female pop singers
Entertainment & Playlists

30 Best Female Pop Singers of All Time (Most Famous)

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Written By Will Fenton
Entertainment & Playlists

30 Best Female Pop Singers of All Time (Most Famous)

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Pop music has always been amazing; incredible fashion, relatable lyrics, electric stage performances, you know how it goes.

Then, there’s the smooth transition from one generation to the next.

Pop icons like Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Beyoncé still command an unmatched following worldwide, even when most are no longer involved in active music production or promotions. 

Then, we have the prodigies, slowly asserting their chart dominance while showing a willingness to go toe to toe with the veterans. 

This group includes young pop sensations such as Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo.

As you ponder the upcoming generation of pop singers, here are 30 incredible women who have left their mark on the biggest stage.

Enjoy our list of the best female pop singers of all time.

1. Whitney Houston

Let’s start with the “I Will Always Love You” hitmaker. 

Whitney Houston was purely a soul singer, but most of her songs always found their way to the pop scene, putting her among the best pop singers of all time. 

She’s also one of the best-selling female artists of all time, having sold over 200 million album units throughout her career.

2. Aretha Franklin

The “Queen of Soul” always showed up when it mattered the most, making history as the first woman inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

But that’s a mere highlight of her storied career, having entertained global audiences with 38 studio albums, 6 live albums, and 62 compilation albums.

Franklin started singing at her local church at a young age, crafting her skills to rise to international stardom. 

She relocated to New York at 18 to pursue her music career and had an uninspiring start, just like most female artists. 

Slowly but steadily, she began drawing audiences with her distinctive voice, rising from the humble little church girl of a few years earlier to become one of the best female singers of all time

3. Celine Dion

It’s impossible not to enjoy Celine Dion’s songs if you’re a true pop music lover.

The Canadian singer’s story is as good as a fairytale, rising from a small city to become one of the most successful female pop singers of all time.

Dion’s journey began in Charlemagne, Quebec, when she recognized her passion for music at a young age, fascinated about making it on the biggest stage.

She grew up in a family of 14 children, with her musical background playing a pivotal role in her later successes.

At 12, Dion had already composed her first song thanks to her brother’s support. 

That was the start of an exciting journey for the decorated Canadian singer.

A journey that culminated in 5 Grammy Awards, 7 Billboard Music Awards, and 12 World Music Awards, among other accolades.

4. Mariah Carey

Many people associate Mariah Carey with the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” holiday song, which is fair enough considering it’s her most successful single. 

But that’s not the only song on the pop singer’s discography. 

She also released “We Belong Together,” “Hero,” and “Always Be My Baby.”

Mariah’s songs have found their way to radio stations, weddings, and shopping malls, becoming a mainstay name in the pop scene and one of the best female pop singers ever. 

5. Rihanna

We won’t remind you that Rihanna is among the best female pop singers of all time. 

But we will share a few things you probably didn’t know about the celebrated Queen of Barbados.

On her way to international stardom, Rihanna broke several Guinness World Records, becoming the “female artist with the most US no. 1 singles in a year and “most digital no. 1 singles in the US.”

Another little-known secret about Riri is that she starred briefly in The Lonely Island. 

She learned vocal lessons from Ne-Yo before establishing herself among the greatest female pop singers in history. 

6. Katy Perry

Many people don’t know that Katy Perry came from a Christian background and started her career as a budding Christian singer.

But it all ended prematurely when her gospel-inspired debut album, Katy Hudson (2001), performed poorly in the mainstream market, forcing her to reconsider her strategies and long-term goals.

Read more:  30 Best One-Hit Wonders of the '80s

She transitioned to secular music after moving to Los Angeles, adopting the Katy Perry stage name at the same time.

Katy got her major success with the “I Kissed a Girl” single, a sexual anthem that resonated with her fan base. 

The ensuing controversy made Katy famous, pushing the hit single to #1 in many countries.

Almost 2 decades later, the American artist has become the face of contemporary pop music, releasing 6 studio albums to secure her place amongst the genre’s best female singers of all time. 

7. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s relatable hit songs have made her one of the best female pop singers of all time. 

