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Greatest Female Singer

   Discussion: Greatest Female Singer
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 18 years, 4 months ago
Some of my favorites are:
  • Annie Haslam, formerly the lead singer for Rennaisance.
  • Sarah Vaughn
  • Joan Baez
  • Billie Holiday
goovie is married! Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
ok, this is too depressing that no one else has posted to this one, but the "greatest male singer" thread is thriving.

i'll second joan and billie, and throw in ella fitzgerald and edith piaf.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
Please shoot me for not mentioning Piaf. You know how much I love her. Ella I can appreciate on an intellectual level but I'm prejudiced against her. I knew her from an Abbot and Costello movie singing A tisket a tasket and thought it was really silly. It is hard to overcome that.

That being said, how could I forget Bessie Smith? the greatest blues singer ever. period, finito.

One more thing. The female songwriter thread also was given short shrift compared to the male. What gives?
It's a girl! Back · 18 years, 4 months ago

 It's depressing, but I can think of more female singers I don't like than ones that I do.  Like I can't stand Janis Joplin. I don't care if that's sacrilege.  Growing up, I loved to sing along with The Bangles and The Go-Gos, but let's face it,  Susanna Hoffs and Belinda Carlisle bleat like sheep. Madonna? Please. I always think of this stand up comic doing a parody of "Like A Prayer"  oO My success is a mystery/cos I can only sing in the key of "c" Oo

  Still, I am going to try to come up with a list of really good female singers:

           -Cass Elliot ( a bit Ethel Mermanish at times, but way more melodic)

            - Cyndi Lauper (too bad her stuff sucked after "She's So Unusual," cos the woman has some serious pipes)

           - Melanie C.  (yep-- Sporty Spice. don't hold it against her though, she can really sing)

    - Agnetha and Frida from ABBA  (and now Gordon will kill me)

    - Julie Murphy Wells  (as Shelly would say, "like hi!")

  - Aretha Franklin ( although NOT her cover of "Eleanor Rigby")

 Dude! My list turned out way longer than I thought it would!  

goovie is married! Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
yesyesyes, cass elliot and aretha franklin. shoot me for forgetting them.
i wish i could mention joni mitchell, but her voice is practically ruined now.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
I agree about Cass and Aretha.

Has anyone mentioned Barbra? If not she certainly belongs.
Beth Back · 18 years, 4 months ago

I'm quite with you there on Cass Elliot and Melanie C.  :)

Right now, and for the last couple years, I've felt like Neko Case has the very best voice.

100% dainty! Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
I totally agree with the sporty spice thing. she was the best!! and she can actually sing
goovie is married! Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
gordon. you. are. lame.
next time i see you, i'm going to do nothing but play ella at you until you get over your stupid prejudice and figure out how great she was.
Alan Mendelsohn Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
Nooo! Don't threaten him, or you'll bring down 'All Barbra, All the Time' upon us all!
Eri Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
I have to throw in my vote for Ella, and add Diane Reeves and Carol Welsman.
I can see the bunny · 18 years, 4 months ago
- Judy Garland
- Billie Holiday
- Lena Horne
- Bette Midler (early in her career)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
I saw Bette really early in her career. She was in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.
I can see the bunny Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
*is jealous*

Bette's first couple of albums were amazing (back when Manilow was her music director and she was still singing in the bath houses)
Shelly Back · 17 years, 9 months ago

my friend thom actually -saw- her back then when barry was her piano player/MD.

cwazy!!!!   *envious*

angelmusicmaven · 18 years, 4 months ago
Known to some people as kind of the next-generation Streisand, but doesn't have as much clenchy vibrato, which is what puts a lot of us off to her... Linda is fun and terribly attractive too, that always helps... She rox...
hkath · 18 years, 4 months ago
No one's mentioned Nina Simone!

goovie is married! Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
right you are, kath, and we should be severely beaten for it. nina rocked.
Rachel Beck · 18 years, 4 months ago
Emma Kirkby (the first classical soprano I ever really liked)
Ella Fitzgerald
Billie Holliday
Bessie Smith
Aretha Franklin
Marian Anderson
Mahalia Jackson
Gillian Welch

They all make me goosebumpy.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
I was going to put in Marian Anderson but didn't because she is more of a classical singer. I probably should have though.

OK anyone notice how many more African Americans there are among the women mentioned than the men?
no one Back · 18 years, 4 months ago
What about non Americans? Not many here. If the criteria are similar to those mentioned in the "male singer" topic,

(... in terms of highest quality, not popularity or influence. ... To be the greatest you need the total package. I was thinking of saying greatest vocalist which would perhaps lay more stress on the voice as an instrument. -Gordon,)

Nina Hagen belongs here. I was so taken by her voice and technique that I did a mental double take when someone said to me: "You like Nina Hagen? I didn't take you for someone who liked punk music." Her music is a bit wild sometimes, ok, most times, but, well, her classical training combines well with whatever you want to call this modern type music, whatever you want to call it, Min.
stealthlori Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
> What about non Americans?

Celine Dion.

*runs away*
nitsita Back · 18 years, 1 month ago

Yes. 

Run away.

Far away.

