Before Diana Ross became one of the most successful female musicians during the 1970s and 1980s, she was first the lead vocalist of the hit band The Supremes.
The heart and soul voice of The Pretenders.....trademarked thick, black eyeliner and long bangs covering her eyes.
Brazilian singer who died young in 1982. The greatest popular vocal artist of the 20th century. Any purported list of great singers that doesn't include her near the top is woefully uninformed.
The woman can sing with the power of a giant. Her voice is huge. Plus, her love of singing comes through every second that she sings
Was the "Empress of the Blues" in the 20's, pioneer of vocal jazz, influenced everyone from Billie Holiday to Janis Joplin.
She is so unusual - unique, expressive. Wide vocal range and still putting out the hits.
Aggressive lead voice of Blondie and one of the original blond bombshells of punk rock.
Chris Connor belonged to the cool school of jazz singers that included Anita O'Day, Chet Baker, Julie London and June Christy, whom Connor most resembled. Both worked for the Stan Kenton Band, and it was Christy who recommended Connor to Kenton. She recorded most of her finest work in the 1950s and 1960s, although she was recording as late as the early 2000s. In her obituary, writer Stephen Holden of the New York Times said she was "a singer who used little vibrato and was admired for her inventive rhythmic alterations of ballads" and "on her finest records, she conveyed the sound of a singer rapt in a romantic spell." Among her finest albums are “Chris Connor,” “I Miss You So,” “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not,” “Chris Connor Sings the George Gershwin Almanac of Song” and “A Portrait of Chris.”
Lola Beltran was one of Mexico's reigning ranchera and mariachi singers who helped define the genres in the 20th Century. Her expressive interpretation of "Cu-cu-rru-cu-cu Paloma" catapulted it into an international sensation, one of Mexico's most beloved songs. She was a star for four decades, her emotionally charged voice instantly recognizable. She was beloved in her country, throughout the Spanish-speaking world and later gained fame beyond those realms. She was known as "Lola la Grande" (the great) for reasons obvious to anybody to ever heard her sing. Linda Ronstadt credits her as one of her influences.
Amalia Mendoza, nicknamed "La Tariacuri," is one of the three queens of Mexican ranchero music. The others are Lola Beltran and Lucha Villa. Her hits included "Amarga Navidad," "Echame a Mi la Culpa," and "Te Parto el Alma." One of her great successes was an album of duets with the great Mexican songwriter-singer Jose Alfredo Jimenez. Mexico's premier mariachi, Los Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, provided the orchestrations. Her work included films and radio.
Lucha Villa is considered one of the greats of Mexican ranchero music. Her deep, sonorous voice makes every song she sings distinctive. In her career, she has introduced the world to the songs of such great Mexican composers as Jose Alfredo Jimenez and Juan Gabriel. She introduced Jimenez' classic "La Media Vuelta" early in her career. It was later recorded by countless artists and made into a hit again by Luis Miguel. Her re-interpretations of great Mexican songs introduced those works to new generations of listeners. She also starred in films and in telenovelas.
Kitty Kallen was one of the most popular singers of the 1940s, singing with the big bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James and Artie Shaw. She possessed a warm, friendly, silky voice. She sang on three No. 1 songs in the 40s, "Besame Mucho," "I'm Beginning to See the Light" and "It's Been a Long, Long Time." In the 1950s, she scored another No. 1 song, "Little Things Mean a Lot," which was the No. 1 song of the year, according to Billboard. In the 50s, her other successes included "In the Chapel in the Moonlight," which hit No. 4 in 1954, and "My Coloring Book," which went to No. 18 in 1962. She turned 91 on May 25, 2013. She's one of a small number of surviving big-band singers.
Mary Wells helped to define what Motown meant in the early 1960s. Her gigantic hit "My Guy" is one of the signature songs on the Motown label and reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The song has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Her other big hits included, "The One Who Really Loves You," "You Beat Me to the Punch" and "Two Lovers." Her duet album with Marvin Gaye was hugely popular.
Mildred Bailey is a legendary pop, blues and jazz singer who was particularly popular in the 1930s and into the mid 1940s. She recorded two No. 1 songs with her husband Red Norvo and his orchestra, "Please Be Kind" and "Darn That Dream." She recorded with some of the great bands of her time, including Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins and Paul Whiteman. At a time when whites and blacks rarely performed together, Bailey, who was white, had no trouble singing with black musicians. The great American composer Hoagy Carmichael wrote "Rockin' Chair" for her, and it became her trademark song. Bailey's respect for lyrics, her nearly perfect diction and her stylish deliveries influenced many singers who would, unlike her, become superstars, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett. Some experts blame her obesity as a reason for Bailey's inability to have the same success. She died at 44 as a result of health problems related to her diabetes.
