Hello everyone! How have you been? Hope you all are doing well. Today, how about discussing famous soulful singers? Yes, I am sure you will enjoy this light piece of reading.
To begin with, these singers are known for their ability to convey emotion and feeling through their music in a way that is attractive, authentic, and powerful. Furthermore, these singers have developed meaningful lyrics which have so much depth of passion and eventually touch the hearts of the listeners.
In addition to this, these singers Through their music can transport listeners to another place and time, evoking memories, emotions, and experiences that are relatable to a wide range of people.
Moreover, soulful singers have rich and quirky voices which set them apart from other singers. These singers often create powerful and memorable experiences for their listeners.
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Hence, in this article, I have mentioned about 20 famous soulful singers of all time, so without any further ado, let’s dive straight into the list.
1- Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin, This pretty woman started her musical career as a singer who performs at church. when this soulful singer turned 18, she started working hard as a recording artist. She is one of the most famous Soulful singers ever.
Later she established her image as that of the queen of soul. Let me tell you she has won 18 Grammy awards and not just it, her 112 singles are also on the Billboard charts.
In addition to this, Aretha has sold over 75 million records worldwide, insane! Apart from this she supported women of her age and promoted women’s rights, she even fought for them.
The singer has a net worth of $80 million. However, the list of popular singles the singer includes:
- A natural woman
- Ain’t no way
- Chain of Fools
She Was the one who has given her sweat for american music and culture, not just for a single decade, it was for 5 decades. Indeed, bound to draw applause.
2- Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye was a phenomenal singer. He was devoted to music as an artist. The reason why he is so popular worldwide is that the topics which he chose to bring out in public were very sensitive to them.
Regarding topics such as social and personal concerns, he was sensitive and delivered romantic age music to the listeners. However, Gaye was a legend who maintained his legacy throughout the journey of his life.
He was the voice of those who can’t raise their voice to ask for justice. Gaye has given numerous back-to-back big hits. He lived a beautiful life, which he enjoyed thoroughly, also he lived for the benefit of others to help them to live better lives. Indeed, he is one of the finest soulful singers.
Unfortunately, he was shot dead by his father. Some of his several hits include:
- I heard it through the Grapevine.
- Sexual healing
- What’s going on?
3- Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder, an American musician and a popular or globally known figure of the 20th century. However, he was multitalented since his childhood days.
Believe it or not, when he was 10 years old he learned so many instruments all by himself. Undoubtedly, he is a self-taught artist. The list of his best hits includes
- living for the City
- Everything is alright
The reason why people appreciate him, he is a Grammy Award winner and has produced songs for charities to support people suffering from AIDS, Cancer, Disabilities, Hunger, Homelessness, etc. Indeed, he is a humanitarian who lived for people.
4- James Brown
James Brown had a net worth of $100 million. Unfortunately, the artist died in 2006. He was a successful songwriter, organist, musician, rapper, artist, dancer, and of course great actor.
Although, he was benevolent too. He worked for education advocacy and humanitarianism. When he was in 7th grade, he had to drop out of his school because of some financial crises, this is why he decided to help others.
However, Brown received awards and honors throughout his lifetime and even after his death. After his death, many tributes were given to him. He suffered from poor health, nevertheless, this never stopped him from maintaining his image of a hardworking man.
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5- Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke was the most important soul singer in history. Yes! He was the inventor of soul music.
This African American singer Sam Cooke was the most popular and beloved performer in both the black and white communities during his time. Isn’t that a matter of pride? Surely it is.
“It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die. ‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky.” – Sam Cooke
The list of his best hits includes,
- You send me
- Only Sixteen
- Everybody loves to cha cha cha
- For sentimental reasons
6- Ray Charles
Ray Charles was an American singer-songwriter and pianist. Undoubtedly, He was a true legend.
Speaking of his major Achievements, he has won 18 Grammy awards, absolutely insane! Other than this he has won many national and international awards too.
The list of his best hits includes,
- Hit the road jack
- Seven Spanish Angels
- Believe to my soul
- I Can’t stop loving you
He started to lose his ability to see when he was 5, and lost complete visionary power when he turned 7. Just imagine how difficult it would have been for him to survive as a blind child. Both of his parents died when he was young, this must have made his life more difficult.
Nevertheless, he developed a love for music and devoted his whole life to it.
“Live each day like it’s your last, ’cause one day you gonna be right ” – Ray Charles
7- Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston, the most awarded lady of all time. She has won over 600 awards during her phenomenal career.
Her list of honors included 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards,19 NAACP Image Awards, six Grammys, six World Music Awards, an Emmy, the Soul Train Quincy Jones Award for Outstanding Career Achievement, and a BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
She died on Feb. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles of accidental drowning. This is absolutely sad.
She sold an incredible 200 million singles and albums. Her signature song, “I Will Always Love You” from “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, was the best-selling single in history by a female artist (20 million copies), and “The Bodyguard” was the most successful soundtrack ever with over 45 million sales worldwide.
She earned an Emmy in 1986 for her unforgettable performance of “I Will Always Love You” at the Grammy Awards. On Jan 27, 1991, Houston gave a landmark televised performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl 25 in Tampa, Florida.
8- Otis Redding
Otis Redding, What’s so great about him? He has made his name a brand in the history of American music. One of the wonderful soulful singers. Although he is a pure artist who can provide great soul music and amazing rhythm and blues.
Apart from being a singer, he is a songwriter as well. Otis has inspired several other artists as well. In addition to this, he was also a successful businessman. Some of his best hits include The Dock of the Bay, Merry Christmas Baby, Try a Little Tenderness, etc.
