Soul music was a fundamental part of American history as it influenced and gave voice to the Civil Rights movement. The combination of gospel, R&B, and jazz conveyed the African-American identity with pride and charisma. Handclaps, tense vocals, and improvisation are a few distinguishing characteristics that make soul music so lively and fun to listen to. Artists like Otis Redding and Donny Hathaway created a legacy that lived on after their untimely deaths, while musicians such as Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner have spent decades in the limelight. The voting platform Ranker posed the question of who were the best soul singers of all time; read on to see who made the list.
Aretha Franklin Was A Groundbreaking Female Performer
A gospel singer from Detroit, Aretha Franklin was signed to Columbia Records at the age of 18. A decade into her professional music career, Aretha was deemed the “Queen of Soul” with timeless singles like “Respect” and “Chain of Fools” topping the charts.
Her commercial success continued throughout the ’70s and ’80s, and her 1998 album A Rose Is Still A Rose was certified gold. She was the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she won 18 Grammys, and she sold more than 75 million records worldwide.