Famous 19th Century Singers

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Singers, including Fred Astaire, Bessie Smith, Noël Coward, Al Jolson and Paul Robeson.
Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Singers
 1 
Jenny Lind
(One of the Most Highly Regarded Singers of the 19th Century)
Jenny Lind
19
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
(American Socialite and Amateur Soprano)
Florence Foster Jenkins
28
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 
Nellie Melba
(Opera Singer)
Nellie Melba
11
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.

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 4 
Enrico Caruso
(Operatic Tenor of the Early 20th Century & One of the First Musicians to Document His Voice on Recordings)
Enrico Caruso
15
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.

 5 
Jack Haley
(Vaudevillian)
Jack Haley
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: June 6, 1979
 6 
Lead Belly
(Folk and blues singer)
Lead Belly
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mooringsport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 6, 1949
 7 
Alessandro Moreschi
(Singer, Opera singer)
Alessandro Moreschi
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Monte Compatri
Died: April 21, 1922
 8 
Walter Pidgeon
(Former Actor who starred in The Bad and the Beautiful and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Walter Pidgeon
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint John, Canada
Died: September 25, 1984
 9 
Marian Anderson
5
Birthdate: February 27, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 8, 1993
 10 
George M. Cohan
(Entertainer, Playwright and Composer Who is Considered to be ‘The Father of American Musical Comedy’)
George M. Cohan
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: November 5, 1942
 11 
Jimmie Rodgers
(Singer-songwriter and musician)
Jimmie Rodgers
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi, United States
Died: May 26, 1933
 12 
Lily Pons
(American-French operatic soprano)
Lily Pons
4
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976
 13 
Adelina Patti
(Italian Opera Singer Who is Considered One of the Most Popular Sopranos of All Time)
Adelina Patti
10
Birthdate: February 19, 1843
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 27, 1919

Adelina Patti was an Italian opera singer who achieved immense poularity in the USA and Europe. One of the finest singers of her generation, Patti was also among the highest-paid at the peak of her career. Along with her near contemporaries Thérèse Tietjens and Jenny Lind, Adelina Patti is considered one of the most popular sopranos of all time.

 14 
Kirsten Flagstad
(Opera Singer)
Kirsten Flagstad
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamar, Norway
Died: December 7, 1962
 15 
Ethel Waters
(Actor, Singer, Jazz musician, Stage actor)
Ethel Waters
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chester County
Died: September 1, 1977
 16 
Constanze Mozart
(Austrian Singer and Biographer )
Constanze Mozart
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1762
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zell im Wiesental, Germany
Died: March 6, 1842
 17 
Lauritz Melchior
(Opera singer)
Lauritz Melchior
1
Birthdate: March 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 18, 1973
 18 
Lotte Lehmann
(Soprano)
Lotte Lehmann
1
Birthdate: February 27, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Perleberg, Germany
Died: August 26, 1976
 19 
Sara Carter
(Singer-songwriter, Singer)
Sara Carter
2
Birthdate: July 21, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Copper Creek, Virginia
Died: January 8, 1979
 20 
Mississippi John Hurt
4
Birthdate: March 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Teoc, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 2, 1966
 21 
Gracie Fields
(Actress, Singer who was highest paid film star in the world in 1937)
Gracie Fields
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochdale, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 27, 1979
 22 
Sophie Tucker
(American Comedian, Actress, Singer, and Radio Personality)
Sophie Tucker
2
Birthdate: January 13, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tul'chyn, Ukraine
Died: February 9, 1966
 23 
Julia Pastrana
(Performer)
Julia Pastrana
4
Birthdate: 1834 AD
Birthplace: Sinaloa, Mexico
Died: March 25, 1860
 24 
Big Bill Broonzy
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lake Dick, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 15, 1958
 25 
Agustín Lara
(Composer, Singer, Actor, Songwriter)
Agustín Lara
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tlatlauquitepec Municipality
Died: November 6, 1970

Agustín Lara was a Mexican composer and songwriter. Apart from gaining popularity in Mexico, Lara's work has also been appreciated in places like the Caribbean, United States, Spain, Italy, Japan, and Central and South America. Many of his songs have been recorded by several international singers like Enrico Caruso. Lara's life inspired the 1959 film The Life of Agustín Lara.

 26 
Anna Held
(French-Polish Actress and Singer Best Known for Her Revues 'The Ziegfeld Follies')
Anna Held
2
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.

