Famous Black 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 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur
473
Famous As: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 13, 1996

Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered as one of the greatest American rappers of all time. Talent and trouble went hand in hand in Shakur’s journey to fame; the higher Shakur rose in his iconic status, the deeper he became entangled in gang violence and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely demise.

 2 Prince

Prince
251
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21, 2016

Singer-songwriter, dancer, and musician, Prince is is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was considered a guitar virtuoso and could also play several other instruments. With worldwide sales of over 150 million records, he is ranked among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was also well known for his flamboyant persona.

 3 Juice WRLD

Juice WRLD
335
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 2, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 8, 2019
Rapper Juice Wrld is best remembered for his tracks Lucid Dreams and All Girls Are the Same. He was also part of the collective Internet Money. He died due to a drug-induced seizure at the age of 21. His posthumous album Legends Never Die topped the Billboard 200 chart.

 4 Drake

Drake
279
Famous As: One of the Best-Selling Music Artists With the Most Top 10 Singles on the Billboard Hot 100
Birthdate: October 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Drake soared to fame with his performance as Jimmy Brooks in the series Degrassi: The Next Generation. He then became a rap sensation with his platinum album Thank Me Later and his Grammy-winning quadruple platinum album Take Care. His track In My Feelings went viral with the global Kiki Challenge.

 5 Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj
316
Famous As: Trinidadian-born Rapper
Birthdate: December 8, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Amongst the most influential female rap artists of all time and one of the bestselling artists, Nicki Minaj came to limelight after her collaborations with Dirty Money Record and Young Money Entertainment. With subsequent release of her four albums, Minaj firmly established herself as a chart-topping artist. The Queen of Rap has also dabbled in acting and ventured into business.

 6 The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.
180
Famous As: One of the Greatest Rappers of All Time
Birthdate: May 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 9, 1997

The Notorious B.I.G. was a rapper and songwriter and is considered one of the best ever. His debut album Ready to Die in 1994 was critically acclaimed. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in September 1996. His album Life After Death was released two weeks after his death. 

 7 Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
100
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.

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 8 Jay-Z

Jay-Z
91
Famous As: Most Influential Hip-hop Artists in History
Birthdate: December 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jay-Z is an American rapper and songwriter and is one of the world's best-selling music artists. His debut album Reasonable Doubt was hugely successful in 1996 and since then he has gone on to release many more acclaimed and successful albums. He has been charged with assaulting a record executive and was given a three-year probation sentence in January 2000.

 9 Tina Turner

Tina Turner
51
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.

 10 Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie
36
Famous As: Co-Lead Singer Of Funk Band The Commodores
Birthdate: June 20, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States

Lionel Richie is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and composer whose work with the band Commodores and his solo career established him as a successful balladeer of the 1980s. Having sold more than 90 million records, Lionel Richie is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Also a philanthropist, Richie helped raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

 11 Ray Charles

Ray Charles
31
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 23, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Albany, Georgia, United States
Died: June 10, 2004

Ray Charles went on to become a great singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist, despite suffering blindness due to glaucoma early in his life. One of the most respected and decorated musicians of all time, Ray Charles has been named in lists, such as 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. He pioneered the soul music genre, which remains his greatest contribution.

 12 James Brown

James Brown
22
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barnwell, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2006

Referred to by honorific nicknames, such as Godfather of Soul, James Brown was a prominent figure of 20th century music. A progenitor of funk music, Brown influenced the development of many music genres. An inductee of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame, Brown is ranked seventh in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

 13 Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong
46
Famous As: Trumpeter
Birthdate: July 4, 1901
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: July 6, 1971

Louis Armstrong was an American trumpeter and singer who played an important role in the development of jazz. Thanks to his playing, trumpet became known as a solo instrument and jazz, which was previously known as a collectively improvised folk music, became a soloist's art form. Not surprisingly, Louis Armstrong is widely accepted as the embodiment of jazz. 

 14 Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi
57
Famous As: Rapper who Rose to Fame with His Debut Mixtape 'A Kid Named Cudi'
Birthdate: January 30, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Grammy-winning rapper Kid Cudi first came into public consciousness with his mixtape that made Kanye West sign him to his label. Kid delivered a double-platinum debut album, formed the band WZRD, and sold 16 million records in the U.S. He has also dabbled in acting and now owns a label.

 15 Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke
36
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. 

 16 Ludacris

Ludacris
23
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris soared to fame with his second album, Back for the First Time. Fans also loved him as Tej Parker in The Fast and the Furious franchise. He owns a label, a line of headphones, and a restaurant. His Ludacris Foundation is associated with many youth initiatives. 

 17 Seal

Seal
25
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

Seal is a British singer and songwriter. He has received several prestigious awards over the course of his career. Also known for his charity work, Seal has performed at several charity events in an attempt to help non-profit organizations, such as the Make It Right Foundation.

 18 André 3000

André 3000
84
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 19 Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole
26
Famous As: Singer
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.

 20 Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross
13
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 1, 2005

Luther Vandross was an American record producer and singer-songwriter. As a background vocalist, Vandross contributed to the success of several songs recorded by artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Judy Collins. Regarded as a singer with one of the greatest voices in recorded history, Luther Vandross' works have influenced many artists like D'Angelo, Jaheim, Ne-Yo, John Legend, and Usher.

