Famous Black Soul 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 Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin.
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Famous As: Singer & Activist
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 John Legend

John Legend.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 28, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio, United States

John Legend is a singer, songwriter, actor, film producer and theatre director and his song All of Me from his fourth studio album was a Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit. He has released a host of successful albums. He has also won many awards, including an Oscar and a handful of Grammys. He is also an actor and a TV personality.

 3 Diana Ross

Diana Ross.
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Famous As: American singer
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.

 4 Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder.
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, United States

American singer and songwriter, Stevie Wonder, is one of most influential and the best-selling musicians of all time. That Girl, Gotta Have You, I Just Called to Say I Love You, Part-Time Lover and Happy Birthday are some of his chartbuster songs. He has won many awards and accolades, including 25 Grammy Awards.

 5 Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye.
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Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: April 2, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: April 1, 1984

American singer Marvin Gaye is one of the most successful black artists ever and his albums have sold in millions. His success reached great heights with the 1972 song What's Going On. The 1982 single Sexual Healing was the biggest hit of his career and was a chartbuster. He was tragically shot dead by his father after a family altercation.

 6 James Brown

James Brown.
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Famous As: Musician, recording artist, producer, dancer, bandleader
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.

 7 Sade Adu

Sade Adu
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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.

You May Like

 8 Seal

Seal.
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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.

 9 Donna Summer

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

 10 Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles.
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 11 Etta James

Etta James.
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 12 Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Covington, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 10, 2008

 13 Berry Gordy

Berry Gordy
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Famous As: Record Executive
Birthdate: November 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, MichiganDetroit, Michigan, United States

 14 Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingstree, South Carolina, USA
Died: January 13, 2010

 15 Cynthia Erivo

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

 16 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.

 17 Billy Ocean

Billy Ocean.
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Famous As: Recording Artist
Birthdate: January 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fyzabad

Billy Ocean is a recording artist who achieved popularity in the 1980s when he became the most famous Trinidad–British R&B singer. Over the years, he has also been one of the most prominent supporters of the Rastafari movement. In the 2020 New Year Honours, Billy Ocean was appointed MBE for services to music.

 18 Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.

 19 Macy Gray

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

 20 Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill.
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: South Orange, 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.

 21 Jill Scott

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

 22 Tusse

Tusse
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 1, 2002
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Democratic Republic of the Congo

 23 D'Angelo

D'Angelo
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States

 24 Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack
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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.

 25 LeToya Luckett

LeToya Luckett
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 11, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

 26 Johnny Gill

Johnny Gill.
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington DC

 27 Aaron Neville

Aaron Neville.
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Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: January 24, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 28 Luke James

Luke James.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 13, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 29 Alex Newell

Alex Newell
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 20, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lynn, Massachusetts, United States

 30 Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage.
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 5, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ikeja

Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer, actress, and songwriter. After having created an opportunity to establish herself in the United Kingdom, Savage returned to Nigeria and played an important role in elevating the Nigerian music industry. In 2018, she became the first woman to win the MTV Europe Music Award under the Best African Act category.

 31 Fleur East

Fleur East.
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 29, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Walthamstow, London

 32 Gerald Levert

Gerald Levert
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 13, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: November 10, 2006

 33 Jazmine Sullivan

Jazmine Sullivan
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 34 Tank

Tank.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 35 India Arie

India Arie
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, USA

 36 Dee Dee Warwick

Dee Dee Warwick.
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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.

 37 Dennis Edwards

Dennis Edwards
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 3, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fairfield, Alabama, United States
Died: February 1, 2018

 38 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.

 39 Jody Watley

Jody Watley
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 40 Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Charlotte, North Carolina, US

 41 Sampha

Sampha
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: November 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Morden, London, England, United Kingdom

 42 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.

 43 Anderson Paak

Anderson Paak
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 8, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oxnard, California, U.S.

 44 Sevyn Streeter

Sevyn Streeter
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 7, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Haines City, Florida Haines City, Florida, U.S.

 45 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.

 46 Blu Cantrell

Blu Cantrell
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 16, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States

 47 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.

 48 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.

 49 Shanice

Shanice
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

 50 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.