These 10 best female gospel artists can bring the church house down. From traditional ballads to contemporary worship songs, these leading ladies of gospel are some of the best gospel music artists of all time. Here is a brief overview of ten “First Ladies” of gospel.
- Mahalia Jackson. Mahalia Jackson was an American gospel singer and the first “Queen of Gospel Music.” She was one of the most influential gospel artists of all time. Martin Luther King, Jr., said of his good friend, “A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium.” Jackson died in 1972, at the age of 60.
- Shirley Caesar. Shirley Caesar, 71, is an American gospel artist whose career spanned six decades. She is known as the “First Lady of Gospel.” She pastors a church on the east coast, and she has been quoted as saying, “I cannot sweeten the Atlantic Ocean, but I can take a pitcher out of the ocean and sweeten that.”
- Tramaine Hawkins. Tramaine Hawkins, 58, is an award-winning gospel diva who refers to herself as “Lady Tramaine.” The American singer is famous for her mainstream success and gospel crossovers. This has ignited some controversy among her core gospel audience. In 2005, she sang at the funeral service for civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
- Vickie Winans. Vickie Winans, 56, is another great American gospel artist. She was once married to Marvin Winans of the popular gospel group, The Winans. She later sang for a second Winans gospel group that included her then-inlaws BeBe and CeCe Winans, a popular brother-and-sister gospel duo.
- Kim Burrell. Kim Burrell, 38, is often referred to as “this generation’s Ella Fitzgerald.” The American gospel artist sings what she calls jazz gospel. She quickly became an influential voice in the music genre. Burrell also pastors a church in Houston, Texas.
- Yolanda Adams. Yolanda Adams, 39, is an award-winning American gospel singer. In 2009, she was named the first Gospel Artist of the last decade by “Billboard Magazine.” Adams also hosts a morning show that airs on urban gospel radio stations.
- Dottie Peoples. Dottie Peoples, ca. 60, is an American gospel singer whose name says it all. She is a “people person” who reaches out to encourage and inspire others. Known as the “Songbird of the South,” Peoples has been compared to Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Pattie LaBelle.
- Albertina Walker. Albertina Walker, 81, is a legendary American gospel singer. She received the title “Queen of Gospel Music” after Mahalia Jackson’s death. Her outstanding achievements and her influence in the gospel music genre make her one of the best female gospel artists of all time.
- CeCe Winans. CeCe Winans, 45, is an award-winning American gospel singer. She is one of ten children in the musical Winans family. During the 1980s and early 1990s, she sang with her brother, BeBe, in a very popular gospel duo. Her solo career began in 1995, with her award-winning “Alone in His Presence” album. Winans is good friends with Whitney Houston. In addition to singing, she also pastors a church in Texas.
- Beverly Crawford. Beverly Crawford, ca. 50, is an American contemporary gospel singer and evangelist. She is best known as part of the New Life Singers on Black Entertainment Television (BET). She and her husband are co-pastors of a Florida church
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