Famous 20th Century Jazz Singers

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 Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra.
4
Famous As: Singer and Actor
Birthdate: December 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 14, 1998

Amongst the most popular singers of the 20th century and one of the bestselling artists of all time, Frank Sinatra began his musical career singing with bands and later established his successful solo career with albums like The Voice of Frank Sinatra. Also an award winning actor, he featured in movies like From Here to Eternity and The Manchurian Candidate.

 2 Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper.
4
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: June 22, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City

Cyndi Lauper is an American singer-songwriter, activist, and actress. Apart from her distinctive appearance, Lauper is also known for her achievements; having won three of the four major entertainment awards (Grammy, Emmy, Tony), she is consistently named in lists like 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll. Cyndi Lauper is also celebrated for her humanitarian work and charitable efforts.

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 3 Leslie Odom Jr.

Leslie Odom Jr..
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Famous As: Actor
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.

 4 Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole.
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Famous As: Vocalist, Pianist
Birthdate: March 17, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: February 15, 1965
Jazz pianist/singer Nat King Cole, father of singer Natalie Cole, is best remembered for tracks such as Too Young and Mona Lisa. His last album, L-O-V-E, was recorded while he battled lung cancer. With The Nat King Cole Show, he became the first African-American to host his own show.

 5 Paul Anka

Paul Anka.
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 30, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Paul Anka is a Canadian-American actor and singer-songwriter. As a songwriter, he has contributed to the success of popular musicians, such as Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson. He has also contributed to the theme of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Also known for his business ventures, Anka is credited with opening the popular restaurant and club, Jubilation.

 6 Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald.
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Famous As: Jazz Singer
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 Jeff Healey

Jeff Healey.
4
Famous As: Singer
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.

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 8 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt.
9
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 9 Joss Stone

Joss Stone.
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Famous As: Soul Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dover, Kent, England, UK

Joss Stone is an English singer, actress, and songwriter. One of the most successful British female singers of her generation, Stone has sold more than 15 million records worldwide. She has also received several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Award and Brit Awards. In 2006, Joss Stone became the youngest woman to be featured in the Sunday Times Rich List.

 10 Lena Horne

Lena Horne.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

 11 Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bristol, Connecticut

Gary Burghoff is an American actor who is credited with originating the popular role of Charlie Brown in the 1967 Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He is also known for originating the role of Walter Eugene O'Reilly in the 1970 black comedy war movie MASH and the popular TV series of the same name.

 12 Chet Baker

Chet Baker.
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Famous As: Jazz Trumpeter
Birthdate: December 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Yale, Oklahoma
Died: May 13, 1988

Chet Baker was an American vocalist and jazz trumpeter. He achieved recognition during the 1950s and his innovations within cool jazz, a style of modern jazz music, earned him the nickname prince of cool. However, his drug addiction overshadowed much of his professional achievements. His life and work inspired the 2015 drama film Born to Be Blue.

 13 Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz.
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Famous As: Singer and Musician
Birthdate: June 23, 1977
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mechanicsville, Virginia, U.S.
Guitarist and singer Jason Mraz is known for his Billboard-charting tracks such as The Remedy (I Won't Worry) and I'm Yours. The two-time Grammy-winning artist is highly influenced by Brazilian music. He has launched The Jason Mraz Foundation and is associated with causes such as human rights and LGBT equality.

 14 K. D. Lang

K. D. Lang.
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Grammy-winning Canadian pop and country singer Kathryn Dawn Lang, better known as K.D. Lang, has delivered hits such as Constant Craving. She is openly lesbian and a champion for LGBT rights and animal rights. She performed at the 1988 Winter Olympics closing ceremony and the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

 15 Amy Jade Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse.
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 23, 2011
Soul and jazz singer Amy Winehouse is best remembered for her tracks Stronger Than Me and Rehab. She was the first British female to win five Grammys. Following her death due to alcohol poisoning at age 27, her album Back to Black became U.K.’s best-selling album of the 21st century.

