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.

Vote for Your Favourite Soul Singers

 1 
Ray Charles
(Singer-songwriter)

Ray Charles
4
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.

 2 
James Brown
(Singer)

James Brown
4
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.

 3 
Seal
(Singer-songwriter)

Seal
4
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.

 4 
Sade Adu
(Singer-Songwriter)

Sade Adu
4
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.

 5 
Donna Summer
(Singer-Songwriter)

Donna Summer
4
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012

 6 

Vanessa Williams
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

 7 
Isaac Hayes
(Singer-songwriter)

Isaac Hayes
4
Birthdate: August 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Covington, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 10, 2008
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 8 
Berry Gordy
(Record Executive)

Berry Gordy
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, MichiganDetroit, Michigan, United States

 9 
Alicia Keys
(Singer, Actress)

Alicia Keys
0
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.

 10 
Cynthia Erivo
(Actress)

Cynthia Erivo
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockwell, London, England, United Kingdom

 11 

Teddy Pendergrass
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingstree, South Carolina, USA
Died: January 13, 2010

 12 
Macy Gray
(Singer-songwriter)

Macy Gray
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States

 13 
Billy Ocean
(Recording Artist)

Billy Ocean
3
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.

 14 
Israel Houghton
(Singer-songwriter)

Israel Houghton
3
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.

 15 
Jill Scott
(Singer-songwriter)

Jill Scott
3
Birthdate: April 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 16 
Leon Bridges
(Singer-songwriter)

Leon Bridges
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.

 17 
Jackie Jackson
(Singer best known as a founding member of the Jackson 5)

Jackie Jackson
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States

 18 
Emeli Sandé
(R&B Singer Best Remebered for her Album 'Our Vision of Events')

Emeli Sandé
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England

 19 
Bobby Womack
(Singer)

Bobby Womack
3
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.

 20 
D'Angelo
(Singer-songwriter)

D'Angelo
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States

 21 
Eddie Kendricks
(Co-founder of the Motown Singing Group 'The Temptations')

Eddie Kendricks
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Union Springs, Alabama, United States
Died: October 5, 1992

 22 

LeToya Luckett
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

 23 
Brian McKnight
(Singer-Songwriter with Thrid Most Grammy Nominations Without a Win)

Brian McKnight
3
Birthdate: June 5, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States

Brian McKnight is a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist in R&B and soul genres. Associated with labels like Motown, Mercury, and Warner Brothers, he is known for his albums, Back at One, and Anytime. The co-writer of the song Wait also hosted radio shows.

 24 
K Michelle
(Singer-songwriter who Rose to Fame as Breakout Star of 'Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta')

K Michelle
3
Birthdate: March 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

 25 
Johnny Gill
(Singer-songwriter)

Johnny Gill
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington DC

 26 

Alex Newell
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lynn, Massachusetts, United States

 27 
Aaron Neville
(Singer & Musician)

Aaron Neville
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 28 

Anderson Paak
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oxnard, California, U.S.

 29 
Fleur East
(Singer-songwriter)

Fleur East
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Walthamstow, London

Fleur East is an English rapper, singer, and songwriter. She is best known for her participation in the popular reality television music competition The X Factor where she finished second in 2014. She then went on to release her debut studio album Love, Sax and Flashbacks which peaked at number 12 on the Scottish Albums Chart.

 30 
Corinne Bailey Rae
(Singer-Songwriter Best Known for Her 2006 Single ‘Put Your Records On')

Corinne Bailey Rae
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leeds, England

 31 

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

 32 
Jazmine Sullivan
(Singer-songwriter)

Jazmine Sullivan
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Jazmine Sullivan soared to fame with the Billboard-topping debut album Fearless. Born to a background vocalist mother, she began singing as part of gospel choirs. With 15 Grammy nominations, she has tied with Icelandic singer Björk, for the most Grammy nominations without a win for any female.

 33 

Gerald Levert
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: November 10, 2006

 34 
Tusse
(Singer)

Tusse
3
Birthdate: January 1, 2002
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tusse is one of trendiest Swedish singers with several singles to his credit. He came to Sweden with his aunt as an eight year boy, fleeing unrest in his native land. Congo. He won the Swedish Idol competition in 2019 and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. 

 35 
India Arie
(Singer)

India Arie
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, USA

 36 

Dee Dee Warwick
2
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 
Tank
(Singer)

Tank
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 38 
Jody Watley
(Singer)

Jody Watley
2
Birthdate: January 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 39 
Beverley Knight
(Contemporary R&B singers)

Beverley Knight
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wolverhampton, England

 40 
Merry Clayton
(Actress)

Merry Clayton
2
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.

 41 

Anthony Hamilton
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Charlotte, North Carolina, US

 42 
Kelly Price
(Singer)

Kelly Price
2
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.

 43 
Shanice
(Singer-Songwriter)

Shanice
2
Birthdate: May 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

 44 
Sampha
(Singer-songwriter)

Sampha
2
Birthdate: November 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Morden, London, England, United Kingdom

 45 
Cuba Gooding Sr.
(The most successful lead singer of the soul group)

Cuba Gooding Sr.
0
Birthdate: April 27, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: April 20, 2017

 46 
Brent Faiyaz
(Singer)

Brent Faiyaz
0
Birthdate: September 19, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Columbia, Maryland, United States

 47 
Gloria Jones
(Singer-songwriter)

Gloria Jones
2
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 
Angie Stone
(Singer-songwriter)

Angie Stone
2
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.

 49 
Sevyn Streeter
(Singer-songwriter)

Sevyn Streeter
2
Birthdate: July 7, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Haines City, Florida Haines City, Florida, U.S.

 50 
Labi Siffre
(Known Compositions Include ‘It Must Be Love’, ‘Crying Laughing Loving Lying’, and ‘So Strong’)

Labi Siffre
2
Birthdate: June 25, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England