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30 Best British Singers of All Time (Most Famous)

May 18, 2023
british singers

Are you looking for the best British singers of all time?

This article lists the most famous singers from Britain throughout the years.

Britain has brought some of the greatest artists of all time, and we hope you enjoy learning about them.

1. Elton John

Sir Elton Hercules John is a British singer and composer, and one of the biggest stars in the world.

He is known as one of the best-selling musicians of all time, selling over three hundred million copies around the world.

His most successful studio album is Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, which he released in 1973.

It sold over three million copies in the United States alone and charted at number one in eight different countries worldwide.

See also: Best Elton John Songs

2. George Michael

George Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in Middlesex, is also one of the best-selling musicians of all time with sales of over one hundred and twenty-five million records around the world.

As well as being a successful solo artist, he was also a part of the popular duo Wham!

His debut 1987 studio album Faith shot his solo career into action, selling over twenty million copies worldwide and receiving ten awards for Album of the Year.

See also: Best George Michael Songs

3. Harry Styles

Harry Styles is a British singer who is best known as the lead singer of the iconic boy band One Direction.

The group disbanded in 2016, and Harry began his solo career.

His self-titled debut studio album was released the following year, selling over one million copies.

His latest studio album, released in 2022, is titled Harry’s House.

It reached number one in twenty-eight different countries around the world, selling millions of copies worldwide. The album won him ten awards, including Album of the Year and Favorite Pop Album.

4. Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury rose to fame as the lead singer in the British rock band Queen.

He also made his mark as a solo artist, releasing two popular studio albums titled Mr. Bad Guy and Barcelona, with each selling hundreds of thousands of copies around the world. 

Mercy battled with HIV/AIDS for most of his life, sadly dying at the age of 1991 at the age of forty-five.

He donated much of his wealth throughout his career to various charities, mainly aimed at preventing and curing AIDS. 

5. Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse is a British singer from London, who sadly died in 2011 from alcohol poisoning.

Her 2006 studio album Black to Black was a worldwide hit, selling over sixteen million copies around the world and reaching number one in several countries.

She won twenty-six awards and received sixty-nine nominations during her career, including six Grammy Awards.

She won Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album for Back to Black, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for “Rehab”. 

6. Phil Collins

Phil Collins made his fame as the drummer and lead singer of Genesis, a rock band formed in 1967.

He also had a successful solo career, which began after he released his 1981 debut studio album Face Value, which was awarded Diamond status in Canada.

His most popular studio album, though, was …But Seriously, which debuted at number-one in twenty-five different countries worldwide! It sold nearly ten million copies around the world and won Collins several worlds.

7. Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis is a British singer from London who shot to fame upon the release of her debut studio album Spirit, which was recorded in 2007 and sold over seven million copies worldwide.

It charted at number-one in ten countries around the world.

Her most popular single is “Bleeding Love”, which was also released in 2007 on Spirit.

It peaked at number one on many charts and sold millions of copies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.  

8. David Bowie

David Bowie is known to be one of the most influential singers and musicians of the twentieth century.

He passed away in 2016 after an eighteen-month battle with liver cancer and released one posthumous studio album in 2012, titled Toy.

He has released twenty-seven studio albums, with his most popular being his final recording before his death.

Titled Blackstar, the album was released in 2006 and sold two million copies worldwide, and charted in twenty-seven different countries.

9. Rita Ora

Rita Ora, born Rita Sahatçiu in Kosovo, moved to London when she was young and was raised in Notting Hill.

She became famous when she was featured on the number-one single “Hot Right Now” with DJ Fresh, and soon released her number-on debut Ora.

She has won thirteen awards with countless nominations, including Best International Artist, Solo Artist, and Entertainer of the Year at the Glamour Awards.

She soon became the first female artist to achieve thirteen top-ten hits in the United Kingdom!

10. Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is a West Yorkshire-born singer who began writing music at the young age of eleven.

His debut studio album + was released in 2011 and sold nearly three million copies in the United Kingdom and one and a half million in the United States.

