Top 5 female singers of last 50 years ...
Its a hot summer night and I can't get off to sleep, so ...
who is your top 5 female singers of say last 50 years. I am discounting the greats of the 40s and 50s like Ella and Sarah and Judy, as I am really looking at 1960 onwards, so a quiz for those who were young in the 60s:
Aretha - just look at that back catalogue Barbra - " Joni - " Dusty Springfield " Joan Armatrading - I just love that fire and ice voice and vocals and lyrics and guitar work ...
lots may nominate Madonna - I love her "Ray of Light" and "Music" years, and she created some great disco moments, but away from the dancefloor, as a vocalist - ?
|by Anonymous||reply 226||10/26/2013|
That should have been:
Aretha - just look at that back catalogue
Barbra - "
Joni - "
Dusty Springfield "
Joan Armatrading - I just love that fire and ice voice and vocals and lyrics and guitar work ...
|by Anonymous||reply 1||08/21/2013|
Nina Freaking Simone, of course.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||08/21/2013|
Americans may not know Joan Armatrading much - but she is still huge in Europe and has been since the 70s. Gay, too ...
|by Anonymous||reply 3||08/21/2013|
Nina is rather an acquired taste, but yes certainly a contender.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||08/21/2013|
Peggy Lee was still terrific in the 60s on onwards.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||08/21/2013|
The ones I have seen live in concert:
Nina Simone (oddest concert I have been to)
Barbra Streisand -Funny Girl on the stage, in 1966.
Joni Mitchell - 4 different concerts
|by Anonymous||reply 8||08/21/2013|
Am on the Aretha (pre 90s), Joni and Dusty trains for sure.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||08/21/2013|
Britney Spears Christina Aguilera Rihanna Kathy Perry Lady Gaga
|by Anonymous||reply 10||08/21/2013|
I like all those nu-soul gals:
and 'one hit wonders' like Shannon / Donna Allen / Jody Watley / Angela Bofill / Shara Nelson / Paris Gray / Joyce Sims / REgina Belle.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||08/21/2013|
No one cares about Barbra Streisand anymore. She really needed to update her style about 25 years ago. She still sings in that overwrought, annoying 70s style voice that my generation has no interest in hearing. She's like a living time machine to a past I have no inclination to visit.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||08/21/2013|
Roberta Flack - I still play her first album: "Trying times", "compared to what", "ballad of the sad young men".
Shirley Bassey ?
|by Anonymous||reply 13||08/21/2013|
I agree with OP's first 4. However, I would put Nina Simone in that august group, to make the 5th.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||08/21/2013|
But Streisand was amazing and so different in the early 60s, as those first 3 albums of hers indicated.
Like Aretha's first Atlantic albums, or those early 70s Joni Mitchell albums.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||08/21/2013|
Vocalists who have/had megatalent, and also had big hits on the charts:
Whitney in her prime
Ann Wilson (Heart) - best rock / turbopop female vocals ever
5th: tie between Chaka Khan and Karen Carpenter. Probably Chaka; in terms of phrasing and tone she was influential on many, many later R&B / soul singers.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||08/21/2013|
Carole King, if only for the Tapestry album. It became part of one's life.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||08/21/2013|
Aretha, Linda R., Karen Carpenter, Whitney Houston.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||08/21/2013|
Carly and that No Secrets album, and Anticipation ...
|by Anonymous||reply 20||08/21/2013|
I don't think R 11 understood OP's premice. We're talking great singers, who've proven their durability and universal appeal. R11 girls pale next to most others mentioned in this thread.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||08/21/2013|
Aretha before Atlantic was terrific too, at Capitol - ok they made her sing standards and show tunes, but she also did stunning items like "Running Out of Fools", "It Wont Be Long" and "Who Needs You".
|by Anonymous||reply 22||08/21/2013|
20 plus posts and no mention of me ? you guyz are slipping ...
|by Anonymous||reply 24||08/21/2013|
Finger click. repeat. "everybody got the fever..."
|by Anonymous||reply 27||08/21/2013|
Dionne, Dusty, Aretha, Roberta
I like Cassandra Wilson - felt like she did/does not get enough airplay
|by Anonymous||reply 28||08/21/2013|
Whitney Houston Stevie Nicks Carly Simon Carole King
|by Anonymous||reply 29||08/21/2013|
When someone asked Leontyne Price who she considered the finest singers of the 60's, she said: " Hmmm, let's see.. There was Aretha, .. and me."
|by Anonymous||reply 30||08/21/2013|
LaVern Baker, Martha Reeves, Ann Wilson, Mavis Staples
|by Anonymous||reply 31||08/21/2013|
Barbra, Whitney, Dusty, Aretha, and Neil Sedaka.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||08/21/2013|
[quote]and 'one hit wonders' like...Jody Watley
Miss Watley was no one-hit wonder. She accumulated 6 Hot 100 top 10s, 8 R&B top 5s and 7 Dance chart #1s.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||08/21/2013|
You should narrow it down more, OP. Because, frankly, I don't see how anyone can best Streisand.
