Who are the best female singers in the world?
That's what we asked Ultimate Guitar readers this week, getting them to pick from any genre they like. The resulting list is pretty darn solid, though there's a surprise at the end which we didn't expect.
Do the results live up to your expectations? Let us know what you think in the comments. Enjoy!
10. PJ Harvey
One of Britain's pluckiest exports is the only musician to win the prestigious Mercury prize twice, first for "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
" in 2000 and "Let England Shake
" in 2011. Her choruses are always fantastic.
This icelandic pop diva proved her talent to either singing or songwriting. You're gonna argue? Let's have her 1993's "Debut
" album - the great example of her extraordinary talent and musical weight. Which keeps increasing with albums such "Medulla
" and "Biophillia
8. Nina SimoneSimone
was closely associated with the American civil rights movement and fused gospel music with pop and classical music. Need to say more? Maybe ... but let's avoid it. Enjoy the music instead.
7. Tarja Turunen
This Finnish singer-songwriter started out as a classically trained singer, but moved on to front symphonic metal bands Nightwish
and helped to found the Opera Metal genre. Tough woman, really. And - for sure - once you've heard her voice you'll never forget it.
6. Norah JonesNorah
emerged as one of the world's biggest jazz's biggest acts when her debut album "Come Away With Me
" landed in 2002. It's no surprise that music is in her genes; her dad is renown sitar player Ravi Shankar
. And his girl has amazing voice.
5. Amy LeeAmy
is best known as the front woman and co-founder of Evanescence
, but has collaborated with the likes of Korn
to Icelandic pop queen Bjork
and film score veteran Danny Elfman
. Why she? Because of her vocals, of course!
4. Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries)Dolores
' beautiful voice is always tinted with her Irish roots, and helped make the Cranberries
one of the biggest mainstream rock bands in the world until they took a long hiatus in 2003. She currently tours as a solo artist. Which is really great, 'cause it's really bad when singers like her disappear from the stage.
3. Janis JoplinJoplin
was a stunning talent of the 1960s, with a performance style putting other blues musicians to shame. It was a real tragedy when she was discovered dead in a hotel room after having an overdose. But her voice, her music and her singing are still here.
2. Ann Wilson (Heart)Heart
's lead singer has easily earned her place among to top female singers in history. You wouldn't have guessed it back in her youth when a teenage Wilson
was shy because of a stutter. Music brought out the best of her, and she still rocks on today.
1. Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)Stevie Nicks
has got to be one of the best singers around, regardless of gender or genre. She's won a stunning eight Grammy awards as a solo musician, and five more with Fleetwood Mac
, so it's no wonder Dave Grohl
invited her to relive her days of recording at Sound City Studios for his documentary and tour last year.
And let's talk about pranks?
Of course, it's Rebecca Black. Young pop star almost topped the list. we could do it ... but this would be too rough. So let's move to another one
Here's Motley Crue's Vince Neil. Really guys? Vince? Are you serious? Oh, you're dead serious. But c'mon, there's also got to be Dee Snider and Justin Bieber here!
And here's Dee Snider, Twisted Sister's frontman, the man who is included in every female list here! Good tradition, let's keep it up! But ... if he's here ... does it mean that ...
Yep. Here he is. Justin Bieber! The one and only, Canadian pop star. Expected? Yes.
But ... hey? Biebs' still not the absolute winner, which is ... guess who?
"Your mum," of course!
What do you think of the results? Let us know your personal top three in the comments.