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The Top 50 Modern Female Vocalists You Should Know

Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.


I dislike new independent music sites because they tend to only mention a handful of female vocalists. I'm sure there's a number of reasons for this. Perhaps it's because the entertainment industry is predominantly full of males. Maybe it's much easier to find male bands, artists, and vocalists. After a great deal of research, I discovered that marketing schemes are under-representing the market for great female talent.

I think this gives a very slanted portrayal of women in music and, though there are admittedly several entertaining female performers on the top billboard lists, I think the audience needs help finding the real organic feminine voice in independent movements. I think this is important for music lovers to be aware of. Though many musicians may not be canonized on the more popular media charts and award shows, addressing unique female artists allows society to have a more realistic view of voice, and, for those of us who are singers, we need to be listening to what's out there to be able to replicate it in our own voices and to develop ears that really can differentiate between the mediocre and the excellent.

The following is an attempt to bring more awareness to the impressiveness of the female voice. At the heart of all social awareness is the need for voice representation, so how fitting for us to analyze the feminine singing voice. Now I present to you the top 50 modern female artists that you should know.

(P.S. Some of the ladies this article will be much more mainstream than others, but they all offer something deep and deserve recognition.)

Top Modern Female Vocalists

  1. Susanne Sundfør
  2. Sia Furler
  3. Mai Yamane
  4. Florence Welch aka Florence and the Machine
  5. Janelle Monáe
  6. Angela Aki
  7. Kimbra Johnson aka Kimbra
  8. Mathangi Aruloragasam aka M.I.A.
  9. Kristen Chenowith
  10. Lea Salonga

Top Modern Female Vocalists # 11-50


11. Tori Amos

25. Maaya Sakamoto

39. Joyce Jonathan

12. Jewel

26. Ke$ha

40. Katie White

13. Beth Gibbons aka Portishead

27. Émilie Simon

41. Leslie Feist aka Feist

14. Leona Lewis

28. Ellie Goulding

42. Lykke Li

15. Katie Melua

29. Jessie Ware

43. Lucia Maria

16. Regina Spektor

30. Beatrice Martin aka Coeur de Pirate

44. Anna Ternheim

17. Jade Castrinos

31. Eska Mtungwazi

45. Shingai Shoniwa aka Noisettes

18. Fiona Apple

32. Ane Brun

46. Martha Tilston

19. Imogen Heap

33. Johanna Söderberg and Klara Söderberg aka First Aid Kit

47. Victoria Legend aka Beach House

20. Régine Chassagne aka Arcade Fire

34. Lisa Wisznia

48. Alison Goldfrapp aka Goldfrapp

21. Claire Boucher aka Grimes

35. Lily Rose Cooper aka Lily Allen

49. Annie Clark aka St. Vincent

22. Charice Pempengco

36. Amy Winehouse

50. Yolandi Vi$$er aka Die Antword

23. Adele Adkins aka Adele

37. Björk

24. Amie Ann Duffy aka Duffy

38.Karen Orzolek aka Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs

1. Susanne Sundfør

Born: 19 March 1986

Age: 32

Years Active: 2005–present

Associated Acts: Hypertext, Röyksopp, M83

Bio: Hailing from Norway, the 27 year old is head and shoulders above most other singers. She has one of the most fascinating and beautiful voices on the planet. With a mastery of jazz and classical music, she is able to sing with a full understanding of how music works while also transcending it to be free flowing. Her recent album "The Silicone Veil" asks existential questions about how we modify ourselves into these plastic masks to be accepted socially and how, in the end, we wish to be freed of the silicone surgeries that ensnare our generation.

This is music that will cause you to stop and think, to feel deep emotions, to question the sex trade, to ponder the reality of religion, and to wonder what is the state of our world. She has already done work with Röyksopp and M83 (two of the best bands in the business). There have been rumors that while playing in Norway other Norwegian artists would start crying when hearing her—both because she is several leagues above them, but also because her music is so moving and beautiful." One of her influences is Radiohead, which I find noticeable and impressive in that she can replicate the band into her style, as it is also gratifying to hear a feminine match to Thom Yorke... that isn't to say she is a copycat for she definitely offers and delivers something new to the table, and is perhaps a great deal more positive in lyrical meaning than her influence.

Her voice is truly angelic in its full capability of expression. She commands and allows it to be free in some of the most chilling and unforgettable ways.

Don't trust the ones who love you

'Cause if you love them back

They'll always disappoint you

It's just a matter of fact

— Susanne Sundfør

2. Sia Furler

Born: December 18, 1975

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Age: 42

Years Active: 1993–present

Associated Acts: Zero 7, JD Samson. Sean Paul, etc.

Bio: Beginning her career in a karaoke bar in Italy with an impressive version of "Lean on Me," Sia has one of the most soulful, authentic, joyful, and innovative voices of all time. She lent her voice to several tracks for Zero 7, creating some of the their most profound songs. In her performances, she comes off unafraid, willing to thrust herself into artistry, with a deep sense for compassion and social rights, while also maintaining an aura of utter happiness.

Her work with David Guetta has created some of the most prolific pop music of the past couple of years with vocal lines that most singers should be hesitant to try and mimic. Recently, she has become a common household name in the United States and abroad, but her career has been steadily taking off in her home country of Australia for many more years. She has written and collaborated on songs for such musicians as Madonna, Ke$ha, Rihanna, and Christina Aguilera.

Her creative soul leaves a golden impression on everything she touches, and her attitude is sunshine. She currently has five studio albums as a solo artist. Her ballads are rich and her dance-pop is electric. When she belts, it has a certain ring of truth to it that most artists will never find. I would pay good money for her to collaborate with Daft Punk... I must admit, I'm actually fairly disappointed in a lot of friends I have who have never even heard of her name.

My goal is to give girls and boys a different idea of expression. It's not always about looking pretty or cute. It's about expressing yourself however that may be, even if that's being silly or goofy or weird.

— Sia Furler

3. Mai Yamane

Born: October 9, 1958

Age: 60

Years Active: 1980–present

Associated Acts: New Archaic Smile

Bio: Have you ever seen Cowboy Bebop? She's the main female vocalist. She has one of the strongest blues, jazz voices in the world. There's only so many artists that can work with the renowned composer Yoko Kanno and be able to pull of the sheer brilliance of her compositions, and Mai Yamane is one of them. Her live versions of the song, "Blue" are riveting, they draw you in until you feel like your head is going to explode.

She has one of these uniquely powerful voices that only comes once every hundred years. She has a voice that transcends most other singers in the amount of depth it carries. It has a power that sounds like it comes from far away in a deep part of the universe. Mai Yamane has an incredible voice that fits snuggly for rock. One example would be her great performances with the Seatbelts. She also has a voice that can easily make orchestra or symphony recordings all the more powerful. She commands her voice in ways that most women will never be gutsy enough to try, and it has a distinct maturity it to it that gives me shivers. Her voice is an integral part of the Cowboy Bebop aesthetic. Her song "Rain" helps make for one of the best animated episodes I have ever seen. I think she could practically command storms with her voice.

The video below might not be her best performance, but I think this song shows that this woman has magnitude. A freakish amount of magnitude.

4. Florence Welch aka Florence and the Machine

Born: August 28, 1986

Age: 32

Years Active: 2006–present

Associated Acts: Florence and the Machine

Bio: I love that her band has a harp. More importantly, she has an incredible voice that has a great deal of dynamic range to it as well as a unique signature sound. She's lent her voice to various film soundtracks lately from "The Great Gatsby" to "Snow White and the Huntsman." Her lyrics are great poetry, creating mental landscapes and a profound feeling of the spiritual. Her mother was an art history professor, which I think influenced Florence to some degree as she seems like she escaped from a romantic painting from the 19th century. Her attire is usually vibrant, her performances are highly free spirited, and she always carries a smile. I think she has an incredible amount of power to her voice, and her mid range has a noticeable beauty to it.

She intends to sing music that has big themes, such as sex, death, violence, and love. Her lyrics will still be relevant hundreds of years from now. Her band's title started off as a joke and, when needing a name, she actually gave the name "Florence Robot/Isa Machine." Her claim to fame really began when she sang, while inebriated, Etta James' "Something Gotta Hold On Me" in the bathroom of a club with her soon to be production manager. Growing up she read more about fashion than music, which may account for the eclectic style.

A great deal of her two albums "Lungs" and "Ceremonials" has to do with her relationship with Stuart Hammond that do to career demands did not work out.

Sometimes I wish for falling

Wish for the release

Wish for falling through the air

To give me some relief

— Florence Welch

5. Janelle Monáe

Born: December 1, 1985

Age: 32

Years Active: 2003–present

Associated Acts: Janelle Monáe

Bio: Honestly, I find it baffling that Janelle is not substantially more popular. She has an eloquence to her voice. She isn't afraid to sound off, and her rap skills are paramount. A great deal of her musical career has paid homage to the 1927 science fiction film "Metropolis," a film which receives a great deal of controversy for some of its thematic elements, but, nonetheless, it's a fascinating German Expressionist film.

Her style of music exudes a mix of retro and ahead of its time appeal, making it plausible that she "defies every label." Everything she offers to the music world is pure perfection. Her music videos are filled with spontaneity and dance prowess. I think she is a rarity in form and easily one of the hardest performers to replicate from her style, sound, dance, and admittedly... facial expressions. Also, I think it would be a travesty if artists started copycatting her as her uniqueness is what I feel is her trump card (not that I think anyone could mimic her with justice anyway).