I love Aretha, though!
|by Anonymous||reply 35||08/21/2013|
I would put Chaka up there with Streisand.
Aretha and Gladys Knight too.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||08/21/2013|
If we're talking vocal abilities, Cyndi Lauper should be on that list.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||08/21/2013|
Gladys Knight is awesome. "If I Were Your Woman" is one my all time favorite songs.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||08/21/2013|
Thanks for the input, Cyndi.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||08/21/2013|
Mavis staples. Patti LaBelle (but I don't like her)
|by Anonymous||reply 43||08/21/2013|
Well, Barbra Streisand is the top-selling female vocalist of all-time in the U.S. What's shocking is that she's the ONLY female vocalist in the Top 10 biggest-selling artists in U.S. history.
No other female will ever top her total sales because the music industry has changed so much over the years.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||08/21/2013|
Donna Summer is the only singer I really care about. She's getting me through some tough times right now, calms me down.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||08/21/2013|
In no particular order...
Aretha Franklin Dusty Springfield Patsy Cline Joni Mitchell Etta James
Lots of honorable mentions but those are my top 5. Patsy was late 50's, early 60's but she fits more with the second half of the century.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||08/21/2013|
With a friend, using a homemade scale we have a list. Tied with perfect scores: Janis Joplin Aretha Franklin kd Lang 2. Cass Eliot 3.susan Boyle 4.(tie) Annie Lennox Tammy Wynette Abbey Lincoln 5.Loretta Lynn
|by Anonymous||reply 47||08/21/2013|
Alison Krauss has one of the most incredible voices I've ever heard. She's also the most Grammy decorated female singer ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||08/21/2013|
Looks, Babs Streisand has to top the list. But I would like to submit for your approval, Maureen McGovern:
|by Anonymous||reply 50||08/21/2013|
Extra letter there. I meant to type "look" as in, 'listen here, sister,' not "looks." Because while Babs could look very attractive (think "What's Up, Doc?"), her looks are not at issue here. She is simply the best popular music vocalist of the past 50 years. Period. However, I thought Maureen McG. deserved a shout out.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||08/21/2013|
Love that Dusty has a place in so many other people's hearts. Agree with so many of the other choices, but don't really know some of the younger ladies. Hopefully, some of them will still be around and/or thought kindly of in 20-30 years. It's such a personal thing how music can get through to us.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||08/21/2013|
I'm a big Diana Ross fan because when they started the Supremes were able to appeal across cultural and racial divides, and broke through some restricted venues.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||08/21/2013|
R44, you dumb fuck, top selling does NOT mean good.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||08/21/2013|
JUDY!! JUDY!! JUDY!! best female singer in the 20th century
|by Anonymous||reply 55||08/21/2013|
For beauty, range and power of the voice it is these five:
Aretha Franklin Linda Ronstadt Whitney Houston Barbara Streisand Shirley Bassey
There are many many other divas i like even more than these five but these are the best vocal instruments among popular music singers.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||08/21/2013|
Totally depends on what type of singer.
Mariah (I can't stand her, but she belongs).
For "other" - woman who don't define a jandra (old timers will get that)
|by Anonymous||reply 57||08/21/2013|
Oooh....Dianne Reeves. She's fabulous!
|by Anonymous||reply 61||08/21/2013|
Great responses everyone. Think we will have to make it a top.
Janis Joplin hardly qualifies, her career was just about 3 years and she has not left that much recorded legacy.
Laura Nyro certainly.
Good to see the respect for Aretha, Barbra, Joni.
Miss Ross, like Bassey, seems too much of a required taste.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||08/22/2013|
Lady Gaga reigns supreme with the voice of a thousand angels. She is the Meryl Streep of music.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||08/22/2013|
Just listen to her sing "Fields of Gold".
Died way too young.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||08/22/2013|
The presence of Susan Boyle and Linda Eder on this thread make me giggle like a Japanese schoolgirl.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||08/22/2013|
Shirley Bassey has one of the best voices in music.
Laura and Joni are genius but are they among the best 'singers'?
|by Anonymous||reply 74||08/23/2013|
Carly Simon for her "No Secrets" album alone.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||08/23/2013|
Whitney tops the list for me. Sure, she left behind a solid body of records, but to listen to her live, in her prime, was nothing short of enchanting. Absolutely beautiful voice, with unparalleled instincts. Thank God for youtube.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||08/24/2013|
Aretha, Donna Summer, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston
|by Anonymous||reply 80||08/24/2013|
Barbra Streisand Judy Garland Bjork Aretha Franklin Annie Lennox
|by Anonymous||reply 84||08/24/2013|
Randy Crawford never gets the due she deserves. Simply one of the most distinctive jazz/pop voices ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||08/24/2013|
Like it or not, Madonna has sold twice as many records as Streisand. So has Mariah Carey.
Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||08/24/2013|
R86, that's internationally. Streisand is the biggest-selling female in the US.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||08/24/2013|
OP said since of the last 50 years, since the 60s - so that discounts Judy, Ella, Peggy etc.
