Everett True's List of The Ten Greatest Female Singers of the 20th Century


What about Connie Francis. Huge in 50s-60s Perfect pitch, powerful voice. Whether it was pop, country, swing. etc. Recorded in 9 languages. America's greatest export!!
You are perfect. I always think of Yoko Ono before I think of Barbra Streisand. I may not be a fan of Streisand's song choices but her voice is the best I have heard - non opera.
This list is pathetic... Madonna?? Yoko? ... there are a few accurate entries, but where's Mariah Carey!?
Are you sick? or just kidding....LOL!! Give me a break, laddie. Yoko Ono and Madonna on the same list as Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith. ok.
The author has confused "great singer" with "influential personality" on a few counts, leaving no room for Janis Joplin, Mama Cass Elliot, Natalie Merchant, Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan(WAY better singer than Madonna), Chrissy Hynde(better singer than JJ)and I could go on.
Where's Ma Rainey? Are you kidding dude. How can Bessie Smith be on the list and not the Queen of the Blues? Yoko Ono please! And as far as Nina Simone "being so outspoken" that's just stupid, she was a performer during the anti apartheid movement in America.
This is like the retarded child of some douchebag's Amazon "look-at-me" list of how awesome their taste is.
Joan Jett?! Ewww....You meant Patti Smith.
This list shows that Everett True knows bugger all about the art of singing. Most, if not all of the above cannot touch Whitney Huston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and that blond whatever her name is from the Mickey Mouse Show. I mean, Madonna, c'mon.
Oh, and I forgot Beyonce Knowles. These people can really sing. Madonna, Yoko, ha ha ha haaa!!!
You must be a total nut job to even put Yoko Ono on this list. You must have some serious mental issues. I would rate a pack of wolves howling above Yoko Ono! I would rate the gruts of wild boars above Yoko Ono! This list has discredited you opinion on music!!!
You're fucking with us, right. Lauren Hill, Madonna and Yoko Ono and no MIA ZAPATA!! Mia's singing sends chills and inspires and enlightens. I'd put her right at the very top of the list.
First of all, how did I miss this article? Second of all.. I wish I had missed it; now I'm all fired up.
1. Madonna!? MADONNA!? You discuss her fame and pop star status, but never her "voice". Did you miss the title of your own piece? She never even sang live until Elton John called her out. She's famous for her body, videos, and statements. Madonna's voice? No.
2. Umm... Lauryn Hill is a rapper. Did you forget? And oh yeah, her ONE great album came at the brink of this century. And she still qualifies as one of the ten best? Did you look back at all?
3. I'm going to argue with Aretha Franklin, and on this one I know i might be in the minority. The reason no instrument can play those notes is because instruments play in TUNE. Aretha's always been all over the place, and it doesn't have genuine ground to me. She has no range (meaning able to bring it down and entice the listener with something other than blowing). Plus, she's really only had a few good songs.
4. What about Ronnie Spector, the inspiration for the Wall of Sound in the 60s? Joni Mitchell's lovely soprano? Renee Fleming, of wonderful opera fame? (On that note, no opera singers?) And yes, even Whitney Houston, the golden voice, came out in the 80s. Her voice could do anything, and reach all people.

I see now why the Stranger buried it quickly back in its archives. This article is embarrassing.
Musical taste is wholly subjective, so I do find all the accusations of depravity a touch silly--but such are the perils of making a top 10 list.

Thank you for putting Lady Day #1; I just finished her autobiography, and listening to her songs now I am yet further convinced that she is the greatest Jazz singer of all time.

I personally would have replaced Madonna, Yoko Ono, and Lauryn Hill with Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, and Tracy Chapman, and tried to find a place for Grace Slick as well, but that's just me.
johnette napolitano is #1 on my list.
Could have included MS SubbuLakshmi and Latha Mangeshkar of India,
Just for the record, this piece was written about a decade ago (originally for an Australian mainstream newspaper) and I totally, vehemently, disagree with all my above choices. Aside from Holiday, Simone, Jett... and Ono, of course.
Furthermore, I gave up compiling "10 Greatest" lists about eight years ago, for the reasons stated above.
No Mavis Staples?
Where would pre-94 Kat Bjelland rate? Just curious...
I agree about Yoko but no one else in my life does. But no one in my life has bothered to listen to her music.
last question: how do you feel about Joni Mitchell?
*pphhhhttt* No Yma Sumac? Christ, she had a 4 and 1/8 octave range! I understand that there's always going to be some disagreement in top ten lists but you have to be fucking kidding me with Yoko Ono, Joan Jett, Madonna etc.
BTW, if you were born Jerry Thackray but now go by Everett True why do you log in as Jerry Thackray? Isn't that a touch redundant?
I love Madonna, but this is a greatest singers list...she does not deserve to be in this list and neither does Yoko Ono or really Joan Jett...
Madonna, by and large, has sung live throughout her career. Anyone who says otherwise obviously has not seen all of her tours. Sheh ad throat troubles during the Blond Ambition Tour, and relied on backing recorded vocals for some nights more than others, but seeing video and listening to audio clealry shows that she mnostly sang live, even on that tour. Madonna usually fares well on best-of/greatest lists, so why anyone would be surprised to see her place well here or anywhere else is beyond me.

Anyhow, this list should have been called "artists" rather than "singers." Having a great voice doesn't necessarily translate to being a great artist, anyhow, as some of the big-voiced "divas" have shown us.
To make a list of the ten greatest female singers and not have Celine Dion, Whitney Houston , Mariah Carey or Barbara Streisand But Yoko Ono and Madonna on the list. Did you at one time abuse drugs very badly and lose your brain cells?????
Like I said above (for some reason, can't log in as JR1), the writer probably meant "artists" rather than acts with the best vocal abilities. Great artistry, IMO, is more important than being an outstanding vocalist, as a number of artists have shown. Among females, Aretha Franklin is the top example of an act with a big, outstanding voice whose voice is/was so powerful, that it made her an outstanding artist.
Any "best female vocalist" list that does not include Barbra Streisand isn't even worth acknowledging. Next ....
Ann Effing Wilson. 'Nuff said.
lauryn's not a great hiphop artist? she's more than arguably the best female MC of all time
How sad, by far the greatest female singer of all time was Linda Ronstadt! She could sing any type of music and make it a hit. Down here in Kansas we know no one even comes close to Linda!
Judy Garland, Doris Day, Jane Froman , Ruth Etting, Faye Templeton, etc., etc. Yoko Ono? Madonna? Tammy Wynette? Joan Jett? Are you ------- kidding me. I even like Joan Jett, but , greatest female SINGERS? A century is 100 years. Your list is absurd. Expand it to 100 and 7 or 8 of your 10 might be on it. As it is, 4 at best make a TOP 10 of the 20 th century. This is the internet. Idiots who know nothing making definitive lists. Go away.