She creates a unique experience that questions society's intermingling of ideas on feminism and cyborg technology. It's intellectual honesty in a world of decayed music. All of her songs jam hard. They come from a world that doesn't seem like the present, but is definitely liberating in how much it presents the idea of the free individual self. She's one of the few women who can wear a tux and somehow still own it like a woman.

I feel myself becoming the fearless person I have dreamt of being. Have I arrived? No. But I'm constantly evolving and challenging myself to be unafraid to make mistakes.

— Janelle Monáe

6. Angela Aki

Born: September 15, 1977

Age: 41

Years Active: 1999–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: Both an accomplished pianist and vocalist, Angela is a garden of pure, touching music. Her vocals were used in Final Fantasy XII.

She is quite possibly endowed with one of the purest, most crystal clear, resonant voices in the world. She is one of the rare performers that can strip away all the theatrics and simply be cut down to the vocal self. She speaks with a maternal innocence that not only sends shivers down my spine, but she has flawless control as she sings from her low registers to her upper registers. She has the voice of a songbird and sounds lovely in Japanese or English. I have never found a live performance of hers that didn't have beauty written into every measure. She can spring with a sudden intense amount of emotion that rises into the spiritual.

I'm not sure what thoughts she communicates in with her mind as she sings, but I find it awe inspiring. I love the intonation she brings to her words, and find it exciting how she can build off her voice to transcend more and more. She comes to the piano as herself, in glasses, generally jeans, and her voice inevitably fills up my ears as if it were the London Symphony Orchestra. She hasn't forgotten the type of lyrics that matter, which build in powerful narratives. It really does need to be noted that she has absolute gorgeousness in the way she sings into her various different registers. Ladies, purity definitely has undeniable power.

7. Kimbra Johnson aka Kimbra

Born: 27 March 1990

Age: 28

Years Active: 2000–present

Associated Acts: Kimbra

Bio: Holy mother she is good and is freshly into her career at 23. Kimbra is one of the most inventive musicians on the market with a dynamic voice range and capacity to jump across various styles. Americans started knowing her when she was featured on the infamous Goyte song "Somebody I Used to Know", but those in New Zealand and Australia already had a taste of her insanely impressive looping, jazz, syncopation, and powerful sense of performance.

She puts her whole self into what she sings, and she enters a special internal world to bring back the emotions for her songs. Her live performances found on youtube are absolutely amazing to watch, and often are flawless. Her music director Guy Franklin is definitely assisting in helping the name of Kimbra come alive as he creates the stunningly beautiful and often times classy videos.

It's truly amazing that a pop artist can actually be classy, so I hope she keeps this edge about her. Besides Goyte, she's also collaborated with "Foster the People" and "Miami Horror", two wonderfully technologic, grooving bands. When I watch her perform, I feel like she's attempting to bare her soul the best way possible and it seems that she finds this space internally making her performances all the more rich, especially when she already has a voice that invites you to listen. Her innovation to music is heralding a new sense of sound for our coming decade.

My process is to be by myself when I record. It's quite an emotional performance to pull off when someone else is in the room. I prefer to go away and have my own time with it, bring it in later.

— Kimbra

8. Mathangi Aruloragasam aka M.I.A.

Born: 18 July 1975

Age: 43

Years Active: 1999–present

Associated Acts: Deize Tigrona, Diplo, The Weeknd, Madonna, Rye Rye, Cavemen, Afrikan Boy, Switch, Blaqstarr, The Partysquad, Zayn

Bio: Mathangai is a British born, rap master, lyrical genius, rhythm powerhouse, and all around badass—she is one of the most awesome, fresh personalities in music period.

Clearly, by being so original, she is able to bring awareness to some of the most complicated issues in the world (particularly of the Middle East), and she is down right crazy, not because of her fashion wardrobe as many mediocre singers have made their claim, but because this woman dares to do unthinkable actions that in the providence of liberation could get her killed, like in her Bad Girls music video that focalizes on the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, a place where a woman can be killed for driving a car, Mathangi plays off the idea in one of the most impressive stunt videos ever, where she literally lays on her side on a car traveling with two wheels up in the air. She's a bona fide musician who continually pumps out some of the best hooks, like in "Paper Planes." Her attitude is honestly something I wish could project, but in my nerdy librarian ways, I could never match the sheer awesomeness of how she expresses her femininity.

She is a linguistic master. Her tongue-tying songs find their root in catchy yet complex sequences. Her music always stands out because she's attempting to arrive at her sound in ways most women would find unappealing or not prim enough. Her femininity doesn't reflect masculinity taking over like in so many other projections of the self -- she's just badass feminine.

You have to constantly redefine who you are.

— M.I.A.

9. Kristen Chenowith

Born: July 24, 1968

Age: 50

Years Active: 1992–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: Oklahoma raised Kristen Chenowith is a breath of fresh air with an incredible set of operatic trained pipes that can also easily slide into musical theater or country music. Her performances on Glee are some of the show's best (even after a few more seasons with other exceptional artists).

There's no one really quite like Kristen. She is a wondrously enjoyable soul both for her sense of humor and her jaw dropping vocals. She is someone that sings who looks like they are having a complete utter blast. What's impressive is she doesn't take herself so serious; she can be down to earth, laugh at herself, and open to conversation. For someone to successfully go through an opera training program, Broadway, and television it obviously shows that someone has an incredibly endearing personality.

There's few people in this world who can be as entertaining as Kristen. She doesn't just sing, she applies a large dosage of character. She is a great example of how training at the collegiate level can lead to success (also that by being open to possibilities one's voice can take on a whole pantheon of emotion). Though her opera instructor was not thrilled that she picked musical theater over opera, it is more evident than anything that Kristen cannot be tied down to one medium—she's too freakishly talented and infectious. She's like a beautiful fairy that somehow grew up with us messed up humans.

If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.

— Kristen Chenowith

10. Lea Salonga

Born: February 22, 1971

Age: 47

Bio: She is the singing voice of both Princess Jasmine and Mulan, the original Miss Saigon. She is one of the absolute most wonderful voices to ever bless the planet and quite possibly the best Eponine to ever grace the stage.

The texture of her voice is of princess quality, she's an incredibly fast learner, but more awesomely... she is gracious. She has an incredible way of seeming light in her voice and then creating this intense amount of energy. It's no wonder why she was given the absolutely huge roles of Jasmine and Mulan among others. She's lovely in every way, and is a voice that if any woman is trying to study, is worth listening to on repeat and trying to mimic. I, as a child, would sing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin as much as I possibly could, finding that her inflectional instincts made singing seem easy and wondrous. I think she has one of the kindest demeanors, but has one of the biggest voices.

She began her musical debut at the age of seven in a rendition of the "King and I," by Repertory Philippines. Her big debut clearly was that of "Miss Saigon" where the British producers looked throughout various countries for an appropriate Asian singer... and, like always, she melted their hearts. She received a Tony Award among other musical theater awards, and for her role as Jasmine, "A Whole New World" ending up winning the acclaimed Oscar. (She is also an avid video game enthusiast!)

Love your enemies... it's not always an easy tenet to live by... and I have more often than not been inclined to wish my enemies ill than well.

— Lea Salonga

11. Tori Amos

Born: August 22, 1963

Age: 55

Years Active: 1979–present

Associated Acts: Y Kant Tori Read

Bio: Outstanding woman of achievement who has been blasting tunes since the late '70s. Her looks and voice have kept up as she approaches her fifties, and she holds her guard with deep, dark piano arrangement, and her mezzo voice that suddenly thrusts it's creative impact in these bell like higher notes that she sustains.

"Cornflake Girl" is one of my favorite songs with its fantastic transitions into various emotional riffs. She's one of the few elite women who have secured five albums in the top 10 Billboard on debut. Surprisingly, the woman is unable to sightread music but rather prefers to pick up music by ear. There's very few women who can articulate darkness while still remaining pure in tone. She has a unique, powerful voice that has stayed incredibly well over time. I love that her rock, indie-folk type music is daringly complicated. I think that because of her complexity in music she's actually appreciated in a wide amount of circles from the more classically trained to rock-punk bands.

She exudes ethereal mysticism. Many of her lyrics are stepped in legend, myth, and folktale giving her the advantage of having songs based on narrative. She almost looks like the mother of Florence Welch, and if we were to draw similarities between these two artists, I think we would find many striking similarities from the type of music that they share to the types of themes and story worlds addressed in their songs. She is quite the impressive lady.

Give me life, give me pain, give me myself again.

— Tori Amos

12. Jewel

Born: May 23, 1974

Age: 44

Years Active: 1994–present

Associated Acts: The Rugburns, Joseph Brent

Bio: This Alaska native is one of the first women I tried to replicate with my voice as a young girl. I was flattered by her lyrics, the way she'd belt with that loud folk vibrato, and the depth of her low notes to high notes. "Barcelona" is too low for me as a singer, but I did learn a great deal by copying this artist. She's versatile, humble, and has one of the sweetest and yet most powerful voices. She dominated the 90s in my opinion, and I'm glad she was a role model to me over other pop sensations. She's sung love ballads, pop songs, country, and folk. The messages of her songs dig deep on both romantic and spiritual sides. She's never needed a great deal of fashion or merchandise because her voice speaks for itself.