Main contenders so far appear to be:
with lots of votes for Joni, Carly, Dusty, Whitney, Dionne.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||08/24/2013|
Linda Eder Heather Headley Karen Carpenter Barbra Streisand Whitney Houston
|by Anonymous||reply 90||08/24/2013|
I like Carly, I really do. But I don't think she's a top 5 singer by any means. Laura Nyro deserves more credit. Incredible range and incredibly soulful. And hello, where's Minnie Riperton???
|by Anonymous||reply 91||08/24/2013|
Amy Grant Patty Griffin Karen Carpenter Whitney (pre 1990) Kelly Clarkson
My choices are those singers whose performances have moved me the most. It's not about the technically best singers. I didn't really like anything Whitney did post 80s. I particularly couldn't stand "I will always love you." I tend to like more understated singing where the singer really conveys true emotion. I'm disappointed in what Amy Grant has put out in recent years--I really loved the direction she was going with her "Behind the eyes" album, but she's gradually drifted back into almost exclusively Christian. I guess it's what people expect from her. Listen to her song "What is the chance of that" to hear what could've been if she had only had more of a burning desire to pursue it. (The song is really not religious at all, despite the giant cross in the video...sigh).
|by Anonymous||reply 92||08/24/2013|
Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins)
Victoria Legrand (Beach House)
Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead)
|by Anonymous||reply 93||08/24/2013|
Mama Cass Elliot, the overall warmth behind her range and tonality was lovely
Karen Carpenter, near perfect alto
Yma Sumac, legit five octave range. She sang in Spanish, English, and some Peruvian dialects flawlessly.
Lashun Pace, the greatest gospel singer I have ever heard. Make you tube your friend on that.
Aretha Franklin. I am not of her era, but she sang the hell out of an aria at the Grammy's years ago on a moments notice.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||08/24/2013|
Who are the freaks who keep mentioning Yma Sumac? Who cares if she had a 5-octave range. It's not like she could use it singing pop music, which was not her genre.
She nothing but a novelty singer who became famous doing bird calls. She's not a legit singer.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||08/24/2013|
Emmylou Harris. Angelic, divine.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||08/24/2013|
Annie Lennox has hardly been mentioned - I loved her Eurythmics songs and videos, and nearly wore out her solo album "Diva".
My top 10 then:
Barbra (just listen to those first 3 albums, and imagine how stunning they were at the time).
Carole King - if only for Tapestry.
Bassey / Nancy Wilson
|by Anonymous||reply 98||08/28/2013|
These are all some great choices...but I've always thought Laura Branigan was underrated. I loved her voice.
My other favorite voices: Dionne, Donna, Cass, Karen, Carly, Linda, Joni, Roberta, Dolly, Annie.
Currently, Adele and Kelly Clarkson.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||08/28/2013|
r98 again - how could I have left out Dusty Springfield. She ties with Annie Lennox then, as britain's 2 finest.
Sade too - she doesnt do much now, but makes plenty from tours and an album every 10 years, but I still play the "Stronger than Pride" album a lot, its timeless.
Karen Carpenter also of course.
|by Anonymous||reply 102||08/28/2013|
Diana Ross (worldwide superstardom)
Aretha Franklin (no explanation needed)
Cyndi Lauper (should have been bigger)
Nancy Wilson (not the rocker but she's good too)
Tina Turner (surprised no one mentioned her)
********************************************* Honorable mention:
Whitney should be in there but I'm of the mindset that it's actually her momma Cissy who is the better singer. Cissy is better than Dionne too. She's up there with Aretha but just never got a good shot.
I was never a Barbra Streisand fan (gay demerit)
Michael Jackson (she'd be upset if she wasn't included)
|by Anonymous||reply 103||08/28/2013|
R103 When Cissy was younger she had a whistle register. I can't remember the name of the song she used it on as of right now, but if it comes to me I will make mention of it later on.
Neither Dionne, Cissy, or Whitney took care of their voices at all. David Foster made mention of that in an interview well after Whitney passed. He basically said that Whitney did not have good genes in regards to maintaining her voice. But, I don't know if he was trying to be polite in an odd way, because he didn't mention Whitney's drug use. Maybe he picked the lessor of two evils?
|by Anonymous||reply 105||08/28/2013|
106 replies...6 pages... and no mention of Vikki Carr? And this is a gay forum?
Ok, maybe she's not up there with Barbra... but her voice was at least comparable to Shirley Bassey.
In case you've all forgotten...here she is with the fabulously Euro-trashy, drag-act standard, "It Must Be Him".
Listen to those pipes...
|by Anonymous||reply 107||08/28/2013|
Surprised at the lack of love now for Tina Turner, Miss Ross, Roberta Flack and diva Anita Baker. Also nobody sees Madonna as a lasting singer, and nobody thinks the like of Beyonce or Rihanna or J-Lo are in the league of Aretha or Barbra. Mary J could have been a contender? and of course Alicia Keys.
