The Five Greatest Female Voices Alive

In no particular order:

Annie Lennox

Aretha Franklin

Christina Aguliera

Shamshad Begum


(And though it doesn’t sing, Happy Birthday to, it has served me well! And an Honorable mention to Mrs. Jose Lima because she’s hot…)

Explore posts in the same categories: Annie Lennox, Aretha Franklin, blog networks, Christina Aguilera, evidence of God, five, greatest, music, Sade, Shamshad Begum, subjective, women, women I would marry, wordpress, wordpress news,

64 Comments on “The Five Greatest Female Voices Alive”

  1. D. Johnston Says:

    Nice to see something about music! Nice choices but I think Mariah should have made the list. I love her voice.

  2. Gabe Says:

    Nice. Lucinda Williams is on my list:

  3. Duncan Says:

    I was going to chime in and say how could you miss Ella Fitzgerald (by far and away the best female singer of all time) but then I caught the “alive” part 🙂
    Ertha Kit is still alive and that’s a voice that sold millions of records..and would certainly make my list….but Char, Christina Aguliera? WTF, if this was the case you’d have to include Miriah Carey…sure she’s sh*t now, but her very first record demonstrated an exceptional vocal talent…which she seems to have unfortunately lost now.

  4. chartreuse Says:

    Mariah’s first album was great. The song ‘Vanishing’ is one of the greatest songs ever.

    Christina really has a voice. A surprisingly good voice. Really.

    And her new double album will debut at number one next week. 🙂

  5. Minic Says:

    Christina was in Letterman show last night… she’s very good… the singing

  6. Mark Says:

    So Char, what’s your opinion on YouTube’s announcement that they are seeking a deal with the major labels to host thousands of music videos on the site within the next 18 months?


  7. chartreuse Says:

    Your link doesn’t work but I know the story.

    Everyone will say it kills iTunes charging for music videos.

    But the real target is MTV. (No one buys music videos anyway)

    Watch Viacom make a real effort to purchase Youtube.

    A bird in L.A. though told me YouTube is thinking of going public…(you read it here first!)

  8. chartreuse Says:

    But what I really find interesting are folks who uses Fred’s strategy. Why bother talking to YouTube?

  9. Mark Says:

    Hmm…well for anyone interested you can go to and do a news search for youtube (it was a featured story last Tuesday).

    If Viacom is successful or they do indeed go public, will that be a gain or loss in traction for them? Of course it worked for Google and MySpace — but will it work for YouTube and their businessmodel?

    I’m kinda mixed on how that kind of strategy would play out.

  10. Andy Says:

    Norah has officially been dissed.

  11. mac Says:

    And what about Joss Stone (link tracksback to a post about her on my blog)?

  12. chartreuse Says:

    Norah Jones?
    Joss Stone?

    Very Good is not great…

    And Norah is only Good…tighten up Andy!

    And now that I think about it, Joss Stone has yet to sing a great song.

    Anistasia…maybe. Those two? Nah… 🙂

  13. Andy Says:

    Char you like the chicks that can belt it out….

    I prefer the understated, “sing me to sleep….and then sing me awake” types 🙂

    Plus, you gotta hand it to any chick that can throw down with Ray Charles and Dolly without missing a beat!

  14. Best female vocalist depends entirely on what type of music a person likes.

    I vote for:

    (1) Grace Slick
    (2) Joni Mitchell
    (3) Latitia Sadier (STEREOLAB)
    (4) Billie Holiday
    (5) vocalist of Deerhoof

    I hate “belt out” music.

  15. Mark Says:

    I’d add to that list —

    Etta James
    Tina Turner
    Shirley Bassey
    Gladys Knight
    Patti LaBelle
    Natalie Cole

    The new breed, even though I too like Christina, can’t compete head-to-head with old school

  16. Duncan Says:

    I’m found personally of Norah Jones, but she’s the Michael Bubble of female jazz, fresh edge to whats been done in the past…certainly whilst she’s enjoyable to the ear, I don’t believe her style of singing is particularly challenging vocally…unless she’s scating somewhere and I missed it 🙂

  17. Duncan Says:

    sorry, that should be fond.

  18. kid mercury Says:

    can’t believe no one has mentioned sinead oconnor yet.

    she beats everyone.

    by a lot.

  19. AlisonHall Says:

    This is THE List

    Harriet Wheeler from The Sundays
    Patty Griffin
    Sara McLaughlin
    Aimee Mann

  20. Jecklin Says:

    I was just going to mention Sinead.

    I’d add:

    Nico (if she’s still living)

    Joan Armatrading

    Siouxsie Sioux

  21. Liz Strauss Says:

    I agree with the list, but I would include one more.

