American Female Rhythm & Blues 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 Beyonce Knowles

Beyonce Knowles
7
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: September 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Beyonce Knowles is a singer, songwriter, and actress. She developed an interest in music as a child. As a teenager, she became the lead singer of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. As of today, she is one of the world's best-selling recording artists. 

 2 Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
5
Famous As: Best-Selling Female R&B Artist of the 20th Century
Birthdate: August 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 11, 2012

Amongst the best-selling recording artists of all time and an inspiration to millions of budding artists, Whitney Houston achieved stardom with her eponymous debut album. The success of her later albums consolidated her position and earned her a spot in the Guinness World Records as the most awarded female artist of all time. She struggled with drug abuse and troubled marriage and died of drowning in her hotel's bathtub. 

 3 Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin
7
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 25, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 16, 2018

Widely regarded as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin was a singer-songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Aretha was ranked number one on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list in 2010. Having sold over 75 million records, she is also one of the best-selling musicians ever.

 4 Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
5
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys has been active in the music industry since the mid-1990s. Her debut album was a super hit and earned her five Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling artists in the United States and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. She is also known for her humanitarian work, philanthropy, and activism.

 5 Tina Turner

Tina Turner
5
Famous As: The "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll"
Birthdate: November 26, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nutbush, Tennessee, United States

Known as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, Tina Turner is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time and has had a very long and successful career. Let's Stay Together, What's Love Got to Do with It, Private Dancer and Golden Eye are some of her chartbuster songs. She is also a songwriter and has acted in films too.

 6 Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande
11
Famous As: Pop Music Sensation
Birthdate: June 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boca Raton, Florida, United States

A talented youngster, Ariana Grande first stepped into the world of entertainment through Broadway musical 13 and later shot to fame with television series Victorious and its spinoff, Sam & Cat. Her television series also kick started her musical career which flourished with the release of her five commercially successful and critically applauded albums and collaborations with various other artists.

 7 Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson
4
Famous As: One of the World's Best-Selling Music Artists
Birthdate: May 16, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States

A member of the prominent Jackson family, Janet Jackson is a singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. Popularly known for her innovative and socially conscious songs, she was considered a sex icon in her youth. Beginning her career as a teenager, she went on to become one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time.

You May Like

 8 Diana Ross

Diana Ross
5
Famous As: Entertainer
Birthdate: March 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

With several prestigious honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, under her belt, Diana Ross is one of the most popular and influential singers of all time. In 1976, Billboard named her the Female Entertainer of the Century. She has influenced popular artists like Madonna, Beyoncé, and Michael Jackson.

 9 Aaliyah

Aaliyah
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 16, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: August 25, 2001

Aaliyah was an American singer, actress and model, who became famous when her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number sold three million copies in the US. Her subsequent albums also sold in millions and won her numerous accolades. She also acted in some films. She tragically died in an airplane crash in the Bahamas, at the age of 22.

 10 Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill
4
Famous As: Greatest Rappers Of All Time
Birthdate: May 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Famous rapper and singer, Lauryn Hill, is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time and a pioneer in the Neo soul genre. The artist whose album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill won five Grammy Awards, is an inspiration for numerous singers and rappers. Earlier, she gained recognition as member of Fugees, an award-winning hip hop group.

 11 Pink

Pink
4
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: September 8, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States

Pink is an American singer-songwriter known for her acrobatic stage presence and raspy voice. Having sold more than 90 million records worldwide, Pink is one of the best-selling musicians in the world. A recipient of several prestigious awards, Pink was named in VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music list. Her work has inspired many other artists like Taylor Swift.

 12 Selena

Selena
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Famous As: The 'Queen of Tejano Music'
Birthdate: April 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lake Jackson, Texas, United States
Died: March 31, 1995

Known as the queen of Tejano music, Selena became the most famous Mexican-American entertainers during the late 20th century, thanks to her contributions to fashion and music. She is one of the most influential Latin artists ever. Her rags-to-riches story, which includes struggle, fame, and finally death at the age of 23, was showcased in the 1997 film, Selena.

 13 Fergie

Fergie
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hacienda Heights, California, United States
Fergie soared to fame as part of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas, which has delivered hits such as Boom Boom Pow. She was initially a child star in Kids Incorporated. She has also released solo hits such as Big Girls Don't Cry and owns a line of fragrances. 

 14 Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah
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Famous As: Best Known as 'Queen of Rap'
Birthdate: March 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Queen Latifah is an American musician and actress whose song U.N.I.T.Y. played a major role in raising awareness about women's rights worldwide. Dubbed Queen of Jazz-Rap, Latifah has influenced several soul, R&B, and hip-hop artists like Remy Ma, Lil' Kim, Ivy Queen, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, and Eve among other artists. As an actress, Latifah has won several prestigious awards.

 15 Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

Widely regarded as the queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu is an American singer-songwriter whose debut studio album Baduizm helped popularize neo-soul in the late-1990s. Thanks to her popularity, Erykah Badu serves as a subject for street art in several places, including Greater London, England. Also an actress, Badu has appeared in popular films, such as The Cider House Rules.

