Two of the most impactful decades of the 21st century, the 1960s and 1970s was a time for some of the most profound societal, cultural shifts in history. The 1960s propelled the counterculture movement, with a revolution surrounding the normalization of social norms, from clothing to sexuality at the forefront of the decade, with the Woodstock Festival allowing for hippie expression and experimentation of psychedelic drugs.
The 1970s only furthered the movements present in the 60s, with disco music dominating the decade and feminism on the rise in popular culture. In the rest of this article, we’ll discuss female singers of the 60s and 70s who became known for their iconic voices, styles, and impactful themes within their music.
Here Are the Best Female Singers of the 60s and 70s
18. Cass Elliot
|Born||September 19, 1941 Baltimore, Maryland|
|Died||July 29, 1974|
|Years active||1959 to 1974|
|Genre||Sunshine pop, Folk rock|
Known for her work with the legendary singing group the Mamas and the Papas, Ellen Naomi Cohen (known professionally as Cass Elliot or Mama Cass) was one of the most iconic names in 1960s sunshine pop and folk rock for her captivating, bubbly, and ever-humorous stage presence.
Initially interested in pursuing a career in acting, Elliot attended American University where she met John Brown and Tim Rose who she performed with as The Triumvirate, later named the Big 3. The trio rose to local success but disbanded shortly after their formation, and Elliot went on to form the New Journeymen alongside Denny Doherty and John and Michelle Phillips. This quartet was later named the Mamas and the Papas.
The Mamas and the Papas rose to an immediate success with the release of their debut studio album in 1966 If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears and featured the iconic hits California Dreamin’ and Monday, Monday, which won the group the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Group with Vocals. Elliot shone with her solo track Dream a Little Dream of Me on the Mamas and the Papas fourth studio album The Papas & The Mamas in 1968.
Elliot embarked on a successful solo career following the groups split in 1971 and appeared on television frequently, with her own special Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore having ran in 1973 on CBS.
Elliot died the following year of heart failure at the age of 32 shortly after performing at the Palladium in London, England. Despite her tragic death, her legacy continues to live on, as The City of Baltimore has officially dedicated August 15 as Cass Elliot Day.
17. Grace Slick
|Born||October 20, 1939 Highland Park, Illinois|
|Years active||1964 to 1990|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, Acid rock, Progressive rock, Blues rock, Pop|
One of the most iconic female voices in all of psychedelic and prog rock, Grace Barnett Wing (known professionally as Grace Slick) is known best as the lead singer of the pioneering rock band Jefferson Airplane and their successor bands Jefferson Starship and Starship.
Slick became interested in music after composing a soundtrack for one of her husband’s short films and seeing the newly formed Jefferson Airplane in person at The Matrix nightclub in San Francisco. She had only half-heartedly considered pursing a professional career in music but decided to from a band alongside her husband Jerry Slick and his brother Darby, which they named The Great Society.
In 1966, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane asked Slick to join them after their lead singer quit, to which she agreed. After Slick joined, the band shifted towards a more psychedelic agenda in comparison to their folk style. Their first album with Slick, Surrealistic Pillow, propelled the band into the mainstream with the hit tracks White Rabbit and Somebody to Love, making them one of the most popular bands at the time.
The Acid Queen Grace Slick has since been noted as one of the most legendary female singers of the 70s and 60s by music critics and fans alike, alongside other pioneers Patti Smith and Stevie Nicks. In 1996 she was officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her work with Jefferson Airplane.
16. Patsy Cline
|Born||September 8, 1932 Winchester, Virginia|
|Died||March 5, 1963|
|Years active||1948 to 1963|
|Genre||Country, Honkey-Tonk, Traditional pop, Rockabilly, Gospel|
Despite her tragic passing at the age of 30, Patsy Cline has been regarded as one of the most influential country artists of her time, being one of the first women in country to release solo albums, headline her own tours and serve as an inspiration for female artists across all music genres.
After struggling with numerous childhood illnesses, Cline began performing at the age of 14 and wrote a letter to the Grand Ole Opry a year later, asking if she could audition to which they responded asking for headshots and demo tapes. Cline auditioned but never received news and went on to perform locally until 1954 when she signed to Four Star Records.
In 1960 Cline became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry and signed to Decca Records after spawning a few successful singles throughout the late 1950s. In 1961 she released the single I Fall to Pieces, which became one of her earliest songs to crossover to pop and her first Billboard chart hit. After suffering critical injuries in a car accident shortly after, she released her next hit, Crazy, which has been regarded as one of her greatest tracks.
Cline was officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, making her the first female artist to ever be inducted. Country Music: The Rough Guide has described Clines legacy, stating that “she swaggered her way past stereotypes and other forces of resistance, showing the men in charge, and the public in general, that women were more than capable of singing about such hard subjects as divorce and drinking as well as love and understanding.”
