The Greatest Female Singers of All Time, Ranked

This article appeared in and has been published here with permission.
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Music has given us many memorable voices including the number of incredibly talented women who have stepped up to the mic to bring us some remarkable songs. Their voices echo throughout arenas and our hearts, staying in our heads for hours, days, years, and sometimes even generations. Out of the thousands of female singers who have recorded songs, these are the top 40 talented women who stand out from the rest.

Doris Day

Beginning her career in 1939 as a big band singer, Doris Day found mainstream success in 1945. Her two big singles “Sentimental Journey” and “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time” were recorded with Les Brown & His Band of Renown, and spoke to many Americans.

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The blonde-haired beauty then left Brown to embark on a solo career, recording more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967. It was also during this time that Day ended up becoming one of the biggest names in film and was even a top box office earner four times.

Joan Baez

Born in 1941, Joan Chandos Baez grew up to become a singer-songwriter, musician, and activist. She was incredibly popular during the ’60s counterculture era. Although much of her music was associated with folk, it also encompassed rock, pop, country, and gospel.

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She also recorded the songs of many of the most popular bands of the day, and was even the first to record Bob Dylan. Internationally celebrated, Baez got her introduction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2017.

Debbie Harry

Born in Miami, Florida, Debbie Harry worked many jobs as a secretary and dancer before finding mainstream success for decades. In 1974, Harry formed the band Blondie and two years later they released their first album. Blondie released many albums throughout the decades.

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Most recently, the band’s 2017 album, Pollinator, actually topped number four in the United Kingdom, showing just how big of an impact Harry and Blondie have had.

Cyndi Lauper

With a career spanning over 40 years, it’s safe to say that many have loved the music of Cyndi Lauper. Her first album, She’s So Unusual, was released in 1983 and became the first debut album by a female artist to hit the top five most popular songs on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Two years later, Lauper got a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Since then, not only has she won many awards but she’s also sold over 50 million records around the world.