 16 Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 11, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Mary J. Blige is a popular singer-songwriter and actress. Having sold 80 million records worldwide, she is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Referred to as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary is credited with influencing the fusion of R&B and hip hop. She often gets featured in lists like The 100 Greatest Women in Music.

 17 Meghan Trainor

Meghan Trainor
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 22, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States

Meghan Trainor is an American talent show judge and singer-songwriter. Trainor is credited with promoting body positivity through her music; her songs often have lyrical themes based on personal empowerment and body image. Also a well-known philanthropist, Meghan Trainor works closely with organizations, such as The American Cancer Society. She also takes an active part in several charity events.

 18 Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson
4
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Jennifer Hudson shot to fame after reaching the finals of the third season of American Idol. She is known for her Academy Award-winning role of Effie White in Dreamgirls. She also won the Grammy twice, one for her self-titled debut album and the other for the musical The Color Purple

 19 Jhené Aiko

Jhené Aiko
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

American singer and songwriter Jhené Aiko's musical style is associated with PBR&B, a new wave of music viewed as an alternative to contemporary R&B. Her personal life, which includes an early pregnancy at the age of 20, the death of her brother Miyagi, a major car accident, and troubled relationships, has not affected her impressive music career.

 20 H.E.R.

H.E.R.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 27, 1997
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vallejo, California, United States

R&B singer Gabriella “Gabi” Wilson, better known to her fans as H.E.R., had initially released a few works under her real name. However, she gained fame only after the release of her first EP, H.E.R. Volume 1, in 2016. The two-time Grammy-winner performed at the 2020 Primetime Emmy Award ceremony.

 21 Willow Smith

Willow Smith
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 31, 2000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

The daughter of popular American actors, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Willow Smith has established herself as a singer-songwriter and rapper. Mentored by rapper Jay-Z, Smith became the youngest artist to be signed to the former's label Roc Nation in 2010. In 2019, she came out as bisexual and expressed her desire to be in a polyamorous relationship.

 22 Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Ten-time Grammy-winning funk/R&B/disco artist Chaka Khan, or the Queen of Funk, soared to fame as the frontwoman of the band Rufus. Known for her hit track I Feel for You, Khan has sold 70 million records and has ranked 17th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll list.

 23 Ciara

Ciara
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States

Ciara is an American singer-songwriter whose debut single, Goodies, earned her the title Princess of Crunk&B. Her songs, Goodies and Yeah!, are credited with introducing the substyle of contemporary R&B and crunk music called crunk&B to music lovers. Also a dancer and model, Ciara has had a major impact on the American entertainment industry for the past 10 years.

 24 Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick
3
Famous As: Singer & Actress
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

Dionne Warwick is an American singer, TV host, actress, and former FAO Goodwill Ambassador. Warwick was one of the most successful singers between 1955 and 1999, ranking among the 40 biggest hitmakers according to the Billboard Hot 100. 80 of her singles have been featured on Billboard's music charts, making Warwick one of the most-charted female singers in history. 

 25 Brandy Norwood

Brandy Norwood
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: McComb, Mississippi, United States

The singer of chartbuster songs like The Boy Is Mine, I Wanna be Down and Sittin' Up in My Room, Brandy Norwood is known for her raspy and husky voice. Most of her songs are about love, relationships and heartache. She was involved in a car accident in 2006, leading to multiple lawsuits, which were eventually settled out of court.

 26 Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

The seed for Katharine McPhee's career as actress, singer, and songwriter was sown during her time in the fifth season of American Idol; not only was she able to overcome her eating disorders while competing at the singing reality series, her experience in the show also helped her establish a career in the entertainment field.

 27 Rebecca Marie Gomez

Rebecca Marie Gomez
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 2, 1997
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, United States

Singer, songwriter, and actress Rebecca Marie Gomez first gained prominence when she started posting her covers of popular songs online. Some of these uploads went viral and gained her mainstream attention. She has since released many songs and albums and has worked in collaboration with musical stars like Cody Simpson and Cher Lloyd. 

 28 Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Artist Janelle Monae initially sang with rapper Big Boi and is known for albums such as Dirty Computer. She has been nominated for the Grammys multiple times. Monae also appeared in films such as Hidden Figures and the Academy Award-winning drama Moonlight. She is both bisexual and pansexual.

 29 Kehlani Ashley Parrish

Kehlani Ashley Parrish
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 24, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Kehlani Ashley Parrish soared to fame on America's Got Talent, performing with the teen pop band Poplyfe. The Grammy-nominated artist is known for her chartbusting tracks 1st Position and Raw & True. She is pansexual and is known for her love for tattoos. She is also a sexual-assault survivor.

 30 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
3
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 31 Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Dancer
Birthdate: June 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Fernando, California, United States

Starting her career as a cheerleader, Paula Abdul went on to choreograph music videos for Janet Jackson. She then tried her hand at singing-songwriting and released a highly successful debut studio album. Also an award-winning actress, Paula was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has also appeared in TV shows like American Idol.