I've enjoyed reminiscing about her songs and even found myself lost in hits that I haven't heard in years like "Who Will Save Your Soul", "You Were Meant For Me and I Was Meant for You", "Foolish Games", and "Hands." I find her comforting on a day by myself cleaning and thinking about my young self attempting to sing and grow my voice at the age of nine or ten. I have a lot to thank for Jewel because still in my mind I refer back to her and enjoy thinking of the stories I knew about her from road trips across the country to living in a van. Her music was noticeably refreshing even in my young musical years.

Forgiveness is the needle that knows how to mend.

— Jewel

13. Beth Gibbons aka Portishead

Born: January 4, 1965

Age: 53

Years Active: 1991–present

Associated Acts: Portishead

Bio: Many of the women on this list have stated that at some point in their career that Portishead was one of their influences. The band has been around for more than 20 years, but I think for many people they still ignorantly don't know the name.

in large part, trip hop owes much to Beth Gibbons (they even inspired my favorite band, Zero 7). It's music that highlights what the '90s had to offer. They are still popular today. It combines dark, eloquent vocals with a myriad of instruments, smoothness, and real, open raw emotion. I feel like Portishead is what you find in your adulthood, not likely as a child. Beth Gibbons's voice gives the band it's signature sound, as she gives this unreal quality to it that's both haunting and jazz like.

Her tone is definitely heavier than most music, and it's probably too compelling for radio play, but fits at a low key setting—whether at a party, or in a dark room late at night.

Beth Gibbons's voice conveys the emotions of being fragile, yet strong, dark, yet self-reflective, sultry, yet, somehow, refreshingly honest. From disturbing to romantic, Beth's voice offers so much. She is able to pull off so many shades of emotion. I think the charm of Portishead is how they have so much range, making it feel as though the music comes from the 1920s, the '90s, and today. It is not the sounds of my parents' generation by any means.

I am a very sensitive person, very impulsive and emotional.

— Beth Gibbons

14. Leona Lewis

Born: April 3, 1985

Age: 33

Years Active: 2004–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: The wondrous rich diva voice who came to fame in England on X Factor and has had her voice contributed to the Final Fantasy anthology. Basically, if you're voice is selected by Final Fantasy you're an automatically beautiful sounding voice. Leona Lewis, with a four octave range, practices opera (she's technically a mezzo-soprano). Though she has the diva kind of voice, she doesn't seem to have the diva attitude that many of her influences have had before her. As far as we know from the media, she's a genuinely nice person and easy to work with. "Bleeding Love" became the number one song in over 30 countries in 2008, and became the bestselling single.

She initially trained in opera, but then later moved to jazz and blues and ultimately... pop. Her "demos were recorded under license from UEG Entertainment, later included on an album called Best Kept Secret. None of Lewis's demos brought her significant attention, however, and she considered taking a hiatus from her music career to attend university. Then her boyfriend persuaded her to enter The X Factor which subsequently severed her connections with UEG."

This would be a strong example of what the reality television shows can actually do, and may be the best results of any of them from Star Search to The Voice. Leona's influences stretch from Mariah Carey to Eva Cassidy.

I think it's always important to be vigilant of what you're doing and aware of your surroundings.

— Leona Lewis

15. Katie Melua

Born: September 16, 1984

Age: 34

Years Active: 2003–present

Associated Acts: Mike Batt

Bio: She's a blues, jazz, folk-pop artist and I often wonder if she's from another time period (I'm not sure if she'd be from the past or the future).

She's from Georgia, Soviet Union and moved to England becoming one of the predominate female vocal artists. Her voice is as clear as a bell. It has a warmth and richness to it that could potentially be bubbly, but, instead, comes off sultry. She's a exudes a sense of femininity, I wish many of her songs would play in coffee shops or that coffee shop singers would take a note from her book. She's not one of the most provocative artists. Instead, she relies on her natural good looking face and fairy-like voice.

Her desire, if she were to go to college, would be to take English literature, history, or physics. I love when celebrities want to go to school to study out a passion of theirs. Bravo to her for wanting to study literature! If anything could enlighten music as well as literature, I would like to know what that would be.

The lovely lady is an adrenaline junkie who enjoys skydiving, rollercoasters, and the like. Melua was also featured in a Grindhouse trailer, written by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and directed by Edgar Wright. She entered the Guinness Book of World Records for having the deepest underwater concert at 303 metres below sea level on the Norwegian Statoil's Troll A platform in the North Sea. Melua later described achieving the record as "the most surreal gig I have ever done."

You can't let critics dictate what you do.

— Katie Melua

16. Regina Spektor

Born: February 18, 1980

Age: 38

Years Active: 2001–Present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: Fearless, fearless Regina. She will express her voice in whatever way she possibly can with a richness that reminds me of a clarinet. She definitely understands voice and showcases a pretty high level of degree in the musicality department. I enjoy her strength in creating rich narratives with her lyrics and her unique voice. I honestly feel that any kind of style could be thrown to this woman and somehow with her incredible brains she would figure it out, undeniably. She often uses scat or syllables rather than words in her songs. She does well to build off a simple motif and repeat it into a large storm of sound and meaning.

"She grew up listening to classical music and famous Russian Bards like Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava. She was also exposed to rock-and-roll bands such as The Beatles, Queen, and The Moody Blues by her father, who obtained such recordings in Eastern Europe and traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union."

If there was just Regina's voice and no instrumental accompaniment, I think she could still fill up a room by looping her voice or just a cappella. I think this shows her cleverness and her ability to listen and mimic not only the voices of other singers, but also of instruments and ambience. This shows that she is an attentive listener and constantly applies her ear to various parts of the music world.

Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light.

— Regina Spektor

17. Jade Castrinos

Years Active: 2005 – Present

Bio: She is the front lady for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. She has a rich voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin (as you can tell in the below video). This is one of the few ladies on the list who I've actually seen perform live. She has a presence that is undeniably humble, serene, and overall heartwarming. Her chemistry with Alex on stage is worth seeing. Her voice fits into the rock and folk worlds beautifully, and I hope that as the Magnetic Zeros stay in operation that she will have more time to shine out with her incredible pipes. She's a rare gem, with a vibrant voice that mimics other instruments well. She's a deep soul who contributes to one of the greatest bands we have today. Why she doesn't take lead more often is a mystery to me, but she has an absolutely incredible set of vocal chords.

In going back to when I saw her live, what fascinated me about her is that she didn't really care to be in the spotlight. She was incredibly humble, and allowed mistakes to be a part of her performances. She focused on her own personal internal world as she sang, and really came to life with the encouragement of the band, and dancing with Alex. I loved seeing these more introverted and introspective aspects during a musical performance. These types of things are usually only seen during the creation process, not during the performance . She was being herself and didn't even try to be anything other than that.

The people in town now just wake up to see her, for

When she smiles they all feel the power

The strong men, the children and even the cowards

Know Jade is the Girl of the Hour

— Jade Castrinos

18. Fiona Apple

Born: September 13, 1977

Age: 41

Years Active: 1994–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: I remember, several years ago, in the '90s when the Spice Girls were played frequently. In my eight year old ways, I found MTV and there was this skinny teenager named Fiona Apple singing to some song called "Criminal." I didn't know what the crap was happening, but I thought, "Whoa, she's all kinds of crazy... crazy cool."

Fiona is hypnotic, ensnaring, and has that low alto voice that mocks little girls in tutus (which not that I ever really did ballet, but I was often in dresses for Sunday school).

Not only is the timbre of her voice a whole breadth of its own beastly awesome, but she really doesn't need that much background instrumental persuasion, if at all. "Every Single Night" is about as close to her singing a capella as their could be, and it doesn't make you want to run and scream—it invites you to listen as she artistically uses that voice that sounds faintly wounded and disturbed. She has a cavalier that other singers that have lasted from the '90s don't exude at all (partly because if anyone tried to make her be a pop princess, it would be the most grotesque flattening of her sophisticated offerings).

Fiona Apple is like the authentic girl in a high school English class full of inauthentic teenagers. She's the one who, when she stands to read Shakespeare or some other enlightened piece of literature, the whole class is spellbound by (or somewhat confused by, because of her profundity—like a mature version of something we wish to be when we're all so strapped in tight to red lipstick, bras, and curling irons).

If I respect myself and believe in what I'm doing, no one can touch me.

— Fiona Apple

19. Imogen Heap

Born: 9 December 1977

Age: 40

Years Active: 1997–present

Associated Acts: Frou Frou

Bio: I was first introduced to Imogen through the film Garden State when she was in Frou Frou. It's near the end when Zach Braff's character and Natalie Portman's are at a critical point of deciding whether they should be together, and then the powerful tune of "Let Go" brings a certain realistic, unfair quality to the scene, helping it be one of the more powerful romantic endings I've seen in years.

If there's any woman who pulls off ethereal sounds with layered harmonies, it's Imogen. It's like she's a 19th century poet who time traveled into the future. She has a voice that seems as if its from nature, even if she is using a great degree of technology to create the magic of her act. I find it absolutely fascinating how she sings her low notes versus her upper range. She has a way of singing in a whisper that's so light and kindred that it really takes the stress away from me.

Early on, she did not get along with her music instructor, so she self-taught herself many skills, from learning how to sequence and music engineer her work to playing the guitar and drums. These are the skills that set her apart and make for that evanescent quality.

"I just love crafting and shaping sounds. Actually, many of the sounds that I work with start off as organic instruments—guitar, piano, clarinet, etc. But I do love the rigidity of electronic drums... I would record live drums, and then I would spend a day editing them to take the life out of them."

