are testaments to her artistic versatility.

She also collaborated with Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Chris Brown, adding her soulful touch to diverse musical landscapes. These collaborations not only expanded her reach but also solidified her reputation as a sought-after artist.

32. Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian-American rapper, singer, and songwriter known for her unique blend of hip-hop, pop, and R&B music. Her music is memorable for its versatile flow, witty lyrics, and larger-than-life personality.

Micki Minaj has become one of the most popular and successful artists of her generation. Minaj has released several critically acclaimed albums and singles, including “Super Bass,” “Starships,” “Anaconda,” “Chun-Li,” etc.

She has earned numerous awards and nominations throughout her career, including multiple BET Awards and American Music Awards. Her influence extends beyond music, as she has also acted in films and television shows and has launched several successful businesses.

With her groundbreaking sound and trailblazing style, Nicki Minaj has become a true icon of modern popular culture, inspiring and empowering fans around the world to be their authentic selves.

33. Lizzo

Lizzo is an American singer, rapper, and flutist who has become a household name in recent years. She is known for her empowering messages of self-love and body positivity as well as her infectious blend of pop, soul, and hip-hop music.

Her rise to fame began with her 2017 single “Truth Hurts,” which became a viral hit and landed her a major label record deal. Since then, she has released several successful albums and singles, including “Juice,” “Tempo,” “Good As Hell,” etc.

She earned numerous awards and nominations along the way, including three Grammy Awards. Lizzo’s bold, unapologetic style and magnetic stage presence have made her a beloved and influential figure in the music industry, inspiring fans around the world to embrace their uniqueness and live their best lives.

34. Doja Cat

Doja Cat is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter who rose to fame in 2018 with her viral hit “Mooo!” Since then, she has become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed artists of her generation.

She is known for her versatile and eclectic sound that blends elements of hip-hop, pop, and R&B. Doja Cat’s music is characterised by her playful lyrics, catchy hooks, and infectious beats, and her unique style and persona have earned her a massive fan following on social media.

She has released several successful albums and singles, earning numerous awards and nominations along the way. With her innovative sound and engaging personality, Doja Cat has become a true icon of modern pop culture, inspiring and entertaining fans around the world.

35. Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame in the early 1990s with her unique blend of R&B, pop, and soul music. Her contralto voice was soulful and emotive.

Her performances quickly made her one of the most popular and successful artists of her time. Braxton’s self-titled debut album was released in 1993 and spawned several hits, including “Another Sad Love Song” and “Breathe Again.” She went on to release numerous successful albums, earning several Grammy Awards and other accolades throughout her career.

In addition to her music career, Braxton has also acted in films and television shows, including her own reality show “Braxton Family Values.” She remains a beloved and influential figure in the music industry and continues to inspire and influence new generations of artists.

36. Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress known for her unique blend of neo-soul, jazz, and R&B music. The highlight of her music is her smooth, sultry vocals and socially conscious lyrics, which often touch on themes of love, spirituality, and social justice.

Badu’s groundbreaking debut album, “Baduizm,” earned her critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, selling over three million copies in the US alone. She has since released several more critically acclaimed albums and has won multiple awards, including four Grammy Awards.

In addition to her music career, Badu is also known for her activism and humanitarian work. She continues to be a respected and influential figure in the music industry, inspiring and empowering fans with her innovative music and progressive ideals.

37. Sade

Sade Adu, known mononymously as Sade, is a British-Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress. With her smooth vocals and soulful sound, Sade’s music is a unique blend of R&B, jazz, and pop characterised by its laid-back vibe and minimalist production.

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Sade’s music career spans over four decades, and she has released six studio albums, all of which have been critically acclaimed and commercially successful. She has won numerous awards, including four Grammy Awards, and has sold over 75 million records worldwide.

Sade’s enduring popularity and success can be attributed to her distinctive style and emotive performances, which have touched audiences around the world. She continues to inspire and influence new generations of musicians with her timeless music and unparalleled talent.

38. Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton was an American singer-songwriter best known for her powerful and versatile soprano voice, which earned her widespread critical acclaim and a devoted fan base. She is most famous for her hit single “Lovin’ You,” which showcased her remarkable range and unique vocal style.

Riperton’s music was a blend of soul, R&B, and jazz, and her songs were characterised by their emotional depth and poetic lyrics. Despite her tragically short career due to her untimely death, Riperton was a groundbreaking artist who paved the way for future female vocalists.

She was posthumously inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2015 and continues to inspire and influence musicians to this day.

39. Lil Kim

Lil Kim, born Kimberly Denise Jones, is an American rapper, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her bold and provocative style, both in her music and public persona. Lil Kim is considered a pioneer in the genre of female rap, which she helped to popularise in the 1990s.

Her music style is characterised by her explicit lyrics, witty wordplay, and confident delivery. Lil Kim’s most notable achievements include her Grammy Award-winning collaboration with Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mya on the hit song “Lady Marmalade,” as well as her platinum-certified albums “Hard Core” and “The Notorious K. I. M.” With her fearless attitude and groundbreaking contributions to rap music, Lil Kim has become a true icon of the genre and a trailblazer for female artists in the music industry.

40. Brandy

Brandy Norwood, known mononymously as Brandy, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is best known for her unique blend of R&B, pop, and soul music, which has earned her numerous accolades and a loyal fanbase.

Brandy’s vocal style is marked by her rich, smooth tone, impressive range, and emotive delivery. Her music has produced hits such as “I Wanna Be Down,” “The Boy Is Mine,” and “Have You Ever?” among others.

Brandy has received various awards throughout her career, including a Grammy Award, seven Billboard Music Awards, and an NAACP Image Award. She has also acted in films and TV shows, including her own sitcom “Moesha.” With her exceptional talent and accomplishments, Brandy is a true icon of R&B and pop music.

41. Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle, also known as the “Godmother of Soul,” is an American singer, songwriter, and actress whose career has spanned over six decades. LaBelle’s musical style is a unique blend of R&B, soul, funk, and gospel, with powerful vocals that have become her trademark.

Her music has produced hits such as “Lady Marmalade,” “On My Own,” and “New Attitude,” among others. LaBelle has received numerous awards and accolades throughout her career, including Grammys, American Music Awards, and BET Awards.

In addition to her music career, she has also acted in various films and TV shows. Patti LaBelle’s influence on the music industry and popular culture is immeasurable, and her contributions to soul and R&B music have solidified her status as a music icon.

42. Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality who first gained fame as a member of the girl group Destiny’s Child. She is known for her strong voice and energetic performance.

Rowland has established herself as a successful solo artist with hits such as “Dilemma” featuring Nelly, “Motivation” featuring Lil Wayne, and “When Love Takes Over” with David Guetta. She has also ventured into acting, appearing in various films and TV shows.

Rowland’s talent, dedication, and hard work have earned her numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. Her popularity can be attributed to her versatile voice, relatable lyrics, and charismatic stage presence.

Her influence on the music industry is undeniable, and she continues to inspire and empower fans around the world.

43. Normani

Normani, born Normani Kordei Hamilton, is an American singer, dancer, and songwriter. She first rose to fame as a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony, which was formed on the reality TV show The X Factor in 2012.

After the group disbanded in 2018, Normani embarked on a solo career, releasing her debut single “Love Lies” with Khalid in 2018. She has since released several successful singles, including “Motivation,” “Waves,” and “Wild Side” featuring Cardi B.

Normani is known for her powerful vocals and dynamic performances, incorporating elements of R&B, pop, and hip-hop into her music. She has been praised for her vocal range, stage presence, and ability to seamlessly blend different genres.

With her undeniable talent and growing fan base, Normani is poised to become a major force in the music industry.

44. SZA

SZA, whose real name is Solána Rowe, is a contemporary R&B singer and songwriter from New Jersey. Her music is characterised by its unique blend of soulful R&B, alternative hip-hop, and atmospheric pop.

