Famous 20th Century Jazz Singers

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Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Jazz Singers

 1 
Stevie Wonder
(Singer-Songwriter and Musician)

Stevie Wonder
8
Birthdate: May 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, United States

American singer and songwriter, Stevie Wonder, is one of most influential and the best-selling musicians of all time. That Girl, Gotta Have You, I Just Called to Say I Love You, Part-Time Lover and Happy Birthday are some of his chartbuster songs. He has won many awards and accolades, including 25 Grammy Awards.

 2 
Billie Holiday
(One of the Greatest Jazz Singers from the 1930s to the 1950s)

Billie Holiday
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1915
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 17, 1959
Jazz legend Billie Holiday had a tumultuous childhood and ended up in prison due to prostitution. Upon her release, at 14, she started singing using her pseudonym and performed at sold-out Carnegie Hall shows. Nicknamed Lady Day, she was riddled with alcohol and drug issues. She won four posthumous Grammys.

 3 

Michael Bublé
6
Birthdate: September 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Burnaby, Canada

Michael Bublé is a Canadian record producer, singer, and songwriter. He gained international recognition after releasing his fourth studio album It's Time. Also known for his charity work, Michael Bublé was part of a charity concert where he pledged a donation of A$50,000 to those affected by the Black Saturday bushfires in Australia.

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 4 
Sade
(Frontwoman of the Soul Band Sade)

Sade
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria

Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu, or Sade Adu, often blends Afro-Cuban tunes with soul and smooth jazz in her music. The Grammy Award winner had initially studied fashion designing and been a model. The founder of the band Sade, she has released iconic tracks such as No Ordinary Love.

 5 

Leslie Odom Jr.
4
Birthdate: August 6, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Queens, New York City, New York

A passion for acting and singing since his early life, made Leslie Odom Jr an accomplished artist of stage, television, films and music industry. Debuting at the age of seventeen, his best performance came with the role of Aaron Burr in Broadway musical Hamilton. The talented artist also has three solo jazz albums and a published book in his resume.

 6 
Ella Fitzgerald
(Jazz Singer)

Ella Fitzgerald
6
Birthdate: April 25, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia, United States
Died: June 15, 1996

Ella Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer. Referred to as the Queen of Jazz, First Lady of Song, and Lady Ella, Fitzgerald was renowned for her impeccable diction, purity of tone, timing, and intonation. The winner of Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts, Fitzgerald's legacy lives on several years after her death.

 7 
Bobby Darin
(Pop vocalist who released the hits "Mack the Knife," "Dream Lover," and "Beyond the Sea.")

Bobby Darin
6
Birthdate: May 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Harlem, New York, United States
Died: December 20, 1973
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 8 
Harry Connick Jr.
(American singer)

Harry Connick Jr.
4
Birthdate: September 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Grammy-winning singer-actor Harry Connick Jr. was born to a lawyer mother and an attorney father, who also owned a record store. He mastered the piano as a child and formed his first jazz band at 10. He later soared to fame with the multi-platinum soundtrack of When Harry Met Sally...

 9 
Jeff Healey
(Singer)

Jeff Healey
4
Birthdate: March 25, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: March 2, 2008

Jeff Healey was a Canadian blues-rock and jazz vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist. Apart from establishing his own career, Jeff Healey also helped develop the careers of several other musicians, including Philip Sayce, Terra Hazelton, and Amanda Meta Marshall. For his contribution to music, Jeff Healey was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame and the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.

 10 
Bessie Smith
(Singer)

Bessie Smith
5
Birthdate: April 15, 1894
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
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.

 11 

Johnny Mathis
8
Birthdate: September 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States

Johnny Mathis is an American singer and songwriter. Best known for his contribution to popular music, Mathis has been honored with many awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award. Johnny Mathis is also renowned for his philanthropic efforts; he has supported such organizations as the American Cancer Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

 12 
Boz Scaggs
(Singer)

Boz Scaggs
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, USA

 13 
Macy Gray
(Singer-songwriter)

Macy Gray
5
Birthdate: September 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States

 14 
Cab Calloway
(Singer)

Cab Calloway
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester
Died: November 18, 1994

Jazz singer and dancer, Cab Calloway, was a famous vocalist of the swing era.  From the early 1930s to the late 1940s, he led a very popular band that included musicians like  Dizzy Gillespie, Jonah Jones, and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham. A man of color, he became the first African-American musician to sell a million records from a single song.

 15 
Della Reese
(Known for Her 1959 Hit Single 'Don't You Know?' and Her Role in the TV Series 'Touched by an Angel')

Della Reese
5
Birthdate: July 6, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Black Bottom, Detroit, United States
Died: November 19, 2017
Jazz and gospel singer and actor Della Reese, who was also an ordained minister, gained fame with tracks such as Don't You Know? and Some of her best-known films were Harlem Nights and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. She played Tess in the series Touched by an Angel

 16 
Diana Krall
(Jazz Pianist)

Diana Krall
3
Birthdate: November 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nanaimo, British Columbia

Diana Krall is a Canadian jazz singer and pianist. With several gold and multi-platinum albums under her belt, Krall is regarded as one of the best-selling artists of her generation. In 2009, Billboard called her the second-greatest jazz artist of the 2000–09 decade. In 2004, she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

 17 
Linda Purl
(Actress)

Linda Purl
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

 18 

Roberta Flack
3
Birthdate: February 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Black Mountain, North Carolina, United States

 19 
Al Jarreau
(Musician)

Al Jarreau
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 12, 2017

 20 
Paloma Faith
(Singer-songwriter)

Paloma Faith
4
Birthdate: July 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

Paloma Faith is a British singer, actress, and songwriter. She is best known for her album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?, which received double-platinum certification in the UK apart from earning Faith her maiden BRIT Award nomination. Renowned for her eccentric style, Paloma Faith has also received prestigious awards like the ASCAP Award.

