100+ Best Female Singers of the 70s – Complete List

70s-female-singers

Throughout the 1980s, there were some incredible female singers who dominated the music industry. These women had powerful voices and truly mastered their craft, leaving an impression on both fans and critics alike.

In a decade that saw the rise of pop and new wave music, these female singers managed to stand out from the rest with their incredible vocal range and stage presence. In fact, many of them are still popular today.

From Whitney Houston and Donna Summer to Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin, here is a complete list of 100+ best female singers of the ’80s, that defined the music of the 70s.


Top Best Female Singers of the 70s

There were many great female singers we can think of from the 70 but these 10 artists truly defined the decade.

Note: This list is based on the highest album sales, influence over the fans, and overall impact on the music industry during the 1970s

  1. Donna Summer
  2. Diana Ross
  3. Olivia Newton-John
  4. Dolly Parton
  5. Brenda Lee
  6. Linda Ronstadt
  7. Tina Turner
  8. Annie Lennox
  9. Aretha Franklin
  10. Barbra Streisand

Black Female Singers of the 70s

In a world that was still very much segregated, these black female singers mentioned below were able to break through and make a name for themselves.

They were not only amazing singers but also great songwriters, performers, and style icons.

Of course, they had to endure a lot of racism and sexism but they still managed to leave a lasting impact on the music industry.

And while there are too many great black female singers from the 70s to list them all, here are 10 of the best.

  • Gloria Gaynor
  • Chaka Khan
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Roberta Flack
  • Natalie Cole
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Whitney Houston
  • Diana Ross
  • Gladys Knight

Female Rock Singers of the 70s

The 1970s were a time of great change for women, and nowhere was this more evident than in the world of rock music.

Female singers who had been largely relegated to backing vocals or novelty songs began to take center stage, and their music reflected the shifting social landscape.

With a notoriously male-dominated genre, these groundbreaking artists proved that women could not only hold their own on stage but could rock just as hard as any man.

Some of the most iconic female rock singers of the 1970s include Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Stevie Nicks, Cher, Tina Turner, and Patti Smith.

Each of these women brought something unique to the table and helped to shape the sound of 70s rock music. They were all trailblazers in their own way, and their influence is still felt today.

  • Stevie Nicks
  • Debbie Harry
  • Tina Turner
  • Joan Jett
  • Suzi Quatro
  • Grace Slick
  • Ann Wilson
  • Patti Smith
  • Pat Benatar
  • Siouxsie Sioux

Female Country Singers of the 70s

Females in country music have always been a force to be reckoned with, and the 1970s was no exception.

This decade saw the rise of some of the most iconic female country singers of all time, including Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, and Emmylou Harris.

With their twangy voices and heartwarming lyrics, they quickly won over the country music fans and became some of the most popular artists of the decade.

Loretta Lynn in particular was a true pioneer for female country singers, winning multiple Grammy awards and becoming the first woman to be named “ Entertainer of the Year” by the Country Music Association.

Another notable female country singer from the 70s is Barbara Mandrell, who was the first woman to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

  • Dolly Parton
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Barbara Mandrell
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Crystal Gayle
  • Jessi Colter
  • Anne Murray
  • Sammi Smith
  • Donna Fargo

70s Female Soul Singers

Soul music is one of the most unique and exciting genres of music in the world. Originated in the African American community, it has its roots in gospel and blues music, and it often features powerful vocals and emotional lyrics.

While soul music has been there since the early 50s, it reached its peak in popularity in the 1970s, thanks to artists like Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder.

And of course, we can’t forget about the amazing female soul singers of the 1970s. These women brought something special to the genre with their sultry voices and passion for music.

Some of them include Donna Summer, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, and Aretha Franklin (who is often considered the Queen of Soul).

These are the women that helped to shape the sound of soul music and their influence is still felt today.

  • Aretha Franklin
  • Maxine Brown
  • Natalie Cole
  • Barbara Acklin
  • Patti Austin
  • Shirley Brown
  • LaVern Baker
  • Ruth Brown
  • Carolyn Franklin
  • Betty Harris

Female Folk Singers of the 70s

From the early days of folk music to the present, women have been contributing their voices to this unique genre.

And in the 1970s, female folk singers were truly in their element. With the social and political climate of the time, many artists used their music as a way to express their views on the world.

Some of the most iconic female folk singers of the 1970s include Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Carole King, and Emmylou Harris.

All five women had successful careers in both pop and folk music, and they helped to break down barriers for other women in the industry. They proved that women could not only be successful singers but that they could also write their own songs and play their own instruments.