Shame Patsy Cline not recognised more, but country hardly rates.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||08/29/2013|
Tina Turner and Diana Ross are not that popular any more and have not done anything of note for a decade or two, so their stars have slipped ... very polarising artists - you either love them or hate them.
|by Anonymous||reply 109||08/29/2013|
Minnie Riperton, voice of an angel, gone too soon.
|by Anonymous||reply 110||08/29/2013|
Cissy Houston is in very poor physical and mental health right now. This is an interview she gave this week in which she seems totally out of it.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||08/29/2013|
Ann Wilson Whitney Houston Tina Turner Celine Dion Janis Joplin
|by Anonymous||reply 112||08/29/2013|
Do most of you mentioning Nancy Wilson actually mean Ann Wilson?
|by Anonymous||reply 113||08/29/2013|
 I disagree 100%! Miss Ross is working like she has rent to pay and selling out her venues consistently. Nary a bad review either. That woman is pulling in at least $250K/week and will do a house party for $100K. The only thing I can say bad about Ross is the extra weight she has put on. At her age I don't expect her to be a size five but a 16 doesn't look good on her. Tina is getting ready to tour again but she wants to tone her shows down because of all the physical exertion. I bet her shows will sell out too. I suppose you would have to throw Madonna in this too. She has had a lasting career.
|by Anonymous||reply 115||08/29/2013|
 No. We KNOW exactly who we are talking about. Miss Nancy Wilson. Go over to YouTube and listen to her version of "I Can't Make You Love Me"
Oh heck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXCZSrL7IaY
|by Anonymous||reply 116||08/29/2013|
Whoa! Rihanna? J-Lo? Mentioned in the same line as Aretha??? Talk about a "clutch my pearls" moment! Honey, may I suggest you find that tape of "Divas Live" from 1998 where Aretha made it quite clear who owned that stage. Gloria Estefan knew better. Carole king stepped back. Shania Twain didn't even bother. But, you do have those unruly children like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey who needed to be taught who is the adult versus who is the child. Aretha vocally whupped their butts real good and walked away without even breaking a sweat.
|by Anonymous||reply 117||08/29/2013|
Aretha isn't worth shit after 1976.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||08/29/2013|
Oh yeah--Kirsty McColl and Kate Bush!
|by Anonymous||reply 119||08/29/2013|
(Champagne for) Lulu!
Brenda Lee is my all time favorite girl singer, I am her #1 fool.
|by Anonymous||reply 120||08/29/2013|
K. D. Lang
Honorable mention to my favorite singer, the song bird and poet, Macy Gray.
|by Anonymous||reply 121||08/29/2013|
I love that Divas concert from 96? with Aretha leading the pack - seeing her and Carole King doing Natural Woman is a stunning moment. The other gals (Mariah, Shania, Gloria, Celine) were just backing singers.
I mean Nancy Wilson, who has been singing since the 60s, all those Capitol albums and songs like "How Glad I Am" and "Lush Life".
Donna Summer was marvellous too, I loved that Quincy Jones album of hers.
|by Anonymous||reply 123||08/30/2013|
Hmm... this is actually very hard. I noticed that it was hard for most to just name 5. But here are mine:
Diana Ross:(without question) As someone wrote; you either love her or hate her but she truly is an international superstar. "She's working like she has rent to pay..." LOL!!! That was funny! Yup! She does 3-4 shows a week in different locations and it's more like $1M a week she pulls in. Not many of these other bitches are getting anywhere near that. ...and yes, Miss Ross will do a house party for a minimum of $100K
Barbra Streisand: Same as Diana Ross. Her star is brighter because of more movies, awards, etc.
Aretha Franklin: Whoever wrote that her work after 1976 is shit... well, I guess you're entitled to your opinion.
Madonna: Can't deny her impact on music.
Beyonce: ...and she's young too! A lot of years ahead.
About Cissy Houston: Did you know Luther Vandross demanded that she sing background on pretty much all of his albums?
Whoever posted that link to Nancy Wilson's "I Can't Make You Love Me," THANK YOU!!! Outside of Bonnie Rait that is the most beautiful rendition of that song that I have ever heard!!! THANK YOU!!!
|by Anonymous||reply 124||08/30/2013|
Not another "best" list. It's all subjective. Your Aretha, OP, may be my Barbara Lewis. No one is gonna be right on this one. I see some really marginally talented singers here. Beyonce??? Give me a fucking break.
|by Anonymous||reply 125||08/30/2013|
Miss Ross may be touring a lot, but not here in the UK, which must be a big market for her kind of nostalgia show. Has she done anything new or relevant at all in last decade ?
|by Anonymous||reply 126||08/30/2013|
Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Huston, Shirley Bassey (just barely due to very poor musical taste), Celine Deon (same comment as for Bassey) and tied, Linda Ronstadt. I'd like to add KD, but she has been kind of limited- not productive enough to include- some of her singing is as good as it gets, but she is inconsistent. Ditto Anita Baker. Mariah Cary almost makes it on the list, Kelly and Christina A are Cary clones- if not better. Madonna is not a great singer- more of a pop music icon- deservably so with a pretty stellar catalogue of music. No one comes close to the breadth and productivity of Streisand whose voice aside from being singularly beautiful, is elastic in expression. Perhaps that is the key to her versatality.