    Julia Fordham.

  22. AndrewE Says:

    A few of my favourites:

    Lauryn Hill (US – ex Fugees, born again hip-hop/folk singer)

    Cassandra Wilson (US – Jazz singer who blows me away, especially the Miles Davis covers)

    Anoushka Shankar (UK/India – Ravi’s daughter)

    Beth Gibbons (UK – ex Portishead)

    Lisa Gerrard (Australia – ex Dead Can Dance)

    Hajime Chitose (Japan – From Oshima island, uses traditional singing technique, “it is said that her voice has a relaxing effect that has been observed in electroencephalograms taken from the brains of people listening to her singing” wikipedia- I thought that was the case for all good vocalists :))

    Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde – pure lyrical soul)

  23. fred Says:

    lauryn hill for two records – the score and her solo record
    sinead o’connor forever
    lucinda williams for her grit
    annie lennox – agreed
    joss stone – because she’s gonna sing some great songs

    and my nomination for the best ever is nina simone

  24. Siouxsie Sioux of the Banshees is really terrific. I put the YouTube video of “Israel” on my blog a while back and got some good reactions to it.

    Sorry about adding a dead singer to my list.

    You must all go see the video The Revver Interns, the funniest, cutest video I have seen so far. It’s at the YouTube competitor:

    I am not paid to say this, in fact I’m not paid to do anything. I do it for Passion, and not Mel Gibson’s stupid fantasy film, the real Passion of self-motivating happy action.

  25. Kristine Says:

    You forget the spoken word! Maya Angelou! Come on people one doesn’t need to sing to have a great voice! Ahem! Ahem!

  26. Link to that fine video of child actors that blows away almost every other video I’ve ever seen:

    The Revver Interns

  27. Brian Says:

    Good list, and I’ll agree with giving Sinead an honorable mention.

    Nothing compares 2 her voice and some good Prince lyrics.

  28. fred Says:

    i think Neko Case might have to be on my list too.

    what a voice and she’s getting better every record.

  29. chartreuse Says:

    Nothing compares 2 U is an awesome and she has the best version.

    Neko is good but I think that what makes a singer great is having the right song at the right time.

    That hasn’t happened yet for a lot of great voices.

    Whitney Houston used to have a good voice. Then she had one or two great song and despite her fall into drug oblivion she’ll be in the Hall Of Fame. Joss Stone and Neko will never make it until they get the right songs.

    Of course wtf do I know? I’m a Pet Shop Boys fan! 🙂

  30. Andy Says:

    Christina has the best voice here. She has the ability to do high pitch sounds and keeping it strong. Unlike Mariah who had a high pitch voice and it was squeeky. Christina can be soft and high but with a powerful voice. She really has everything. I love her.

  31. rob Says:

    Doris Day is still alive you bozos

  32. Archer_sv Says:

    what do u think about alanis???

  33. Blockhead Says:

    Lizz Wright has such a terrific voice, perfect pich whether soft or loud. Check out “Dreaming Wide Awake’ and “Salt”. Absolutely fantastic!

  34. sug Says:

    christina is the best voice on the list just listen to her first album and her last album

  35. sinead Says:

    I didnt see anyone even mention WHITNEY HOUSTON she is one of the greatest vocalists of all time she has such an amazing voice and she top on my list!

  36. John Says:

    Judith Durham of The Seekers

  37. greg Says:

    It’s just a matter of time before you realise that Rita Coolidge should be at the top of your lists

  38. Nelson Says:

    No english language female singer is as good as Tracy Chapman.

  39. Robert Says:

    Those singers have great voices. Christina is the best for me. Love her.

  40. Sergio Says:

    Leann Rimes’ voice is the best !!!

  41. paolo Says:

    Regine velasquez (philippines), Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Cristina Aguilera

  42. Ashton Says:

    CHRISTINA is certainly the BEST in this category!

  43. Ashton Says:

    initially, i am not a fan of chrisitna but as iv listened to her 2 last albums i instantly became a HUGE FAN of HER! CHRISTINA is SIMPLY TALENTED!!!!

  44. Gab Says:

    Amy Lee

  45. Robert Says:

    Celine Dion Surely!!!
    She has an amazing voice!

  46. Steve Says:

    Marilyn McCoo and Dianne Reeves should also be considered. “Come to the River” from Dianne’s “Art and Survival” is unparalleled.

  47. Colovale Says:

    Wow… after reading all those my list is a bit longer… my hat goes off to:

    early mariah for sure- is pretty much a 3minute aria*early whitney- & early letterman performances are perfect*karen carpenter-‘pure of tone, chest deep & heartachingly unadorned’*tori amos*stevie nicks*tracy chapman*harriet wheeler*regina spektor*sade*sinead o’connor*roisin murphy

  48. Lex Says:

    the five best singers alive… i like classic rock i don,t like country. i like hard rock, i never listen to soft rock. i like groups, i don,t like solo artists. the five best singers alive…one of them has to be LeAnn Rimes.

