100+ Best Female Blues Singers ( Ultimate List )

For centuries, the blues has been a form of music deeply rooted in African-American culture and life. Though it can be a difficult genre to master, countless female singers have made their mark on this art form over the years.

Women who love the Blues understand that success means more than just fame and recognition; it’s about expressing deep emotions through their vocals. And these women have done just that.

In honor of these amazing vocalists, we have put together this comprehensive list of over 100 incredible female blues singers, both past and present that are keeping this distinctively American style alive today!

Top Best Female Blues Singers

Here are the ten most influential and successful female blues singers of all time. While there are countless other vocalists that you will find on our extensive list, these are the ones that have made an indelible impact on the genre.

  1. Koko Taylor
  2. Bessie Smith
  3. Ma Rainey
  4. Aretha Franklin
  5. Bonnie Raitt
  6. Shemekia Copeland
  7. Janis Joplin
  8. Billie Holiday
  9. Etta James
  10. Beth Hart

Black Female Blues Singers

While women of many backgrounds have contributed to the blues throughout its history, blacks made a particularly important impact on this powerful musical style.

Those who sing the blues often focus on different aspects of both love and loss, but black female artists in particular bring an emotional vulnerability to the genre that holds great power.

Without the contributions of these incredible artists, living during some of the most difficult times imaginable, it is unlikely that musical expression with such intense emotion would be as well-known as it is today.

And for that, the music industry owes them a huge debt of gratitude. That said here are ten of the most influential black female blues singers that have ever graced a stage.

  • Mamie Smith
  • Big Mama Thornton
  • Sippie Wallace
  • Lucille Hegamin
  • Ida Cox
  • Bertha Hill
  • Gladys Bentley
  • Lucille Bogan
  • Madilyn Davis
  • Clara Smith

Modern Female Blues Singers

Modern female blues singers have been capturing the attention of music fans around the world. Drawing from a traditional heritage, these women are bringing a new energy and sound to the genre. But what makes these singers so distinct?

Today’s female blues musicians are pushing boundaries and developing their own individual style while still paying homage to classic artists like Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Ma Rainey.

Their unique blend of traditional elements with contemporary influences has created an exciting new chapter in the history of blues music.

Influenced by rock, soul, funk, hip-hop, and other genres, these female blues singers are taking the music to a new level and inspiring generations of fans.

So, this section is dedicated to these talented female blues singers who continue to blaze a trail for others to follow.

  • Joanne Shaw Taylor
  • Samantha Fish
  • Cassie Taylor
  • Erja Lyytinen
  • Dana Fuchs
  • Shakura S’Aida
  • Dani Wilde
  • Erin McCallum
  • Christina Skjolberg
  • Malyssa BellaRosa

Female Blues Singers of the 2000s

The 2000s saw a huge resurgence of the blues music scene and females were at the forefront. Led by iconic stars such as Janis Joplin and Koko Taylor in previous decades, female blues singers of the 2000s continued to carry on this legacy while introducing fresh perspectives into the genre.

Artists like Susan Tedeschi, Beth Hart, and Shemekia Copeland infused classic sounds with modern influences while keeping true to the roots of blues music. With powerful lyrics and mesmerizing vocals, they brought life back into a genre that seemed destined for extinction before their arrival.

Here are other notable female blues singers of the 2000s that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.

  • Beth Hart
  • Susan Tedeschi
  • Joanne Shaw Taylor
  • Ana Popović
  • Samantha Fish
  • Carolyn Wonderland
  • Cassie Taylor
  • Marcia Ball
  • Ruthie Foster
  • Samantha Fish

White Female Blues Singers

While the blues is predominately an African American genre, there have been some notable white female blues singers throughout its history. Though they weren’t as prominent as their black counterparts, these female performers played an important role in the blues scene and have continued to inspire future generations of singers.

The most famous white female blues singer is undoubtedly Janis Joplin, who was a major figure in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Joplin brought energy and soul to her performances, helping to bring blues music into the mainstream with hits like “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Piece of My Heart”. She is also credited with influencing a wave of female singers in the 1970s and beyond, such as Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, and Janis Ian.

Other notable white female blues artists include:

  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Susan Tedeschi
  • Joanne Shaw Taylor
  • Ana Popović
  • Danielle Nicole
  • Marcia Ball
  • Rory Block
  • Dana Fuchs
  • Joanna Connor
  • Wendy Colonna

Female Blues Singers of the 1990s

The blues scene of the 1990s was a hotbed of activity, with many renowned musicians and bands coming to prominence. Though it was dominated by male performers, there were a handful of female artists that also made their mark.