Others like Ella, Judy, Billie, etc are longer than 50 years ago!
|by Anonymous||reply 127||08/30/2013|
[R126] No. Ross hasn't done anything new for a long time. It might be as long as a decade. The "I Really Love You" album was her last endeavor and it charted well. But none of these established girls and guys have done anything new in awhile except Cher. (I believe this is the first mention of her name on this thread) The record industry is beyond brutal these days. No one is really getting record contracts anymore unless the companies know that it is a guaranteed hit for sure. Eyebrows are raising over Miss Beyonce's unspectacular recent endeavors and they are pausing. The state of the record industry today is probably why Janet Jackson got married and "retired." What did she have 3 flops in a row? Nuh-Uh... that doesn't work.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||08/30/2013|
Has Petula Clark even been mentioned? She may be seen as square now, but Pet was a huge star in the 60s - in England, France and USA, with lots of hits (~Downtown" is surely a gay anthem?), movies and tv shows.
She toured endlessly (I saw her about 5 years ago), and unlike her contemporary Julie Andrews, still has that voice at 80 now, and still working too, with a new album.
I vote for Pet.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||08/31/2013|
Norah Jones, kd lang, Streisand, Alison Krauss, Kelly Clarkson
|by Anonymous||reply 130||08/31/2013|
There are not 10 - there are only three:
Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand
|by Anonymous||reply 131||08/31/2013|
The woefully uncredited Martha Wash and Darlene love both belong on the list.
|by Anonymous||reply 132||08/31/2013|
Another vote for Petula, and 2 other British songbirds:
Dames Cleo Laine and Shirley Bassey. Both may be acquired tastes, but Cleo was marvellous in the 60s and 70s and into the 80s, I saw her several times and she did great shows. She is still going now in her 80s. I didnt personally like Bassey but she was there.
|by Anonymous||reply 133||08/31/2013|
This is it girls, no one else deserves the top 5 spots.
|by Anonymous||reply 134||08/31/2013|
[quote]Streisand is the biggest-selling female in the US.
Connie Francis has sold more and tops her on Billboard's chart listings.
|by Anonymous||reply 135||08/31/2013|
[quote] seeing her and Carole King doing Natural Woman is a stunning moment.
Wasn't King's mike switched off? And I can't believe you didn't mention the moment where Celine "answers" Aretha with a belt riff that shows up Aretha's squealing.
|by Anonymous||reply 136||08/31/2013|
How is Shirley Bassey an 'acquired' taste? Her voice is brilliant and she is an electrifying performer. She left Streisand in the dust at the Oscars this year.
|by Anonymous||reply 137||08/31/2013|
Etta James has to be on the list. She started recording in 1954 ("The Wallflower") kept at it all the way up until 2011 just a year before she died. R&B, jazz, and blues-- she could do it all. "At Last" has to be one of the all time best records.
|by Anonymous||reply 140||08/31/2013|
Great responses here. Yes Etta James has to be a major contender. Every karaoke singing frau has to do "At Last" - even Miss Beyonce had the nerve to impersonate her for a movie, but nobody was fooled.
I LIKE Janet Jackson, particularly "The Velvet Rope" album and those early singles like "What Have You Done For Me Lately" (which I bought for my DJ boyfriend when it first came out, so he had it before anyone else in Brighton) - her Joni Mitchell tribute "Got till its gone" was bliss too, love all her various remixes and videos, particuarly "Together Again" ... but as a singer is she in the same league as those most mentioned? I feel the same about Carly Simon and Linda Ronstadt.
One singer songwriter not mentioned is Janis Ian - big in the 70s with "At 17" and some good albums, the lesbians' favourite ?
My top 10 is shaping up like this:
Barbra / Aretha / Joni / Nina Simone / Joan Armatrading / Dusty Springfield / Annie Lennox / Carole King / Karen Carpenter / Dionne Warwick.
Bubbling under: Donna Summer / Laura Nyro / Petula Clark / Cleo Laine / Shirley Bassey / Regina Belle.
|by Anonymous||reply 141||08/31/2013|
Gladys Knight and Robert Flack and Nancy Wilson ain't exactly chopped liver either !
|by Anonymous||reply 143||08/31/2013|
Robert Flack ! - rolls eyes.
|by Anonymous||reply 144||08/31/2013|
Love her. Why hasn't she recorded anything in the past decade?
|by Anonymous||reply 145||08/31/2013|
I liked Jennifer Holliday ! - particularly her 1985 album "Hard Times For Lovers" - we wore it out. Pity she did not keep it together and focus on her career after "Dreamgirls".
|by Anonymous||reply 146||08/31/2013|
Janet's Together Again - isn't this about loving someone who has died, and she sings they will be together again. Its happy despite the sadness ?
I saw it back in 1997 as an elegy for all those we had lost to Aids. Was that what Janet intended - despite the video with the animals in Africa ?
|by Anonymous||reply 147||08/31/2013|
[quote]Connie Francis has sold more and tops her on Billboard's chart listings.
No, she hasn't. Connie Francis isn't even in the Top 100. Barbra Streisand in the ONLY female in the Top 10 in the U.S.
