Who is your favorite female vocalist?

Stereophile's picture
A female voice can be tough to properly record and reproduce, yet a great vocalist can transcend the technology. Opera star, singer/songwriter, jazz chanteuse, punk icon—who is your favorite female vocalist?
Who is your favorite female vocalist?
Here she is
87% (62 votes)
Don't have one
13% (9 votes)
Total votes: 71
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Holly Cole's picture

She does it all pop, jazz, blues in a magnificent way

D.L.B., West Hills, CA's picture

My beautiful friend, Susan Cowsill.

Robin Heisey's picture

Measha Brueggergosman, Canadian rock-star soprano, DG artist, and, to paraphrase Amadeus, "an ornament on our state."

Robin Janik's picture

Sandy Denny

John's picture

Billie Holiday

Rob's picture

There are too many to choose from, so I'll pick one from the sixties and one current one: Aretha Franklin, for the combination of skill, range and soul, and Cassandra Wilson, the most creative (by which I mean the most artistically successful,not the most experimental) of contemporary jazz singers.

Trevor's picture

Sarah McLachlan, Eva Cassidy, Serena Ryder.

JWS's picture

Alison Krauss—sound from the heavens.

John Blackwater's picture

Edita Gruberova, soprano, has recorded and performed many of the greatest roles in opera.

Oli Butcher, Bristol UK's picture

It's a tough one, I've always liked the idea of putting a whole host of my favorites together on one record, but it would probably be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Two I always love though are Skin from Skunk Anansie and Annie Lennox. Great edge to their voices.

Stu's picture

Not just one: Joni Mitchell, Rosanne Cash, Sarah McLachlan.

Chuck Cook's picture

k. d. lang, the only singer who could go toe to toe with Roy Orbison!

Marc Schaeffer's picture

Shirley Horn!

Reid Joy's picture

Let's just say I have favorites. For truly expressive female voices, I could recommend Brandi Carlile, Nina Diaz of Girl in a Coma, the incomparable Diana Krall, and Etta James. Whatever genre of music you like, there is a woman with a voice that can move you.

Jamie's picture

Lisa Hannigan

PLG's picture

Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy!

Santiago G's picture

Nina Simone is my favorite vocalist, but it depends on the mood. Runners up include Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Janis Joplin, Marisa Monte, Mariza, Astrud Gilberto, and Toto la Momposina.

Lofty's picture

Do I win a prize by identifying the photo of Meredith Monk? She's great and I've followed her career since the early '80s. These days I'm completely taken by Iva Bittova. An Eastern European native, her voice conjures up the mysticism of that often ethereal region. When called for, images of vampires and horror pour forth in a New Music idiom. Sort of like a Mario Bava film for the ears. Young Goths should check her out! Her two ECM albums, along with the many discs by Monk, are challenging and ultimately rewarding.

Yo-Yo MaMa's picture

Christine Aguilera

BeeJay DeeJay's picture

Celtic/Folk legend Maire Brennan of Clannad fame. Ethereal embodied. Period.

Christian's picture

Loreena McKennitt

Suso del Rio's picture

Marisa Monte. The next would-be Maria Callas, who went back to her roots and became one of the greatest Brazilian voices ever.

kc's picture

If forced to chose a favorite, I would have to say Rickie Lee Jones. Although I also really enjoy Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Roseanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Anita Baker, Be Good Tanyas, Liz Wright, Melanie, and Linda Ronstadt.

S T CADDY's picture

Mary Margaret O'Hara. One album ('89), one soundtrack ('02.) Appears on all five The Henrys (Toronto) albums and numerous anthologies, notably Hal Wilner projects.

KingLocal's picture

Reeta-Leena Korhola (Husky Rescue).

Sean's picture

Anna Netrebko

The Lemur's picture

At the moment I would have to say Victoria Legrand of the indie group Beach House.

Timothy Harnett's picture

Kirsten Flagstad

AJSchmidt's picture

I have two. Bjork and Sandra Nasić of the Guano Apes, for not hiding as a woman in the super-male-dominated German metal/trance-funk-hip-prog-rock field.

MarSanZ's picture

Sarah Vaughn hands down, one of the most tantalizing singers ever! Incredible voice, one of the few who could hit the high and low octaves successfully.

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