 21 Otis Redding

Otis Redding
16
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 9, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dawson, Georgia, United States
Died: December 10, 1967
The King of Soul Otis Redding, who had performed with the Pinetoppers, among others, is remembered for his track (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay, released after his death in a plane crash. It became the first posthumous Billboard R&B- and Hot 100-topping record. He also won two posthumous Grammys

 22 Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
93
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States

 23 Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X
295
Famous As: First Gay Artist To Have #1 Record on Billboard Hot 100
Birthdate: April 9, 1999
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lithia Springs, Georgia, United States

Montero Lamar Hill, better known as Lil Nas X, soared to fame with his US Billboard Hot 100 charter country rap track Old Town Road. The gay singer initially became viral for his comedy videos on Facebook and Vine and then soared to fame on Spotify.

 24 Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan
13
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.

 25 Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion
127
Famous As: The Second Female Rapper to Win Best New Artist (Grammy)
Birthdate: February 15, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States

An American rapper, singer, and songwriter, Megan Thee Stallion began rapping while she was still in her teens and used digital media platforms to promote her work. Her talent was appreciated by both fans and record labels and she eventually became the first female rapper to be signed by the American record label 300 Entertainment.

 26 Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle
36
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.

 27 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
16
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 28 Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle
177
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: August 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Died: March 31, 2019

Nipsey Hussle was an American rapper who left behind quite a legacy when he was fatally shot at the age of 33. His death was met with a strong artistic response as more than 50 murals dedicated to him were painted in Los Angeles alone within a few months after his death. As a rapper and activist, Hussle influenced several youngsters.

 29 Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu
19
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter Know for Her Singles like "On & On," "Honey," and "The Healer."
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.

 30 RZA

RZA
35
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 5, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brownsville, New York, United States
Rapper RZA leads the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and previously performed with Gravediggaz, under the name “The RZArector.” He is also known for his directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists; his appearance in films such as American Gangster; and his BAFTA-nominated music in Kill Bill: Volume 1.

 31 21 Savage

21 Savage
178
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: October 22, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newham, London, England

An influential rapper, 21 Savage's Guns Down, Paintballs Up movement, which he reportedly started to reduce gun violence, gave rise to many incidents involving paintball guns. Also a philanthropist, Savage created the 21 Savage Bank Account Campaign to help kids learn how to make and save money. In 2018, he donated $10,000 to fund an anti-bullying campaign in school.

 32 Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte
14
Famous As: Singer, Actor
Birthdate: March 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, United States

 33 Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator
46
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 6, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ladera Heights, California, United States

 34 Khalid (Singer)

Khalid (Singer)
51
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 11, 1998
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fort Stewart, Georgia, United States

Khalid is an American singer-songwriter whose work in Logic’s hit single 1-800-273-8255 earned him a nomination at the Grammy Awards. He has also received prestigious awards, such as Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Award, and American Music Awards. In 2019, he was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 35 Kodak Black

Kodak Black
142
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 11, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pompano Beach, Florida, United States

Kodak Black is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper. He gained recognition after releasing hit albums, such as Painting Pictures and Dying to Live. A well-known philanthropist, Kodak Black announced in 2018 that he was in the process of building a school in Haiti. Over the years, he has also donated money for various charitable causes.

 36 Ciara

Ciara
59
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.

 37 Akon

Akon
31
Famous As: Solo R&B and Hip-Hop Artist to Hold Both No.1 & No.2 Position at Billboard Hot 100 Simultaneously Twice
Birthdate: April 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Akon is one of the most successful R&B, hip hop and rap singers in the world. His albums Trouble, Konvicted, Freedom, El Negreeto and Akonda have many chartbusters songs. He has also founded record labels Akonik Label Group, KonLive Distribution and Konvict Mizik. He courted controversy in 2007 for an onstage act involving simulated sex with a 15-year-old girl.

 38 Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae
21
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.

 39 Sade Adu

Sade Adu
20
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.

 40 Jill Scott

Jill Scott
10
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 41 Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah
21
Famous As: Musician, Rapper, Singer
Birthdate: May 9, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City

 42 Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick
24
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. 

 43 Quavo Marshall

Quavo Marshall
5
Famous As: Rapper Known as The Co-Founder and Current Frontman of Hip Hop Trio 'Migos'
Birthdate: April 2, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Athens, Georgia, United States

 44 Pusha T

Pusha T
15
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 45 Tay-K 47

Tay-K 47
39
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 16, 2000
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Long Beach, California
Rapper Tay-K is best known for his Billboard-charting and platinum-certified track The Race. The same day the song was released, U.S. marshals arrested him on murder charges in New Jersey. He was convicted in the case involving the death of Ethan Walker and was later indicted for another murder.

 46 Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor
71
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter Who Appeared on MTV's 'My Super Sweet 16'
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.

 47 Stormzy

Stormzy
48
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Croydon
Rapper and grime artist Stormzy gained fame with his freestyles as "Wicked Skengman." He is known for his chartbusting tracks Shut Up and Vossi Bop, the latter being his first number-one track in the U.K. His debut album became the first grime album to top the UK Albums Chart.

 48 NLE Choppa

NLE Choppa
157
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: November 1, 2002
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

NLE Choppa is one of the youngest male rappers to make a name for himself in the American rapping scene. Also a well-known Internet personality, NLE Choppa has posted several videos on his YouTube channel Awakened Choppa, inspiring many of his followers to fall back on spirituality and veganism.

 49 will.i.am

will.i.am
33
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eastside Los Angeles, California, United States
Rapper and music producer William James Adams Jr., better known as “will.i.am,” is a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas. He went solo later and released tracks such as the NBA Live theme Go! The seven-time Grammy-winning artist also wrote Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign theme Yes We Can.

 50 Pop Smoke

Pop Smoke
5
Famous As: American rapper closely associated with Brooklyn drill
Birthdate: July 20, 1999
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canarsie, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 2020