Here's the ONLY OFFICIAL list of the TOP SELLING ARTISTS by the RIAA:
1. The Beatles
2. Elvis Presley
3. Garth Brooks
4. Led Zeppelin
6. Billy Joel
7. Michael Jackson
8. Pink Floyd
9. Elton John
10. Barbra Streisand
Madonna is at #16.
|by Anonymous||reply 148||08/31/2013|
Of the new girls, Alicia Keys has to be a major contender, the only one who will go the distance - as well as Mary J. ?
|by Anonymous||reply 149||08/31/2013|
R148, check Billboard.
"Here is an updated look at the female artists with the most Hot 100 hits dating to the chart's Aug. 4, 1958, inception:"
73, Aretha Franklin 56, Madonna 56, Taylor Swift 56, Dionne Warwick 53, Connie Francis 48, Brenda Lee 44, Mariah Carey 42, Nicki Minaj 41, Barbra Streisand 40, Mary J. Blige 40, Diana Ross
|by Anonymous||reply 151||08/31/2013|
Alicia Keys should never (try to) belt.
|by Anonymous||reply 152||08/31/2013|
[quote] How is Shirley Bassey an 'acquired' taste?
Her indiosyncratic phrasing.
|by Anonymous||reply 153||08/31/2013|
R151, the only thing that matters is how many albums you've sold, not how many Top 10 hits you've had. Just ask Dionne Warwick, who's living on welfare at the moment.
|by Anonymous||reply 154||08/31/2013|
Joni Mitchell has just as idiosycratic phrasing. I really hate the way she leans on her vowels for no reason at all. She has a lovely voice but to consider her a top five female singer of the last 50 is a joke.
|by Anonymous||reply 155||08/31/2013|
I have to kinda agree about Joni Mitchell - and Carole King. They are loved so much for their great albums and songs which have been part of the fabric of people's lives for decades - but taking them purely as singers, just how good are they? Those early Joni tracks sound painful now with that high pitched wail of hers.
|by Anonymous||reply 156||09/01/2013|
Miss Dionne living on welfare! - there's a scam if I ever heard of one ! Details please, and where do I sign up ?
|by Anonymous||reply 157||09/01/2013|
I was behind Dionne in line at Ralph's and she was using food stamps.
|by Anonymous||reply 158||09/01/2013|
[quote]The state of the record industry today is probably why Janet Jackson got married and "retired." What did she have 3 flops in a row?
No, she didn't. DAMITA JO, 20 YO and DISCIPLINE sold less than her previous works largely because of the negative press from the Super Bowl which dogged Janet in the years following. Even still, DISCIPLINE entered at #1 and yielded a top 20 hit and a Dance chart #1, and DJ and 20 YO entered at #2 and are both multiplatinum worldwide (DJ is 5x platinum and 20 YO is 1.2x platinum). Janet would have had 8 #1 albums if Usher and Ludacris's CDs hadn't nudged DJ and 20 YO from the top spot. And thanks R138 for re-posting my old post.
|by Anonymous||reply 159||09/01/2013|
Joni is genius but not as a singer. She is an okay vocalist but a much better musician and an incredible songwriter.
Dame Shirley Bassey sings like she speaks -- like Streisand and Aretha. She speaks English and whatever the non-english Welsh dialect is called so she has a peculiar way of speaking and singing. It does not diminish the enormity of her power or range or the emotion in her interpretation.
|by Anonymous||reply 160||09/02/2013|
I don't think her natural accent is entirely the issue. She doesn't look... funny when she speaks. The exaggerated enunciation is largely left to her singing.
|by Anonymous||reply 161||09/02/2013|
The few pop covers Joni Mitchell ever recorded are totally forgettable. "Twisted" and a snippet of "Unchained Melody" are a couple. UM, in fact, is so bloodless that you might have expected it from Karen Carpenter.
Genius songwriter, sweet, expressive voice but certainly not one of the greatest singers.
|by Anonymous||reply 162||09/02/2013|
Joni's voice has changed dramatically over the years. She started as a sweet soprano and now she is a hoarse contralto. Still, she is a very effective interpreter just not a great singer.
|by Anonymous||reply 163||09/03/2013|
Ella Fitzgerald ( The ultimate. No one better)
Roberta Flack ( The best control)
|by Anonymous||reply 164||09/03/2013|
Nancy Wilson. (Lush Life -- wow)
That's all I can do right now.
|by Anonymous||reply 165||09/03/2013|
Where is Dolly Parton? Her voice is so clear ....strong...
|by Anonymous||reply 166||09/03/2013|
I want to add Anita Baker, Dorothy Moore, Reba McEntire, and Patsy Cline to my bonus section. I also think Tina Turner's voice is way underrated. I think most people think of her as an entertainer because she dances and puts on a show. Anyway, in her prime, Tina had an amazing voice.
|by Anonymous||reply 167||09/03/2013|
I never liked Tina' voice - it just sounded too rough and her songs repetitive. Same with Ross and Whitney, so it all comes down to personal choice.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||09/03/2013|
and honorable mention to Dusty Springfield
Of the newbies ... Chrisette Michele
|by Anonymous||reply 169||09/03/2013|
Where is Marilyn McCoo???
|by Anonymous||reply 170||09/03/2013|
[quote]Americans may not know Joan Armatrading much - but she is still huge in Europe and has been since the 70s. Gay, too ...