 32 Grace Jones

Grace Jones
4
Famous As: Model, Singer, Actress
Birthdate: May 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica

Grace Jones began her career as a model in New York and Paris, popularizing her androgynous style. One of VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, she experimented with disco, punk, reggae, and pop, and contributed to the 1980s’ cross-dressing movement. She later appeared in films such as Vamp.

 33 Etta James

Etta James
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: January 20, 2012

Etta James was an American singer whose powerful, deep voice bridged the gap between rock and roll and rhythm and blues. Her ability to perform in various genres earned her a spot in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list. Her work has influenced several musicians, including Christina Aguilera, Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Adele, and Rita Ora.

 34 JoJo

JoJo
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 20, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brattleboro, Vermont, United States

JoJo is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. A child prodigy, JoJo released her self-titled debut studio album at the age of 13. Subsequently, the album peaked at number four on Billboard 200 and has sold more than four million copies to date. She has also been headlining several tours, apart from releasing albums.

 35 Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton
3
Famous As: Best-Selling Female R&B Artist In History
Birthdate: October 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Severn, Maryland, United States
Soul and R&B sensation Toni Braxton initially performed with her sisters in The Braxtons. She won three of her seven Grammys with her debut album. Known for her Billboard-charters such as Un-break My Heart, she also collaborated with Babyface, competed in Dancing with the Stars, and produced Braxton Family Values.

 36 Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 14, 1992
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wildomar, California, United States

Tori Kelly was initially spotted on Star Search and won America's Most Talented Kid. She failed to make it to the "Top 24" of American Idol but later released Billboard Hot 100-charting singles such as Nobody Love. The two-time Grammy-winner has also voiced Meena in Sing and its sequel.

 37 Christina Milian

Christina Milian
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Actress
Birthdate: September 26, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Christina Milian is best known for her hit tracks A.M. to P.M. and Say I. Fans have also loved her performances in the movie Love Don't Cost a Thing, as Vanessa in Grandfathered, and as Christine Parks in The Oath. She co-owns Viva Diva Wines and a food truck business.

 38 Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
The Godmother of Soul Patti LaBelle is best known for her chartbusting song Lady Marmalade, released with her group Labelle. She has had a successful solo career, too, winning multiple Grammys. She has appeared on her own TV shows, released cookbooks, and has launched her line of food and bedding.

 39 Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harvey, Illinois, United States

Keke Palmer is an American actress, television personality, and singer. In 2019, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 celebrities who are shaping the future of health, entertainment, business, politics, and more. Palmer, who has been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety, supports movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

 40 Donna Summer

Donna Summer
3
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012

 41 Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman

Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman
0
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: September 1, 1996
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

Actress and singer Zendaya is best known for her role in the Disney Channel sitcom, Shake It Up. She began her career as a model and is trained in different forms of dance. As a singer, she has released one studio album and several singles. She identifies as a feminist and has shown support for the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.

 42 Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

 43 Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor
3
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

R&B and hip-hop singer Teyana Taylor gained fame with MTV's My Super Sweet 16. She signed with Kanye West’s label and also appeared on the reality show Teyana and Iman, with her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. In December 2020, she announced her retirement from music through Instagram.

 44 Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 6, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Died: December 31, 2015
R&B and pop singer Natalie Cole, daughter of jazz pianist and singer Nat King Cole, is known for hits such as Inseparable and her cover of Pink Cadillac. The nine-time Grammy-winning artist soared to fame with the album Unforgettable... with Love, which sold more than 7 million copies.

 45 Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 11, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Four-time Grammy-winning artist Kelly Rowland was part of the R&B group Destiny’s Child, along with Beyoncé. Kelly has also had a successful solo career and has starred in films such as Freddy vs. Jason. She has been a judge on The X Factor and a coach on The Voice

 46 Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Solange Knowles, younger sister of pop star Beyoncé Knowles, initially performed as a back-up dancer and wrote songs for Beyoncé’s band Destiny's Child. She has delivered Grammy-winning tracks such as Cranes in the Sky and has also won an Impact Award. She also owns a hip-hop-themed children’s merchandise brand.

 47 Michelle Visage

Michelle Visage
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Perth Amboy, New Jersey, United States

 48 Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez
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Famous As: Singer, Actress, Dancer
Birthdate: July 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Castle Hill, New York, United States

Jennifer Lopez established herself as the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood after starring in films such as Out of Sight, The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan and Shall We Dance’. She is also an accomplished dancer and commercially very successful singer. She helped propel the Latin pop movement in American music. She is also a fashion designer and a businesswoman.

 49 Faith Evans

Faith Evans
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lakeland, Florida, United States
R&B and hip-hop artist Faith Evans is the first female artist to sign with Sean Combs’s label. She was married to rapper The Notorious B.I.G., who was killed in a shooting. Evans later won a Grammy for the song I'll Be Missing You, released in memory of her late husband.

 50 Ashanti

Ashanti
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Actress
Birthdate: October 13, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glen Cove, New York, United States

Ashanti is an American singer, record producer, songwriter, model, and actress. A talented musician, Ashanti became the first woman to occupy the number one and number two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Also known for her humanitarian work, Ashanti works tirelessly towards several causes, including raising awareness about issues pertaining to domestic violence.