Wondering who the best singer in the world is? Knowing who sings best in the world is challenging since many singers have different styles and music lovers also have different tastes and preferences. However, some singers are extraordinarily gifted, and their songs have stood the test of time, entertaining and inspiring different generations. Such artists would undoubtedly feature among the best singers of all time.
Who is the best singer in the world right now? Singers have different competitive edges that make them stand out from the rest. While some artists will capitalise on their vocal prowess, others are excellent composers and rely on captivating lyrics to capture the attention of their fans. Here is a compilation of some of the best singers of all time.
10 best singers in the world
There are many talented singers worldwide, and opinions on who is the "best" can vary greatly. However, some singers who are considered to be among the best in the world include:
10. Mariah Carey
- Date of birth: 27 March 1969
- Age: 53 years old (as of January 2023)
Mariah is also referred to as the songbird supreme. She commenced her music career in 1990, debuting with the song Vision of Love. So far, the artist has 15 studio albums with numerous popular hits, such as Always Be My Baby, Fantasy, Emotions, All I Want for Christmas Is You, and We Belong Together. She stands out with her five-octave range and signature whistle register.
She has received numerous accolades, including five Grammy Awards, 19 World Music Awards, 10 American Music Awards, and 15 Billboard Music Awards.
9. James Brown
- Date of birth: 3 May 1933
- Date of death: 25 December 2006
James Joseph Brown had many honorific nicknames but was widely referred to as the Godfather of Soul. He started his music career as a gospel singer but later joined the Famous Flames group as the lead singer. His music career peaked in the 1960s, and he was known for hits such as I Got You, It’s Man’s Man’s World, Going To Death, and Living in America.
The artist won the BET Award in 2003 and three Grammy Awards, among other accolades.
8. Paul McCartney
- Date of birth: 18 June 1942
- Age: 80 years old (as of January 2023)
Paul gained prominence in the music industry with the Beatles, an English rock band. He later gained fame as a solo artist in 1970 after he released his first solo album, McCarthy. The English singer has 26 studio albums with several songs, like Let It Be, Hey Jude, Don’t Let Me Down, Here Comes the Sun, Come Together, and Twist and Shout.
Singer Paul McCartney has won 18 Grammy Awards and other prestigious awards, including Primetime Emmy Awards (2022) and BMI TV Music Award (2000, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1990, 1989, 1988).
7. Ella Fitzgerald
- Date of birth: 25 April 1917
- Date of death: 15 June 1996
Ella was also referred to as the First Lady of Song, and she won the hearts of many people with her purity of tone, phrasing, and impeccable diction. She commenced her career with the Chick Webb Orchestra and became famous after her rendition of the song A-Tisket, A-Tasket.
She went solo in 1942 but occasionally collaborated with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots. She had more than 40 studio albums and has received numerous awards and honours, including 13 Grammy Awards.
6. Frank Sinatra
- Date of birth: 12 December 1915
- Date of death: 14 May 1998
Sinatra began his music career in 1935, and his career peaked in the 1940s through to the 1960s. He was nicknamed The Chairman of the Board. He started by working as a solo artist and then joined the Rat Pack band. Frank is one of the world’s best-selling artists boasting approximately 150 million record sales.
Up to his death, he has about 159 studio albums and multiple hits such as That’s Life, Fly me to the Moon, My Way, and Strangers in the Night. The singer was a nine-time Grammy Award winner and four-time Golden Apple Award winner, among other coveted awards.
5. Aretha Franklin
- Date of birth: 25 March 1942
- Date of death: 16 August 2018
Who is the best female singer in the world? Aretha was dubbed the Queen of Soul, and her singing talent was discovered at a young age when she sang at a church choir in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The American female singer released several entertaining and award-winning songs in her more than five decades of music career. Her hits include A Natural Woman, Chain of Fools, Ever Changing Times, Until You Come Back To Me, and Don’t Play That Song.
The singer won 18 Grammy Awards and other valuable awards, such as Essence Awards (1993) and Image Awards (NAACP) (2015, 2008, 1997).
4. Freddie Mercury
- Date of birth: 5 September 1946
- Date of death: 24 November 1991
He is one of the greatest British singers and was known as the lead singer of the rock band Queen. He formed the band alongside Brian May and Rodger Taylor. Some of his notable hits with the group include Somebody to Love, Killer Queen, We Are the Champions, and Don’t Stop Me Now. The artist was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2001), the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2003), and the UK Music Hall of Fame (2004). He was number 58 in BCC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons.
3. Marvin Gaye
- Date of birth: 2 April 1939
- Date of death: 1 April 1984
He was nicknamed the Prince of Soul after he recorded success with the sound Motown in the 1960s. The artist had more than 20 studio albums and was known for hits such as Sexual Healing, What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, Mercy Mercy Me, and How Sweet It Is.
The singer won two Grammy Awards and was posthumously inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2. Stevie Wonder
- Date of birth: 13 May 1950
- Age: 72 years old (as of January 2023)
He is a child prodigy and signed with the record label Motown when he was 11. His first single, Fingertips, topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963, making him the youngest artist to top the chart. His music career peaked in the 1970s, and he released more than 20 studio albums. His greatest hits include Lately, Living for the City, Overjoyed, Happy Birthday, Isn’t She Lovely, and I Just Called to Say I Love You.
He is one of the most decorated singers of all time, with 25 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
1. Michael Jackson
- Date of birth: 29 August 1958
- Date of death: 25 June 2009
Jackson is probably the best male singer in the world and was referred to as the King of Pop. He debuted in the music industry in 1964 alongside his brothers and later went solo in 1971 after signing with Motown records. Over his more than four decades career, he released numerous music albums, with Thriller being the best-selling album of all time. Jackson still holds the record of the most-awarded musician in history.
The artist has 13 Grammy Awards, among other notable awards such as American Music Awards, Brit Awards, and Soul Train Awards.
Other contenders of the best singers in the world
The music industry has seen great singers over the years. Undoubtedly, the list of the best ten would be limiting because many artists are top contenders. Here are other great singers worth mentioning.
- Elton John
- Whitney Houston
- Diana Ross
- Celine Dion
- Janice Joplin
- Robert Plant
- Tina Turner
- Elvis Presley
With many talented singers worldwide, it is arduous to come up with a list of the best ten singers of all time. However, the above singers have stood out in their careers, showing extraordinary singing prowess and winning multiple awards and honours. The artists have inspired generations and influenced them with their style of music.
Legit.ng published about the quickest rappers in the world. The hip-hop industry has produced talented rap artists with incredible rap speeds. Some are so fast that you can barely grasp a word from their lyrics.
From underground hip-hop to mainstream hip-hop, artists have always strived to be the best in the rap game. Over the years, the title of the best rapper in the world has been claimed by different individuals. Here is a list of some of the notable rap artists.