 16 Gwen Verdon

Gwen Verdon.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Culver City, California, United States
Died: October 18, 2000

Four-time Tony-winning actor Gwen Verdon is remembered for her SAG-nominated performance in Marvin’s Room. She was known for her signature red hair and her love for cats. She was nominated for Emmys for the series Magnum, P.I., Dream On, and Homicide: Life on the Street. She inspired the series Fosse/Verdon.

 17 George Harrison

George Harrison.
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Famous As: Musician & Singer
Birthdate: February 25, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: November 29, 2001

Gaining fame as the lead guitarist of the rock band, the Beatles, English musician, George Harrison, helped broaden the scope of popular music in the Western world. He was also successful as a solo performer and released many best-selling albums. He was named in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

 18 Cab Calloway

Cab Calloway.
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 19 Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas, United States
Died: October 4, 1970

Best known for her powerful mezzo-soprano voice, Janis Joplin was one of the most successful rock stars of her era. Before dying at the age of 27, she achieved so much that Rolling Stone magazine included her in its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list in 2004 and 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list in 2008.

 20 Diana Krall

Diana Krall.
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Famous As: Jazz Pianist
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.

 21 Nina Simone

Nina Simone.
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: February 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tryon
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.

 22 Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack.
3
Famous As: Singer, Pianist
Birthdate: February 10, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Black Mountain, North Carolina

 23 Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotton Plant, Arkansas, USA
Died: October 9, 1973

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an American recording artist, guitarist, and singer-songwriter. Characterized by a mixture of electric guitar and spiritual lyrics, Tharpe's music played an influential role in the development of rock and roll. Her music influenced several rock-and-roll musicians like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Chuck Berry. She is often referred to as the Godmother of rock and roll.

 24 Peggy Lee

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

 25 Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 8, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York

 26 Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny.
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: August 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lee's Summit

 27 Sarah Vaughan

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

 28 Phyllis Hyman

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

 29 Polly Bergen

Polly Bergen.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 14, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee
Died: September 20, 2014

 30 Laura Nyro

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

 31 Dinah Washington

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

 32 Patty Andrews

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

 33 Kate Smith

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

 34 Sophie Tucker

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

 35 Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott
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Famous As: Jazz Pianist
Birthdate: June 11, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Port au Spain, Trinidad
Died: October 2, 1981

 36 Bob Crosby

Bob Crosby
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 23, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Spokane, Washington, United States
Died: March 9, 1993

 37 Blossom Dearie

Blossom Dearie
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Famous As: Jazz musician
Birthdate: April 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Durham, New York, United States
Died: February 7, 2009

 38 Abbey Lincoln

Abbey Lincoln.
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: August 6, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: August 14, 2010

 39 Charles Trenet

Charles Trenet
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 18, 1913
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Narbonne, France
Died: February 18, 2001

 40 Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae
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Famous As: Pianist, Actor, Jazz musician, Singer
Birthdate: April 8, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 10, 1994

 41 Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 24, 1985

 42 Billy Eckstine

Billy Eckstine
2
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 8, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Liberty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 8, 1993

 43 Stacey Kent

Stacey Kent
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Famous As: Jazz musician, Singer, Radio personality
Birthdate: March 27, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: City of Orange Township

 44 Gilbert Becaud

Gilbert Becaud.
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 24, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toulon
Died: December 18, 2001
Nicknamed Monsieur 100,000 Volts, pianist, singer, and composer Gilbert Becaud mesmerized his listeners with iconic pieces such as What Now My Love? and Et Maintenant. He was known for his signature polka-dotted navy tie and for his habit of smoking. A polyglot, he was fluent in six languages.

 45 George Jessel

George Jessel
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: May 23, 1981

 46 Charles Brown

Charles Brown.
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: September 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Texas City
Died: January 21, 1999

 47 Jack Teagarden

Jack Teagarden
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Famous As: Trombonist
Birthdate: August 20, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vernon, Texas, US
Died: January 15, 1964

 48 Betty Carter

Betty Carter
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan, United States
Died: September 26, 1998

 49 Helen O'Connell

Helen O'Connell
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 23, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lima, Ohio, United States
Died: September 9, 1993

 50 Mildred Bailey

Mildred Bailey
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tekoa, Washington, United States
Died: December 12, 1951