That is not true, not in her native UK anyway. She is a respected artist but one with sporadic at best commercial success, not a chart artist. And while her voice is fine, nor is she known for that.
Were you to say Tracy Chapman (also gay), you might have a point.
|by Anonymous||reply 171||09/03/2013|
Artists like Joan Armatrading dont have to have hit records to be popular. She still sells out concert halls (I saw a few years ago and the place was packed), has new cds and keeps touring. Thats where the money is these days. There is a huge residue of affection for her 70s hit albums and songs. She plays with a great band too, I have seen several of her shows since then. Like The Pet Shop Boys she just keeps on going.
|by Anonymous||reply 172||09/03/2013|
Tracy Chapman is known here in the UK for one hit song and album, and is a very minor name now. Armatrading by comparison has a string of albums and well known songs.
|by Anonymous||reply 173||09/03/2013|
[quote]Tracy Chapman is known here in the UK for one hit song and album, and is a very minor name now.
BUT that "hit album" just happens to be one of the biggest sellers of all time in the UK, especially for a female.
And it keeps selling every year and reappearing on the charts. Also, as well as "Fast Car" that album houses "Baby Can I Hold You" (#1 for Boyzone, but obviously the less said about that the better) and "Talkin' About a Revolution", not hits per se but very well known songs that explain the sales.
Joan had "Love and Affection", "Drop the Pilot" and what else? Look, I'm not a Joan hater by any means nor a Chapman stan but she isn't a hit machine like the Pet Shop Boys. I agree with what you're saying about her being a big name and legendary songwriter of sorts.
|by Anonymous||reply 175||09/03/2013|
r175 Didn't Anita Bryant rant against homosexuality? How do you equate a sane and rational disdain for Jew to a religious hatred for gays?
|by Anonymous||reply 176||09/03/2013|
OK, I'm back again. It's so hard to pick just five people, but I have to add Bobbie Gentry. I just love her voice.
|by Anonymous||reply 177||09/03/2013|
"Willow"?, r176 who seems to be having a vendetta against Joan Armatrading. most people only know Chapman for "Fast Car".
I love Joan's "Me Myself & I", "Mameo Beach", "All the way from America", "Cool Blue", "Back to the Night", "Tall in the Saddle", "Join The Boys", "Water with the wine" ..... etc.
|by Anonymous||reply 178||09/03/2013|
I don't own music by either Armatrading or Chapman, but I would say Chapman's more know to young people. Even the Sugababes covered Fast Car.
|by Anonymous||reply 179||09/03/2013|
Here's one that will stun you all: German diva Billie Ray Martin, with the icy voice and great songs, shes a Disk Jockey as well, and sang in the 80s group Electribe 101. She has some terrific albums out "Deadline for my Memories" and "18 carat Garbage".
Try her songs like "Your Loving Arms" or "Running Around Town".
|by Anonymous||reply 180||09/03/2013|
I think I misunderstood the question. The singers career must have started within the last 50 years?
|by Anonymous||reply 181||09/03/2013|
Wow, "even the (here today, gone tomorrow) Sugarbabes" ! Maybe r180 is Tracy Chapman, the way he keeps promoting her, and trying to rubbish Armatrading, who has been going since the mid-70s.
|by Anonymous||reply 182||09/03/2013|
I loved Bobbie Gentry too and bought that hit song - but how long did she last, where is she now?
|by Anonymous||reply 183||09/03/2013|
Yes we are talking about singers of the last 50 years, so are deliberately excluding those who were established before then (like Peggy Lee, Judy, Billie Holliday, Ella, Dinah, Sarah, Lena, etc).
|by Anonymous||reply 184||09/03/2013|
That was my first Chapman/Armatrading post. Trolldar is your friend.
|by Anonymous||reply 185||09/03/2013|
That Bobby Gentry hussy stole one of my hits in the UK!
|by Anonymous||reply 186||09/03/2013|
More votes for Sade - I can listen to her anytime, timeless stuff.
|by Anonymous||reply 187||09/03/2013|
Miss Dionne has never forgiven Cilla Black either for having that hit with her "Anyone Who Had A Heart".
|by Anonymous||reply 188||09/03/2013|
Lulu - She makes me wanna S H O U T !
|by Anonymous||reply 189||09/03/2013|
Lulu's best is "Oh Me Oh My".
|by Anonymous||reply 190||09/03/2013|
Love her, r181. Also the similar Kristine W. Here she does a soul uber classic.
|by Anonymous||reply 191||09/03/2013|
This is getting silly now. Someone will be voting for All Saints next or Bananarama or Mel and Kim ! or Tiffany.
|by Anonymous||reply 192||09/03/2013|
Oh OK, R185. I was wondering why no one had Ella and the others on their list lol. I wish we had the ability to edit our posts here.
|by Anonymous||reply 193||09/03/2013|
I vote for The Sugarlumps!
|by Anonymous||reply 194||09/03/2013|
I still play that long extended remix of Billie Ray's "Running Around Town", and that "Deadline for my Memories" album is a terrific wallow.