SZA’s style is marked by her distinctive vocals, which are both haunting and emotive. Her music often explores themes of love, relationships, and self-discovery, with lyrics that are both introspective and confessional.

SZA’s work has been praised for its innovative sound, thoughtful lyrics, and the raw vulnerability she brings to her performances. Some of her famous songs include “Feeling Myself,” “Consideration,” “What Lovers Do,” “All the Stars,” etc.

45. H.E.R

H. E. R. (an acronym for Having Everything Revealed) is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who has gained popularity for her unique blend of R&B, soul, and contemporary music.

Her music is characterised by her smooth, soulful vocals, poignant lyrics, and intricate guitar playing. H. E. R.’s popularity can be attributed to her ability to connect with her audience through her relatable and heartfelt lyrics as well as her skilful musicianship.

She has won multiple Grammy Awards and has collaborated with notable artists such as Daniel Caesar and Bryson Tiller. H. E. R. is considered one of the most talented and innovative musicians of her generation and has become a voice of empowerment for many listeners.

46. Ciara

Ciara is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer who rose to fame in the early 2000s with her distinctive blend of R&B, hip-hop, and pop music. Her music is known for its catchy hooks, danceable beats, and empowering lyrics that celebrate female strength and independence.

Ciara’s popularity is due, in part, to her dynamic stage presence and impressive dance skills, which have earned her comparisons to iconic performers like Janet Jackson and Beyoncé. She has released several critically acclaimed albums, including “Goodies,” “Fantasy Ride,” and “Beauty Marks.” She has won multiple awards for her music and performances, including a Grammy Award, two BET Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, seven Soul Train Awards, etc.

Ciara is considered one of the most successful and influential female artists of her generation.

47. Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was an American blues singer and one of the most influential performers of the early 20th century. Her music was characterised by its raw emotional power, soulful vocals, and deep connection to the African-American experience.

Smith’s songs often explored themes of love, heartbreak, and resilience, and she was known for her ability to capture the pain and joy of everyday life with her powerful voice.

Her music also drew on a variety of musical traditions, including blues, jazz, and vaudeville. She collaborated with some of the most important musicians of her era like Ma Rainey.

Smith’s influence can be heard in the work of countless artists who came after her, and her legacy continues to be celebrated today.

48. Nina Simone

Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist who is considered one of the most influential and distinctive voices in the history of jazz and soul music. Her music was characterised by its emotional intensity, powerful vocals, and eclectic blend of genres, including jazz, blues, folk, classical, and gospel.

At The start of her career, she had to use Pseudonyms to hide her achievements from her family. They were deeply religious and considered jazz and blues to be the devil’s music.

Simone was also known for her politically charged lyrics and activism on behalf of civil rights and social justice causes. Her most famous songs include “Feeling Good,” “I Put a Spell on You,” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.” Simone’s legacy continues to inspire and influence artists across multiple genres to this day.

49. Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe is an American singer, songwriter, and actress known for her genre-defying music that blends elements of R&B, funk, soul, pop, and hip-hop. Her career began with the release of her debut album, “Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase)” in 2007, which was followed by several critically acclaimed albums, including “The ArchAndroid” and “Dirty Computer.” Monáe is known for her theatrical and visually stunning live performances as well as her activism on behalf of marginalised communities.

She has won multiple awards, including several Grammy nominations. She has collaborated with numerous notable artists such as Prince and Erykah Badu. Monáe is considered one of the most innovative and dynamic artists of her generation.

50. Anita Baker

Anita Baker is an American singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s with her distinctive blend of soul, jazz, and R&B. Her music is known for its smooth, mellow sound and heartfelt lyrics, which often explore themes of love, relationships, and personal growth.

Some of her hits include “Sweet Love,” “No One In The World,” “Just Because,” “Feel The Need,” “Sometimes,” etc. Baker has won multiple Grammy Awards throughout her career and is widely regarded as one of the most influential and successful female artists of her generation.

She retired from performing in 2018, but her music continues to be popular and celebrated by fans around the world.