From Bonnie Raitt to Koko Taylor, these women became major figures in the blues scene of the era. Drawing on traditions of old-time and classic blues, they infused their music with an energy and spirit that made them stand out. The influence of these female artists was evident not only in their own work but also in that of many other musicians who followed in their footsteps.

It wasn’t just female singers that made an impact during this period either. Female guitarists such as Sue Foley, Debbie Davies, and Joanna Connor were also pushing the boundaries of blues music with their technical prowess and innovative approach to playing.

  • Whitney Houston
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Janiva Magness
  • Ruthie Foster
  • Chaka Khan
  • Diana Ross
  • Roberta Flack
  • Alicia Keys
  • Angie Stone
  • Kelly Rowland

American Female Blues Singers

The history of American music is incomplete without the blues and at the heart of this history, there have been some truly remarkable female blues singers.

From Ma Rainey to Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith, these women have made an indelible mark on American music and culture.

Their influence can be heard in everything from classic soul records to modern-day hip-hop hits. And their stories serve as an important reminder that female musicians have played a vital role in the development of the blues.

Today, there are countless American female blues singers carrying on this legacy and creating incredible music. Artists like Shemekia Copeland and Susan Tedeschi are just a few examples of this new generation of blues performers that are helping to keep the genre alive.

  • C. Kelly Wright
  • Mozelle Alderson
  • Ora Alexander
  • Blue Lu Barker
  • Bessie Tucker
  • Clara Smith
  • Ma Rainey
  • Big Mama Thornton
  • Bessie Smith
  • Susan Tedeschi

Female Blues Singers of the 50s

The 1950s was a time of great change and innovation, with genres like rock and roll taking the world by storm. But while many new sounds were emerging, traditional blues music still had a strong presence in American culture. And female singers played an important role in this era, helping to keep the old-time traditions alive while also creating something fresh and new.

Singers like Big Maybelle and Dinah Washington were some of the most popular performers of this time, with their powerful voices and soulful sound becoming staples in blues clubs across the US.

While mainstream radio may not have given them much airplay at the time, they still left an indelible impression on popular culture by inspiring countless artists throughout the years.

  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  • Lizzie Miles
  • Irene Scruggs
  • Monette Moore
  • Big Maybelle
  • Dinah Washington
  • Hadda Brooks
  • Mabel Scott

Female Blues Singers of the 60s

In contrast to the 50s, the 1960s saw a huge resurgence of blues music with the rise of electric blues. This new (and loud!) sound was ushered in by legendary acts such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, but it also allowed for female singers to make a name for themselves.

The era saw major figures like Etta James, Koko Taylor, and Big Mama Thornton gain recognition, while a new generation of singers like Janis Joplin began to emerge.

Even today, these women’s influence can be heard in the work of many contemporary artists. And for that, we owe them a lot of thanks.

  • Nina Simone
  • Etta James
  • Ruth Brown
  • Irma Thomas
  • Koko Taylor

Female Blues Singers of the 70s

Coming out of the 60s blues boom, the 1970s saw a period of intense creativity and experimentation.

Female singers of this era were determined to make their mark on the genre, bringing with them an energy and passion that would shape the sound of blues for years to come.

This new generation of women in music was full of firsts; some went down as trailblazers in their field, while others paved way for future generations.

As well as introducing powerful vocal styles and hard-hitting lyrics, these female blues singers also brought something new to the sound – a sense of soulful emotion which had been missing from the genre since its inception.

  • Tina Turner
  • Ruth Brown
  • Kathi McDonald
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Marcia Ball
  • Rory Block
  • Irma Thomas
  • Beverly Watkins

Australian Female Blues Singers

Australia has a long and rich history of female blues singers, many of whom have gone on to become international stars. For example, soul singer Mia Dyson has built an international following with her powerful voice and heartfelt lyrics, while blues-rocker Joanne Shaw Taylor is known for her fiery electric guitar playing.

In recent years, a new wave of female blues singers has emerged, such as Jaguar Jonze and Alice Skye who are fusing elements of folk, blues, and rock to create something truly unique.

As with their American counterparts, these women are helping to keep the genre alive while also pushing it into bold new directions.

  • Mia Wray
  • Mia Dyson
  • Grace Woodroofe
  • Joanne Shaw Taylor
  • Georgia Lee
  • Karise Eden
  • Alice Skye
  • Marlene Cummins
  • Jaguar Jonze

Conclusion

In conclusion, female blues singers have been essential to the development of this genre, from its early days in America to its current global presence.

These incredible women have lent their voices and talents to the blues for generations, bringing with them an energy and emotion which is undeniable. Without them, it’s hard to imagine what music we would be listening to today.

We hope that you have enjoyed this exploration of female blues singers and their impact on the genre as much as we have.

Thank you for reading!