Famous Black Gospel Singers

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 1 
Aretha Franklin
(One of the Best-Selling Music Artists in the World & 'Queen of Soul')
Aretha Franklin
4
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.

 2 
Sam Cooke
(Singer-songwriter)
Sam Cooke
12
Birthdate: January 22, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clarksdale, Mississippi, United States
Died: December 11, 1964
The King of Soul Sam Cooke is best remembered for his hits A Change is Gonna Come, You Send Me, and Wonderful World. He began singing gospel as a child and later joined The Soul Stirrers. He was shot and killed by a motel manager in Los Angeles. 
 3 
Dionne Warwick
(One of the Most-Charted Vocalists of All Time)
Dionne Warwick
8
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. 

 4 
Cynthia Erivo
(Actress)
Cynthia Erivo
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockwell, London, England, United Kingdom
 5 
Mahalia Jackson
(Singer, Television Personality)
Mahalia Jackson
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died: January 27, 1972

Mahalia Jackson was an American singer. During her career, which spanned four decades, Jackson played a major role in popularizing gospel blues in black churches across the United States. Regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential vocalists, Mahalia Jackson is credited with inspiring rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and soul singing styles.

 6 
Israel Houghton
(Singer-songwriter)
Israel Houghton
6
Birthdate: May 19, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oceanside, California
Christian music singer Israel Houghton has won four Grammys for his traditional and contemporary gospel albums. He works with his backing band New Breed, and his albums are credited to Israel & New Breed. He has also been a worship leader for Champions for Christ and Promise Keepers.
 7 
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
(Gospel Singer-Songwriter and Guitarist Known for Using Heavy Distortion on Her Electric Guitar)
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
5
Birthdate: March 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotton Plant, Arkansas, United States
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.

 8 
Lou Rawls
(R&B Singer Famous for His Luxurious Baritone Singing Voice and Four-Octave Vocal Range)
Lou Rawls
5
Birthdate: December 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 6, 2006

Lou Rawls was an American singer, composer, record producer, and actor. Rawls sold over 40 million records during his illustrious career. He was also renowned for his charity work; in 2004, he was honored by the popular philanthropic organization United Negro College Fund for his work with the organization for more than 25 years.

 9 
Dee Dee Warwick
5
Birthdate: September 25, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: October 18, 2008

Dee Dee Warwick was a soul singer whose career was largely marred by drug addiction. However, she found success later in her career, recording songs for Private Stock Records and RCA Records. In 1999, she was honored by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation with a Pioneer Award. Warwick is also remembered for being one of the first openly gay singers.

 10 
CeCe Winans
(Musician, Singer)
CeCe Winans
7
Birthdate: October 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Detroit

Born to a gospel singer father, CeCe Winans and her nine siblings would often sing at church events. The 12-time Grammy-winning artist soared to fame with her debut solo album, Alone in His Presence. She is also known for her collaborative tracks with her brother BeBe and her friend Whitney Houston.

 11 
Yolanda Adams
(One of the Best-Selling Gospel Artists of All Time)
Yolanda Adams
5
Birthdate: August 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Initially a schoolteacher, four-time Grammy-winning contemporary gospel singer Yolanda Adams rocked the Billboard charts with her debut full-length single Just As I Am. She was also part of the Tony-nominated team that created the original score of the Broadway musical SpongeBob SquarePants. She has also penned a book on Christian life.

 12 
Kelly Price
(R&B and Gospel Singer Known for Her Big, Powerful, and Emotional Voice)
Kelly Price
3
Birthdate: April 4, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

Starting her music career as a background vocalist for singers such as Mariah Carey and George Michael, Kelly Price later made her mark in the industry with albums such as Soul of a Woman and Mirror Mirror. The Grammy-nominated singer is also known for her breast cancer activism.

 13 
Cleotha Staples
4
Birthdate: April 11, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: near Drew, Mississippi, United States
Died: February 21, 2013

The eldest child of The Staple Singers patriarch, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, Cleotha Staples was part of her family gospel group’s eight US top 40 hits. After facing racism, while they toured around performing, Cleotha and her group ventured into Black protest music. Respect Yourself was one of their Billboard-charting tracks.

 14 
Merry Clayton
(Gospel Singer Known for Her 1969 Duet with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones Song ‘Gimme Shelter')
Merry Clayton
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

From losing her child due to a miscarriage following the recording of the song Gimme Shelter with The Rolling Stones, to getting her legs amputated after a car accident, singer-actor Merry Clayton has been through a lot. The renowned backing vocalist and gospel singer was also featured in an Oscar-winning documentary.

