Social Butterfly

Greatest singers

Rolling Stone magazine’s 200 greatest singers. 
Opinions, agree disagree?

Honored Social Butterfly

Thought it might be interesting to look at the 2008 list of RS 100 best singers. Many of those mentioned here were on this list, and rankings differ on a number of them. The only consistency is who is ranked #1 on both lists.



“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
0 Kudos
Bronze Conversationalist



I think that no top 200 list can ever cover the best of the best and please everyone. There are some great choices listed by the posts below. It's all a matter of taste. Sinatra, Roger Whittaker, Karen Carpenter, BJ Thomas, Jim Morrison, Rob Grill, David Gates, Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Jackson, and Peter Cetera are some that would definitely be part of my top 200 list. 

Social Butterfly

@postman29 It’s too subjective a subject I guess. I like seeing singers that make other people cringe. Such as Tom Waits and Leon Russell. I was surprised KD Lang was omitted. 

Bronze Conversationalist

Not high enough - Stevie Nicks


Too high - Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan (great songwriter but lousy voice), Chrissie Hynde, Louis Armstrong, John Lennon


How were they left out? - Paul Rogers, Alison Krauss

Periodic Contributor

What I am struggling with was the ranking of people. How could Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt be ranked lower than Alicia Keys? Donny Hathaway ranked low? A voice that is timeless and often imitated. Same with Marvin Gaye. No Angie Bofill, Phyllis Hyman, Karen Clark Sheard, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughn or Dinah Washington. Little Jimmy Scott, Daryl Coley, Dianne Reeves?

One of my overlooked favorites El Debarge is on the list. Wish he did more work that could be heard.

Beyonce ranked at 8 and not lower?  Martha Reeves on the list at all? Gotta be kidding! These listings seemed to be based who is popular as opposed to technical abilities.


At least this list had "you betta haves" for me: Luther, Martha Wash, Donny, Steve Perry, Mahalia, Stevie, Patsy, Smokey, Frank yet it missed others. 

Let's not get started with opera.

Perhaps Rolling Stone should have called this list the greatest 200 popular, Rock n Roll and World Music artists of all time. Like the Grammys, opera, jazz and gospel are left out or shifted to the non televised awards.

Not surprised at all.

Honored Social Butterfly

Finished the bottom 100. As usual, there are many artists that I never heard of as well as many who didn’t deserve to be on this list. Agree on the omission of Celine Dion- that’s a crime to leave her off but here are my list of omissions that have me 


George Harrison (Really what were they thinking)

Lindsey Buckingham

Christine McVie

Not ONE Moody Blue- Justin, John, Ray

AGAIN What were they thinking??

Merilee Rush


Good thing I don’t work for RS!!

Honored Social Butterfly

As usual, RS never fails to disappoint!  😂 


The biggest criticism that I read about was the oversight of Celine Dion, clearly one of the greatest pop singers of all time. They caught a lot of flack on social media, and rightfully so.


The problem with lists like these is how does one determine who gets in and who gets eliminated, and why. I probably agree with about 50 - 60% of the list, because there are some really great singers across all genres represented.


But apparently, it’s not about vocal ability because there are too many missing amazing vocalists that didn’t make the list. I mean, some of these people are like nails on a chalkboard to me, but are/were very popular and sold lots and lots of records, so that must have been a factor. At least, that’s the way the intro reads. It’s funny that #14 is Freddie Mercury, and #15 is Bob Dylan. How does that work? 😂

MIA for me: Ian Gillan, Jim Morrison, Carly Simon, Annie Lennox, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, along with Celine Dion, come to mind.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
Bronze Conversationalist

I'm thinking you could compile a much better list than RS could. Dylan in front of Elvis???? Puleeeeeze.

Honored Social Butterfly

Tonight I looked at the top 100. No arguments on #1 but there are some surprises, some who should of been higher up and oddly some I’ve never heard of. Also some missing who should be in the top 100. We’ll see who’s in the bottom 100 tomorrow 

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Need to Know

"I downloaded AARP Perks to assist in staying connected and never missing out on a discount!" -LeeshaD341679

AARP Perks

More From AARP