10 Best Black Women Singers
The ten best black women singers in pop music history can tell a story without words. Heartache, passion, religious transcendence, spiritual authority, and raw, unbridled sexuality combine in these beautiful voices to translate a uniquely African American experience. The ten best black women singers live their songs, and the art they have given us is unmatchable.
- Aretha Franklin. The "Queen of Soul" and her powerful pipes have enlivened songs ranging from modest pop to the hardest of hard R&B. The church in her voice brings a passion that no one else as really matched. After all, this is a woman who took one of Otis Redding's best songs from him, and made it her own. This is enough for her to top the list of ten best black women singers.
- Billie Holiday. For purity and clearness of voice, there is none better.
- Etta James. From blues shouts to jazz standards, Etta James could do it all.
- Tina Turner. Possessing one of the most recognizable voices in history, she survived an abusive marriage and came out on the other end with her greatest success yet.
- Nina Simone. Her voice could be the essence of cool or burn red hot.
- Chaka Khan. When her star faded after a successful run with the funk band Rufus in the '70s, two men decided that she needed to make a comeback because they missed hearing her voice on the radio. Those two men, working together, were Prince and Stevie Wonder. Could there be a better endorsement?
- Roberta Flack. The voice behind one of pop music's most endearing hits, she kills us softly with her song.
- Patti Labelle. Powerful voice, powerful woman.
- Dionne Warwick. Her voice turned the sophisticated songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David into something more than just popular music.
- Diana Ross. What a perfect way to cap off the list of ten best black women singers.