Famous 19th Century Singers

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Singers, including Fred Astaire, Bessie Smith, Noël Coward, Al Jolson and Paul Robeson.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Jenny Lind

Jenny Lind
17
Famous As: Opera Singer
Birthdate: October 6, 1820
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: November 2, 1887
Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, also known as the "Swedish Nightingale,” was a prominent 19th-century soprano and performed all over Europe. She also donated generously to various charities, especially to the cause of free schools in Sweden. She also taught at the Royal College of Music in London. 

 2 Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins
27
Famous As: Socialite
Birthdate: July 19, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 26, 1944

Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite who was often ridiculed and mocked for her poor singing ability, which in turn made her popular. Known as the world's worst opera singer, Jenkins became a musical cult-figure in New York City due to her technical incompetence as an amateur soprano. Her life inspired several plays and films, including Florence Foster Jenkins.

 3 Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 15, 1894
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chattanooga
Died: September 26, 1937

Bessie Smith was an American singer who gained popularity during the Jazz Age. Dubbed the Empress of the Blues, Smith was one of the most famous blues singers of the 1920s and 1930s. Counted among the greatest singers of her generation, Bessie Smith was a major influence on several other singers. Her life and work inspired the TV film Bessie.

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 4 Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson
5
Famous As: Singer, Actor & Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: April 9, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S
Died: January 23, 1976

Singer and actor, Paul Robeson, was as much known for his music and films as he was for his political activism. As a black man who had to endure great difficulties to establish himself, he was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. As a performer, he was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

 5 Al Jolson

Al Jolson
7
Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: May 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seredžius
Died: October 23, 1950

Singer, comedian, and actor Al Jolson was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer" at the peak of his career. Known for his brash and extroverted performances, he is credited to have played a major role in defining the modern musical. He was the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II and was posthumously awarded the Medal for Merit.

 6 Nellie Melba

Nellie Melba
6
Famous As: Opera Singer
Birthdate: May 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Richmond
Died: February 23, 1931

Nellie Melba was an Australian singer. One of the most popular singers of the early 20th century, Melba was the first Australian classical musician to achieve international recognition. Also known for her charity work during the First World War, Nellie Melba was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.

 7 Enrico Caruso

Enrico Caruso
14
Famous As: Operatic tenor
Birthdate: February 25, 1873
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: August 2, 1921

Enrico Caruso was an operatic tenor who performed at prominent opera houses in the Americas and Europe. His commercially released recordings made him an international star in the early-1900s. Thanks to his illustrious career that spanned 25 years, Caruso became one of the most popular entertainers of his generation. In 1987, he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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 8 Jack Haley

Jack Haley
3
Famous As: Vaudevillian
Birthdate: August 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: June 6, 1979

 9 Alessandro Moreschi

Alessandro Moreschi
3
Famous As: Singer, Opera singer
Birthdate: November 11, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Monte Compatri
Died: April 21, 1922

 10 George M. Cohan

George M. Cohan
3
Famous As: American playwright
Birthdate: July 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Died: November 5, 1942

 11 Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter and musician
Birthdate: September 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi, United States
Died: May 26, 1933

 12 Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 27, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 8, 1993

 13 Walter Pidgeon

Walter Pidgeon
3
Famous As: Actor, Singer, Stage actor, Television actor, Trade unionist
Birthdate: September 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint John
Died: September 25, 1984

 14 Lily Pons

Lily Pons
3
Famous As: American-French operatic soprano
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976

 15 Beniamino Gigli

Beniamino Gigli
2
Famous As: Opera singer
Birthdate: March 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Recanati, Italy
Died: November 30, 1957

 16 Adelina Patti

Adelina Patti
6
Famous As: Opera Singer
Birthdate: February 10, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 27, 1919

 17 Kirsten Flagstad

Kirsten Flagstad
3
Famous As: Opera Singer
Birthdate: July 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamar, Norway
Died: December 7, 1962

 18 Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters
3
Famous As: Actor, Singer, Jazz musician, Stage actor
Birthdate: October 31, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chester County
Died: September 1, 1977

 19 Constanze Mozart

Constanze Mozart
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 5, 1762
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zell im Wiesental, Germany
Died: March 6, 1842

 20 Lauritz Melchior

Lauritz Melchior
1
Famous As: Opera singer
Birthdate: March 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 18, 1973

 21 Rosa Ponselle

Rosa Ponselle
1
Famous As: Operatic Soprano
Birthdate: January 22, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Meriden, Connecticut, United States
Died: May 25, 1981

