The 20 Greatest Singers Of The 1970’s
via Ann Wilson of Heart / Youtube
Whether or not they have received due recognition, women have long ruled the music industry. By the 1970s, the vocal prowess of female singers dominated the pop culture music scene, defining an era in which women began to unleash their greatness through songs. From Aretha Franklin to Stevie Nicks, we’ve compiled the 20 greatest powerful and talented female singers of the 70s who trailblazed women’s empowerment that we love and appreciate today.
American singer and composer Ann Wilson are probably best known for her work with the band Heart. Wilson’s dramatic soprano voice earned her a spot on Hit Parader’s 2006 list of the “Top Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time.”
During her 40-year career, Canadian pop, country, and adult contemporary vocalist Anne Murray has sold more than 55 million records worldwide. She is widely credited with paving the path for subsequent Canadian female musicians to achieve international acclaim, among the likes of k.d. lang, Céline Dion, and Shania Twain.
Anni-Frid Lyngstad is a musician, composer, and environmentalist from Norway and Sweden. The Swedish musical group ABBA, of which she was a founding member and lead vocalist, is one of the best-selling music groups of all time, with over 380 million albums and singles sold throughout the world.
Åse Agneta Fältskog is a well-known Swedish performer in a variety of artistic fields. Her 1968 debut album Agnetha Fältskog was a hit in Sweden, and she later rose to international fame as a member of the musical group ABBA, which went on to sell more than 380 million albums and singles worldwide.
Aretha Franklin was an American icon who slayed on all fronts: musically, lyrically, and politically. A string of hits including “Think,” “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” and “I Say a Little Prayer” brought her to the forefront of the music industry. Aretha Franklin was dubbed “The Queen of Soul” by the time the 1960s rolled around. Franklin has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Franklin was recognized multiple times over her career and is frequently included on lists of the best vocalists of all time.
Barbra Streisand is an accomplished musician, actress, and filmmaker. In a career spanning six decades, she has found success in many areas of show business. She is one of just two performers in the history of the entertainment industry to win all four major honors (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) and be awarded a Peabody Award. Streisand has more top 10 albums than any other female singer, with 34 since 1963, according to the Recording Industry Association of America and Billboard.
Cher is an American singer, actor, and host on many television programs. She has been regarded as exemplifying female independence in a business that is controlled by men, and the media commonly refers to her as the Goddess of Pop. She has had a career spanning six decades, during which time she has adopted a wide range of styles and presented herself in several different guises. She is best known for her distinctive contralto singing voice that she has, as well as the fact that she has worked in a wide variety of entertainment-related fields.
Debbie Harry is a well-known new wave singer, songwriter, model, and actress. From 1979 through 1981, numerous of her band’s recordings were number one on the US and UK charts. The song “Rapture” by Blondie is widely recognized as the first rap song to top the Billboard Hot 100.
Diana Ross is an American icon in the entertainment industry. Ross first gained notoriety as the frontwoman of the Supremes, a female group that, in the 1960s, became Motown’s biggest act and is still regarded as the best-charting girl group in American history and one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. She has been nominated for a Grammy a total of 12 times without ever winning, but in 2012 she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dionne Warwick is a singer, actress, and host on television who has won the Grammy Award a total of six times. She is one of the female vocalists who has had the most singles chart on the Billboard charts. Between the years 1962 and 1998, 56 of her tracks made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and a total of 80 of her singles charted on the Billboard charts.
Dolly Parton is an American country music legend who also has a successful career as an actor, author, businessman, and humanitarian. Parton first found success as a composer for other artists before releasing her debut album, Hey, I’m Dolly! in 1967. During the past 40 years, she has released 110 songs that have made it onto the charts and has amassed a record-breaking 41 top-10 country albums.
Known for her singing, songwriting, and acting, Donna Summer was an American icon. She shot to fame in the late ‘70s, when disco was at its peak. Summer, a five-time Grammy winner, holds the record for the most number-one singles in a single year in the United States and is the only artist in history to have three consecutive double albums debut at the top of the Billboard 200.
Emmylou Harris is a well-known musician, singer, and songwriter. She has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in addition to winning 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Award, and countless other distinctions. She has also recorded hundreds of albums and songs throughout her singing career.
“Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight is an American legend in several fields: music, film, business, and literature. A seven-time Grammy Award winner, she is most known for the singles she and her group, Gladys Knight & the Pips, released in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Mitchell writes songs that combine elements of folk, pop, rock, and jazz to express her views on society and the environment, as well as her emotions of love, perplexity, disappointment, and happiness. She has been honored with several awards and recognitions, including nine Grammys and a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Judy Collins is an American singer and composer who is noted for both her social activism and the broad preferences that she displays in the material that she performs. Her discography includes featured folk music, show tunes, pop music, rock & roll, and standards, among other genres of music.
Retired pop singer Linda Maria Ronstadt is well-known for her versatility, having sung in styles as diverse as rock, country, light opera, and Latin. She is one of the best-selling musicians of all time, with over 100 million records sold and her voice appearing on more than 120 albums.
Olivia Newton-John, a four-time Grammy winner, scored two number-one solo albums on the Billboard 200 chart and a total of five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. RIAA also awarded gold certification to eleven of her songs and fourteen of her albums. With an estimated 100 million album sales, she is one of the most successful musicians in history.
Ronnie Spector was an American vocalist who co-founded the girl group the Ronettes and served as the group’s frontwoman. She was the first woman to be referred to as the “bad girl of rock and roll.”
Stevie Nicks is a legendary musician, recognized for her time with Fleetwood Mac and her successful solo career. She has a unique sound, an ethereal aura onstage, and songs that are rich in symbolism and poetry. She made history by being the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.