I do really silly dancing. I love dancing, but I'm not cool when I dance. It's not about my moves, it's not about how cool I am, it's not about how slick I look on the dance floor, it's about having a great time.

— Imogen Heap

20. Régine Chassagne aka Arcade Fire

Born: August 19, 1976

Age: 42

Years Active: 2000–present

Associated Acts: Arcade Fire

Bio: One of the founders of the mega band Arcade Fire, her voice brings back the excitement of the '80s. It makes my heart rejoice. This band holds some of the highest of high statuses in independent circles (though it has also received Grammy attention).

She part of the rebellious movement of the coy, loving hipster. This is what I would call some of the best art of the hipster movement. They have beautiful music that I feel is the best merge of folk, '80s, and modern electronic. In the video below, miss Chassagne shows the world what it's like to just be free, how to live, and how to make it look ravishingly good. It makes me want to go out and use sheets in a cinematic way. Her voice makes me feel as though I am a toddler dancing around in my pajamas in the '80s (it's divine meeting divine through and through).

She takes the lead on such songs for Arcade Fire as "Haiti," "In the Backseat," and "Sprawl II." Earlier in her life, she studied jazz at McGill University. Win Butler met her in 2000 when she had a performance at Concordia. Later, the two would be instrumental in starting Arcade Fire... and eventually wed. She also has worked with the band Les Jongleurs de la Mandragore, and a jazz band, Azúcar. She plays multiple instruments, including the xylophone, hurdy-gurdy, keyboards, and the organ. It is clear that music is her life. She lives and breathes it. Offers all of her tremendous talent to the world.

It's important to understand the work that's being done, and to make sure it's actually helping. And sometimes, by working on it myself, I get a better grasp of the challenges and complexities of the task, and I'm able to talk about it better. That's why a balance of actual work and awareness is good, because they feed each other.

— Régine Chassagne

21. Claire Boucher aka Grimes

Born: March 17, 1988

Age: 30

Years Active: 2007–present

Associated Acts: Grimes

Bio: Boucher is an industry leader in modern electronic synth. Claire Boucher has revolutionized and set a name for her voice.

A mostly soprano-esque voice, she has a memorable haunting appeal. Most of her songs are a dreamscape of electronic rhythms, childlike background vocals (she's actually a lot older than I thought), and fast paced spiritedness. I think this woman is taking a whole new approach to innovation with her ethereal voice. Both "Oblivion" and "Genesis" set her on the stage to be a musician to watch and see how her career transforms. Is she a reincarnated pop artist of the '80s? What are some of these dark underlying themes in some of her tracks? Her music has mesmerized many a soul already. I feel as though she has only begun to showcase her abilities.

"In April 2013, Grimes posted a written statement addressing her experience as a female musician in an industry rife with sexism and expressed disappointment that her feminist stance was often misinterpreted as anti-male." This statement expresses some of what she feels is wrong with the treatment of women in the music industry— often being seen as too weak to handle certain aspects of the business, having their body talked about inappropriately, and other unfortunate misogynic thoughts. I find the statement to be more enlightening of the terrors women go through to provide music, and that she who is not trying to be a pop sex icon is receiving rather unfair treatment. Thankfully, someone is seeing that music female icons should not have to adhere to being only a sexualized product.

I think I have serious latent Catholic guilt issues.

— Grimes

22. Charice Pempengco

Born: May 10, 1992

Age: 26

Years Active: 2005–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: What in the world is up with this young woman's pipes? They are truly, fabulously, off the charts more mature and enlightening than you would dare think.

If she continues to go on the path she's on, I can't wait to see what she'll sound like with a few more years under her belt. She hails from the Philippines and has been known as a sensation there for years. She came to fame in the United States when she came on the Oprah show, and even bigger fame when she was a frequent guest star on Glee. Her debut consisted of rivaling the show's big star Rachel Berry (Lea Michele)... Charice's character "Sunshine" was the first real female vocalist to give Rachel competition.

She was only in three episodes, but I hope the show will gladly have her comeback as she makes my eyes pop out of their sockets with her out of this world sense of voice. Even though she has had many religious songs come out, one of her biggest influences would be anti-religious Lady Gaga. Charice is growing up and I think is wanting to be edgier; though, I must say, as long as she is making her strong pipes noticeable, I honestly am not sure if she needs to have any edge. Nevertheless, I commend her for trying. During her "Note to God" performance on Oprah, she received a standing ovation and a teary applause from Oprah herself. Charice is also standing up for gay rights in part of the world that is much more closed off to the idea than in the States. It's nice to see someone combining aspects of God and homosexuality in a world that tries to separate the two.

Beyonce is one of my inspirations. Her attitude, her style, her voice... she's perfect.

— Charice Pempengco

23. Adele Adkins aka Adele

Born: 5 May 1988

Age: 30

Years Active: 2006–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: Yes, yes, yes! She is, in fact, very popular. She has several Grammy awards and consistently on the radio. Her voice definitely deserves a place on this list.

What I'd like to see Adele do is expand her range. Some of the higher up chicas on the list have a definite advantage in either creating something wholly new or being able to cover a wider range of styles. Adele's voice alone pushes her to a high seated position, but I'm not sure she's played with the frame of music long enough to break free and give us something groundbreaking and truly original. It is evident that she has a richness and profoundness to her voice, so I think now what needs to happen to make her as truly sensational as she can be is to expand her range. If she escapes being typecast as a soul singer, I think she will rise to be an ever brighter star as her career progresses.

It is definitely undeniable that she has richness to her vocals, especially on the long extended notes. I still remember her before she got super big with her "21" album, and I remember being shocked when I looked her up and found she was only in her twenties. Those pipes sound much, much more mature than someone born in the late '80s. And, to top that off, I thought her music was from another era.

The focus on my appearance has really surprised me. I've always been a size 14 to 16, I don't care about clothes, I'd rather spend my money on cigarettes and booze.

— Adele

24. Amie Ann Duffy aka Duffy

Born: 23 June 1984

Age: 34

Years Active: 2004–present

Associated Acts: Bernard Butler

Bio: Duffy became the first Welsh woman to achieve number-one on the UK Singles Chart since Bonnie Tyler topped the charts with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in 1983. She sings in a Blues style reminiscent of the 1960s. There's an obvious edge to her voice that's unmistakable. Her past life is quite compelling. Her stepfather's ex-wife hired an assassin to try to kill him (this didn't pan out), she's escaped a fire, and stole a rowboat as a youth. She has considered becoming a recluse as she has feared that fame would ruin her sense of self. Personal favorites of mine from her are "Mercy," "Warwick Avenue," and "Stepping Stone." She's my go to singer when I feel like I'm going to explode due to unrequited love in my life.

She was heavily influenced by her parents record collection. She immersed herself in the music of the day. Her album "Rockferry" was the best selling album in the U.K. in 2008. Duffy made a screen appearance with the 2010 film "Patagonia," a movie that connects Welsh and Argentine people together. In February 2011, it was announced that Duffy would take an extended hiatus from music before beginning work on her third album. Let's hope that the lovely dream pop artist returns sooner than later, as I'm probably going to need more tunes for when my heart is a mess.

25. Maaya Sakamoto

Born: March 31, 1980

Age: 38

Years Active: 1996–present

Associated Acts: Yoko Kanno, Shōko Suzuki, Yūho Iwasato, Rasmus Faber, School Food Punishment

Bio: She is a Japanese voice actress, singer-songwriter, and secret weapon of composer Yoko Kanno. Apparently, she is the official dub voice for actress Natalie Portman in Japan. If you look at her work on Wikipedia, you'll be impressed at how many works of art she has contributed to all by the age of thirty-three. Her voice has contributed to such anime hits as Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, hack//Sign, Wolf's Rain, and Death Note. She has eight studio albums all of her own.

"In 1996, she was given the role of Hitomi Kanzaki in the TV anime series The Vision of Escaflowne in 1996. In this anime she also made her debut as a singer under the production of Yoko Kanno, who was in charge of the soundtrack of the same anime. Under Kanno's production she made her debut as a singer with "Yakusoku wa Iranai", her first single released on April 24, 1996 that was also used as Escaflowne's opening theme. (If you haven't gotten it quite just yet, Yoko Kanno is one of the best composers in the entire world.)

This fine lady has done work for video games, television, musicals, and radio... seriously, you can't get this much work unless you are divine. One of my favorite people she collaborates with is Steve Conte; in "The Garden of Everything" it takes on a religious expression of the Garden of Eden mixing the lyrics with scientific knowledge, while also exploring the gender dichotomy. Her mixture of English and Japanese further helps to bring out the themes of the song.