His net worth was $10 million.
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9- Al Green
Al Green, one of the most creative soulful singers for numerous of reasons. To begin with, he is globally known for his smooth and soulful voice and the way he plays with his styles of combining different forms of music such as elements of gospel, R&B, and pop music.
Moving next, throughout his musical career he has won numerous awards and accolades that brought him so much of fame and name. In addition to this, He has also been named one of the greatest singers of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone and Time. Apart from this, Green has also been a pastor and has released several gospel albums.
10- Irma Thomas
Irma Thomas, one of the greatest soulful singers are known as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans”. However, she is celebrated for her soulful voice. The musical genres that she plays with in her music are Gospel, R&B, and Blues music.
Furthermore, Throughout her career, Thomas has received numerous accolades, including four Grammy Awards, the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
later on, several other artists came and recorded covers of her music. Apart from this, she has also faced numerous challenges in her personal and professional life. Yet she decided to stand tall and shine through. There is no doubt that she is a pure legend.
11- Ben E. King
Ben E. King, His net worth is $30 million. This American soul singer has huge popularity. However, a list of his popular songs includes,
- Stand by me
- Save the last dance for me
- Don’t play that song
- Up on the roof
Furthermore, he was 20 years old when he first joined a band named, “five crowns” and released around 13 songs with the band and they all were hits. In addition to this, he is also one of the respected members of the North Carolina music hall of Fame.
12- Anita Baker
Anita Baker is a great songwriter as well. Her name shines brightly in the list of soulful ballads. Yet she has won 8 Grammy awards, four platinum albums, along with two gold albums.
Her best hits of her include,
- The Christmas song
- No one in the world
- Sweet love
- Giving you the best that I got
- You bring me joy
The reason why people appreciate her so much is that she was one of the most popular artists in urban contemporary music. She grew up at church. Her net worth is $80 million.
13- Patti LaBelle
Patti Labelle’s song “The Last Unbroken Heart” (with Bill Champlin) was featured in the episode “When Irish Eyes Are Crying” of the series Miami Vice.
Her song “One of These Mornings” (with Moby) also appeared in the Miami Vice film.
LaBelle released four solo albums between 1977-1984, but received a Grammy nomination for her song “The Best Is Yet To Come”.
There is one thing that you need to know about her. LaBelle is the only musical artist to feature in both the original television series and its movie adaptation.
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14- Sam and Dave
Sam and Dave were an American soul and R&B duo consisting of Samuel David Moore. However, They were known for their energetic and soulful performances and their string of hits in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Furthermore, Sam and Dave were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and their music has influenced countless other artists in the soul and R&B genres. Moving on, both of them experienced personal and professional struggles, and despite this, they became best known soulful singers of all time.
15- Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist who is globally known for her wonderful persona. However, She is known for her soulful and emotive voice, and her style ranges from jazz and R&B to pop and folk music. Furthermore, flack’s hit songs include, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
Moreover, throughout her musical career, she won numerous awards and accolades. In addition to her music career, Flack is also known for her philanthropic work, she opened a music school in New York that provides music education to poor children.
16- Curtis Mayfield
Curtis Mayfield is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and amazing entrepreneur.
However, speaking of the forms of music, it used to be immensely inspirational, and humanistic. It was all dedicated to uplifting the African American people. Curtis died in 1999.
The list of his popular music includes,
- Move on Up
- Freddie’s Dead
However, his net worth was $10 million at the time he died. The reason behind his death was his ill health due to diabetes.
17- Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Noelle Hill is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and actress.
However, She is often regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time, as well as one of the most influential musicians of her generation.
Furthermore, Hill is credited for breaking barriers for female rappers, popularizing melodic rapping, and bringing hip-hop and neo-soul to popular music.
Moreover, She is known for being a member of Fugees and for her solo album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998), which became one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Last but not the least, Hill has won many accolades, including eight Grammy Awards, the most for a female rapper to this day. Isn’t it amazing?
The best Hits of the Rapper include,
- Killing me softly with his song
- Ready or Not
- Turn your lights down low
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18- Wilson Pickett
Wilson Pickett, someone who is known for being an American soul singer and songwriter. However, he began his musical career in the early 1960s. Moving on, he first became a member of the gospel group named Violinaries. Furthermore, he soon became globally famous for his soulful singing in 1963.
The special thing about Pickett was that he was great at mixing the elements of gospel and R&B, and rock and roll in his music. To date, his music continues to be celebrated and influential.
19- Smokey Robinson
Smokey Robinson, This artist has blue eyes. The net worth of this black singer is $160 million. He is an American singer-songwriter and record producer.
“Once you are a Motown artist, you are always a Motown artist” – Smokey Robinson
The list of his best hits includes,
- The Tracks of my tears
- Being with you
- You’ve really got a hold on me
- The tears of a clown
In 1972, Robinson began serving as the Vice President of Motown Records.
Later, when the ‘80s rolled around, Robinson battled drug addiction overcoming his issues by way of his faith.
20- Percy Sledge
Percy Sledge was an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter who is best known for his 1966 hit song “When a Man Loves a Woman”.
However, Sledge was born in Leighton, Alabama, and worked as a hospital nurse in the early 1960s while pursuing a music career.
Furthermore, Sledge continued to perform and record music throughout his career, and his soulful voice and emotional delivery inspired generations of singers.
In addition to this, Sledge went on to have other hits, including “Warm and Tender Love” and “Take Time to Know Her”, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.