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20 Best Female Jazz Singers You Must Know

Female Jazz Singers
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Here we go guys, In this article, we are presenting you the best female jazz singers of all the time that you definitely need to know these female legends.

As we all know, Jazz music came from the African-American region of New Orleans, Louisiana, US. Jazz music is distinguished by swing and blue notes, complex chords, call and response vocals, polyrhythms, and improvisation.

When you scroll up the page you’ll know about the best Jazz female artists. As I mentioned in the title, it is best Jazz female artists list not top artist so don’t be offended. These female singers have their own talented voice that steals every ones heart.

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20. Diana Krall

Diana Krall Female Jazz Singers

Diana Jean Krall is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer, born on November 16, 1964. She has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million in the US. On December 11, 2009, Billboard magazine named her the second greatest jazz artist of the decade (2000–2009).

19. Dakota Staton

Dakota Staton

Dakota Staton was an American jazz vocalist, born on June 3, 1930, & died on April 10, 2007. She was also known by the Muslim name Aliyah Rabia. One of the most famous female jazz singers ever.

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18. Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson Female Jazz Singers

Cassandra Wilson is an American jazz singer and producer from Jackson, Mississippi, born on December 4, 1955. She is also known by critic Gary Giddins as “a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack [who has] expanded the playing field.”

17. Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater is an American jazz singer, born on May 27, 1950. She has been a 3 time Grammy Award-winning. She is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization.

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16. Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux Female Jazz Singers

Madeleine Peyroux is an American jazz singer and songwriter born on April 18, 1974. She began her career as a teenager on the streets of Paris.

She sang vintage blues & jazz songs before finding mainstream success in 2004 when her album Careless Love sold half a million copies. One of the most famous female jazz singers ever.

15. Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves

Dianne Elizabeth Reeves is an American jazz singer, born on October 23, 1956, in Detroit, Michigan. She belongs to a musical family, where her father was a singer, her mother played the trumpet, her uncle is bassist Charles Burrell, and her cousin is George Duke.

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14. Abbey Lincoln

Abbey Lincoln Female Jazz Singers

Abbey Lincoln(real name Anna Marie Wooldridge) was an American jazz vocalist, born on August 6, 1930, in Chicago & died on August 14, 2010. She was also a civil rights activist beginning in the 1960s.

13. Blossom Dearie

Blossom Dearie

Margrethe Blossom Dearie was an American jazz singer and pianist, born on April 28, 1924, & died on February 7, 2009.

She had collaborated with many artists including, Miles Davis, Johnny Mercer, Jack Segal, Duncan Lamont, Johnny Mandel, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, and Jay Berliner. One of the most famous female jazz singers ever.

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12. Helen Merrill

Helen Merrill Female Jazz Singers

Helen Merrill is an American jazz vocalist, born on July 21, 1930. After an active 1950s and 1960s, Merrill spent time recording and touring in Europe and Japan, falling into obscurity in the United States.

11. Anita O’Day

Anita O’Day

Anita O’Day(real name Anita Belle Colton) was an American jazz singer, born on October 18, 1919, & died on November 23, 2006. She also changed her surname from Colton to O’Day, pig Latin for “dough”, slang for money.

Like Tormé, O’Day had some training in jazz drums & her longest musical collaboration was with jazz drummer John Poole. One of the most famous female jazz singers ever.

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10. Betty Carter

Betty Carter Female Jazz Singers

Betty Carter was one of the most famous American jazz singers, born on May 16, 1929, & died on September 26, 1998. Vocalist Carmen McRae once remarked to her as a tagline, “There’s really only one jazz singer—only one: Betty Carter.”

9. Julie London

Julie London

Julie London was an American singer and actress, born on September 26, 1926, & died on October 18, 2000. She noted for her languid contralto vocals, London recorded over thirty albums of pop and jazz standards between 1955 and 1969.

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8. Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae Female Jazz Singers
American jazz singer, composer and pianist Carmen McRae performing on stage in Chicago, 1956.

Carmen Mercedes McRae was an American jazz singer, born on April 8, 1920, & died on November 10, 1994. She was one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century and is remembered for her behind-the-beat phrasing and ironic interpretation of lyrics.

7. Nina Simone

Nina Simone

Nina Simone(real named Eunice Kathleen Waymon) was an American jazz singer & songwriter, born on February 21, 1933, & died on April 21, 2003. She follows many musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. One of the most famous female jazz singers ever.

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6. Peggy Lee

Peggy Lee Female Jazz Singers

Peggy Lee(real named Norma Deloris Egstrom) was an American jazz and popular music singer, born on May 26, 1920, & died on January 21, 2002.

Lee also created a sophisticated persona, writing music for films, acting, and recording conceptual record albums combining poetry and music.

5. Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was an American jazz singer, born on April 15, 1894, & died on September 26, 1937. She was also the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s.

She was one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on fellow blues singers, as well as jazz vocalists. One of the most famous female jazz singers ever.

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4. Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan Female Jazz Singers

Sarah Lois Vaughan was an American jazz singer, born on March 27, 1924, & died on April 3, 1990. She was well known for her nickname “Sassy” and “The Divine One.”

She had won 4 Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. Critic Scott Yanow also wrote that she had “one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century”.

3. Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington was an American Jazz singer and pianist, who has been cited as “the most popular black female recording artist of the 1950s songs”. Born on August 29, 1924, & died on December 14, 1963.

She performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, and traditional pop music, and gave herself the title of “Queen of the Blues”.

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2. Ella Fitzgerald

Female Jazz Singers Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was one of the most famous American jazz singers. She was born on April 25, 1917, & died on June 15, 1996. In 1993, after a career of nearly 60 years, she gave her last public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health. One of the most famous female jazz singers ever.

1. Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday(real name Eleanora Fagan) was an American jazz and swing music singer. She was well known for her nickname “Lady Day,” which was given by her friend and music partner Lester Young. Her vocal style was strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists. She was born on April 7, 1915, & died on July 17, 1959.