Famous Black Soul Singers

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 1 
Aretha Franklin
(One of the Best-Selling Music Artists in the World & 'Queen of Soul')
Aretha Franklin
6
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 
Marvin Gaye
(Known as the 'Prince of Soul' and Popular for His Song 'Sexual Healing')
Marvin Gaye
4
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.

 3 
James Brown
(Central Progenitor of Funk Music and Referred to as 'Godfather of Soul')
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.

 4 
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.

 5 
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.

 6 
Jennifer Hudson
(Singer & Actress Known for Her Role in the Musical 'Dreamgirls')
Jennifer Hudson
4
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Jennifer Hudson shot to fame after reaching the finals of the third season of American Idol. She is known for her Academy Award-winning role of Effie White in Dreamgirls. She also won the Grammy twice, one for her self-titled debut album and the other for the musical The Color Purple
 7 
Khalid (Singer)
(Best Known for His Debut Studio Album 'American Teen')
Khalid (Singer)
4
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.

 8 
Sade
(Frontwoman of the Soul Band Sade)
Sade
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.

 9 
Vanessa Williams
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
 10 
Donna Summer
(Singer-Songwriter)
Donna Summer
4
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012
 11 
Isaac Hayes
(Singer-songwriter)
Isaac Hayes
4
Birthdate: August 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Covington, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 10, 2008
 12 
Berry Gordy
(Record Executive)
Berry Gordy
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, MichiganDetroit, Michigan, United States
 13 
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.

 14 
Cynthia Erivo
(Actress)
Cynthia Erivo
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockwell, London, England, United Kingdom
 15 
Teddy Pendergrass
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingstree, South Carolina, USA
Died: January 13, 2010
 16 
Macy Gray
(Singer-songwriter)
Macy Gray
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States
 17 
Jill Scott
(Singer-songwriter)
Jill Scott
3
Birthdate: April 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
 18 
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.
 19 
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.

 20 
Leon Bridges
(Singer-songwriter)
Leon Bridges
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
 21 
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
 22 
D'Angelo
(Singer-songwriter)
D'Angelo
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
 23 
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
 24 
Anderson Paak
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oxnard, California, U.S.
 25 
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.

 26 
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
 27 
LeToya Luckett
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
 28 
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
 29 
Alex Newell
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lynn, Massachusetts, United States
 30 
Aaron Neville
(Singer & Musician)
Aaron Neville
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
 31 
Johnny Gill
(Singer-songwriter)
Johnny Gill
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington DC
 32 
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
 33 
Jazmine Sullivan
(R&B Singer-Songwriter Known for Her Debut Album 'Fearless')
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.

 34 
Lou Rawls
(R&B Singer Famous for His Luxurious Baritone Singing Voice and Four-Octave Vocal Range)
Lou Rawls
3
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.

 35 
Gerald Levert
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: November 10, 2006
 36 
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.

 37 
Dennis Edwards
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fairfield, Alabama, United States
Died: February 1, 2018
 38 
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.

 39 
India Arie
(Singer)
India Arie
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, USA
 40 
Tank
(Singer)
Tank
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 41 
Betty Wright
(R&B and Soul Singer Known for Singles: ‘Tonight Is the Night’ and ‘Clean up Woman')
Betty Wright
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Died: May 10, 2020

Bessie Regina Norris, better known as Betty Wright, ruled the American gospel, R&B, and soul scene for 6 decades. The Grammy-winning artist joined her family gospel group at age 2, gained fame with the track Clean Up Woman at 17, and had her own record label by the 1980s.

 42 
Jody Watley
(Singer)
Jody Watley
2
Birthdate: January 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 43 
Merry Clayton
(Gospel Singer Known for Her 1969 Duet with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones Song ‘Gimme Shelter')
Merry Clayton
2
Birthdate: December 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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.

 44 
Anthony Hamilton
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Charlotte, North Carolina, US
 45 
Brent Faiyaz
(Singer)
Brent Faiyaz
0
Birthdate: September 19, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Columbia, Maryland, United States
 46 
Beverley Knight
(Contemporary R&B singers)
Beverley Knight
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wolverhampton, England
 47 
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
 48 
Kelly Price
(R&B and Gospel Singer Known for Her Big, Powerful, and Emotional Voice)
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.

 49 
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. 

 50 
Angie Stone
(R&B and Soul Singer Best Known as the Former Member of the Hip Hop Trio 'The Sequence')
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.