On Valentine’s Day I came across an article, The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and I thought wow, what a daring endeavor to take on! I am always asked who my favorite singers are and my answer is an ever-evolving illusion, really. There’s just no way to make that sort of commitment, yet the brave people at Consequence of Sound have boldly compiled this list and what a joy it was to share a deep love for many of their choices, and to strongly disagree with a handful of their choices. Here are my thoughts on a few that made their list:

Karen Carpenter #78 – I would have thought she would rank higher on this list, but worthy of making the cut.

Alicia Keys #76 – Ranked higher than Karen Carpenter, I don’t think so. I like Alicia Keys, even though I only bought her very first release, and that was only after seeing her featured on the Oprah show. Even though I think she’s quite talented, I’m not a fan. My opinion did recently change a little when I caught her live on Facebook chatting about the release of her sixth album, Here. I found her as a person delightful, which made me want to give her music a second listen.

Joni Mitchell #75, Both Sides Now … What a tune!

Gladys Knight, dubbed the Empress of Soul and rightfully so, comes in at #66. Here’s another one that I think should have ranked a bit higher, but even though Ms. Knight has earned her lofty title of being Empress of Soul, I think she has flown a little bit under the radar, even though her career in music spans more than half a decade.

Curtis Mayfield, #57 – Yes, I think he is well ranked on this list. Since presenting my radio show, Glo’s Music for the Soul, Mayfield has been a regular feature on my playlists and I’m in an original Soul band called Mayfield, named after this Chicago Soul man.

I should say a little something about their #56 artist, Dolly Parton. Admittedly, I am not a country music fan, however, there is something about Dolly’s voice that seems to transcend the genre in the name of great vocals and awesome song writing. She didn’t make my Top 10, but deserves an honorable mention … LOL!

53 – Prince – Just the mention of his name brings tears to my eyes. Along with the rest of the world, I mourned hard when I learned of Prince’s passing and feel that the music industry was just left with a gaping hole that no one will be able to fill. As singing goes, wow is the only appropriate word to describe Prince’s unique vocal stylings. Should he be ranked a bit higher on this list, maybe. He is above average but I think that’s due to his performance more than his voice. In my mind, he’s a performer to watch, not to listen to?
This is where we come to the place in COS’s list that I strongly disagree. Bob Dylan, #51, ranked higher than Prince and Gladys Knight? Excuse me, what? Nah, bruh! (This one made me go a little ghetto.)

Interesting, the queen of Disco, Donna Summer ranks at #49. She did have an amazing voice. Yes, this feels right. I think some others who are ranked lower on this list can out sing Ms. Summer, but in terms of relevance and how her music defined an era, spot on.

Elvis, #45. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Elvis’s death and the legend of him still lives on and seems to be gaining momentum. Love Me Tender is my favorite Elvis song. What’s yours?

I don’t think Mary J. Blige, #44 would have made my list at all, and I don’t think she should have ranked this high on COS’s list. I know she’s an important artist and she’s had some huge hits, but vocally, I haven’t really been drawn to her.

Adele, #34 – The supposed ‘new face of Soul music,’ a least according to an article I read around this time last year written by Dr. Syleecia Thompson for rapprehab.com. Undoubtedly, Adele has a phenomenal voice that is quite soulful, but I don’t think of her as a Soul singer. I will be expanding on this thought in a future post. Stay tuned …

Beyoncé is ranked at #30, and I believe she should have made COS’s top 10. She is certainly on my list! I think Adele would be pleased that Beyoncé ranked higher than her, especially after her comments regarding Beyoncé not winning the Grammy for Album of the Year. According to Time Magazine, ‘The British soul singer, who racked up five awards including Album, Record, and Song of the Year on Sunday night, was talking about how she didn’t deserve at least one of those accolades. “I felt like it was her time to win,” the disarmingly honest belter said backstage. “What the f— does she have to do to win Album of the Year?”‘ You can read the full Time Magazine article here.

Tina Turner has ranked #27 on the list and I think this is a good placement for her. As much as I love Ms. Turner and I absolutely love stepping into her persona for my Simply, Tina Turner tribute show, she hasn’t made my top 10 list.

Two years ago, I started hosting a radio show, Glo’s Music for the Soul, on ExpressFM, a community station based in Portsmouth in the UK. Since doing the show, I have become a massive fan of COS’s #24 pick, Otis Redding. This man can sing the phone book and sound amazing. I especially love his cover versions of songs like The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction and Ben E. King’s Stand By Me. He gives everything song he sings his own unique blend of Gospel infused Soul. Needless to say, Redding has made my Top 10.

I also pay homage to the living legend, Diana Ross, #21, in my Supremely, Diana Ross show, but I feel she’s ranked a bit high on the list from a vocal stand point, but for importance to the music scene, COS has ranked her well. Did Ms. Ross make my list?

I must say something about COS’s #18, Stevie Nicks. She is ranked quite high on this list, perhaps too high. Vocally, she doesn’t have a #18 of 100 best singers voice in my opinion, but she’s got something though. That illusive ‘it’ factor that can’t really be defined. Two years ago, I caught Fleetwood Mac at the Isle of Wight Festival and I simply couldn’t keep my eyes of Stevie Nicks. Even when she wasn’t singing, I found myself looking for her … and waiting for her to take to the mic again. She was magical to watch, and in that setting under the stars on an unusually clear night, she was a joy to listen to as well. Ms. Nicks deserves to be on this list.

Things were going along so well until I got to COS’s #10 pick … wait for it … Bjork … really? I can hear my mom saying ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ … so … moving on!

So Whitney Houston comes in at #6 just behind James Brown at #5. I find this a bit surprising. I didn’t expect to see James Brown on this list at all. I had to have a little think as to why I didn’t expect him on this list. He’s obviously a kicka** performer, and I have to admit he’s got a pretty amazing voice. Obviously, COS is taking more into consideration than having a good voice … remember their #10 pick? And I think in the case of JB, it’s a culmination of showmanship, voice and contribution to the music scene. I think Whitney could have out sung him, though.

And here’s where COS and I are in perfect sync. There #1 choice is my #choice. The king of Pop, Michael Jackson. I mourned so hard when MJ died in June, 2009 and I still mourn him today. For months after his death, all I played in the house, in the car and at the office was Michael Jackson. Vocally, a great singer, but I think he’s made both COS’s and my list because he was an all-around superb entertainer.

So, out of their 100 choices, I selected my top 10 favourites. So, here we go:

10. Sting (#70)
9. Brian McKnight
8. Stevie Wonder (#16)
7. Prince (#53)
6. Otis Redding (#24)
5. Beyoncé (#30)
4. India Arie
3. Lionel Richie
2. Ella Fitzgerald (#14)
1. Michael Jackson (#1)

Thanks to COS’s for giving me inspiration to compile my own list. I really enjoyed delving into their choices for The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Who would be on your top 10 list? Add them to the comments!

Source: Blog