Great All Female Bands

Band NameMembers

The Runaways

Joan Jett, Sandy West, Micki Steele, Lita Ford, Peggy Foster, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox, Vicki Blue, Laurie McAllister


Morgan Lander, Mercedes Lander, Tara McLeod


Liza Graves, Suzi Homewrecker, Jacqui Valentine, Danni Harrowyn, Bombshell Brenz, Jacquelynn Daniels

The Ronettes

Veronica Bennett, Estelle Bennett, Nedra Talley, Elaine Mayes, Chip Fields, Diane Linton

The Donnas

Allison Robertson, Maya Ford, Amy Cesari, Brett Anderson, Torry Castellano

Magenta Lane

Lexi Valentine, Nadia King, French

The Graces

Charlotte Caffey, Meredith Brooks, and Gia Ciambotti


June Millington, Alice de Buhr, Nickey Barclay, Brie Howard, Wendy Haas

7 Year Bitch

Selene Vigil-Wilk, Valerie Agnew, Stefanie Sargent, Roisin Dunne, Elizabeth Davis, Lisa Faye Beatty


Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss, Laura Macfarlane, Toni Gogin, Misty Farrell, Katie Harkin

26. Ke$ha

Born: March 1, 1987

Age: 31

Years Active: 2005–present

Associated Acts: Flo Rida, Macklemore, Pitbull

Bio: You are probably thinking... wow, I can't believe this auto-tune pop artist is on this list. But you would be wrong, she's far more complex than we see on a first impression.

For instance, back when she took the SAT she received a perfect score. The lady, as surprised as some of you may be, ain't dumb. She is one of the preeminent female rap singers, with a wide range of skills and actually... a beautiful voice, even though she's marketing her way through pop. Her fashion stunts can be crazy, such as creating garments out of human teeth (yikes!). She's a wild rockstar on her own journey, and though she's recently had fairly dark days in composing "Warrior," her abilities shouldn't be thrown to the wayside.

Her career is much different than other pop princesses as Ke$ha is a prolific lyricist and innovator with her own specific quirks. For instance, for her demo that she sent in, part of it was ad libbed rap that she ended up trailing off... which her producers saw as gutsy. She's worked with countless big names like Iggy Pop and the Flaming Lips, she seems to be having the time of her life, and I think she would be pretty real in person, if not enjoyable. People like working with her because she's infectious. I think there's more irony to her than meets the eye, beyond just the fact that she's a genius dancing around in a party cliché. She has a relentless momentum to her that goes past her pop identity.

I believe in karma, and I believe if you put out positive vibes to everybody, that's all you're going to get back.

— Ke$ha

27. Émilie Simon

Born: 17 July 1978

Age: 40

Years Active: 2003–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: French powerhouse experimental / electric music. As far as singers go, this one has an amazing way of inflecting her words at an unreal speed. If you're looking for a delicious amount of French music that will tingle in your ears, Simon is key. She now has her own production side which began out of creating her arrangements on her computer, "At the beginning, I was writing my songs with the piano and the guitar and writing the lyrics and the music. And then, I started using the computer just, you know, to record. So that's how I started the production side..." Artistically, Simon offers anything from a Tim Burton-esque style to elegant mise en scene. She is one of the few artists who mixes rich poetic beauty with haunting vocalization. Many of her music videos are animated in a style reminiscent of Corpse Bride and A Nightmare Before Christmas.

I feel like her voice is something that would whisper out of a music box, which is an incredibly unusual charm to have. I wish her French pop songs could reach American airwaves, but, alas, we haven't gotten to a point of playing a wide number of languages on the radio, but, even still, it shouldn't matter whether you are fluent in a language to understand a song (occasionally, we need to listen beyond the meaning of words and listen to the quality of the voice and the sounds they are able to create).

I want to buy you flowers

It's such a shame you're a boy

But when you are not a girl

Nobody buys you flowers

— Émilie Simon

28. Ellie Goulding

Born: 30 December 1986

Age: 31

Years Active: 2009–present

Associated Acts: Polydor, Neon Gold, Cherrytree, Interscope

Bio: Ellie is definitely the current, mighty reigning Queen of Dubstep. The dazzling dream pop artist who brought us the huge hit of "Lights" has a high soprano voice, with a fast vibrato, and a rather interesting control of her breath. In a review for Halcyon, Neil McComick of The Daily Telegraph described her voice as "something special," continuing, "Her tremulous vibrato and slightly hoarse timbre have the feel of something primal and folky, her birdlike high notes conveying a childlike wonder while darker tones imply ancient depths of sorrow. She sings like she is strung out on the melody, warbling from a place of desperate emotion. It really is that rarest and perhaps most accidental of gifts: an original voice." Her looping has been complimented for creating a wall of vibrato.

According to Ellie herself, "I think sometimes it sounds like my voice is like, out of control... I have to really control it because it just kind of goes everywhere. Like, sometimes stuff comes out that I don't expect."

On the side, Ellie is also a runner who intends to run at least six miles every day! "Bittersweet" was used as a part of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 soundtrack. "Hanging On" was used on the trailer for the Playstation 3 game "God of War: Ascension." Her loveliness is definitely noticed in England as she sang "Your Song" (an Elton John cover) at Prince Williams and Kate Middleton's wedding at Buckingham Palace.

Even when I'm in quite a happy state of mind, I like writing really sad songs. I think a lot of people do.

— Ellie Goulding

29. Jessie Ware

Born: 15 October 1984

Age: 33

Years Active: 2009–present

Associated Acts: Disclosure, The Invisible, Man Like Me, Sampha, SBTRKT, Ed Sheeran

Bio: Considered to have one of the best albums of 2012 with her debut "Devotion," it's like synth pop being married to the vocals of Adele. She's yet another on this list who makes the '80s feel like it's being reborn. She uses inventive clean vocal arrangements that are the type likely to push a singer to the top on Pitchfork. Thank goodness for this lovely indie pop. Indie pop can be difficult to put together without going too folky or synth heavy (to the point where you feel sea sick). She brings a mature femininity to her indie side as well. She sounds like Leona Lewis collided with Adele and went to the hidden world of music that most are not going to find on their radio.

Before her claim to fame, she was a background vocalist in Florence Welch's "Ceremonials." "Ware reckons the proudest moment of her career was hearing 'Wildest Moments' accompanying a television montage of highlights from Andy Murray's dramatic third-round win at Wimbledon." The up and rising star almost didn't turn to music as she was pursuing a career in journalism and studied English while at university. Her biggest hits at the moment are "Running," "If You're Never Gonna Move," and "Wildest Moments." She's yet another British vocalist who, due to her uniqueness, is a forerunner to what music will be for the coming decade.

I guess I'm a real fan of older music, and that's what shaped my taste and the way I sing.

— Jessie Ware

30. Beatrice Martin aka Coeur de Pirate

Born: September 22, 1989

Age: 29

Years Active: 2007–present

Associated Acts: Bonjour Brumaire, Indochine, Nicola Sirkis, Julien Doré, Bedouin Soundclash, Armistice

Bio: Beatrice may actually be a Canadian-French angel. Her pronunciation of French fills me with mise en scene. She naturally fits with her instrument so well in transitioning with such eloquent musical landscapes. She has a way of being both adorable and also a strong willed beast. I mean, check out her amazing sleeve tattoos.

Her vibrato has a lovely way of resonating with the acoustics of a room. She has a clearness to her voice that almost makes me feel like I'm fluent in French. The way she expresses herself is so lovely that it makes pastoral visions sweep through my mind. She could sing of terrible violence and corrupt bank owners, and it would still ring with an edge of purity. She offers a hint of sultriness in her voice and plays it well, but those piano keys... they hit a clandestine quality. I think it will be fascinating to see how her career progresses as she wields a fantastic realm of purity, but I think she would flourish under the wings of jazz and folk.

"In a report broadcast on French television, Martin explained that she chose the name 'Cœur de pirate' to appear not "as an isolated musician, but to get a band identity from the start.'"

My favourite quote is “Things happen.”

— Beatrice Martin

31. Eska Mtungwazi

Born: 1971

Age: 47

Years Active: 1998–present

Associated Acts: The Invisible, Zero 7, The Cinematic Orchestra, Matthew Herbert

Bio: She's one of the vocalists that the band Zero 7 picked. She is on several of the tracks for their "Yeah Ghost" album, including: "Mr. McGee," "Medicine Man," "Sleeper," and "The Road." Instantaneously, I fell in love with her magnificent soulful voice. I think adding her element to the band mixed the ambient with jazz and soul to form a match made for Heaven.

She has the vocal pipes of a gospel singer matched with classical training. When it comes to rhythm, she commands it. She has a great sense of authority, solo flare, and candor. I love when people are able to take their classical skills and thrust them into an electronic universe. Her "The Road" is one of the best slow songs I have ever heard in my entire life. She adds depth to what she touches, and she can hold notes in such a pure way. The aesthetics of her voice are impressive, earthy, and comforting. She's like a guiding voice in the darkness, like a mixture of Etta James and Aretha Franklin. Eska coaches young singers and offers them advice on how to improve their vocal skills. Also, I love her fashion. In the below video, her hat screams of an old gospel church choir.

32. Ane Brun

Born: 10 March 1976

Age: 42

Years Active: 1998–present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: The Norway folk singer, who hails from Scandinavia, has one of the most haunting alto voices that feels as though someone were cleansing out all the bad from within my contorted self. Her music literally exfoliates my eardrums. There is a richness to her voice that knows itself and brings out a certain texture of warmth, while also presenting a whole new world of creativity. It is not surprising to me in the least that her regular music video director Magnus Renfo collaborated with her to create an avant garde short film experience entitled "ONE." Her music oozes with spirit, dazzling harmony, and a truthfulness often forgotten on the radio. Though not anywhere near a known figure in music in the States, she has picked up recognition in Scandinavia with growing fame in Europe. Not to mention, she records and runs her own label called Balloon Ranger Recordings.

"There is something about the focus in playing by myself that fascinates me," she says. "There’s nothing to hide behind when I’m alone on stage and it becomes almost meditative for me when I play."