She bases her lyrics on everyday experiences, from teen country songs to soulful heartbreak anthems that glimpse her personal life.

As the gorgeous, popular, and sometimes controversial American singer she is, Taylor constantly captures everyone’s imagination with her passionate storytelling abilities.

Most importantly, she takes her craft seriously, blending her natural talent with perseverance and hard work to grow into one of the best female pop singers ever.

Some of the hit songs that have endeared the American singer to pop music lovers include “Love Story,” “Blank Space,” and “Fearless.”

See also: Best Taylor Swift Songs

8. Shakira

Shakira’s cultural impact is just as big as her inspiring career.

She is a crossover sensation who influenced many upcoming female artists with her belly dancing and bi-lingual singing ability to capture global audiences.

Shakira’s mesmerizing voice contributed to her popularity.

And for more than 3 decades, she’s been the face of Latin music, packing concerts around the world while constantly leaving everything on stage. 

Shakira has graced some of the biggest occasions in the world, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where she dazzled everyone with the “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” hit.

See also: Best Shakira Songs

9. Janet Jackson

Janet Damita Jo Jackson is from the Jackson family of entertainers that produced the musical icon and undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

The American artist is notable for her socially conscious lyrics, becoming one of the best female pop singers of all time. 

Jackson’s take on everyday experiences has made her a likable character, breaking racial barriers to become an important role model for the younger generation. 

10. Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand is an American singer and actress who found massive success with traditional pop and disco music.

She started performing in the 1960s in Broadway theatres and nightclubs, releasing her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album, in 1963 after signing with Columbia Records.

The American icon is among the few female pop singers to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards (EGOT) for her contributions to the entertainment industry. 

Barbra has ruled the music charts and the screen for years, releasing memorable songs such as “Woman in Love,” “Guilty,” and “I Finally Found Someone.”

11. Karen Carpenter

Karen Anne Carpenter was an American singer from the 1950s who formed the Carpenters vocal and instrumental duo alongside Richard Carpenter.

She rose to mainstream success with her smooth, distinctive vocals that always put her above her peers in the 1960s and 1970s.

Carpenter began her career as the band’s drummer before switching to singing, later becoming the group’s frontwoman as the vocal duo earned more success.

12. Tina Turner

Tina Turner is a former singer, dancer, author, and actress nicknamed the “Queen of Rock n’ Roll.”

She reached global audiences with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue musical duo before embarking on a successful career as a solo artist.

While Tina is best known for her rock music, she also enjoyed massive success with pop, R&B, and soul music. 

Her 1984 hit single, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” won a Grammy award besides being her only single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

13. Selena Gomez

Like many female pop singers, Selena Gomez has had a long journey in the entertainment industry since appearing in the Barney and Friends television series in the early 2000s.

She gained global attention after featuring in the Wizards of Waverly Place between 2007 and 2012 before launching her music career.

Today, the American singer is a household name in the pop scene, loved for her beautiful voice, good music, and natural beauty.

Gomez’s best songs include “Love You Like a Love Song,” “Come & Get It,” and “Same Old Love.”

14. Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera was bold enough to include controversial topics such as sexuality and feminism in her songs, becoming a powerful force in the entertainment industry in the late 90s and early 2000s. 

Read more:  15 Best Songs About Teeth

She started her career in 1999 with an eponymous debut album, featuring the successful hit singles “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You),” “What a Girl Wants,” and “Genie in a Bottle.”

Christina has sold over 100 million album units worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling female pop singers of all time.  

She’s also won 5 Grammy Awards, 6 ALMA Awards, 2 Latin Grammy Awards, a Billboard Music Award, and 2 MTV Music Video Awards. 

15. Kelly Clarkson

Originality has defined Kelly Clarkson throughout her music career.

She’s one of the best things to come out of American Idol, growing into a celebrated pop star with relatable songs.

Kelly is one of a kind, who’s risen above all life’s obstacles to keep entertaining her fans with what she does best.

In the midst of her successful career have been the usual obstacles, including her publicized divorce from Brandon Blackstock in 2020.

Indeed, our “lives would suck” as pop lovers without the 3-time Grammy Award winner. 