 27 
Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient
0
Birthdate: December 6, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: January 26, 1860
 28 
E.Y. Harburg
(Lyricist)
E.Y. Harburg
2
Birthdate: April 8, 1896
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: March 5, 1981
 29 
Marilyn Miller
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, United States
Died: April 7, 1936
 30 
Tommy Johnson
(American musician)
Tommy Johnson
4
Birthdate: 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Terry, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 1, 1956
 31 
Beatrice Lillie
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: January 20, 1989
 32 
Lillian Russell
(Former Actress, Singer known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence)
Lillian Russell
2
Birthdate: December 4, 1860
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clinton, Iowa, United States
Died: June 6, 1922
 33 
Roots Manuva
(Rapper, Producer)
Roots Manuva
2
Birthdate: September 9, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
 34 
Mistinguett
(Actress)
Mistinguett
2
Birthdate: April 5, 1873
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Enghien-les-Bains, France
Died: January 5, 1956
 35 
Marie Lloyd
(Singer)
Marie Lloyd
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hoxton, London, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1922
 36 
Adele Spitzeder
2
Birthdate: February 9, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 28, 1895
 37 
Grace Moore
(American Opera Singer and Actress Whose Films Helped to Popularize Opera)
Grace Moore
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Del Rio, Tennessee, United States
Died: January 26, 1947

American opera singer Grace Moore, also known as the Tennessee Nightingale, initially sang in New York nightclubs and then moved on to Broadway. She is remembered for her Academy Award-nominated role in the romantic musical One Night of Love. She died in a plane crash in Copenhagen after a performance.

Sir Harry Lauder
2
Birthdate: August 4, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Portobello
Died: February 26, 1950
 39 
Richard Bruno Heydrich
2
Birthdate: February 23, 1865
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leuben, Dresden, Germany
Died: August 24, 1938
 40 
Eva Mylott
(Australian Opera Singer)
Eva Mylott
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tuross Head, New South Wales, Australia
Died: March 20, 1920

Eva Mylott was an Australian opera singer. A protégé of Nellie Melba, Mylott moved to England with the former in 1902 in order to pursue her career as an opera singer outside Australia. In 1917, Eva Mylott married an American businessman named John Hutton Gibson and is best remembered as the paternal grandmother of American actor Mel Gibson.

 41 
Polaire
(Singer)
Polaire
1
Birthdate: May 14, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Algiers, Algiers, Algeria
Died: October 11, 1939
 42 
Alberta Hunter
(American singer)
Alberta Hunter
1
Birthdate: April 1, 1895
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Memphis
Died: October 17, 1984
 43 
Arletty
(Actress)
Arletty
2
Birthdate: May 15, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Courbevoie, France
Died: July 23, 1992
 44 
Alma Gluck
(Romanian-American Opera Singer Who Was the First Musician to Sell a Million Record Copies)
Alma Gluck
1
Birthdate: May 11, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ias,i, Bucharest, Romania
Died: October 27, 1938

Initially a stenographer, Romanian-born American opera singer Reba Fiersohn, better known as Alma Gluck, started her music career after her marriage and soon found success with her performances at the Metropolitan Opera. She scripted history by scoring the first million-selling phonograph record and also co-founded the American Woman's Association.

 45 
John McCormack
(Irish singer)
John McCormack
2
Birthdate: June 14, 1884
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Athlone, Ireland
Died: September 16, 1945
 46 
Liane de Pougy
1
Birthdate: July 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: La Flèche, France
Died: December 26, 1950

Liane de Pougy was a French dancer and vedette who performed at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Remembered for her captivating looks, de Pougy was widely regarded as one of Paris's most notorious courtesans. She also served as the subject for many artists like Paul César Helleu and Jean Baptiste Guth.

 47 
Rim Banna
(Singer)
Rim Banna
1
Birthdate: December 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nazareth, Israel
Died: March 24, 2018
 48 
Pauline Viardot
(One of the Best 19th-Century French Mezzo-Sopranos)
Pauline Viardot
1
Birthdate: July 18, 1821
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 18, 1910

Pauline Viardot was a noted French operatic Mezzo-soprano, music-pedagogue and composer of nineteenth century considered a star performer of her time. She hailed from a musical family. During her illustrious career that spanned over several decades, Viardot thrived as a remarkable pianist and as a complete all-around professional musician. Her notable works include the operas Le dernier sorcier and Cendrillon.

 49 
Aloysia Weber
(German Soprano)
Aloysia Weber
1
Birthdate: 1760 AD
Birthplace: Zell im Wiesental, Germany
Died: June 8, 1839
 50 
Gauhar Jaan
(She was one of the first performers to record music on 78 rpm records in India)
Gauhar Jaan
2
Birthdate: June 26, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Azamgarh, India
Died: January 17, 1930