Famous Black Gospel 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 Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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. 

 2 Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick
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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. 

 3 MC Hammer

MC Hammer
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Famous As: Hip-Hop Artist
Birthdate: March 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Rap legend MC Hammer, a pioneer of the pop-rap genre, became the first hip-hop artist to earn the “diamond” status. He is also known for his chartbusting tracks such as U Can't Touch This and his signature "Hammer pants." He later became a preacher and hosted his own reality show.

 4 Israel Houghton

Israel Houghton
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 5 Della Reese

Della Reese
3
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: July 6, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Black Bottom, Detroit
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

 6 Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson
3
Famous As: Singer, Television Personality
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.

 7 Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockwell, London, England, United Kingdom
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 8 Lou Rawls

Lou Rawls
3
Famous As: Singer
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

Dee Dee Warwick
3
Famous As: Singer
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 Yolanda Adams

Yolanda Adams
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Famous As: Gospel singer
Birthdate: August 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA

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.

 11 Merry Clayton

Merry Clayton
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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.

 12 CeCe Winans

CeCe Winans
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Famous As: Musician, Singer
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.

 13 Angie Stone

Angie Stone
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 18, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbia, South Carolina, United States

Motivated by her gospel singer father, Angie Stone began singing as a child. She later formed the rap/hip-hop act The Sequence and then became the lead singer of Vertical Hold. Her first solo album, Black Diamond, was a Billboard charter. She has also appeared in movies and campaigned against diabetes.

 14 Kelly Price

Kelly Price
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 15 Gloria Jones

Gloria Jones
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: June 9, 2006

Known as The Queen of Northern Soul, singer Gloria Jones soared to fame with the track Tainted Love. She also dated British rocker Marc Bolan and played the keyboard and sang for his band T. Rex. She was driving the car which met with an accident and killed Bolan.

 16 Cleotha Staples

Cleotha Staples
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 17 Rodney Jerkins

Rodney Jerkins
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Famous As: Record producer
Birthdate: July 29, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pleasantville, New Jersey, USA
Rodney Jerkins is a multiple Grammy Award winning American rapper and record producer who is popularly known by his stage name Darkchild. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with a number of popular artists, such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber etc. In 2008, he co-founded an online music portal Music Mogul.com where artists can communicate with their fans.

 18 Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 25, 1941
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.

 19 Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.
Died: November 17, 2006

 20 Nathaniel Bassey

Nathaniel Bassey
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Famous As: Trumpeter, Pastor
Birthdate: August 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria

 21 Bruce Williamson

Bruce Williamson
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: September 6, 2020

 22 Albertina Walker

Albertina Walker
1
Famous As: Gospel singer
Birthdate: August 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 8, 2010

 23 Troy Sneed

Troy Sneed
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 14, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Perry, Florida, United States
Died: April 27, 2020

 24 Marion Williams

Marion Williams
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Died: July 2, 1994

 25 Sabina Ddumba

Sabina Ddumba
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 23, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

 26 Willmer

Willmer
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Famous As: Gospel singer
Birthdate: December 28, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: June 1, 1992

 27 Dorothy Love Coates

Dorothy Love Coates
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Famous As: Gospel singer
Birthdate: January 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Died: April 9, 2002

 28 Daddy Owen

Daddy Owen
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 29, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kakamega, Kenya

 29 Evelyn Wanjiru

Evelyn Wanjiru
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 6, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya

 30 Mkhululi Bhebhe

Mkhululi Bhebhe
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 5, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

 31 Ira Tucker

Ira Tucker
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
Died: June 24, 2008

 32 Grace Decca

Grace Decca
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 23, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Douala, Cameroon

 33 Irene Logan

Irene Logan
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 16, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monrovia, Liberia

 34 Kizito Mihigo

Kizito Mihigo
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Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: July 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kibeho, Rwanda
Died: February 17, 2020

 35 Jeanjos Parfait

Jeanjos Parfait
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Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: October 2, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gitega, Burundi