  49. ME Says:

    yeah right! Enya, Celine Dion, Emma Shapplin, get into youtube and look for the song spente le stelle, all you guyses artists suck

  50. Faison Says:

    When asking yourself what makes a great female vocal you have to ponder several things. Does the vocals resonate deep with in your soul, and is the material timeless. With that in mind here is my list of GREAT FEMALE VOCALS in no real order

    1. Chaka Khan
    2. Sade
    3. Billie Holiday
    4. Sade
    5. Phyliss Hyman
    6. Etta James
    7. Dinah Washington
    8. Annie Lenox
    9.Anita Baker
    10. Angela Bofil
    11. Betty Wright
    12. Sarah Vaughn
    13. Aretha Franklin
    14. Minnie Riperton
    15. Anne Nesby
    16. Mahalia Jackson
    .17 Mavis Staples
    18. Janis Joplin
    19. Mama Case
    20. Gladys Knight
    21. The Heart Sisters
    22. Maysa
    23. Nina Simone
    24. Ella Fitzgerald
    25. Roberta Flack
    26. Rosie Gaines
    27. Caron Wheeler
    28. Stevie Nicks
    29. Bette Midler – The Rose Album

  51. […] Lennox – Songs of Mass Destruction. Put together a top 5 list of the best female singers alive and she’s bound to be […]

  52. Danny Joe F. Says:

    I think the four greatest female voices are : (in particular order)
    Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera , Mariah Carey and Celine Dion .

  53. Juanxv Says:

    Its imposible talk about music without do mention about MARIAH CAREY and WHITNEY HOUSTON…. they are LEGENDS.. without doubts… and i think that mrs aguilera has a long road to cross if she wants to be like Mariah or Whitney.

  54. DrSageHall Says:

    Greatest Female Voices of All Time

    1. Barbra Streisand (the only human being to have won an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and Obie)
    2. Celine Dion (Titanic hits with nine-digit monetary values, enough said)
    3. Mariah Carey (her number-one hits are more enduring and her vocal acrobatics more goosehair-raising)
    4. Whitney Houston (top-grossing diva but only for a brief golden period before drug addiction)
    5. Diana Ross (first black diva to break through the glass barrier)
    6. Gladys Knight
    7. Lani Misalucha (Diva’s Diva can outperform #1 to #6)
    8. Aretha Franklin (the Queen of Soul has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame)
    9. Christina Aguilera (she’s already acknowledged as being several cuts above her contemporaries, i.e. Britney Spears, and even Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson)
    10. Beyonce Knowles (younger diva has amazing versatility)

    Greatest Male Voices of All Time

    1. Frank Sinatra (strong golden voice and Old World charm of the classic macho man)
    2. Sammy Davis Jr (artistic versatility that ranges from A-to-Z)
    3. Bono (embodies the endurance of U2 and the charity worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize)
    4. Andrea Boccelli (he made high-brow opera more accessible to the unsophisticated)
    5. Stevie Wonder (prolific genius as a singer and as a songwriter)
    6. Peabo Bryson (smooth, suave, elegant voice equivalent to a host of angels)
    7. James Ingram (rough hefty voice that men may kill for)
    8. Phil Collins (unpolished diamond voice and mushy love-songs fit for the masses)
    9. Michael Jackson (King of Pop actually has a vocal range from a diabolic guttural to a cherub’s lilt)
    10. Josh Groban (his refined, cultured ways make him the legitimate successor to Luciano Pavarotti)

  55. Katey Says:

    I just stumbled on this, but, even tho i’m late, i have to say, i can’t belive Kelly Clarkson isn’t on your list. She is better than Christina A. she knows how to use her voice better, and has no need to go on all those vocal runs christina enjoys so much. Check out this LIVE performance from Kelly from Sept. of 07′, and tell me she doesn’t deserve to be listed amongst the best.

  56. Ricardo Says:

    Barbra Streisand !!! obviously !!! she´s the best, who else?, ahm, Minnie Riperton, lovely voice, Karen Carpenter clearly voice, Whitney, Mariah, Donna Summer, Ella Fitzegarld, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kan, Dionne Warwick…. anyway i love them

  57. Vince Says:

    Any list of the greatest female singers without mention of Barbra Streisand is just invalid. Her voice is incomparable. Period.

  58. Niamh Says:

    Amy Winehouse.



  60. Roberto Says:

    Céline Dion DEFINITELY!!!

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