He has won an impressive one hundred and eighty-six awards with four hundred and sixty-nine nominations, which includes four Grammy awards: Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Thinking Out Loud”, and Best Pop Vocal Album for Divide.

11. Olivia Newton-John

Dame Olivia Newton-John is a Cambridge-born singer and actress.

She has released six albums, with her most successful being the soundtrack Grease with John Travolta, released in 1978.

It sold over fourteen million copies worldwide and reached number one.

She obtained a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame in 1981 and has won four Grammy Awards: Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Let Me Be There”, Record of the Year for “I Honestly Love You”, and Video of the Year for Olivia Physical.

12. Paul McCartney

Sir James Paul McCartney first rose to fame around the world as the self-taught co-lead vocalist and bass guitarist for the Beatles.

He made an impressive solo career too, with twenty-six studio albums and thirteen of them reaching the number-one spot.

He is won eighteen Grammy Awards, including nine with the Beatles and six as a solo artist.

His songwriting partnership with John Lennon was one of the best-selling partnerships in the world and is still the most successful in history.

13. Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa is an English-Albanian singer born in London, who rose to fame upon the release of her self-titled debut album in 2017.

It was awarded triple Platinum certification by the British Phonographic Industry and quadruple Platinum by Music Canada.

She has won three Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Best Dance/Electronic Recording for “Electricity” with Silk City, and Best Pop Vocal Album for Future Nostalgia.

She has won one hundred and twenty-seven other awards, with three hundred and forty-two nominations.

14. Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding, born Elena Jane “Ellie” Goulding, is a singer from Hereford who rose to prominence after releasing her debut studio album Lights in 2010.

The album sold over one and a half million copies around the world and reached number one in the United Kingdom.

She has received thirty awards and seventy-four nominations, including Top Electronic/Dance Song for “Close To Me”, Best Female Solo Artist, Best International Song for “Love Me As You Do”, and Musician of the Year.

15. Seal

Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel, who goes by his first name Seal, is a British singer who has sold over twenty million records around the world.

He has won fourteen awards, including Song of the Year for his 1994 single “Kiss from a Rose”.

His self-titled debut studio album put him on the map, reaching number one in the United Kingdom and being awarded double platinum certification by the British Phonographic Industry.

16. Boy George

George Alan O’Dowd, better known by his stage name Boy George, has been the lead singer of the pop band Culture Club since 1981.

He began his solo career six years later, upon the release of his debut studio album Sold.

It was certified Silver in the United Kingdom and charted in seven different countries around the world.

The most popular single from the album is the hit “Everything I Own”, which charted at number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Norway.

17. Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox rose to fame with the Tourists, a new-age band from the late 1970s.

She had an even more successful solo career, with her debut studio album Diva reaching the number-one spot in the United Kingdom and Germany when it was released in 1992.

Lennox has won twenty-six awards, including four Grammy Awards including Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for “Would I Lie To You?”, Best Music Video – Long Form for Diva, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “No More ‘I Love You’s’”.

18. Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens, born Steven Demetre Georgiou in London, is a British instrumentalist and singer-songwriter.

In 2014 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his career developed from making folk tunes to Islamic.

His studio album Catch Bull At Four, which was released in 1972, reached number one in Australia and the United States.

It sold hundreds of thousands of copies in both the United States and the United Kingdom and was later certified Gold in both countries.

See also: Best Cat Stevens Songs

19. Liam Payne

Liam Payne rose to fame as a member of the boy band One Direction, alongside Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson.

They auditioned for X Factor in 2008 and shot to fame, becoming one of the most successful boybands of all time.

He began his solo career when he released his studio album LP1, which included the hit 2017 single “Strip That Down” featuring Quavo.

The hit sold over twelve million copies around the world and charted in at least ten different countries.

20. Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a British singer who is best known for being the lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC, a role he took over after Bon Scott’s death in 1980.

In 1976 he released his first and only solo single “I Can’t Forget You Now”.

Johnson was inducted, with the rest of the members of AC/DC, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and achieved much of his fame with the band.

21. Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield, born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien in London, was a mezzo-soprano singer.

She released twenty studio albums over her career, but her debut single “I Only Want to Be With You”, released in 1963, put her on the map.

The hit sold over one million copies worldwide and charted in five different countries around the world.

She has been coined an icon of the Swinging Sixties, with her bleach-blonde beehive hairdo and thick black eyeshadow.

22. Chris Martin

Chris Martin is an Exeter-born singer, songwriter, and musician, who is best known for being the lead singer of the band Coldplay.

He made the 2017 list of the most influential people in the United Kingdom, and the band has sold over one hundred million albums.

He has a moderately large solo discography which mainly consists of songwriting credits.

Martin was a featured artist on Band Aid 20’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, as well as David Brent’s “Electricity”.

23. Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb was a British singer-songwriter and musician who rose to prominence as a member of the Bee Gees.

He also had an incredible solo career, with eight studio albums and twenty-one singles.

His debut single “Saved By The Bell”, which was released in 1969 on the album Robin’s Reign, reached number one in the Netherlands and Ireland.

He also featured on the Comic Relief album Islands in the Stream, on the track “(Barry) Islands in the Stream”.

24. Kate Bush

Kate Bush is an English singer who rose to fame in the late 1970s upon the release of her debut single “Wuthering Heights”.

She was the first female artist in history to top the charts in the United Kingdom with a self-written song.

She had several number-one hits throughout the 80s and 90s, but her most successful is her recent release “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”, which was re-recorded in 2022 and featured on the series Stranger Things.

It sold millions of copies worldwide.

25. Ian Gillan

Ian Gillan is a British singer who is best known for being the lead singer in the rock band Deep Purple, after debuting as a member of Episode Six.

He has also had a successful solo career, singing vocals for the video game Blue Dragon.

26. Stormzy

Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr., better known by the stage name Stormzy, is a British singer and rapper.

He shot to fame upon the release of his debut studio album Gang Signs & Prayer, which was released in 2017 and reached number one in the UK.

He has won a total of thirty-one awards and received sixty-two nominations, including British Album of the Year for Gang Signs & Prayer, Best Song for “Power” with Little Mix, Best Worldwide Act, and Best Video for “Big For Your Boots”.

See also: Best British Rappers

27. Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams is a British singer who rose to prominence with the pop group Take That.

He began his solo career in 1996 and released several studio albums.

His most successful was Rudebox, which topped the chart in numerous different countries.

Williams has won countless awards for his work, including Solo Artist of the Year in 1998 and 2001, Best British Song of Twenty-five Years for “Angels” in 2005, and British Single of the Year for “She’s the One” in 2000.

28. Robert Plant

Robert Plant is a British singer who is best known for being the lead singer of the successful rock band Led Zepplin, known for his flamboyant personality and stage presence.

He was later introduced to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He has released eleven solo studio albums and began his solo career with the release of his debut studio album Pictures at Eleven in 1982.

It was certified platinum in the United States and Canada after reaching number one in the latter country.

29. Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff Richard is a British singer who is the third best-selling musician in the history of the United Kingdom Singles Chart and has sold over twenty-two million records.

His debut studio album Cliff Sings was released in 1959 and reached number two in the UK.

He has amassed several number-one hits during his career: two in the United Kingdom, two in Ireland, two in Norway, and one in Sweden.

His single “Congratulations” topped numerous charts around the world and was later certified Silver.

30. Jessie J

Jessica Ellen Cornish, better known by her stage name Jessie J, is a British singer who began her career at the young age of eleven when she landed a role in the West-End musical Whistle Down the Wind.

She was soon after offered a record deal!

Her debut studio album Who You Are proved very successful, being awarded quadruple Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry and double Platinum by the Irish Recorded Music Association.

Best British Singers – Final Thoughts

Britain has given the world some of the greatest rock, pop, and country stars of all time.

This article sheds some light on who you should check out, and what makes them so great.

We hope you enjoyed this article about the best British singers of all time.

You may also like: Best Singers of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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