Full List: Rolling Stone’s ‘The 200 Best Singers of All-Time’ (2023)

Rolling Stone has been causing a stir with their lists and when there’s any type of ranking coming from a popular music magazine, it’s going to get people angry, bothered, emotional and annoyed – especially when those people are fans of the slighted song, band, TV show, or album. All those feelings really came to the fore for Rolling Stone’s The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time list they released on January 1st, 2023.

Most of that negative emotion seemed to be focused on the exclusion of a really really good singer in Celine Dion.

In fact that’s how I even knew this list existed — the deluge of social media posts speaking to the absence of the skinny Canadian pop singer behind songs like “My Heart Will Go On,” “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” and several other big singles was louder than Celine belting out the chorus at her first Las Vegas residency show.

Here’s the offending full list including Rosalia, Michael Stipe, Brenda Lee, Debbie Harry, Luther Vandross, Dolly Parton, Thom Yorke, Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight, Beyonce, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Rolling Stones 200 Best Singers of All-Time
Rank Singer
200 Rosalía
199 Glenn Danzig
198 Billie Eilish
197 Burna Boy
196 Paul Westerberg
195 Poly Styrene
194 Kelly Clarkson
193 Brandy
192 Anohni
191 Jung Kook
190 Frank Ocean
189 Joan Baez
188 Fela Kuti
187 Bonnie Raitt
186 Ofra Haza
185 Alicia Keys
184 Karen O
183 Solomon Burke
182 Jazmine Sullivan
181 Bob Seger
180 SZA
179 Martha Wash
178 Tabu Ley Rochereau
177 Patty Loveless
176 Iggy Pop
175 Lana Del Rey
174 Buddy Holly
173 Marianne Faithfull
172 Juan Gabriel
171 Odetta
170 Chris Stapleton
169 Sylvester
168 Debbie Harry
167 Marc Anthony
166 Morrissey
165 Ronnie James Dio
164 Sandy Denny
163 Bobby “Blue” Bland
162 Françoise Hardy
161 Brenda Lee
160 Mercedes Sosa
159 Mississippi John Hurt
158 Carrie Underwood
157 Robert Smith
156 George Strait
155 Corin Tucker
154 Dion
153 Mahlathini
152 Michael Stipe
151 Martha Reeves
150 Bryan Ferry
149 Wanda Jackson
148 Levon Helm
147 Barbra Streisand
146 Ruth Brown
145 PJ Harvey
144 Darlene Love
143 Luciano
142 Russell Thompkins Jr.
141 Christina Aguilera
140 Bono
139 Rocío Dúrcal
138 Merle Haggard
137 El DeBarge
136 Lauryn Hill
135 IU
134 Axl Rose
133 Neil Young
132 Loretta Lynn
131 Jeff Buckley
130 Courtney Love
129 Rob Halford
128 Florence Welch
127 Tammy Wynette
126 Donny Hathaway
125 Joe Strummer
124 Robert Johnson
123 Karen Carpenter
122 Donna Summer
121 Jackie Wilson
120 Charlie Rich
119 Barrington Levy
118 John Fogerty
117 Patti Smith
116 Chet Baker
115 Erykah Badu
114 Chrissie Hynde
113 La India
112 Ozzy Osbourne
111 Fiona Apple
110 The Weeknd
109 Roger Daltrey
108 Caetano Veloso
107 Lou Reed
106 Bill Withers
105 Eddie Vedder
104 Aaron Neville
103 Leonard Cohen
102 Taylor Swift
101 Gladys Knight
100 Elton John
99 Clyde McPhatter
98 Bob Marley
97 Usher
96 Chuck Berry
95 Vicente Fernández
94 Toots Hibbert
93 Stevie Nicks
92 Anita Baker
91 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
90 Gal Costa
89 Selena
88 Jimmie Rodgers
87 Diana Ross
86 Michael Jackson
85 Johnny Cash
84 Lata Mangeshkar
83 Amy Winehouse
82 Steve Perry
81 João Gilberto
80 Chris Cornell
79 Emmylou Harris
78 Janis Joplin
77 Bruce Springsteen
76 Wilson Pickett
75 D’Angelo
74 Patti LaBelle
73 Héctor Lavoe
72 Muddy Waters
71 Roy Orbison
70 Ronnie Spector
69 Youssou N’Dour
68 Rihanna
67 Dennis Brown
66 David Ruffin
65 Minnie Riperton
64 Björk
63 Robert Plant
62 George Michael
61 Umm Kulthum
60 Kate Bush
59 Howlin’ Wolf
58 Lady Gaga
57 Brian Wilson
56 Barry White
55 Tina Turner
54 Willie Nelson
53 Miriam Makeba
52 Mick Jagger
51 Sade
50 Joni Mitchell
49 Rod Stewart
48 Toni Braxton
47 Linda Ronstadt
46 Mavis Staples
45 Ella Fitzgerald
44 James Brown
43 Ariana Grande
42 Teddy Pendergrass
41 Etta James
40 Aaliyah
39 Louis Armstrong
38 Curtis Mayfield
37 Van Morrison
36 Kurt Cobain
35 Dusty Springfield
34 Thom Yorke
33 Bessie Smith
32 David Bowie
31 Luther Vandross
30 Hank Williams
29 Chaka Khan
28 Mahalia Jackson
27 Dolly Parton
26 Paul McCartney
25 Mary J. Blige
24 George Jones
23 Smokey Robinson
22 Adele
21 Nina Simone
20 Marvin Gaye
19 Frank Sinatra
18 Celia Cruz
17 Elvis Presley
16 Prince
15 Bob Dylan
14 Freddie Mercury
13 Patsy Cline
12 John Lennon
11 Little Richard
10 Al Green
9 Otis Redding
8 Beyoncé
7 Stevie Wonder
6 Ray Charles
5 Mariah Carey
4 Billie Holiday
3 Sam Cooke
2 Whitney Houston
1 Aretha Franklin

Does Celine Dion belong on a list of 200 of the best singers of all-time? I don’t know. I love the music I like but I don’t put much thought into who the best singers in the history of singing are. I imagine that after the first two dozen most well-known vocalists, it gets pretty subjective after that and there are just so many good singers globally that have existed in the history of time.

In Rolling Stone’s defense, they did say that having a great voice doesn’t mean they’re a great singer. That’s a difference that they called in the third paragraph of the article:

“…keep in mind that this is the Greatest Singers list, not the Greatest Voices List. Talent is impressive; genius is transcendent. Sure, many of the people here were born with massive pipes, perfect pitch, and boundless range. Others have rougher, stranger, or more delicate instruments. As our write-up for the man who ended up at Number 112 notes, “Ozzy Osbourne doesn’t have what most people would call a good voice, but boy does he have a great one.” That could apply to more than a few people here…”

It seems that the most-outraged internet commenters didn’t read that or doesn’t understand that context.

Other supposed snubs on the list include Jennifer Hudson, Tony Bennett, Madonna and Justin Bieber. This isn’t the first time Rolling Stone published a list of the greatest singers; the magazine ranked the 100 Greatest Singers back in 2008.

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