Late in 2009, Ane organised the "No More Lullabies" concert to bring attention to the issues of climate justice. She assembled 24 well-known Swedish artists, such as Robyn, Loney Dear, Titiyo, and Benny Andersson of ABBA, to take part in seven hours of live music and visuals to mark the International Day of Climate Action (October 24th). They succeeded in making some noise on the issue before the upcoming COP15 conference.

Walk with her beneath the treetops

create new paths and memories

show her how the sunlight

glances through the gaps between the leaves

— Ane Brun

33. Johanna Söderberg and Klara Söderberg aka First Aid Kit

Years Active: 2007–present

Bio: First Aid Kit is an indie-folk sister band from Sweden (because that seems to be where all good folk music seems to be getting its start these days). They have a great sense of harmony that weaves together like bread and jam. Fleet Foxes spread their name on the internet and they became instant hits. They sound as though they come from another time period, one that was much more kind than our present world. It's hard not to listen to them and feel all the more lighthearted. They sing songs reminding me of poetry from the 1800s. I like that their focus is more on authenticity than glamorized music. They started their career super young, but they are freshly in their twenties (you would think from their art that they would be older).

I wish there were more sibling bands, and especially acoustic ones. Their lyrics speak of values, it would all fit perfectly for a western film.

These kind of friendships in media are often taken for granted, but I think we need more of them. We are not all solo acts aimlessly wondering into the sea, but we're all together sailing to our own end. Why not share the music with each other until the end of our glory days?

34. Lisa Wisznia

Years Active: 2009-Present

Bio: Sexy whispering French singer of the band Elephant.

This group has no fear. They jumped right into the world of aesthetically pleasing art. Sometimes, I think artists get too caught up in trying to be badass or crazy. If the high heel shark shoes and meat dresses have a point, excellent, otherwise I think it can take the potential of a great artist and turn them trivial. This band duo, hailing from France, are very pleasing to both the eyes and ears. It's like real chocolate rather than the knock off nonsense we find on the clearance aisle at the grocery store. (Good products don't find themselves on the clearance aisle.)

When it comes to art, it's the difference between knowing how red lipstick can be used as a motif or having no motif at all. That is the difference Lisa's voice adds; she has a way with her whispers, her eloquent French accent, and fashion model looks to create theme rather than a mere pattern. She transcends pattern. It's free spirited French, it's elegance in setting, it's well... it's a pop French band. I imagine hearing this as the soundtrack to a A+ film. It's romantic and endearing, without being cheesy. I'm not sure how someone can sing in such an attractive way (that's not my game at all). But, alas, dear readers, you can't hear my lovely sweet voice to compare to all these fantastic spirits. Too bad for you!

35. Lily Rose Cooper aka Lily Allen

Born: 2 May 1985

Age: 33

Years Active: 2002–Present

Associated Acts: Mark Ronson, Greg Kurstin

Bio: Lily Allen is a lovely British ska-reggae singer. Always incredibly sarcastic and playful, she is now the mother of two, the co-creator with her sister of a clothing store called "Lucy in Disguise," and has launched her own recording label called "In the Name of." There are not many in the melancholy ska department, the age of ska seems to be over with for the moment.

Lily combines smashingly good manners with ironic disapproval in many of her songs. Whether a brother on drugs or a, frankly, inept lover, she often mocks her subjects of interest in the most polite of ways. I think it's this playful exploration of humanity that makes her music stick out for me. I usually find myself caught up in her lyrics, and find them pleasant to join and sing with.

"She dropped out of school at age fifteen, not wanting to 'spend a third of her life preparing to work for the next third of her life, to set herself up with a pension for the next third of her life.'"

Currently, she has no plans to make another record but is busy with married life and raising children. She has considered going into an acting career, "In August 2010, she gave what would be her last performance for two and a half years at the Big Chill Festival in Herefordshire, England." She has been writing scores for the musical version of "The Diary of Bridget Jones." Her heavy cockney accent is distinguishable in the music world.

I don't see myself as a role model; people should look to mothers and sisters as role models.

— Lily Allen

36. Amy Winehouse

Born: September 14, 1983

Age: Died at 27

Years Active: 2003–2011

Associated Acts: Tony Bennett, Dionne Bromfield, The Dap-Kings, Tyler James, Nas, Mark Ronson, Salaam Remi

Bio: The, unfortunately, departed jazz singer was truly one of the best and was on the cusp of her career when she died. She combines modern jazz in the style of Sinatra with ska. She always sounded older than her actual age, and people were constantly worried about her personal life habits.

The deep contralto began singing with her family at an early age. She had a difficult time keeping quiet during school. She was born to sing. Big hair and a crazy mess of tattoos, she was a wondrous revelation to the world of pop music, and so it is with great sadness that she left too soon. Lady Gaga and Adele praise Amy for setting the stage for their voices to come into fame. "Spin magazine music editor Charles Aaron was quoted as saying, "Amy Winehouse was the Nirvana moment for all these women... They can all be traced back to her in terms of attitude, musical styles or fashion."

If there's anything we can take from her, it is a serious testament to taking substance abuse seriously and receiving help for mental conditions. Too many of the greatest have been lost to these things when we as a community of people could have spent time reaching out to them. Artists, such as Virginia Woolf, Janis Joplin, Sylvia Plath, Judy Garland, and Whitney Houston, all died too young. I wish there were more movements to prevent some of the most talented artists from being lost. We must help them to find themselves and to not get lost in some of the darker sides of psychosis.

If you don't throw yourself into something, you'll never know what you could have had.

— Amy Winehouse

37. Björk

Born: 21 November 1965

Age: 52

Years Active: 1975–present

Associated Acts: The Sugarcubes, Kukl, Exodus, Megas, Mark Bell, Tappi Tíkarrass

Bio: I know this woman has talent, and clearly anunreal set of pipes, but she is one of the strangest people that has ever existed (especially as an entertainer). I have no idea what is going through her mind and how she comes up with the universe that she shares with the world. Her emotions in her videos are difficult for me to understand, as well as what in the world is happening with her art. There is no one like her, or even close. She sings from a guttural place all of her own.

Even though the media has relentlessly picked on her, she has proven herself with countless awards from an Oscar, Golden Globe, and 13 Grammy Award nominations. Eccentric and esoteric as can be, her songs bring her haunting vision to life.

"Björk's music style tends to be quite eclectic and often challenging. She has embraced many genres throughout her career, creating a varied range of pieces, from big band music to sound art. Björk's lyrical themes range from personal matters to scientific, natural, or social topics."

Usually when you see females in movies, they feel like they have these metallic structures around them, they are caged in by male energy

— Björk

38. Karen Orzolek aka Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Born: November 22, 1978

Age: 39

Years Active: 2000–present

Associated Acts: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Bio: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been on the map for several years now. Karen is incredibly well fit for rock music. She's able to lead out against the electronic guitars and bass, but also pumps out an impressive ballad. "Maps" is one of the best ballads of the first decade of the . She has a way of belting out the lyrics and creating a guttural texture.

The woman was asked once if she would pose for Playboy, and has stated that she never would. Bravo to her for standing up against the misogynistic, voyeuristic, and objectifying Playboy.

She composed all of the songs for the children's film "Where the Wild Things Are."

"O's vocal approach has been described as 'ethereal', sometimes compared to indie folk artist Quinn Marston, and has been described as 'yelping' at times. She described her approach: we still have to grab people by the collar … We put out a record every three years now; we could easily be forgotten. If you look at a lot of our peers that we came up with, a lot of them have disappeared." The lovely rock goddess approach to music has kept her band's longevity up. It is impressive when a band can stay together over a stretch of several years, thirteen years is now small feat, and is roughly half my own life.

I feel like there's a hunger in the culture now for the live experience maybe as a counterpoint to the more sort of synthetic lives that we've been living.

— Karen O

39. Joyce Jonathan

Born: 3 November 1989

Age: 28

Years Active: 2007–Present

Associated Acts: N/A

Bio: This woman is so unbelievably sweet. I find myself confused that she exists. She has a kindness that oozes in her voice, and a delightful happiness in all of her music videos, except maybe the one I've put here that's about relationships. I wish more people could be like her in the world, and I am envious of her French accent. Due to the internet, she was found through Myspace and headed toward making an album. There's a softness to her voice that separates her from many artists. I hope she continues to keep her lightness as her career progresses. If there was an award for adorableness... I think she would win it in a heartbeat. She is a mere 23 years old. In January 2011, she received the NRJ music award for "French revelation" of the year.

"She is the youngest of a family of three girls. Her mother is the director of a travel agency and her father is an architect. She was educated at the Alsatian School in Paris, and as of 2011, is studying psychology."

40. Katie White

Born: 18 January 1983

Age: 35

Years Active: 1998–Present

Associated Acts: The Ting Tings, TKO, Dear Eskiimo

Bio: She's pop punk female side of the duo group the Ting Tings, from England. Her unique accent brings the listener joy. They sound a little like the White Stripes. She is famous for "That's Not My Name" and other hit songs that are used on commercials. White's grandfather won the lottery and gave some of the giant share to her father which helped launch her career. Even though her songs are undeniably urban, she grew up on a farm in Lowton. She started her music career at the age of fourteen in a girl punk group called TKO. Her next band was Dear Eskimo, and then at long last, the Ting Tings.

