best singing voices

by stepndown | created - 06 Jan 2013 | updated - 06 Jan 2013 | Public

1. Karen Carpenter

Soundtrack | Paul Williams Still Alive

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Karen Carpenter moved with her family to Downey, California, in 1963. Karen's older brother, Richard Carpenter, decided to put together an instrumental trio with him on the piano, Karen on the drums and their friend Wes Jacobs on the bass and tuba. In a battle of the...

2. Luther Vandross

Soundtrack | The Goonies

He was the heartbeat of R&B during the 1980s and 1990s, yet led a productive singing and songwriting life prior to this preeminence. The soul balladeer's strong commitment to the art of music continued on its Grammy-winning course, even after an acute stroke in 2003 left him severely incapacitated ...

3. Roberta Flack

Soundtrack | X-Men: Days of Future Past

Roberta Flack was born February 10, 1937 (1939 according to some sources), in Black Mountain, North Carolina, a small town located about 10 miles (18 kilometers) from the city of Asheville, North Carolina. She is best known for her love ballad "Killing Me Softly With His Song", released in 1969. ...

4. Dean Martin

Soundtrack | Rio Bravo

If there had to be an image for cool, the man to fit it would be Dean Martin.

Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela (Barra) and Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti, a barber. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was of Italian descent. He spoke only Italian until ...

5. Teddy Pendergrass

Soundtrack | The Nutty Professor

Teddy Pendergrass was born on March 26, 1950 in Kingstree, South Carolina, USA as Theodore DeReese Pendergrass. He was married to Joan Pendergrass and Karen Still. He died on January 13, 2010 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA.

6. Michael Jackson

Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson (no relation to Joe Jackson, also a musician), had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Michael's ...

7. Mariah Carey

Actress | Precious

Mariah was born on March 27, 1970 in Huntington, Long Island, New York to Patricia Carey (born: Patricia Hickey), an opera singer and vocal coach & Alfred Roy Carey, an aeronautical engineer. Her mother is of Irish descent, and her father was of African & Venezuelan descent. Mariah attended ...

8. Christina Aguilera

Soundtrack | The Voice

Christina Maria Aguilera was born on December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York, to Shelly Loraine (Fidler) and Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera, a U.S. army sergeant. Her father is Ecuadorian and her mother, who is American-born, has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced ...

9. Isaac Hayes

Actor | Escape from New York

Isaac Hayes was the second-born child of Isaac Sr. and Eula Hayes, but was raised by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Willie Wade Sr. The child of a poor family, he grew up picking cotton in Covington, Tennessee. He dropped out of high school, only to be encouraged later by his former high school ...

10. Minnie Riperton

Soundtrack | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Minnie Riperton was born November 8, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois, to Thelma Inez (Matthews) and Daniel Webster Riperton, a Pullman porter. At a young age, Riperton, the youngest of eight children, began taking dancing and ballet. Once she reached high school, she began singing in the Hyde Park A ...

11. Freddie Mercury

Soundtrack | Metropolis

Freddie Mercury was born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, sent him off to a private school in India, from 1955 til 1963. In 1964, he and his family flew to England. In 1966 he started his education at the Ealing College of Art, where he graduated in 1969. He ...

12. Prince

Soundtrack | Under the Cherry Moon

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His father's stage name was "Prince Rogers". His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth, ...

13. Luciano Pavarotti

Soundtrack | Yes, Giorgio

Luciano Pavarotti was a best-selling classical singer and humanitarian known for his most original and popular performances with the 'Three Tenors' and 'Pavarotti & Friends'.

He was born on October 12, 1935, in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, in Northern Italy. He was the first child and only son of two ...

14. Elton John

Soundtrack | Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (...

15. Tammi Terrell

Soundtrack | Guardians of the Galaxy

Tammi Terrell was born on April 29, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Thomasina Winifred Montgomery. She died on March 16, 1970 in Philadelphia.

16. Sam Cooke

Soundtrack | Innerspace

Sam Cooke was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was one of eight children of Charles Cook Sr., a Baptist minister. When Sam sang as a little boy in church, everyone made note that his voice had "something special". He sang in church and in local gospel choirs until a group called...

