Who are your top 5 male and female popular music singers of all time?

Rogifan

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Rolling Stone did a list a while back that got a lot of ridicule because Mariah Carey was 79, Whitney Houston 34 (behind Steve Winwood!) while people like John Lennon and Bob Dylan were in the top 10.


Who would be your top 5 male and female? These are mine:

Male
  1. Stevie Wonder
  2. Ray Charles
  3. Marvin Gaye
  4. Sam Cooke
  5. Freddie Mercury
Female
  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Barbra Streisand
  3. Etta James
  4. Aretha Franklin
  5. Lena Horne
And here are a few of my favorite live performance.






 
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niji

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i stopped reading the link you provided when Stevie Nicks was listed as only # 98.
shame on Rolling Stone.
 
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LizKat

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These "all time" lists are impossible for me, always. But at the moment ? 😊

Female
1. Patricia Kaas (French cabaret)
2. Madeline Peyroux (jazz, singer songwriter)
3. Janis Joplin (rock)
4. Mary Gauthier (singer songwriter)
5. Marisa Monte (Brazilian / MPB)

current runners-up:
Thea Gilmore, Eilen Jewell, Fey, Nouvelle Vague, Myriam Hernandez


Male
1. Bob Dylan (singer songwriter)
2. Britt Daniel / Spoon (indie rock)
3. David Bowie (rock, singer songwriter)
4. Francis Cabrel (French rock, singer songwriter)
5. Jeffrey Foucault (blues rock, singer songwriter)

current runners-up:
Derek Trucks, David Bisbal, Bono / U2, Patrick Bruel, Camila (previous lead)
 
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Tomorrow

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Female
1. Patricia Kaas (French cabaret)
2. Madeline Peyroux (jazz, singer songwriter)
3. Janis Joplin (rock)
4. Mary Gauthier (singer songwriter)
5. Marisa Monte (Brazilian / MPB)
Shame on me - I have no idea how I overlooked Janis Joplin. Or Gregg Allman. Or Donna Summer, Bruce Dickinson, Diana Ross, or Karen Carpenter.
 
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Rogifan

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Some good lists here. But I have to be honest I can’t stand Mariah Carey. Way too many runs and using her head voice too much. I remember when she performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl. When she sang “and the land of the free” she couldn't reach the note on free so she bailed out into this really high-pitched falsetto that was more like a scream. For me all the female singers that go crazy with runs...it’s just a cop out. If your voice is good enough, if it’s powerful enough you don’t need all that crap. Jennifer Hudson is another one who has an amazing voice but most times over sings. The day that Prince died Hudson did a tribute after a broadway show. She sang Purple Rain. It was awful because she was basically yelling the chorus. She should take cues from Dionne Warwick instead of Natalie Cole (another screamer).
 
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vertical smile

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Who would be your top 5
Lists like this are typically hard to do, mostly because it is so subjective and there really isn’t any metrics to compare one person to the next.

My top five list could totally change from one day to the next.

Instead of making a top five list, I will just list some people that could be in my top five at any given moment, but I will exclude any artist that was previously mentioned.

Also, I purposely listed some artists that people may not think of, but imo, deserve to be mentioned.



Males, everyone has some great artists so far, my list has some that I think could top those already mentioned:

Andrea Bocelli – I am surprised he hasn’t been mentioned already.

Chris Cornell – Powerful voice, so recognizable.

Tom Jones – One of the greats.

Axl Rose – Probably not on most people’s radar, but worth considering. His vocal style is like a male version of Janis Joplin, imo.

George Michael – People tend to forget the amazing voice he had.

Johnny Cash – Wasn’t always a fan, but his vocals in “Hurt” gives me chills.

Frank Sinatra – Another one I was surprise didn’t get a mention.

Jeff Buckley – His version of Hallelujah is my favorite, so sad.

Elton John - So iconic, but so many younger people today can’t even name one of his songs…. Sad

Willie Nelson - Probably another one that gets forgotten about.



Females, I tend to like female artists with an angelic sounding voice, so my list might be biased that way, but I am surprised that a few hasn’t been mentioned so far:

Sarah Brightman – The most angelic voice, so beautiful. I don't think she was on the Rolling Stone top 100 either, not sure how she was missed.