"Katie was working in a boutique with a Chinese girl called "Ting Ting," which sounds like Mandarin Chinese for "band stand" () or "listening" (听) and Katie used it as name for the band. The Ting Tings started by playing for private parties at the Islington Mill arts centre in Salford and their debut album, We Started Nothing, was released on 19 May 2008."

Her voice proves that distinct enunciation over loud music can make for star power. In going back to her grandfather winning the lottery, her dad also used the money to buy all his children ponies.

We kind of write pop songs, but we don't fit in the pop world. We're really bad at being pop stars and walking down red carpets. We've got our own little bubble, which we really like. We've learned to really like that.

— Katie White

41. Leslie Feist aka Feist

Born: February 13, 1976

Age: 42

Years Active: 1991–present

Associated Acts: Feist

Bio: I have never heard a Feist song I didn't like. This woman resonates with cool. I consider her the American queen of indie and folk. I think she always finds the right accompaniment for her charming voice. I am rather fond of her arrangements, and find revisiting her music to always be refreshing. It's like sweet tea on a porch in the south on a summer day.

"She aspired to be a writer, and spent much of her youth singing in choirs. At the age of twelve, Feist performed as one of 1,000 dancers in the opening ceremonies of the Calgary Winter Olympics, which she cites as inspiration for the video '1234.' Feist performed an alternate version of "1234" on Sesame Street during its 39th season, teaching children to count to the number four. She also sang with Elmo on the same episode. She said working with the Muppets was a career highlight."

Life is problems.

— Leslie Feist

42. Lykke Li

Born: 18 March 1986

Age: 32

Years Active: 2007–present

Associated Acts: LIV

Bio: LIV is a dream pop artist from Sweden. She has a lovely way of painting landscapes to make me feel introspective and existential. She incorporates corners of jazz instruments with percussion that really ends up being catchy as well as enjoyable. "Dance dance dance" is one of my favorites of hers for sure, I especially love the slow down at the end. It reminds me of music from the 1940s.

"Possibility" is featured in the Twilight film Breaking Dawn. It's one of the most subversive, painful to watch, and realistic scenes of cinema for a teenager when Bella sits at a window watching the seasons change as she continues in her heart and mind to obsess over Edward Cullen. Lykke Li's song is a perfect match for this scene that might be one of the most memorable of the entire Twilight series. I have a hard time separating this song from the film, though I think the song is one of the best emotive anguishes of the past few years. Her music is a blend of pop and electronic with a wide range of instruments from violins, saxophones, tambourines, and synthesizers.

It's incredibly hard for me to write her bio and not have the song "Possibility" playing in my head.

If you're being ignored, that's a good time to concentrate on finding yourself and creating your own mystery.

— Lykke Li

43. Lucia Maria

Born: August 5, 1994

Age: 24

Bio: This young lass is from Romania, and she looks like the alter ego of Dianna Agron. What impresses me about this woman is that she has this bell like lightness to her voice. So many vocalists try to make their voice as big and heavy as possible, such as trying to have the chutzpah of Aretha Franklin, but this woman found this angelic ring that has a charm to it. One time I tried to incorporate this into my singing and had an incredible reaction with the crowd. She uses repetition in a powerful way that builds on itself. With the few songs I've heard, I admit they were instantaneously addictive, so I am excited for when her album finally premieres.

I hope to see more of her career take off because I'd love to hear more of this unique soul. I hope my predictions are right that she'll be a rising star. She has magic in her that floats around in the air. Thank goodness for the beauty of high notes.

44. Anna Ternheim

Born: 31 May 1978

Age: 40

Years Active: 2003–present

Associated Acts: Ane Brun

Bio: Swedish singer with wonderful piano and string arrangements. Her voice has a lowness that makes for splendid woodwind like tones. She has worked with another of my favorite Swedish singers, Ane Brun. I'm beginning to think that if there are any artists from Scandinavia that are making a scene it's a guarantee that they are worth giving a listen to. I haven't been disappointed yet.

"When she was 10 years old, she began playing the guitar, writing songs and performing. During a year abroad in Atlanta, Georgia Anna created her first band "Sova", playing at smaller festivals and local clubs. Back in Stockholm she continued her song writing and later in Switzerland where she was performing while studying French.

I grew up playing classical guitar, so everything I learned was rooted in technique, form, presentation.

— Anna Ternheim

45. Shingai Shoniwa aka Noisettes

Born: 1 September 1981

Age: 37

Years Active: 2006-present

Associated Acts: Noisettes

Bio: One day I found this glorious song called "Atticus" and I felt like I was in this dreamy state being lifted into the clouds. Shingai Shoniwa is a British native who is the lead singer for Noisettes, she plays bass, cello, and guitar, while also being a part of punk, blues, soul, and indie rock. Her voice can take on this fantastical quality, or perhaps the lyrics that play off the idea of "To Kill a Mockingbird" somehow strikes a chord for me.

She originally had wanted to go into a career as an actress, but through her friendship with classmate Dan Smith, the two created the Noisettes which has where she has been safely performing. She has a history of musical theater and even circus performance under her belt.

I love the intimacy of small venues, I really do, I like that look that people have that they feel like they're special and they can hear and they can see the band as well.

— Shingai Shoniwa

46. Martha Tilston

Born: 1976

Age: 42

Years Active: 2000–present

Associated Acts: Mouse, Martha Tilston and the Woods

Bio: Why is it that so many people can make living in a van look so sublime? Martha is a a folksinger who gave her voice to Zero 7. She is from Britain, and has a voice that sounds of the hills, like an angelic songbird. Sometimes, this humble-as-pie, bucolic voice lets me relax in a world that's full of hustle and bustle. This is one of the most authentic folksingers I've yet to find, and I adore her work on Yeah Ghost. Serene voices like this are rare, just like the spaces they make home are quickly forgotten to the hustle and bustle of city life.

47. Victoria Legend aka Beach House

Born: May 28, 1981

Age: 37

Years Active: 2004–Present

Associated Acts: Beach House

Bio: It's the voice made of dreams. Beach House is the perfect band for a rainy day of introspection -- or a sunny day for that matter. Victoria has a mezzo quality, that has an otherworldly quality to it. It has a cleanness in it like the Disney princess voices of the 90s but also has an edge of hurt mixed together, like a trip of drugs inside her esophagus. I think this band for me is medicine.

I enjoy listening to them while I write, they offer a quality that helps me to be imaginative, and that's not always easy for music to achieve. I do enjoy the timbre of her voice finding it often both soothing and compelling. There's a certain rawness to it that I hope she is able to retain for years to come. This is definitely in the land of hipster dream pop music, but I find this liberating and her bandmate sounds nearly like Edward Sharpe. It's a wondrous world to have a band like this, a voice like hers, like a hidden ice cream truck in a world of violence, despair, and death.

I hope both of these musicians continue to grow because I think they have great potential to shake up the music scene while also inspiring some of the younger, coming of age apathetic generations Y and Z in a world seemed all too carved by Baby Boomers. We need this. We need to know we can carve the world without the hand of a media conglomerate.

As you get older you realise that nothing lasts forever. It's not depressing, but it does make moments more intense.

— Victoria Legend

48. Alison Goldfrapp aka Goldfrapp

Born: 13 May 1966

Age: 52

Years Active: 1989–present

Associated Acts: Will Gregory

Bio: One of in my opinion the best electronic bands with one of the best ethereal voices. I love Goldfrapp's more upbeat songs, and the hardness it has from "Ooh La La", "Strict Machine", and "Lovely 2 C U." Goldfrapp also does ballads that sound as if... the music is on acid. I wish they'd do more of the more dark, fast paced music. Alison has a great deal of versatility from singing classical, folk, trip hop, and electronica. She was partly inspired by Polish disco music and cabaret. She attempts to visualize her music before the writing beleving that music is an immersive experience. Her influences also come from surrealism and nature. The powerhouse synthesizer is nearing the age of fifty, and making her upper forties look divine.

You've got to go with what feels instinctive and true to your heart, and filter out all of the other stuff.

— Goldfrapp

49. Annie Clark aka St. Vincent

Born: September 28, 1982

Age: 36

Years Active: 2003–Present

Associated Acts: The Polyphonic Spree, Jack Antonoff, Andrew Bird, The Black Keys, Bon Iver, David Byrne, The Mountain Goats, Sufjan Stevens, Swans, Tuck & Patti

Bio: Instant heart throb of all the man friends I've ever had. One of the best bands out there with a lead female artist. Her voice has a kind of seamless aesthetic to it and even a beauty in the way she breathes. She has a way of connecting her phrases in this dramatic way that builds momentum with the complicated instrumentation.

She sincerely has the ideal indie rock voice. She has a way of expressing emotion in these nice, soft spaces. She doesn't need to turn heads by holding out her voice and belting it, she can control the mood with coy, clear articulation and impressive phrasing. I'm guessing there's also something sensual about her to the male gender, besides her obvious good looks. Not every singer in the world can fit so fantastically inside the frame of a rock band, but she blends so seamlessly with them that it doesn't even remotely seem questionable that anyone else could belong.

Guitar is just something I can do. So much of it now is muscle memory, just instinct.

