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

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?

David Allen's picture

Diana Damrau

Rich Chicago, Il's picture

Sinead O'Connor. The pain, sorrow, vulnerability, and anger in her voice never fails to burn into me. There's no way that much of her music is not autobiographical. Now if it's just lust, my pick is Tori Amos.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

Sweet and simple: The one I'm listening to now is my favorite!

hal's picture

1) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, 2) Ella Fitzgerald.

Kevin O'Toole's picture

Joni Mitchell!

m's picture

Sarah McLachlan

Matt's picture

Alison Krauss (honorable mention to Jonatha Brooke for emotional inflection).

Lee's picture

Alison Krauss

rudy yniguez's picture

Despite not having a favorite female vocalist, my favorite girl band is Betty Blowtorch. I listen to their Are You Man Enough? album frequently.

Pete's picture

Elly Ameling, Dutch soprano. She was radiant and expressive in everything she recorded. I saw her give master classes a few years ago and she was teaching the students how to sing lyrically while conveying the meaning of the words. A rare gift!

Zomby_Woof's picture


Fred Nebbish's picture

Cheryl Wheeler, a gifted singer, brilliant songwriter, and hilarious storyteller.

Michael's picture

Chrissy Hynde

Gary D'Amato's picture

Neko Case

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

Gee, Patricia Barber, Neko Case, Kate Bush, and PJ Harvey all get nods, but at the end of the day, Margo Timmins of the the Cowboy Junkies wins. I'd happily pay child support for a lifetime relationship with her.

D.A.B., Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

I don't like to think of myself as a male chauvinist, but after not having been able to seriously answer this question.....

nolan's picture

Polly Jean Harvey

Simon's picture

Aretha. The Atlantic years. Nothing comes close to her during that period. "Drown In My Own Tears," allright!

Brian's picture

Trisha Yearwood

John - Bartow, FL's picture

Holly Cole

chris's picture

Anne Sofie von Otter. (Followed by Kari Bremnes—closely followed by Mari Boine). Yes, I seem to have this thing about voices from the North. Anne Sofie von Otter's "Scherza, infida," from Handel's Ariodante, epitomizes for me the ultimate transcendence: forget the art, forget the craft, experience pure music. But the most tearing, most irresistibly moving of her performances may be the skeletally simple lullaby from her Terezin programme, about music in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt. There is blood in her voice.

fabio's picture


DG's picture

All-time: Emmylou Harris. Classical: Maria Callas. ' 60s: Dusty Springfield. Punk: Sally Timms. Contemporary: Mary Gauthier.

Largefellow's picture

k.d. lang has great pipes.

Jalyra's picture

Only one? Are you crazy? Well, if I have to choose only one,that would be Tori Amos and at close second, Natalie Merchant. Opera: Netrebko, Leontyne Price. Jazz: Eva Cassidy, Katie Melua, Norah Jones, Diana Krall. Pop: Sara McLachlan, Christina Aguilera. Audiophile recording: Jheena Lodwick. Suffering woman: Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday. Punk icon: Nina Hagen. ... and hundreds of others.

Michael Moore's picture

Patty Larkin

Don Hollis's picture

Cyndi Lauper

Larry(Poor Audiophile)'s picture

Alison Krauss!

Holly's Big Fan's picture

Holly Cole would be my hands-down fave. She is a 64-color box of crayons in a lead-pencil world. Her choice of material is excellent and her recordings always sound superb. I've never heard her live, but I would crawl 500 miles on my hands and knees through deserts and over mountains for the privilege. Okay, maybe I'm stretching it a bit, but you get the picture.

K Mishra's picture

Lata Mangeskar