Martha Reeves was the lead singer for Martha and the Vandellas, one of the groups that defined the Motown sound in the early 1960s. Her strong, expressive, gospel-tinged voice made the Vandellas' sound distinctive, and the group yielded many hits, including two signature songs that have been covered by many R&B and rock performers, "Dancing in the Streets" and "Heat Wave." Other hits: "Come and Get These Memories," "Nowhere to Run," "Honey Chile" and "Jimmy Mack."
Margaret Whiting was one of the best-known of the big-band singers and scored numerous big hits in her heyday. She was the daughter of Richard Whiting, the great composer of such classics as "Hooray for Hollywood," and she inherited her father's sensibilities in music. Like a lot of popular singers of her time, including Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney, Whiting recorded and popularized country songs, most particularly "Slippin' Around," recorded with Jimmy Wakeley, which went to No. 1 on the pop and country charts in 1949. Her first hit, in 1942, was "That Old Black Magic," which went to No. 10. Other hits and their top chart positions include: "It Might As Well Be Spring," No. 6; "Guilty," No. 4; "Oh, But I Do," No. 7; "You Do," No. 5; "Pass That Peace Pipe," No. 8; "Now's the Hour," No. 2; "A Tree in the Meadow," her only solo No. 1; "Baby, It's Cold Outside," No. 3; "A Bushel and a Peck" with Jimmy Wakely, No. 6. Her last top 40 song hit No. 26 in 1966, "The Wheel of Hurt." In her later years, she appeared in nightclubs, cabarets and was part of the touring four-woman group, "4 Girls 4," which included Rosemary Clooney, Rosemarie and Helen O'Connell at the time.
Teresa Brewer, along with Patti Page, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day and Jo Stafford, was one of the most successful female singers of the late 1940s and first half of the 1950s. She had a young and bubbly voice and her style combined pop, jazz, novelty, r&B and other influences. Because many of her hits were inconsequential ditties, she was often underestimated. In her later years, she rebounded as a jazz singer, recording with the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Her big hits and their top chart position include "Music, Music, Music," No. 1, 1950; "Till I Waltz Again With You," No. 1, 1952; "Ricochet," No. 2, 1953; "Jilted," No. 6, 1954; "Let Me Go, Lover," No. 6, 1954; "A Tear Fell, No. 5, 1956; "You Send Me," No. 8, 1957. She died in 2007.
Ella Mae Morse, some critics claim, was the first rock'n'roll singer to make the charts. She began her career as a big-band singer, combining pop, country, jazz and r&b in her singing and had numerous big hits in the 1940s and early 1950s. Her biggest solo hit was "Blacksmith Blues" in 1952, which went to No. 3 on the Billboard charts. Other hits included "Cow Cow Boogie," "Shoo, Shoo, Baby," "No Love, No Nothin' " and "The House of Blue Lights."
Mary Martin became a Broadway star when she sang "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," in Cole Porter's "Leave It to Me" in 1938. Her Broadway career continued escalating, and she became Rodger's and Hammerstein's muse. She was the original Nellie Forbush in R&H's "South Pacific" in 1949 and the original Maria von Trapp in R&H's "The Sound of Music" in 1959. She won Tonys for those roles and for playing Peter in "Peter Pan." She also won other awards, an Emmy for her TV performance in "Peter Pan," and a special Tony in 1948 for "spreading theatre to the rest of the country." She won the prestigious Kennedy Honors and the Donaldson Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1943 for "One Touch of Venus."
Julie Wilson is a stage and cabaret singer. Her earliest success was in musicals on Broadway and London's West End. After a hiatus to take care of two sons, she returned to New York in the 1980s and performed in cabarets where her expressive stylings won her acclaim and new fans.
Martha Tilton was a pop and jazz singer best known for her time with the Benny Goodman Band, with whom she recorded many hits, including "And the Angels Sing." Her heyday was in the 1930s and 1940s. As a solo singer, she scored with such hits as "I'll Walk Alone," "I Should Care," "A Stranger in Town," "How Are Things in Glocca Morra," "That's My Desire" and "I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder." She was often introduced as "The Liltin' Martha Tilton."