16. Lady Gaga

There are countless reasons to fall in love with Lady Gaga.

She’s popular.

She releases good music.

And she’s confident. 

Gagaloo is the singer behind the songs “Poker Face,” “Bad Romance,” and “Paparazzi.”

Quite a few singers can match the New York native when it comes to charisma and natural talent.

But that’s not all.

Another noticeable thing about Lady Gaga is her wide-ranging musical knowledge as a singer, pianist, drummer, and guitarist.

Mother Monster makes her presence felt every time she walks on stage with her confident attitude and incredibly motivated persona.  

17. Beyoncé 

Beyoncé needs no introduction to pop music lovers.

She’s one of the most successful singers of all time, with a career that began in the 90s with Destiny’s Child.

She’s won 22 Grammy Awards, branched into entrepreneurship and acting, and even married rapper Jay-Z while doing what she loves the most; singing. 

Queen Bey is also among the richest female singers in the world, thanks to her successful music career and other investments. 

18. Dua Lipa

As gorgeous as they can get.

Dua Lipa always gets all eyes on her with her satisfying appeal and incredible fashion sense.

Her rise to mainstream success was unpredictable, quickly gaining fame with her 2017 eponymous debut album and the successful hit singles “New Rules,” “IDGAF,” and “Be the One.”

Dua continues to wow global audiences with her beauty and magical voice.

19. Adele

Many consider Adele as one of the greatest female singers of all time.

And that’s so because she’s done everything to deserve a place among the best female entertainers ever.

Her breathy, soulful voice in songs such as “Someone Like You” is one to die for. 

And her lyrics in songs such as “Rollin in the Deep” have been sung by millions around the world.

Adele is also one of the best-selling female singers of all time, with her 21 album rightly placed among the best-selling albums in the UK.

20. Diana Ross

Diana Ross is best remembered for her time with The Supremes, an American girl group founded in Detroit in the 1950s.

She launched a solo career in 1970 after quitting the girl group, quickly establishing herself among the decade’s best performers with her #1 “Aint No Mountain High Enough” hit single. 

Diana continued her successes throughout the 80s and 90s with more chart-topping singles, including “Upside Down,” “Endless Love,” and “When You Tell Me That You Love Me.”

She’s also starred as an actress, featuring in Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Mahogany (1975), and The Wiz (1978). 

In 1976, Billboard named Diana the “Female Entertainer of the Century,” confirming her place among the greatest female pop singers of all time. 

21. Madonna

Of course, the Queen of Pop has to be among the greatest female pop singers of all time.

She created the perfect template that many upcoming pop singers have adopted.

At the height of her career, Madonna distinguished herself as a fiercely independent female singer who redefined cultural imagery.

She changed people’s perspectives on women, ushering in a new era of self-empowerment that quickly made her controversial.

Madonna was among the first female singers to experiment with several music styles, finding success with dance, pop, and rock music. 

Her influence continues to date, with songs such as “Las Isla Bonita” that have attracted millions of YouTube views. 

22. Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish is the carefree spirit in the pop music scene who’s had a massive influence on global audiences at a young age.

She doesn’t care what anybody thinks about her and will never allow anyone’s opinion to get into her head.

Read more:  15 Best Jennifer Lopez Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

Born in Los Angeles, Billie’s story changed from an unknown singer to one of the best female pop singers in the world even before her 18th birthday. 

Apart from her unique voice, the American singer constantly turns up in baggy clothes to “avoid being sexualized.”

23. Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue is the best-selling female pop singer in Australia. 

She was born in Melbourne, Australia, and became popular after starring in the Neighbours soap opera as Charlene Robinson.

Like Madonna and other upscale pop singers, Kylie reinvents her style to stay ahead of the competition. 

Her accolades include 17 ARIA Music Awards, 3 Brit Awards, and a Grammy Award, ranking among the best female pop singers ever. 

24. Pink

Alecia Beth Moore Hart, commonly known as Pink, is the rule breaker who came into the spotlight as a member of the Choice girl group.

She was born and raised in Pennsylvania and found initial fame with her Can’t Take Me Home (2000) debut album.