17. Otis Redding

Soundtrack | Top Gun

Otis Redding was born on September 9, 1941 in Dawson, Georgia, USA as Otis Ray Redding Jr. He was married to Zelma Atwood. He died on December 10, 1967 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

18. Ray Charles

Soundtrack | Ray

A tragic fate may have given this visionary a heightened sensitivity, perception, awareness, even expansion to his obvious musical gifts that he may have never touched upon had he not suffered from his physical affliction. Whatever it was, Ray Charles revolutionized American music and was ...

19. Elvis Presley

Soundtrack | Tickle Me

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Presley (née Gladys Love Smith) and Vernon Presley (Vernon Elvis Presley). He had a twin brother who was stillborn. In 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School. ...

20. Melvin Franklin

Actor | Pole Position

Melvin Franklin was born on October 12, 1942 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA as David Melvin English. He was an actor, known for Pole Position (1984), Happy New Year (1987) and The Fall Guy (1981). He was married to Kimberly. He died on February 23, 1995 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

21. Gerald Levert

Soundtrack | Crank

Gerald Levert was born on July 13, 1966 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Gerald Edward Levert. He died on November 10, 2006 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

22. Julie Andrews

Actress | The Sound of Music

Julia Elizabeth Wells was born on October 1, 1935, in England. Her mother, Barbara Ward (Morris), and stepfather, both vaudeville performers, discovered her freakish but undeniably lovely four-octave singing voice and immediately got her a singing career. She performed in music halls throughout her...

23. Paul McCartney

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

Sir Paul McCartney is a key figure in contemporary culture as a singer, composer, poet, writer, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and holder of more than 3 thousand copyrights. He is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most records sold, most #1s (shared), most covered song, "Yesterday," ...

24. Bob Marley

Soundtrack | Strange Days

Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica, to Norval Marley and Cedella Booker. His father was a Jamaican of English descent. His mother was a black teenager. The couple planned to get married but Norval left Kingston before this could happen. Norval died in 1955, ...

25. Bing Crosby

Actor | White Christmas

Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in ...

26. David Ruffin

Soundtrack | The Addiction

The man most of us know by his unmistakable, calming yet disturbed raspy voice was born Davis Eli Ruffin on January 18, 1941, in Whynot, Mississippi. His father, Eli Ruffin, was a Baptist minister. Only months after his birth his mother Ophelia Ruffin died, and his father later remarried, to a ...

27. Louis Armstrong

Actor | High Society

Louis Armstrong grew up poor in a single-parent household. He was 13 when he celebrated the New Year by running out on the street and firing a pistol that belonged to the current man in his mother's life. At the Colored Waifs Home for Boys, he learned to play the bugle and the clarinet and joined ...

28. Etta James

Soundtrack | Back to the Future

Etta James was born on January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Jamesetta Hawkins. She was married to Artis Mills. She died on January 20, 2012 in Riverside, California.

29. Nat 'King' Cole

Soundtrack | The Nat King Cole Show

Nat King Cole was born Nathaniel Adams Coles at Montgomery, Alabama. He received music lessons from his mother and his family moved to Chicago when he was only five, where his father Edward James Coles was a minister at the True Light Baptist Church and later Pastor of the First Baptist Church. At ...

30. Whitney Houston

Soundtrack | The Bodyguard

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into a musical family on 9 August 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel star Cissy Houston, cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin.

She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist ...

31. Al Green

Soundtrack | Scrooged

Al Green was born on April 13, 1946 in Forrest City, Arkansas, USA as Albert Greene. He was previously married to Shirley Kyles.

32. Stevie Wonder

Soundtrack | Wild Wild West

Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, United States, to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. Due to being born six weeks premature, Stevie Wonder was born with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which made him blind. Stevie Wonder, even with this disability, made his ...

33. Aretha Franklin

Actress | The Blues Brothers

Grammy-winning Queen of Soul and the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Barbara Vernice (Siggers) and C. L. Franklin, a Baptist minister, who preached at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit for over thirty ...



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