Lee Wiley was a highly regarded jazz singer who made her impact largely in the late 1930s and into the 1950s. She is credited with recording the first "songbook" albums, collections dedicated to particular composers and lyricists. Ella Fitzerald, Rosemary Clooney and Rod Stewart are among singers who later made their own series of "songbook" LPs and CDs. Lee Wiley's singing style is said to have greatly influenced the style of Peggy Lee. "Night in Manhattan," "West of the Moon" and "A Touch of the Blues" are her most highly respected albums. Her last public appearance was in 1972, when she performed in Carnegie Hall.
Mabel Mercer was a highly regarded concert and cabaret singer born in England of a white vaudevillian mother and a black jazz performer. Some observers of the cabaret scene regard her as the most influential cabaret singer of all time, affecting such disparate singers as Leontyne Price, Nat Cole, Barbra Streisand and Rosemary Clooney. Mercer broke out in Europe during the 1930s and became famous in the U.S. as World War II broke out. In Europe her fans included Ernest Hemingway and Cole Porter. In the U.S. Frank Sinatra made no secret of the fact that she had influenced his phrasing and attention to diction. He once said, “Mabel Mercer taught me everything I know.” Mercer continued singing into the 1980s with Bobby Short and Eileen Farrell, among others, receiving many honors along the way, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. The medal is considered America’s highest civilian medal.
Leontyne Price was one of the most noteworthy sopranos in opera in the 20th century. She was prominent in the 1950s and 1960s especially and became one of the first African Americans to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. In the 1970s, she transformed herself into a concert and recital artist and toured extensively. She extended her fame beyond the opera world, often performing arias on television variety shows. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. She was awarded 19 Grammy Awards, including a special Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989.
Alberta Hunter was a blues and jazz singer and songwriter who had success from the early 1920s into the 1950s, when she retired to become a nurse. She returned to singing in the 1970s when she was in her 80s. Her appearance in a Greenwich Village club made her a sensation, and she was signed to a recording contract by Columbia Records, for whom she did several albums. Her new fame led to renewed interest in her older recordings. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. As a songwriter, she is particularly known for having written, with Lovie Austin, the great blues classic "Downhearted Blues." Hunter recorded it in 1922, but it was Bessie Smith's recording in 1923 that made the song such a sensation. Smith's recording was inducted into the Library of Congress' National Registry. Inductees are considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" recordings.
Injured in a plane crash during a World War II USO Tour Froman's life story was the subject of the movie With a Song in My Heart (1952), starring Susan Hayward as Froman. b 11/10/1907 d. 4/22/1980
Lisa Stansfield (born 11 April 1966) is an English singer. "All Around the World" was the second song by a white female singer to hit number one on the Billboard R&B chart and that means a great versatility of voice.
Helen O'Connell was one of the big big-band singers in the 1940s. She achieved her first success with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and her hits included "Green Eyes", "Amapola," "Tangerine," "Brazil" (inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame) and "Yours." According to Wikpedia, O'Connell was selected by Down Beat magazine readers as best female singer in 1940 and 1941 and won the 1940 Metronome magazine poll for best female vocalist. She was a frequent TV guest and show host in the 1950s. And she made nightclub appearances in her latter years and toured with "4 Girls 4" with other singers of her era in the 1970s. She died in 1993.
shes amazing!!!!! and if you dont know who she is then check her out.. your missing out if you dont!!!
just listen to her on Youtube. she belongs on this list. btw: most of these, admittedly good/great performers are American. inevitable, i guess, but this is a myopic list. the list name should include "American"... heard C Aguilera on tv once. she shouldn't carry the melody. she was off-key. i don't know ...
The singling voice behind Natalie Wood in West Side Story, Deborah Kerr in The King and I and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady
beautiful voice singing witht he great les paul just found this site so not sure exactly how to post here
Helen Forrest (April 12, 1917 – July 11, 1999) was one of the most popular female jazz vocalists during America's Big Band era with Artie Shaw. She was born Helen Fogel.
One of the all-time top selling female artists in the UK...both as a solo artist and the front voice of Yazoo (known as Yaz in the US)....gorgeous voice...touches the soul.
been goin since 60s fab songs shout , to sir with love,man with the golden gun,also good songwriter
Ann needed her own entry - not just combined with her sister Nancy. Nancy is a fine singer, but Ann is the one who belongs on this list.
Kylie Ann Minogue, OBE (born 28 May 1968) is an Australian pop singer, songwriter, and actress.
Phenomenal voice, intelligent song selections. Her album Famous Blue Raincoat is an audiophile classic. Two-time Grammy winner for number one duets Up Where We Belong and (I've Had) The Time of My Life
Martina McBride is an incredible singer. She has a great range in her voice, singing from low to high in one long breath.
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