Pink has released several chart-topping singles, constantly drawing crowds with her raspy voice and unique stage presence.

The American singer’s discography has attracted a roster of awards, including the Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards, and Billboard Awards. 

25. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has had an eventful journey in the entertainment industry, from her time as a backup dancer to Janet Jackson to becoming one of the greatest female pop singers of all time.

She’s been around for over 2 decades, releasing successful hit singles such as “Aint Your Mama,” “Jenny from the Block,” and “Booty.”

J.Lo has also had a successful acting career, appearing in Selena (1997), Anaconda (1997), and Out of Sight (1998), among other films. 

26. Ariana Grande

A triple threat entertainer. 

Super talented.

And gorgeous.

That’s Ariana Grande.

She’s been one of the most consistent female pop singers since bursting onto the scene in 2013 with her Yours Truly debut album. 

Grande has won numerous awards, including 2 Billboard Music Awards, 9 MTV Video Music Awards, 30 Guinness World Records, and 2 Grammy Awards.

Ariana achieved international fame with her “Bang Bang,” “Break Free,” and “Problem” singles, becoming one of the best female pop singers ever.

27. Dusty Springfield

Modern pop music lovers may not know how good Dusty Springfield was at the height of her career.

The London-born female singer had a unique mezzo-soprano sound that often distinguished her from her peers.

She excelled with pop, blue-eyed soul, country, jazz, and French chanson, ranking among the best British singers in the 1960s.

She was part of The Springfields folk-rock group that entertained UK audiences in the 1960s, releasing 3 studio albums, 6 EPs, and several hit singles. 

One of Dusty’s best-ever pop records, “I Only Want to Be With You,” reached #4 in the UK, pushing her to fame in the early 1960s. 

28. Kate Bush

Kate Bush is an English singer who gained countrywide fame with her debut hit single, “Wuthering Heights.”

She was only 19 at the time, laying the foundation for a successful career that climaxed into over 20 UK Top 40 singles.

Kate released 10 albums throughout her career, all of them reaching the Top 10 in the UK albums chart.

She’s identified with her unconventional lyrics and electric stage performances that often send the crowds into a frenzy.

Kate is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and one of the greatest female pop singers in history. 

29. Cher

Cher is a legendary American female singer, television personality, and actress nicknamed the “Goddess of Pop.”

She stood out with her contralto singing voice, adopting numerous musical styles throughout a storied 6-decade career to establish herself among the best female pop singers ever. 

Cher first came into the spotlight with the Sonny & Cher musical duo of the 1960s, getting instant success with the “I Got You Babe” single, later covered by UB40, Chrissie Hynde, and Blackmore’s Night.

It’s hard to find many artists who conquered film, TV, and music simultaneously for over 6 decades, making Cher one of the greatest female entertainers ever. 

30. Britney Spears

The last female pop singer on our list has an interesting side story in gymnastics. 

Britney Spears has been in the spotlight for over 2 decades since debuting with her “Baby One More Time” hit single.

The American singer has placed 6 albums atop the Billboard 200 and 5 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Britney Spears found the right balance between delivering emotional content and attracting commercial appeal, becoming a mainstay name in the pop scene from the early 90s.

See also: Best Britney Spears Songs

Best Female Pop Singers of All Time – Final Thoughts

Pop is a catchy style of music that involves simple lyrics, energetic stage performances, and memorable beats. 

For many, it’s the most entertaining type of music, even though it’s never an actual genre. 

This guide has highlighted the 30 best female pop singers of all time for a taste of catchy popular music.

These amazing women have left their mark on the biggest stage with catchy voices and painfully relatable lyrics about everyday experiences.

You may also like: Best Pop Singers & Artists

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Will Fenton

Introduced to good music at a young age through my father. The first record I remember being played was "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley, I must've been six years old. By the time I was seven, I was taking drum lessons once a week. The challenge but the euphoric feeling of learning a new song was addicting, and I suppose as they say the rest was history. Favorite album of all time? Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones Best gig you've ever been to? Neil Young at Desert Trip in 2016 Media mentions: Evening Standard Daily Mail

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