It can be tricky, coming up with a list of the 10 best black singers of all time. There are so many talented artists who have left their mark upon the music world, it's difficult to narrow a list down to a mere few. Rather than examine bank accounts, here are some of the best black singers of all time, who are said to have greatly influenced music as we know it. Let's see if your favorites are here.
- Aretha Franklin delivers music like a punch in the gut. Recently voted the #1 position in the "Rolling Stone" list of 100 greatest singers of all time, few can deny the power and presence of Aretha Franklin. She has influenced many young women to follow their dreams and has definitely earned her place on our list of the best black singers of all time.
- Anyone who's ever heard "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" would have a hard time not adding Marvin Gaye to the list of best black singers of all time. With great hits like "Let's Get It On" and "What's Going On," he left his mark in music history. Thanks to him, we will never look at raisins the same again.
- "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" artist Stevie Wonder is certainly one of the best black singers of all time. Losing his sight shortly after birth, many speculate that his visual impairment has actually heightened his other senses to such a degree that he feels the music and, in turn, makes listeners feel the joy he feels when he performs.
- Ella Fitzgerald was a girl who came from humble beginnings but rose to become "The First Lady of Song." With thirteen Grammy awards under her belt and more than 40 million albums sold, she is not only one of the best black singers of all time, she is also one of the most popular jazz artists of all time.
- One of the most controversial but most beloved artists, Michael Jackson sold an estimated 750 million albums during his life. The "Guinness Book of World Records" has recognized him as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and his "Thriller" album as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Needless to say, he's deserving of a spot on our list of the best black singers of all time.
- Known for her amazingly powerful voice (and legs), Tina Turner is a survivor as well as one of the best black singers in the world. Escaping from an abusive marriage, she was half a million dollars in debt, but she didn't give up. They say that when you're at the bottom, you have nowhere to go but up. Tina Turner has never stopped climbing.
- James Brown has been known as the "King of Soul" and the "Godfather of Soul." His unique voice and style not only secures his position amongst the best black singers of all time, but also makes him one of the most influential artists of all time. Some people who say they were influenced by this legend include Michael Jackson, Prince, Sly Stone and Iggy Pop.
- Ray Charles consistently appears on top ten lists for one of the best black singers of all time, as well as being one of the most influential musicians of the century. Mixing gospel, jazz and blues sounds together, he was able to infuse our senses with a unique new sound, known as soul music. The music world has never been the same since!
- Smokey Robinson is known for his amazing songs and soulful delivery. Influencing such artists as John Lennon and Bob Dylan, this Detroit-native is known as the "King of Motown." Originally a member of The Miracles, he left the group to follow a solo career during the 1970s.
- Diana Ross was the lead singer of The Supremes before striking off on a solo career in 1970. One of the best black singers of all time, she is also a successful actress and was named the most successful female music artist in history by the "Guinness Book of World Records".
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
6 Signs She Wants You to Come Talk to Her at the Bar
These not-so-subtle hints mean legit interest—and time for action.
10 Types of Tattoos Women Love
That dumb bet you lost in college? It’s actually endearing.
How to Turn (Almost) Every Lady’s Head
Top female stylists share their favorite men’s looks.