On January 1st, Rolling Stone magazine revealed the 200 greatest singers of all time, celebrating the “vocalists that have shaped history and defined our lives — from smooth operators to raw shouters, from gospel to punk, from Sinatra to Selena to SZA.”
Shortly after the ranking came out, people expressed shock and outrace at the absence of Celine Dion from the list, but the magazine had foreseen the internet’s displease and distinguished from the beginning between great voices and great singers, clarifying that this ranking is about people who “remade the world just by opening their mouth”.
Talent is impressive; genius is transcendent.Rolling Stone Magazine
The writers informed that, compared to previous editions, this year’s list was not put together by the same voting process, which gave most of the results in the classic rock and singers from the Sixties and Seventies categories. Instead, members of their staff and key contributors encompassed “100 years of pop music as an ongoing global conversation, where iconic Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar lands between Amy Winehouse and Johnny Cash, and salsa queen Celia Cruz is up there in the rankings with Prince and Marvin Gaye”.
In all cases, what mattered most to us was originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy.Rolling Stone Magazine
Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin was deservedly named the greatest singer of all time. “A force of nature. A work of genius. A gift from the heavens. Aretha Franklin’s voice is all that and more, which is why she remains the unchallenged Queen, years after her final bow”, Rolling Stone says about the artist.
The youngest person to ever feature on the greatest dingers of all time is Billie Eilish. Ranking at number 198, she was included on the list for “opting for subtlety instead of force or volume”, her restraint making the big emotions in her writing all the more intense.
You should take your time to explore all the 200 timeless artists, but below are the 10 greatest singers of all time.