To paraphrase James Brown, this world wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl, and it’s true – where would we be without women? Not here, that’s for sure. For centuries, women have faced sexism and misogyny, especially in the music industry, for simply possessing a skill at an equivalent level – or, often, better – than their male counterparts. Thankfully, we are lucky enough to have an incredible record of female musicians, singers and songwriters who have stood the test of time and made history with their outstanding voices and unique ways of expressing universal truths. Here, then, are the 20 best female singers of all time.
Best Female Singers Of All Time: 20 Trailblazing Music Icons
Having long stood for female independence (her iconic “Mom, I am a rich man” quote has even been referenced by Taylor Swift), Cher has entertained audiences far and wide with her enviable jet-black hair, outrageous costumes, contralto voice and seeming inability to age. Initially making her mark on the music industry in the 60s, as part of the duo Sonny And Cher, she’s barely stopped since. With a discography that ranges from folk to disco, dance and rock music, the “Goddess Of Pop” has made comebacks in varying forms in just about every decade she’s been in the business. Making the once-controversial Auto-Tune a central part of the pop mainstream, Cher’s 1998 smash hit, Believe, is a pop masterpiece that still stands as one of the best-selling singles of all time. More recently, Cher reignited her acting career after appearing in the second instalment of the ABBA comedy-musical franchise, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, defying her age by singing, acting and dancing like a person many years younger.
Must hear: Believe