*shudder*

Nathan · 18 years, 4 months ago
I think Laura Cantrell is an excellent singer, though.
RyansBabe · 18 years, 2 months ago
The greatest Female Singer of all time is Barbra Streisand. And Madonna is a wonderful singer!  
nate... Back · 18 years, 2 months ago
Heh.
Well, someone had to add the humor, I suppose.
:)
no one Back · 18 years, 2 months ago
Great voice, shame about the songs.
Sarah THE chicken Back · 18 years, 2 months ago

Madonna may sing OKAY but she is total trash   

Gordondon son of Ethelred · 18 years, 2 months ago
Any other Emmylou Harris fans out there? She is amazing.
emilie is CRANKY Back · 18 years, 2 months ago
*raises hand*
stealthlori Back · 18 years, 2 months ago
yep yep.
Phoenix Back · 18 years, 2 months ago
oh yes! And I will probably miss an Emmylou show (which is a rare event over here)due to dental surgery. Yuck.
Shelly Back · 17 years, 9 months ago

me!!! mee!!! meeeeeeee!!!

i *heart* emmylou.  i was SOOOOO envious as a child when my uncle got the LP{yes...LP....as in RECORD} of 'quarter moon in a ten cent town' and i didn't...have coveted it ever since....

hrm.......i should go see if it's on CD now...lol

i mean...she -is- 'the famous aphrodite nightingale'.......how -could- anyone but love her???!!!

Bender · 18 years, 2 months ago
<sarcasm> What about me? </sarcasm>
nate... Back · 18 years, 2 months ago
Merf?
I've never heard of her....
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 2 months ago
I knew you were going to say that :-)
Doug Smiley · 18 years, 2 months ago

Siouxsie Sioux

Gordondon son of Ethelred · 18 years, 1 month ago
The Fairport Convention version of Percy's song was just on the radio and that made me realize that nobody mentioned Sandy Denny; She might have equals but nobody was ever better.
goovie is married! Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
oh, you are so right. thanks for remembering her.
nitsita · 18 years, 1 month ago

Billie
Ella
Blossom Dearie (so cute)
Holly Cole (particularily the Blame it on my Youth which I know most)

and then for the ones you (most likely) won't know:

Brigitte Fontaine
Anne Sylvestre
Jane Birkin
Catherine Ringer
Maurane (don't really like her, but she can SING)

my 0.02$

goovie is married! Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
eeee! i adore blossom. i had an icon of her for a long time here, and i think the song i wrote last night is very much in her style. i'm just sorry i didn't know about her until kissing jessica stein.
Joella · 17 years, 9 months ago
um..... i like Dido
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 9 months ago
Wasn't she in a band with Aeneas?
goovie is married! Back · 17 years, 9 months ago
yeah, i saw them once opening for orpheus and eurydice.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 9 months ago
They didn't make it big because they crossed Styx.
Shawna login infrequent Back · 17 years, 9 months ago

...or touring with Tristan and Isolde.   

Shelly · 17 years, 9 months ago

ok......i MAY be goin a little too 'musical theatre' for y'all in -some- respects, but here are my votes thus far:

~audra mc donald

~barbara cook{i LOVE her 'disney album'!!!}

~ella{of course}

~billie{duh!!}

~mahalia jackson

~lena horne

~julie andrews{before the poor thing lost her voice}

~barbra streisand{though she CAN at times get on my nerves}

~bette midler{i -love- the 'beaches' soundtrack especially, but also love her other stuff, too. i was OBSESSED with the title track from 'the rose' when i was in 7th grade and it came out!!} 

~julie murphy wells{ok..i know...predictable, butstill, miss thing can SAAANNNGG!!}

~i like -some- of linda eder, but she, too can get on my nerves sometimes....

~judy kuhn{she was 'betty schaefer' on the american premiere recording of 'sunset blvd' and also did the singing for the title role in disney's 'pocohontas'}

~liz callaway{and she's cool; i met her when her husband directed a show for us!!}

~jodi benson{yea..i know......'the little mermaid'..big whooop...but she had some pipes!}

~ann crumb{who was 'rose vibert' on the 'aspects of love' cast recording  and hwo i worked with 2 times and was, ironically playing at my old theatre tonight and i had no clue...lol}

~judy  garland before she got all druggedy....

~kate smith.  girlfriend had some PIPES!!!!

~rosemary clooney

i am SURE i'm forgetting some people, but...um..reserve the right to come back and re-vote  ;)

Paul · 17 years, 8 months ago
Maddy Prior
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Good choice. I only saw her once but she impressed the hell out of me. it is funny since I saw her with Steeleye Span on a triple bill with Rennaisance who's lead singer Annie Haslam I mentioned in the first post on this forum. The third act was Fairport Convention, post Sandy Denny. Sandy is also on my short list. I know I mentioned her somewhere on this thread.

I bonded with Maddie on her choice of material. When I was 12 I entered the "Words that Live" contest at school. It was a spoken word contest, I went through my anthology of English Lit book for the most obscure piece using the weirdest language I could find. I chose the Twa Corbies, and old scottish ballad that I read not sang. Years later I found out that Maddie liked it too and added it to her repetoire.

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