Famous Black 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 Sade Adu

Sade Adu
4
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
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.

 2 Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis
8
Famous As: Singer
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.

 3 Rhonda Ross Kendrick

Rhonda Ross Kendrick
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Rhonda Ross Kendrick, daughter of singer Diana Ross and Motown founder Berry Gordy, is best known for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of Toni Burrell in the soap Another World. She has also appeared in series such as The Temptations and Cosby. She grew up believing Robert Ellis Silberstein was her father. 

 4 Macy Gray

Macy Gray
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States

 5 Cab Calloway

Cab Calloway
3
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.

 6 Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 4, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died: June 27, 2014

Bobby Womack began his career with his family band The Valentinos, after gaining a record deal with The Soul Stirrers singer Sam Cooke. He later began a solo career and became famous for tracks such as Lookin’ for a Love. He also contributed to the soundtrack of Across 110th Street.

 7 Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: March 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 12, 2017
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 8 Sarah Vaughan

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

 9 Dinah Washington

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

 10 Roy Ayers

Roy Ayers
3
Famous As: Musician
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.

 11 Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Died: November 17, 2006

 12 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

 13 Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 24, 1985

 14 Jimmy Scott

Jimmy Scott
2
Famous As: Vocalist
Birthdate: July 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died: June 12, 2014

 15 Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae
2
Famous As: One of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century
Birthdate: April 8, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: November 10, 1994

 16 Concha Buika

Concha Buika
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 11, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palma, Spain

Concha Buika is a Spanish singer who has been active in the music industry for two decades. She is the daughter of writer Juan Balboa. As a singer and composer, she derives inspiration from a wide range of genres including jazz, flamenco, pop, soul, and African polyrhythm. She is internationally famous and has performed in US, Europe, and Latin America. 

 17 Thelma Carpenter

Thelma Carpenter
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 15, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 14, 1997

 18 Kanda Bongo Man

Kanda Bongo Man
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Inongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

 19 Barbara Hendricks

Barbara Hendricks
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stephens, Arkansas, United States

 20 Ray Phiri

Ray Phiri
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Famous As: Jazz musician
Birthdate: March 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nelspruit, South Africa
Died: July 12, 2017

 21 Franco Luambo

Franco Luambo
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 6, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Died: October 12, 1989

 22 China Moses

China Moses
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 23 Sam Mangwana

Sam Mangwana
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Famous As: Former Musician who is frontman of his bands Festival des Maquisards and African All Stars
Birthdate: February 21, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

 24 Doc Cheatham

Doc Cheatham
1
Famous As: Jazz Trumpeter
Birthdate: June 13, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died: June 2, 1997

 25 Dorothy Masuka

Dorothy Masuka
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Died: February 23, 2019

Dorothy Masuka was a jazz singer whose music gained popularity in South Africa during the 1950s. Masuka's music had a strong influence on the people of South Africa, so much so that the government banned her song Dr. Malan which was about difficult laws in the country. She was exiled in 1961 when she performed a song for Patrice Lumumba.

 26 Gloria Lynne

Gloria Lynne
1
Famous As: Vocalist
Birthdate: November 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: October 15, 2013

 27 Rockin' Dopsie

Rockin' Dopsie
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Famous As: Accordion Player, Singer
Birthdate: February 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Carencro, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 26, 1993

 28 Wambali Mkandawire

Wambali Mkandawire
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Famous As: Jazz Singer
Birthdate: July 10, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Democratic Republic of Congo
Died: January 31, 2021

 29 Carmen Souza

Carmen Souza
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 20, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

 30 Prince Kudakwashe Musarurwa

Prince Kudakwashe Musarurwa
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 5, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Zimbabwe
Died: February 15, 2020