Here are some more great female folk singers from the 1970s:

  • Joan Baez
  • Judy Collins
  • Sandy Denny
  • Janis Ian
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Odetta
  • Vashti Bunyan
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Judee Sill

Female Disco Singers of the 70s

People often mistake disco for a man’s world, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the 70s disco scene was dominated by female singers.

These singers had voices that could belt out tunes and get any party started and going. Not to mention, they were just as stylish behind the microphone as their male counterparts.

One such talented female singer was Donna Summer. Known as the queen of disco, she released her first album in 1974 (Lady of the Night) and it didn’t take her long to become a household name. 

Her next three albums “Love to Love You Baby“, “A Love Trilogy” and “I Remember Yesterday” were all certified platinum. What’s more, is that she was the first singer to have four #1 hits in a 12-month period.

Other notable female disco singers from the 70s include Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross, and Thelma Houston. All of them had incredible careers and helped to make disco the phenomenon that it was.

  • Donna Summer
  • Gloria Gaynor
  • Thelma Houston
  • Vicki Sue Robinson
  • Cheryl Lynn
  • Agnetha Fältskog
  • Linda Clifford
  • Candi Staton
  • Melba Moore
  • Evelyn “Champagne” King

70s Soft Rock Female Singers

The term “soft rock” is typically used to describe slower, mellower songs that are typically less guitar-driven than other forms of rock music. Soft rock songs are perfect for a road trip or a rainy day, and they often have a calming effect on the listener.

That said, it’s hard to imagine a genre like soft rock without thinking of the female singers who made it so popular.

One of the women who is responsible for the success of soft rock in the 70s is Carole King. Regarded as one of the best singer-songwriters of all time, King got her start in the late 50s and early 60s after writing a song for The Shirelles.

She would go on to write hits for other artists including The Beatles and Aretha Franklin before releasing her own album, Tapestry, in 1971. The album would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time and King would win four Grammy Awards for her work on it.

  • Stevie Nicks
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Suzi Quatro
  • Tina Turner
  • Nancy Wilson
  • Anne Murray
  • Karla Bonoff
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Kate Bush
  • Carly Simon

70s Female Pop Singers

Pop in the 70s swept away the heavy, psychedelic sounds of the 60s and ushered in a new era of catchy, upbeat tunes.

It’s not quite clear when the term “pop music” was first used, but it is generally accepted that the genre emerged in the mid-1950s. And in the 70s, the genre continued to evolve and was dominated by both male and female singers.

There were major pop bands like Abba, The Bee Gees, and Fleetwood Mac. All three groups had female singers who played a vital role in their success.

And then there were the solo female artists who took the pop world by storm in the 70s. Some of them include Karen Carpenter, Olivia Newton-John, Barbra Streisand, and Diana Ross.

Each woman had her own unique style and sound, but they all had one thing in common: they knew how to write a catchy pop song.

  • Jennifer Warnes
  • Roberta Flack
  • Joan Baez
  • Janis Ian
  • Lesley Gore
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Shirley Bassey
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Brenda Lee
  • Gloria Gaynor

70s British Female Singers

Where do you go to find the best female singers of the 70s? The answer is simple: Britain.

Even though the United States had its fair share of talented female singers, Britain was really at the forefront of the music industry in the 70s. And a large part of that was due to the fact that there were so many talented female singers coming out of the country.

In fact, this post wouldn’t be sufficient to list all of the great British female singers of the 70s. It will need a dedicated post on its own.

But some of the most notable singers include Dusty Springfield, Kate Bush, Elkie Brooks, and Annie Lennox. More than anything, these women proved that Britain was a force to be reckoned with when it came to women in music.

  • Dusty Springfield
  • Annie Lennox
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Bonnie Tyler
  • Kirsty MacColl
  • Christine McVie
  • Lulu
  • Marianne Faithfull
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Kate Bush

Canadian Female Singers of the 70s

The influence of Canada on popular music in the 70s cannot be understated. After all, it was in Canada where Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen got their start.

But the country didn’t just produce great male singers. There were also a number of very talented female singers who came out of Canada in the 70s.

To name a few, there was Anne Murray, who was the first Canadian woman to win a Grammy Award. There was also Cindy Church, who had a successful solo career. And then there was Joni Mitchell.

Each of these women helped put Canada on the map as a musical powerhouse and paved the way for many other Canadian artists who would find success in the years to come.

  • Joni Mitchell
  • Vanity
  • Anne Murray
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • Alannah Myles
  • Cree Summer
  • Louise Forestier
  • Véronique Béliveau
  • Marjo

Final Thoughts

The 70s was a decade that saw the rise of many talented female singers. Whether they were part of a group or going solo, these women knew how to write and perform a pop song.

And while the 80s would see the rise of hair bands and MTV, the 70s will always be remembered as a decade that belonged to the ladies.

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