She did a terrific one a few years ago: "No brakes on my rollerskates".
I saw her once at an art event in London where Polanski's "Repulsion" was screened with no soundtrack, but Billie and her band on stage accompanied the film with their own music and songs. It worked - one didnt need dialogue to match the images, as the story told itself.
|by Anonymous||reply 195||09/03/2013|
Just post another list r185.
|by Anonymous||reply 196||09/03/2013|
Love Repulsion r196.. there was a cinema reissue this year in a Polanski season - I saw that and Knife in the Water. Both great and Repulsion is about my fave from him, but a bit of an acquired taste it seems. It's blatantly obvious what it's about, it couldn't be spelled out any clearer.
|by Anonymous||reply 198||09/03/2013|
Post 200 recap: leading the field:
Aretha / Barbra / Joni / Dusty / Annie Lennox / Whitney / Dionne / Karen Carpenter / Nina Simone / Donna Summer.
Honorable mention: Etta James / Janis Joplin / Laura Nyro / Sade / Carole King / Carly Simon / Petula Clark / Cleo Laine / Shirley Bassey / Diana Ross / Tina Turner / Roberta Flack / Joan Armatrading -v- Tracy Chapman / Janis Ian / Bobbie Gentry.
|by Anonymous||reply 199||09/03/2013|
What,no Cher ?
or disco gals like Ultra Nate, Rosie Gaines, Adeva ...
|by Anonymous||reply 200||09/03/2013|
My revised list
If my list could be longer I'd add:
|by Anonymous||reply 201||09/03/2013|
** Dusty Springfield **
Frida & Agnetha from ABBA
Honourables: Kate Bush, the usual suspects noted above. Roisin Murphy and Regina Spektor of the new ones. The girl from Haim is really good as well.
|by Anonymous||reply 202||09/03/2013|
Most of these women are very good. There were a few I questioned though. Anyway, what surprised me most are the posts that noted Cissy Houston. That sort of threw me because she really never achieved the recognition that she deserved. I always thought that Cissy's voice had the power of her daughter's voice Whitney's and yet the silkiness and subtleness of Dionne's. The link will give an example (I'll put up two)and don't be offended by it because it's gospel. A lot of you bitches need Jesus in your life anyway...
|by Anonymous||reply 203||09/03/2013|
Here's the second one. It's bad quality footage but you can definitely hear Cissy's voice.
|by Anonymous||reply 204||09/03/2013|
I think anyone would have to include Bill O'Reilly in the short list of 5 greatest singers. You may object to Bill being male but she actually had a sex change operations years ago. Bill said "I've always felt like a gay man trapped in a woman's body". Bill never did get his own set of dick & balls. He still uses the women's rest room and he only pees sitting down. Ergo, I think Bill O'Reilly qualifies, 100%.
|by Anonymous||reply 205||09/03/2013|
Has anyone mentioned PATTI LABELLE? On voice alone she is in same league as Aretha, Whitney and Barbra. Her songs are not as memorable but she is one of the best singers ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 206||09/03/2013|
R200, you missed Linda Ronstadt. She's received several votes.
|by Anonymous||reply 207||09/03/2013|
Quite right, r209. Amy Winehouse should be there too.
|by Anonymous||reply 208||09/04/2013|
[R207] Patti LaBelle has been mentioned a few times (as it should be.) Look... Patti Labelle can sing but I would hardly think she ranks in the top 5 over the last 50 years. Patti Labelle's popularity is pretty much just domestic and concentrated among gay and Blacks. She has few hits and limited vocal styles.
|by Anonymous||reply 209||09/04/2013|
A few more worthy of mention:
Kelis - fantasic live, great music tracks
Shara Nelson - "Unfinished Sympathy"
Mary J. - "No More Drama" !
|by Anonymous||reply 210||09/04/2013|
I think recent singers are getting the short shrift on this thread. There is nothing inherently better about a singer from 30, 40, 50 or more years ago than today.
|by Anonymous||reply 215||09/04/2013|
Whitney live stands alone.
Add Babs Aretha Gladys Tina
That is all.
|by Anonymous||reply 216||09/05/2013|
Oh yes there is R16! Those ladies could sing live and on pitch without needing all of this techno junk.
|by Anonymous||reply 217||09/05/2013|
No Joss Stone love? For a British white girl, she has the voice and soul of a seasoned black diva.
|by Anonymous||reply 219||09/05/2013|
Its Dusty Springfield who is the great British white soul diva, r220. She was the white queen of soul.
|by Anonymous||reply 220||09/06/2013|
Kathy perry Rihanna Lady gaga Nikki minaj Miley cirus
|by Anonymous||reply 223||09/18/2013|
Honorable Mentions: Aretha, Babs, Doris Day, Annie Lennox, Mary Wells
|by Anonymous||reply 224||10/26/2013|
Britney Spears? Rihanna? Kathy? Perry???
r10, is clearly deaf.
|by Anonymous||reply 225||10/26/2013|