 22 Blind Willie Johnson

Blind Willie Johnson
2
Famous As: Musician, Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: January 22, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pendleton, Texas
Died: September 18, 1945

 23 Lotte Lehmann

Lotte Lehmann
1
Famous As: Soprano
Birthdate: February 27, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Perleberg, Germany
Died: August 26, 1976

 24 Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 13, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tul'chyn, Ukraine
Died: February 9, 1966

 25 Blind Lemon Jefferson

Blind Lemon Jefferson
2
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Street artist, Singer
Birthdate: September 24, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Coutchman
Died: December 19, 1929

 26 Gracie Fields

Gracie Fields
3
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Singer
Birthdate: January 9, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochdale
Died: September 27, 1979

 27 Mississippi John Hurt

Mississippi John Hurt
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Teoc, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 2, 1966

 28 Julia Pastrana

Julia Pastrana
3
Famous As: Performer
Birthdate: 1834 AD
Birthplace: Sinaloa, Mexico
Died: March 25, 1860

 29 Sara Carter

Sara Carter
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer
Birthdate: July 21, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Copper Creek, Virginia
Died: January 8, 1979

 30 Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient

Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient
0
Famous As: Operatic Soprano
Birthdate: December 6, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: January 26, 1860

 31 Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lake Dick, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 15, 1958

 32 Agustín Lara

Agustín Lara
2
Famous As: Composer, Singer, Actor, Songwriter
Birthdate: October 30, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tlatlauquitepec Municipality
Died: November 6, 1970

 33 Anna Held

Anna Held
2
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: March 19, 1872
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 12, 1918

Anna Held was a Polish singer and stage performer. Although her personal life and relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld overshadowed her professional career, Anna Held's uninhibited style inspired the popular theatrical revue productions on Broadway, The Ziegfeld Follies. Her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld also inspired films like The Great Ziegfeld and Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women.

 34 Gertrude Lawrence

Gertrude Lawrence
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 4, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newington, London, United Kingdom
Died: September 6, 1952

Gertrude Lawrence was an English actress, singer, and dancer. She also performed musical comedy in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York. She was introduced to the entertainment world as a child and grew up to become a famous multi-faceted performer. She won several awards. In her later years, she taught acting. 

 35 Marilyn Miller

Marilyn Miller
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 1, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, United States
Died: April 7, 1936

 36 Tommy Johnson

Tommy Johnson
4
Famous As: American musician
Birthdate: December 31, 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Terry, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 1, 1956

 37 E.Y. Harburg

E.Y. Harburg
2
Famous As: Lyricist
Birthdate: April 8, 1896
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: March 5, 1981

 38 Cicely Courtneidge

Cicely Courtneidge
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 1, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died: April 26, 1980

 39 Beatrice Lillie

Beatrice Lillie
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 29, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: January 20, 1989

 40 Adele Spitzeder

Adele Spitzeder
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 9, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 28, 1895

 41 Mistinguett

Mistinguett
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 5, 1873
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Enghien-les-Bains, France
Died: January 5, 1956

 42 Eva Mylott

Eva Mylott
1
Famous As: Opera singer
Birthdate: February 27, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tuross Head, New South Wales, Australia
Died: March 20, 1920

 43 Grace Moore

Grace Moore
3
Famous As: Opera Singer & Actress
Birthdate: December 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Del Rio, Tennessee, United States
Died: January 26, 1947

 44 Sir Harry Lauder

Sir Harry Lauder
2
Birthdate: August 4, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Portobello
Died: February 26, 1950

 45 Marie Lloyd

Marie Lloyd
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 12, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hoxton, London, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1922

 46 Arletty

Arletty
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 15, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Courbevoie, France
Died: July 23, 1992

 47 Alberta Hunter

Alberta Hunter
1
Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: April 1, 1895
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Memphis
Died: October 17, 1984

 48 Richard Bruno Heydrich

Richard Bruno Heydrich
2
Famous As: Opera singer
Birthdate: February 23, 1865
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leuben, Dresden, Germany
Died: August 24, 1938

 49 Richard Tauber

Richard Tauber
1
Famous As: Opera singer
Birthdate: May 16, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Linz, Austria
Died: January 8, 1948

Richard Tauber was an Austrian tenor and film actor. The son of an actress, he often toured with his mother and developed a love for the theater. He also enjoyed singing and studied at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. He went on to become a tenor and an actor and also conducted at the Theater an der Wien. 

 50 Rim Banna

Rim Banna
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nazareth, Israel
Died: March 24, 2018