 21 
Peggy Lee
(Singer)

Peggy Lee
3
Birthdate: May 26, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jamestown, North Dakota, United States
Died: January 21, 2002

 22 
Sunny Ozell
(Singer-Songwriter)

Sunny Ozell
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Reno, Nevada, U.S.

 23 
Louis Prima
(Singer-songwriter)

Louis Prima
3
Birthdate: December 7, 1910
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 24, 1978

 24 
Pat Metheny
(Guitarist)

Pat Metheny
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lee's Summit

 25 
Rubén Blades
(Musician)

Rubén Blades
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Panama City, Panama

 26 
Tony Hadley
(Best Known as the Lead Vocalist for New Romantic Band 'Spandau Ballet')

Tony Hadley
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Islington, London, England

Tony Hadley is a British singer-songwriter and radio presenter. He is best known for his association with the New Romantic band Spandau Ballet where he was the lead singer. Tony Hadley is also well-known for his humanitarian efforts; he is a patron of many charitable organizations like Shooting Star Chase, The Huntington's Disease Association (HDA), and The Lowe Syndrome Trust.

 27 
Rachael MacFarlane
(Voice actress who became known for her voice work on shows like Codename: Kids Next Door, Family Guy, and American Dad)

Rachael MacFarlane
3
Birthdate: March 21, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kent, Connecticut, United States

 28 
Nina Simone
(One of the Most Influential Musical Artists of the 20th Century)

Nina Simone
0
Birthdate: February 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tryon, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 21, 2003

Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a pioneering recording artist whose career was characterized by improvisational genius and fits of outrage. Nina continues to be an important musician and has influenced several artists like Elton John, Adele, David Bowie, Madonna, and Aretha Franklin. She was also a civil rights activist.

 29 
Laura Nyro
(Songwriter)

Laura Nyro
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, USA
Died: April 8, 1997

 30 

Sarah Vaughan
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 3, 1990

 31 

Patty Andrews
3
Birthdate: February 16, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mound, Minnesota, United States
Died: January 13, 2013

 32 
Nancy Wilson
(Notable for Her Single ‘(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am')

Nancy Wilson
3
Birthdate: February 20, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chillicothe, Ohio, United States
Died: December 13, 2018

 33 

Dinah Washington
5
Birthdate: August 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
Died: December 14, 1963

 34 

Phyllis Hyman
3
Birthdate: July 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: June 30, 1995

 35 
Deana Martin
(Singer)

Deana Martin
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 36 
Kate Smith
(Singer)

Kate Smith
3
Birthdate: May 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Greenville, Virginia, USA
Died: June 17, 1986

 37 

Rickie Lee Jones
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

 38 
Khaled
(Musician)

Khaled
3
Birthdate: February 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oran, Algeria

 39 
Jack Jones
(Singer)

Jack Jones
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 40 
Leon Redbone
(Former singer-songwriter and musician best recognized for his songs "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" and "Ain't Misbehaving".)

Leon Redbone
3
Birthdate: August 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cyprus
Died: May 30, 2019

 41 
Antônio Carlos Jobim
(One of the Greatest Exponents of Brazilian Music and Primary Creator of 'Bossa Nova' Style)

Antônio Carlos Jobim
3
Birthdate: January 25, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died: December 8, 1994

Antônio Carlos Jobim was a Brazilian pianist, guitarist, composer, arranger, singer, and songwriter. He is credited with popularizing a style of samba called bossa nova by merging it with jazz with the help of American artists in the 1960s. He played an important role in creating the bossa nova style and is referred to as the father of bossa nova.

 42 
Astrud Gilberto
(Samba and bossa nova singer)

Astrud Gilberto
3
Birthdate: March 29, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Astrud Gilberto is a Brazilian singer best known as an exponent of bossa nova and samba. She achieved international recognition in the 1960s after the release of her song The Girl from Ipanema. In 1992, she was honored with the Latin Jazz USA Award. In 2002, Astrud Gilberto was made an inductee of the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.

 43 
Al Martino
(Singer)

Al Martino
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: October 13, 2009

 44 

Frankie Laine
3
Birthdate: March 30, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: February 6, 2007

 45 

Kate Ceberano
3
Birthdate: November 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

 46 
Al Di Meola
(Guitarist)

Al Di Meola
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

 47 
Olu Dara
(cornetist)

Olu Dara
3
Birthdate: January 12, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Natchez, Mississippi, USA

 48 
Roy Ayers
(Musician)

Roy Ayers
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
One of the greatest vibraphone players of all time, Roy Ayers was a pioneer of jazz-funk and acid jazz. Born to a trombone player father and a pianist mother, he was destined to be a musician. He soared to fame with tracks such as Everybody Loves the Sunshine.

 49 
Marc Nelson
(Singer)

Marc Nelson
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 50 
Keely Smith
(Jazz Singer Who Released Hits Like ‘That Old Black Magic’ and ‘I Wish You Love’)

Keely Smith
3
Birthdate: March 9, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: December 16, 2017