Music is full of outstanding vocalists and through the years, we’ve seen a huge variety of different genres. From Ella Fitzgerald’s deep, sultry voice to Frank Sinatra’s distinctive velvety tones and later on, John Lennon’s smooth, rich voice that ruled the airwaves. In more recent years, we’ve been lucky enough to experience Amy Winehouse’ extraordinarily deep and powerful soulful singing voice and world-renowned Adelle bringing joy with her timeless, beautiful vocals. That list doesn’t even scratch the surface! What about Madonna and her huge pitch range? Or Michael Jackson’s ability to reach those high notes? Elvis Presley is one of the greatest singers of all times and Bruce Springsteen, with his gravelly, sexy voice has to be one of the best American singers. Of course, there are thousands of others we could discuss. This list of the singers features some of the above big names – and while it’s based on numerous other credible lists, it combines online, radio station favorites and newspaper articles. Everyone has their own taste – if your favorite isn’t featured here, we’re sure they don’t come far behind!
So Who Is the Most Famous Singer and one of the Best Singers of All Time?
- Number One has to be James Brown – Get Up, Get On Up! He’s one of the best American singers and famous worldwide for his booming voice that’s so tuneful as well. With his high-energy performances, and a treasure trove of awards, he’s one of the greatest artists that’s ever lived, and his music will transcend tie. (Instagram @jamesbrown).
- Paul McCartney comes a close second and is without doubt one of the best singers of all time. The lead singer in The Beatles (one of the greatest bands of all time), his voice is immediately recognizable. He’s written 32 songs that reached number 1 (many co-written with John Lennon). As well as the Beatles, Paul McCartney has led a very successful solo career and been in the notable band Wings. With countless honors, Sir Paul McCartney also holds a knighthood, and the Guinness Book of World Records lists him as one of the most successful songwriters of all time. Yesterday is the biggest cover song ever – did you know that it’s been re-recorded over 2,000 times? (Instagram @paulmccartney).
- Arethra Franklin comes in at number 3 on this list as one of the best singers of all time. The well-known gospel, jazz and soul singer’s career didn’t take off until 1967 with her Respect song – that’s still played regularly across the globe. She’s been topping the charts for over 40 years and has sold over 75 million records. You won’t find a top ten list without Arethra featuring in it as one of the best singers in the world. (Instagram @arethrafranklin).
- At Number 4, we have Frank Sinatra who’s sold over 150 million records and is still a very much listened to artist today, although the peak of his career was approximately 75 years ago! One of the original Rat Pack members, and one of the best singers of all time he started his career in Las Vegas and wowed thousands of audiences. One of the most famous male singers, Frank’s released 59 albums and won an accolade of awards. He has one of the most recognizable voices in music. (Instagram @sinatra).
- Ella Fitzgerald comes in at number 5. Often referred to as The First Lady of Song, she has an incredible range. Ella has won 14 Grammys and numerous other awards. She’s also performed in films and on TV shows. Her sultry voice is one of the best jazz voices ever recorded. (Instagram @firstladyofsong)
- Freddie Mercury rocks in at number 6. One of the best singers of all time and lead singer of world-renowned band Queen, his voice is iconic. Not only was Freddie an outstanding male singer, but he wrote music too and is credited for writing plenty of Queen tracks. Recipient of multiple awards, he’s one of the best-selling artists ever. Today, his music is still played regularly on TV and the radio and there are numerous tribute bands paying homage to his exceptional talent. (Instagram @freddiemercury)
- At Number 7 we have Marvin Gaye, the famous soul, R&B and Funk vocalist. An original Motown vocalist, he earned the title Prince of Soul and influenced the R&B genre – so much so, he is still one of the biggest influencer artists of today. With numerous musical awards including a Grammy Lifetime Award, he is one of the best vocalists of all times. (Instagram @officialmarvingayemusic)
- At Number 8 we have soul singer Stevie Wonder. The blind singer still made the most enormous impact on the music scene, despite his visual impairment. And he’s won over 25 Grammy Awards. He has so many honorary degrees and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – that’s how well-respected he is! (Instagram @steviewonderlegacy)
- At Number 9 we’ve got Michael Jackson. The disco, R&B and soul singer topped the charts for over 30 years as one of the best singers of all time but was the center of many news stories. The king of dance too, Jackson is known to be one of the greatest entertainers ever. He never had any musical training and wasn’t able to write or read music, but he could play many different instruments and was truly gifted with immense talent and musical ability. Instagram @michaeljackson)
- Mariah Carey comes in at number 10, the female songstress has a five-octave vocal range. Her first five singles all reached number one and her first album stayed on the Billboard chart at the top for over 11 weeks consecutively. She has the most number one singles by a soloist and is one of the best vocalists of all times. (Instagram @mariahcarey)
For more on the greatest artists of all time, click on this link: https://www.billboard.com/charts/greatest-of-all-time-artists/.
Best American Singers – Some of the Best Singers of All Time!
So there you have it – that’s our top ten but if you wanted to know the best American singers, we’ve compiled a short list below.
- Elvis Presley
- Simon and Garfunkel
- Michael Jackson
- Taylor Swift
- Mariah Carey
- The Eagles
- Whitney Houston