Celine Dion - How was she not mentioned so far?

Sarah McLachlan - Her song “Angel” was perfectly sad long before it was about sad puppies.

Alison Krauss - Another angelic voice.

Alicia Keys - Not always a fan of modern R&B, but Alicia Keys has such a wonderful voice.

Lana Del Rey - She would probably be considered pop, but there is something "old" about her sound, and in a good way.

Sara Bareilles - Just listen to 'Gravity'.

LeAnn Rimes - I think she often gets forgotten about, maybe she isn’t for everyone, but I love her voice.

Sheryl Crow - Nice vocals, she does one of my favorite Bond songs.

Dolly Parton - Another one people forget about. Since most people’s list would probably include Whitney Houston (and justifiably so), and Houston’s version of “I will always love you” was arguably her most popular song, I personally think that Dolly’s version better captures the sadness of the lyrics. Which is a little ironic, considering Houston’s character in the movie ‘Body Guard’ makes a comment about how sad the lyrics of the song. Houston’s version just sounds too loud, imo. I wouldn’t rate Dolly above Houston overall, but it is interesting to see the difference in styles on a song that both sing.
 
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HDFan

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Where are Edith Piaf, Paul Robinson, Kate Smith, ...? The title is "Greatest Singers of All Time" so where are Callas, Caruso?

I tried scrolling through the list but it was so slow gave up. Maybe some are there.
 

Mousse

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Frank Sinatra – Another one I was surprise didn’t get a mention.
I like silky smooth voices of the crooners like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. The younger generations probably never heard of these guys.:(

I can't stand the wailing, screaming at the top of and all the OoOoO and AaAaaa found in more modern music. I keep telling those punk kids down the street loud doesn't equal good.
 

Rogifan

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Celine Dion is up there for sure. Some would say Mariah Carey too. I can’t just because she bugs the crap out of me. Whitney and Celine were divas but in a good sense. Mariah is a diva but in the worst possible way. She’s all about herself and has a massive ego. At first I thought maybe she’s not being serious, just taking the piss. But no her stupid new years eve antics proved what a prima donna she really is.
 

Gregg2

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Some of my favorites:

Neil Diamond
Dan Fogleberg
Harry Chapin
Gordon Lightfoot
James Taylor
John Denver

Linda Ronstadt
Janis Ian
Joan Baez
Karla Bonoff
Kim Carnes
Carole King
 
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ejb190

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I agree with Sarah Brightman, vertical smile. But Broadway kind of falls outside what most would think of as popular music. Brightman and Michael Crawford's performance in Phantom set the bar for me on what vocalists could do!

Why hasn't Sting been mentioned yet?

And I'll throw out some incredible voices from the world of Christian Music:
Kevin Max - formally of dc Talk and Audio Adrenaline (saw him at a Newsboys show last month!)
Bart Millard - MercyMe ("I Can Only Imagine")
Mac Powell - Third Day
Sandi Patty
Amy Grant
Lauren Daigle
Dawn Michele - Fireflight (you know the song "Unbreakable")
 

mikzn

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Who would be your top 5 male and female?
I think everyone will have different perspectives depending on thier taste in Music and the genres they prefer to listen to most often, and as many mentioned above my own preference change constantly. That said and FWIW . . .

Top 5 Female
1) Anne Wilson
2) Joni Mitchell
3) Sade
4) Chaka Kahn
5) Alanis Morisette

Honorable Mentions
Patti LaBelle, Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA), Marie Fredriksson (Roxette), Patty Smyth, Jewel


Top 5 Male
1) Steve Perry
2) Todd Rundgren
3) Micky Thomas
4) Seal
5) Peter Cetera

Honorable Mentions
Steve Walsh, Chris Cornell, Jon Anderson, Lionel Ritchie, Myles Kennedy, Paul Simon,
 

AlliFlowers

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Jan 1, 2011
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Top 5 Female
1) Anne Wilson
2) Joni Mitchell
3) Sade
4) Chaka Kahn
5) Alanis Morisette
I'm listening to Alanis right now. Timing is everything. Joni Mitchell is definitely my number one.

I don't know if I can do five. I'm actually surprised that I come up with a number one in both categories. For male, definitely Neil Young.
 
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