I’m not a sexist, but I preferred male artist to my liking. I can make a list 50 of the greatest male vocalist of all time, and probably still have a bunch of them great guys laying around. There’s no doubt, that female had the highest vocal out of the two genre, but that’s it. Sometimes people just go nuts because of some chick reaching a new octave even though the singer failed to captured the soul behind the song itself(or in many case, barmy because of the breast juggling). So this is the list of my 10 greatest female vocalist in no particular order, measured by how they touch my soul by their voices, how they manage to stay in character and still producing great record from time to time without being sellout or branching to the ark of moron preferred as marketing bullshit, and not by how high the level of octave can they reach or how crisp and clear their voices are.
This is the the real Queen of R&B and soul. She created a bridge between those two genre and Rock and Roll. Her voices is influenced many great artist that’s coming after her, including Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Adele, or even Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones. Her voice is deep. And what I meant by deep is like creating a subconscious hole in your heart when you heard she’s Crying in “All I Could Do Was Cry”.
Recommended Works : All the song in AT LAST ALBUM.
Quentin Tarantino is the guy whose responsible for introduce me to her ultra gallant sexual magnitude of 9 scale richer earthquake voice in Pulp Fiction. Seriously, you cannot think that this is some white girl voices before you see her looks. She got the melancholy and soul vibe that usually only black female vocalist had. She invented the blue eyed soul genre by herself. Her voice is elegant and different by itself that each time I heard her voice even in a complete unknown song for me, I know that it is Dusty’s sweet campy tones. The true Diva.
Recommended Works : Son of the Preachers Man, I just don’t know what to do with myself(The white stripes covers this in a really great tribute for her), I don’t want to hear it anymore, Just one Smile, The Look of Love
The Owner of depressing, haunting and yet stunning voice. Combined that with emotional dark ballads songs. And that’s where Sarah McLachlan spend all of her career. Except for that easy cash-in albums, Winter Song, I don’t remember that there’s any upbeat song of Sarah. EVER. A song with ICE CREAM as the title, and the lyrics in it is about someone tell their lover that their love is better than a chocolate should be sweet and gentle right? Sarah managed to turn the song into some dark echo walking under the black sky. Effortlessly.
Recommended Works : Ice Cream, Black or White, Adia, Building A Mystery.
A major spoiler for people who already know SADE, that it is the name of a BAND. The erotic voice behind the band is belong to Sade ‘Adu, part Nigerian, part English. From that double ethnic gene flowing inside her, you can probably guess that this foxy lady voices is unique. And boy, how UNIQUE it is. This is the modern equivalent of the raw sexual magnet that Dusty Springfield produces. Soft, mysterious, delicate and sometimes can really makes you fly to the Spanish castle magic. This is the girl that really could create ambient genre just by using her voice.
Recommended Works : Kiss of Life, Lovers Rock, Smooth Operator, Every Word, Love is stronger than a pride.
This hot vocalist of Garbage belong in a fictional group that I’ve created. The group member is only three. The other two members is Debbie Harry and Dolores O’ Riordan. And the group is called “HOW ALL THE FEMALE VOCALE IN A MAINSTREAM ROCK BAND SHOULD BE!!”. Forget Hayley Williams, Amy Lee, Courtney Love or any other post PMS-ing recent female vocalist that only knows how to screaming on a band. They’re sucks! God, even in a article about something else, I’ve managed to trash someone. She maybe didn’t had a lot of technique, high octave or suave persona but Manson voice is a distinctive and forthright by itself. She is the Terminator of female vocalist. Industrial, robotic, and electrifying without losing a soul as a human and sexy woman.
Recommended Works : Stupid Girl, Only Happy When it Rains, Push it, I think I’m Paranoid.
The wife of Funk/Jazz Musician Herb Alpert is a possessor of incredibly heavy artsy infused voice. Listening to her voice is like gazing a beautiful crayon pastel painting, or in some tunes, put you in the front seat of time traveling machine on to medieval age. Probably and arguably, without her voice, even Sergio Mendez’s greatest music is not as popular as it is today.
Recommended Works : The Fool on the Hill, Mas Que Nada(original Version), Scarborough Fair, One Note Samba
IMO, Nina Simone is the greatest Jazz female vocalist(with Fitzgerald and Holiday very closely second). This is the definite voice when I think of Jazz. Full of improvisation, harmonic beautiful doo woop style and soul train. Even though her biggest hits(I Love You Forgy) its not her original songs, but its acceptable, because Jazz’s singer is always being associated with covers and rendition. Her voice is slightly aggressive, emotive, and powerful medium to translate Jazz complicated means to people who listened it.
Recommended Work : I Loves You Forgy, I Put a Spell On You, Sinnerman, All the tracks in Forbidden Fruit Albums.
Sophie Ellis Bextor
Although her works in her early band, theaudience, is good, her solo career is really what defining Sophie Ellis Bextor means. The Empress of Dance, Trance and electronic. For the genre which usually doesn’t need any vocal to produce a great record, Sophie Ellis Bextor is a major force on her own. Her strong, princess-esque, extraordinary elegant as her looks voice is the one that soaring Vocal Trance. Perfecting one of the most popular genre in the clubs around the world.
Recommended Works : Groove Jet, The First, Second, and Fourth Album. All of her works with Armin Van Burren.
As the only Asian in this list, Anggun, Arguably is one of the greatest female singer the biggest continent of this planet ever produce. Her voice is multi layered, exotic, and full of surprise. Her range is complicated and so goddamn wide. Even though ballad genre is cramming her international career all over the place, Anggun is good in singing an upbeat groovy song too. There’s a lot of her works that’s being transformed into some formed of dance music, and her voices is, as expected, mashing really well. She is one of the reason why I’m so proud being an Indonesian.
Recommended Works : Still Reminds Me, Bayang-Bayang Ilusi, Summer In Paris, Open Your Heart, Want you to Want Me.
State of the Art Blue eyed Soul. The Greatest White Soul Singer Alive. That’s Annie Lennox. Enough Said. The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever was. Her music is reaching my essence deeper than any artist ever do(except Marvin Gaye)
Recommended Works : Why, Waiting in Vain, Wonderful, No More I Love You, Precious.