— St. Vincent

50. Yolandi Vi$$er aka Die Antword

Born: December 1, 1984

Age: 33

Years Active: 2001–present

Associated Acts: Die Antword

Bio: This is the only chica on the entire list that will not receive a video. She hails from South Africa in the band Die Antword which Lady Gaga hoped would perform before her concerts -- instead they viciously mocked her and pushed the edge even further than anyone knew it could be pushed. The videos are highly explicit, full of strings of curse words, gross bodily functions, and an array of complicated art patterns to confuse and make the audience curious. Yolandi is on the list because she defines the image of not caring, this band could go into complete obscurity and I seriously doubt the musicians would give a crap. It mocks the corporate world of mass produced media, it makes odd religious allusions that are either in salute to them or slandering it, and Yolandi may have the haircut of the season... there are not enough women in this world who are bold enough to do what Yolandi is doing, and I'm not sure if we entirely need this boldness, but it is impressive nonetheless.

I'm not sure how much is an act and what is flat out true living, but even if it is rampantly outrageous, it is playful and almost childlike. The lyrics of their music are complex and somewhat mumbled, the background beats are repetitive, but the driving themes are always grabbing and feel as though they peel back a layer of the universe to make us all wonder... what in the world inspired this band? She also has a compelling relationship with the male vocalist, Ninja, who is the father of her baby Sixteen Jones.

Love is strange

Love is dark

Love sucks when you got a broken heart

— Die Antword




"Show Your Bones"

Karen O


St. Vincent

"Black Cherry"


"Beach House"

Beach House

"Separation Road"

Anna Ternheim

"Lucia Marie"

Lucia Marie


Ellie Goulding



"1000 Forms of Fear"


© 2013 Andrea Lawrence


Diana Patterson on July 03, 2020:

I enjoyed being introduced to some new artists, thank you!

Roningirl on February 23, 2020:

Kate Bush

Christopher Nowak on December 15, 2019:

What about jazz singers MOLLY JOHNSON and EMILIE CLAIRE BARLOW??!!!

creynolds on December 14, 2019:

Floor Jansen is the best in the world hands down

Senorita Juanita on October 19, 2019:

"Honestly, I find it baffling that Janelle is not substantially more popular."

It's her look. The oddball clothing choices (a tux? c'mon...) and bizarre hair are offputting.

A person on August 21, 2019:

Why is Amy Lee of evanescence not on this list? She has an amazing voice and and vocal range. She definitely deserves to be here

ttbass on May 23, 2019:

Loved finding some new names on here to explore. In terms of vocal ability, very few can touch Ledisi or Rachelle Farrell. Not as pop as this list, but truly two of the best in the entire world.

iam on January 30, 2019:

even as a Caucasian, i noticed this list is very .... how can i say .... Caucasian.

Candice on January 24, 2019:

Just like to add Lorena Mckinnett as one of the most talented singer songwriters also

Andrea Lawrence (author) on January 17, 2019:

True... what I really need to do is a write a new list, because this one is rather old.

Sydney on January 09, 2019:

You forgot Haley Wiiliams from Paramore. Her range is off the charts.

Rick on March 30, 2018:

Your top 49 has some great vocals but I guess you must of forgotten Beth Hart, check out a few of her live performances, especially with Joe Bonamassa and tell me where she would fit? She's at the top of my list!

Mike on January 26, 2018:

Check out Cécile McLorin Salvant if you aren't familiar with her. She's still only a few years into what is sure to be a long, storied career, but she's already making a huge mark on the jazz scene. Her voice blows me away. She belongs high on this list.

Andrea Lawrence (author) on December 08, 2017:

Not sure... this hub is a couple of years old now. That might be why. ;)

Bry on November 29, 2017:

OMG How is the singing from London Grammar not on here ,shes unreal?!!!

Gilbert on November 02, 2017:

You didn't include Sinead O'Connor

Yudy on October 04, 2017:

Really cool list, with quite a few I need to check out. A few more I would add: Marissa Nadler has an incredible voice. Jenny Hval (from Norway) is also great. Joanna Newsom, too.

Andrea Lawrence (author) on August 02, 2017:

Thank you for the suggestion!

jennywren33 on August 01, 2017:

A fabulous list. Have a listen to an artist called Nic Evennett. She's from the UK. Kind of mixture of Kate Bush, Sandy Denny, Linda Perhacs.

Andrea Lawrence (author) on June 26, 2017:

Thank you for the suggestion!

Amie on June 25, 2017:

This list is great! I discovered new artists: on the list, and in "comments". I would add Gina Chavez.

Jack on May 26, 2017:

Stacey Kent!

Jor on May 04, 2017:

What a stupid list...... Where is Hayley Williams!!!

Anya on March 24, 2017:

You missed Fever Ray!!!!

Leo on March 20, 2017:

I believe you forgot PJ Harvey. Quite a list of excellent chanteusses, but I don't know if I can overcome missing to add Polly Jean.

Oliver on January 26, 2017:

For shame, you didn't list Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive...

Andrea Lawrence (author) on December 13, 2016:

I'm glad you enjoyed the list!

Alex on December 06, 2016:

Great list and descriptions! Learned about a lot of artists I will follow. Thanks!

Boris on October 27, 2016:

I'd add Elsieanne Caplette here

Andrea Lawrence (author) on October 14, 2016:

Sundfør is in a league of her own, and that's saying a lot since there are a lot of quality singers on this list. Her voice is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard in my short lifetime.

Andrea Lawrence (author) on October 14, 2016:

Awesome choices!

Rupert on October 13, 2016:

Also Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star, Opal) and Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond).

I second Jenny Lewis and Sade!

Ronny on October 11, 2016:

Sthepanie, you are the joke... have you ever listen to Sussane Soundfor or Florence Welch before? Those 2 are may main favorites in this list, i assume that the last 10 are mostly ordered following personal preference, 'cause they all are awesome and it's very difficult to choose. But Sussane it's really something out of this world, go buy "The Silicone Veil" and count how many times you get goosebumps i bet you'll change your opinion...

Andrea Lawrence (author) on September 20, 2016:

Good mention!

ki on September 20, 2016:

You should really check out Ailee or LUNA if you're talking about great vocalists. Despite being generally in the "pop" genre, their abilities expand beyond that category

Andrea Lawrence (author) on September 18, 2016:

You are foolish, foolish, foolish if you think that!

Stephanie on September 09, 2016:

the only one on this list worth listening to is Amy Winehouse, otherwise this is a joke right?

pjal on August 04, 2016:

melody gardot…. look her up

Liz on October 21, 2015:

Two I thought were missing- Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame, and the lead singer of Chvrches.

Smthtalker714 on February 05, 2015:

I absolutely love this list, has all walks and also each docu on each artist is very well done and informational.

A few others that maybe could make this list are Joss Stone, Amy Lee and Sade lol I know she's a bit out for this group but I heard she was actually making a comeback.

Brittany Brown from Sydney, Australia on November 02, 2014:

You had me at St. Vincent. Love, love, love her. Been a fan of her for a long time and finally got to see her in concert at the Sydney Opera House this year- amazing show. I agree with many others on this list too- excellent job! :D

Lee Joyner on October 30, 2014:

Don't forget Kate Davis. Her "All About that Base" with Postmodern Jukebox was stunning.

Brian on April 16, 2014:

You have Amy Winehouse at only 35. Amy Winehouse was one of the greatest singer songwriters of all time. Amy had a wider range she could sing heart breaking songs like Love is a Losing Game and light hearted ones like Amy Amy Amy too. Also I thought this list was supposed to be under appreciated artists anyway? I mean you have Adele here but not Paloma Faith and its under appreciated singers? I dont mean to sound like a dick which I most certainly must do but I am sorry I cannot agree with this list.

ole m. on December 03, 2013:

very good list,

delighted to see Susanne Sundør on top.

Hope she will cooperate more with Røyksopp and other bands.

check out

andrecolon on November 10, 2013:

You know....this is probably one of the best pages on the internet right?

jeanie on October 13, 2013:

mmm susanne sundfor.. *shivers with delight*. ^_^

Andrea Lawrence (author) on June 30, 2013:

I'm glad you like the hub! This one took a lot of time and effort to make possible. Scandinavia is having some sort of influx of art that I think the internet is starting to help make more global. Susanne is one of the best hidden gems I've ever found. There's some music that I can tune out while I work, but not hers. I adore what's she's made.

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 29, 2013:

Great hub with an interesting list of vocalists - sorry to see Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins did not get on this list, she is a contemporary of Tori Amos? That said, the band are long gone and Fraser has only recently resurfaced with one solo gig. She is, for me, the best vocalist of her era, bar none (but each to their own of course!)

I've taken a while to read this and watch most of the videos, thanks for the introduction to some of the vocalists who I'll check out - I loved Susanne Sundfor and will definitely listen to more of her stuff. I am also a First Aid Kit fan - love 'The Hearts of Men' and have their album. I think Scandinavia is going through some kind of cultural renaissance at the moment maybe?

Andrea Lawrence (author) on June 28, 2013:

Christina Aguilera along with some other notable artists are definitely not mentioned due to popularity, although there are a couple of really huge household names on here. I'm hoping with the comment section people can add their two cents and suggest other women with outstanding voices.

msLarayne from New York, NY on June 28, 2013:

I can respect this list. Janelle Monae and Feist... I'll definitely agree with this. Good hub!

Kenneth Claude from Ohio on June 28, 2013:

Was very pleased to see the very underrated Regina Spektor on this list !

I noticed two big omissions in Amy Heidemann and Cher Lloyd, but I love the article as a whole. Also, I'm assuming you left out the world's best singer, Christina Aguilera, due to her popularity. She is in a league completely of her own.

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