10 Best Women Blues Singers

Here are the 10 best women blues singers today. Blues music has been around longer than most other forms of contemporary music and over the years has produced some of the finest singers in the world. Many of the best female singers have origins in blues music, but these ten are the best in the business.

  1. Deborah Coleman. One of today’s best blues guitar players who also happens to possess a fine voice. Deborah Coleman began her blues career by winning a talent contest at a music festival. As part of the prize she was given studio time which she used to record her demo tape. The demo secured her a record deal and she hasn't looked back since. Critically acclaimed albums and fiery live performances make her easily one of the best women blues singers alive today.
  2. Shemekia Copeland. Beginning her career early on as a child touring with her father, Shemekia Copeland has emerged as one of the best women blues singers of the millennium. Her debut album included cover of a song written by her father, legendary blues player Johnny Copeland. A powerful voice that belies her young age, she is one of the most exciting live acts today.
  3. Etta James. Fusing elements of gospel and soul into her blues driven performances, Etta James has one of the most potent voices ever laid down on record. For examples of why she is one of the best women blues singers, just listen to classics like “I’d Rather Go Blind”  and “ At Last”.
  4. Bonnie Raitt. Often overlooked or considered as a country singer, Bonnie Raitt is one of the finest blues guitarists around with a voice to match. Easily one of the best women blues singers, Bonnie Raitt’s soulful delivery can draw the listener in to everything she sings.
  5. Bessie Smith. A legendary singer that has influenced countless others, Bessie Smith was one of the best women blues singers and one of the genre’s earliest pioneers. An uncompromising personality, Bessie Smith created a legacy that still resonates with today’s musicians.
  6. Janis Joplin. Although her career was tragically cut short, Janis Joplin’s influence is still apparent today. Her emotionally charged vocals were like nothing else and turned many songs into instant classics. With her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Janis created some of the most exciting music of her career, including the hit "A Little Piece Of My Heart" which proved to be her breakthrough.
  7. Koko Taylor. Once heralded as the queen of blues, Koko Taylor began her career in the blues clubs of Chicago. A powerful singer, she is still heralded as one of the best women blues singers of our time.
  8. Billie Holiday. An iconic singer whose vocal style has been imitated by hundreds, Billie Holiday still remains one of the most influential artists of the last century. Her ability to convey the meaning of every song with an emotional depth that was unmatched made her a truly unique talent.
  9. Ruth Brown. Born in 1928, Ruth Brown grew up to become a celebrated performer of several music genres including soul and blues. Her recording success enabled Atlantic Records to become a source for great blues artists.
  10. Ida Cox. A blues singer of some standing in the 1920’s, Ida Cox recorded several classics including “Last Mile Blues” and “Cemetery Blues”. Retiring due to health problems, she made her last recordings in the 1960’s.
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