The top 10 black female singers of all time have won dozens of Grammy Awards and have hundreds of Top 100 songs between them. They are Hall of Fame singers and Global Ambassadors. Overall, these women are some of the most popular singers of all time.
- Aretha Franklin – Aretha Franklin recorded her first album at the age of fourteen and went on to become one of the most famous black female singers of all time. Franklin won eighteen Grammy Awards during her over 50-year career. In 1987, she became the first woman ever inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston’s debut album was the best-selling album by a female artist at the time of its release. She went on to build a career as one of the best black female singers of all time. She won two Emmy Awards and six Grammy Awards. Houston sold over 200 million albums worldwide.
- Diana Ross – Diana Ross began her career as one of the best black female singers of all time with Motown band The Supremes. She has 24 Top 10 singles and fourteen Top 10 albums. Diana Ross also had eighteen No. 1 singles, including six as a solo artist. Diana Ross also has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one as a solo artist and the other with The Supremes.
- Gladys Knight – Gladys Knight achieved success both as a member of Gladys Knight and the Pips as well as a solo artist, becoming one of the best black female singers of all time. She recorded over twenty Top 10 singles including the No. 1 single “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” Knight also won four Grammys as a solo artist.
- Natalie Cole – Natalie Cole is an R&B and jazz musician that is one of the best black female singers of all time thanks to nine Grammy Awards. Cole began her career as a successful R&B star but in recent years transformed into a more pop and jazz style. She won her first Grammy Award in 1975 and her most recent in 2009.
- Etta James – Etta James signed her first recording contract in 1960 and had her first major hits including “All I Could Do Is Cry.” She also preformed background vocals on Chuck Berry’s “Back in the USA.” Etta James made a comeback in the late eighties and became one of the most successful black female singers of all time, winning her first Grammy in 1994. In 2002, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Janet Jackson – While never as popular as her brother, Janet Jackson remains one of the most popular black female singers of all time. She has sold over 100 million albums worldwide over her career, spanning over three decades. Jackson has recorded ten No. 1 singles and enjoyed 27 Top 10 hits. She has also won six Grammy Awards and one Emmy.
- Alicia Keys – Alicia Keys began her career in 1997 and quickly ascended the charts to become one of the most successful black female singers of all time. In just over ten years as a musician, Keys has won thirteen Grammy Awards with 24 nominations.
- Donna Summer – Donna Summer got her start during the disco days of the seventies and became one of the most successful black female singers of all time. Over her career, Summer has received five Grammy Awards and twelve nominations. From 1976 to 1984, Summer recorded a Top 40 hit every year.
- Dionne Warwick – Dionne Warwick is currently the U.S. Ambassador of Health but before taking that role she became one of the best black female singers of all time. Between 1962 and 1999, Warwick reached the Top 100 56 times, second to only Aretha Franklin.
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