 15 
Percy Sledge
(Known for the Song ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, a No. 1 Hit in 1966)
Percy Sledge
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leighton, Alabama, United States
Died: April 14, 2015

Best known for his Billboard-charting and gold-certified hit When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge began his music career with The Esquires Combo while working as a nurse. He later scored more hits such as Warm and Tender Love and received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award.

 16 
BeBe Winans
(Gospel and R&B Singer and Member of the Noted 'Winans Family')
BeBe Winans
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Best known for his collaborative work with his sister CeCe, BeBe Winans is a Grammy-winning gospel and R&B singer. He is also known for his chartbusting solo tracks such as In Harm's Way and I Wanna Be the Only One. He also released a memoir on close friend Whitney Houston.

 17 
Blind Willie Johnson
(Former gospel blues singer, guitarist and evangelist)
Blind Willie Johnson
2
Birthdate: January 25, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pendleton, Texas, United States
Died: September 18, 1945
 18 
Blind Lemon Jefferson
(Blues & Gospel Singer-Songwriter)
Blind Lemon Jefferson
4
Birthdate: September 24, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Coutchman, Texas, United States
Died: December 19, 1929
 19 
Ruth Brown
(Singer-songwriter)
Ruth Brown
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Died: November 17, 2006
 20 
Marcia Hines
(Singer, Actress)
Marcia Hines
6
Birthdate: July 20, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
 21 
Nathaniel Bassey
(Trumpeter, Pastor)
Nathaniel Bassey
1
Birthdate: August 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
 22 
Albertina Walker
(Gospel singer)
Albertina Walker
1
Birthdate: August 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 8, 2010
 23 
Bruce Williamson
1
Birthdate: September 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: September 6, 2020
 24 
Marion Williams
1
Birthdate: August 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Died: July 2, 1994
 25 
Troy Sneed
(Singer)
Troy Sneed
1
Birthdate: December 14, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Perry, Florida, United States
Died: April 27, 2020
 26 
Sabina Ddumba
2
Birthdate: February 23, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Popular Swedish singer, Sabina Ddumba’s first two singles, Scarred For Life and Effortless, were both certified platinum while her third single Not Too Young was certified double platinum. The artist, who has released three albums and performed at various festivals, concerts and television shows, bagged the Newcomer of the Year award at Grammisgalan (2015) and P3 Gold Awards (2016).

 27 
Kizito Mihigo
(Singer, Musician)
Kizito Mihigo
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kibeho, Rwanda
Died: February 17, 2020
 28 
Willmer
(Gospel singer)
Willmer
0
Birthdate: December 28, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: June 1, 1992
 29 
Dorothy Love Coates
(Gospel singer)
Dorothy Love Coates
0
Birthdate: January 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Died: April 9, 2002
 30 
Helen Berhane
2
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Asmara, Eritrea
 31 
Evelyn Wanjiru
2
Birthdate: May 6, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya
 32 
Nikki Laoye
(Singer)
Nikki Laoye
2
Birthdate: December 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
 33 
Daddy Owen
(Singer)
Daddy Owen
2
Birthdate: January 29, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kakamega, Kenya
 34 
Mkhululi Bhebhe
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
 35 
Grace Decca
(Singer)
Grace Decca
2
Birthdate: September 23, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Douala, Cameroon
 36 
Irene Logan
(Accomplished Ghanaian Singer and Songwriter Who Spawned Hit Songs like ‘Runaway’ and ‘Kabila’)
Irene Logan
4
Birthdate: February 16, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monrovia, Liberia

Liberian-born-Ghanaian singer-songwriter Irene Logan gained-attention after winning maiden edition of Stars of the Future in 2006. Moving on, she garnered great success, both as a solo artist spawning hit songs like Runaway and Kabila; and as part of music-duo Irene and Jane with singles like heated up and baby. She is presently a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 37 
Vanessa Quai
(Singer)
Vanessa Quai
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Vila, Vanuatu
 38 
Wally Warning
(He put his singing career on hold while he played bass guitar in touring bands with Sam & Dave and Lightnin' Hopkins)
Wally Warning
2
Birthplace: Aruba
 39 
Ira Tucker
(Singer)
Ira Tucker
2
Birthdate: May 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
Died: June 24, 2008
 40 
Jeanjos Parfait
(Singer, Musician)
Jeanjos Parfait
8
Birthdate: October 2, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gitega, Burundi