15. Etta James
|Born||January 25, 1938 Los Angeles, California|
|Died||January 20, 2012 Riverside, California|
|Years active||1954 to 2012|
|Genre||Blues, Soul, Jazz, Rock and Roll, R&B, Gospel|
With one of the most powerful voices in blues, rock and roll, R&B, and Soul combined, Jamesetta Hawkins (known professionally as Etta James) was one of the greatest female musicians of all-time, having been ranked as number 22 on Rolling Stone Magazines 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time list.
James became interested in music at a young age, as she received vocal training at the age of five while in the Echoes of Eden Choir at St. Paul Baptist Church in her hometown. She became interested in doo-wap and met musician Johnny Otis at the age of 14 who signed her girl group the Creolettes to Modern Records.
James’ debut studio album, At Last!, was released in 1960 after struggling to settle in with a record label who would allow her to shine as a solo artist. The hits A Sunday Kind of Love, At Last and I Just Want to Make Love to You were featured on the album, with At Last reaching number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. Some of James’ follow-up hits included Something’s Got a Hold on Me, Fool That I Am and I’d Rather Go Blind.
James died at the age of 73 after battling leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease in 2012, just three days after the man that discovered her, Johnny Otis. Fellow artists Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, and Christina Aguilera performed as a tribute to James’ life and career at her funeral. Once considered an overlooked artist, James has since been regarded as one of the greatest and most diverse female musicians of all-time.
14. Carole King
|Born||February 9, 1942 New York City, New York|
|Years active||1958 to Present|
|Genre||Pop, Soul, Soft rock|
Known for both her career as a solo artist and for her talented songwriting, Carol Joan Klein (known professionally as Carole King) was the most successful songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century, with a combined total of 118 Billboard hits of both her own music and music she wrote for other artists.
Kings mother began teaching her to play the piano at the age of three after having an early obsession with music. By the age of four she had perfect pitch and began taking more serious music lessons, tackling on music theory and aiming to “master the popular songs that poured out of the radio.”
After attending Queens College King began songwriting professionally, as some of her earliest songs included (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman for Aretha Franklin, Goin’ Back for Dusty Springfield and Pleasant Valley Sunday for the Monkees.
King became a smash hit in 1971 with her second studio album Tapestry, which featured the hits You’ve Got a Friend, and I Feel the Earth Move alongside other successful singles. The album won King four Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, making her the first woman to ever receive that particular award.
Author James H. Billington has described King’s legacy, stating that she has been “one of the most influential songwriters of our time. She has written for and been recorded by many different types of artists for a wide range of audiences, communicating with beauty and dignity the universal human emotions of love, joy, pain and loss.”
13. Nina Simone
|Born||February 21, 1933 Tryon, North Carolina|
|Died||April 21, 2003|
|Years active||1954 to 2002|
|Genre||Jazz, Soul, Blues, Folk, R&B, Classical, Gospel|
Singer-songwriter and civil rights activist Eunice Kathleen Waymon (known professionally as Nina Simone) was one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all-time with a career spanning nearly five decades.
Born to a poor family, Simone found herself using music as a means of escape, learning to play the piano and performing in her local church choir at the age of four. She gave her first solo recital at the age of 12, however her parents were forced to sit in the back of the concert hall so that white people could sit in the front. This traumatizing event contributed to Simone’s passion and advocacy for the civil rights movement later in life and for the often-powerful civil rights themes within her music.
After a failed audition to enroll at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Simone began working as a photography assistant while giving piano lessons on the side. She often performed at the Midtown Bar & Grill in Atlantic City, New Jersey where she developed her stage name. In 1958 she recorded her first single, her rendition of I Loves You, Porgy from George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess, which made it to the Billboard top 20.
Simone recorded her debut studio album the following year, Little Girl Blue, which solidified her spot as one of the most successful female jazz artists.
After battling breast cancer for a number of years, Simone died in 2003 at the age of 70. Over 50 musicians have cited Simone as one of their biggest inspirations, and her music has been featured in numerous soundtracks for films, television series and video games. Just two days before Simone’s death, she was informed that she was to be awarded an honorary degree from the Curtis Institute, who had previously denied her before the start of her career.
12. Lesley Gore
|Born||May 2, 1946 New York City, New York|
|Died||February 16, 2015|
|Years active||1963 to 2014|
Perhaps known best for her hits You Don’t Own Me and It’s My Party which were recorded at just 16 years old, Lesley Sue Goldstein (known professionally as Lesley Gore) has become one of the most iconic LGBTQ+ artists of the 1960s.
Gore recorded her debut single while in her junior year of high school in 1963 with Quincy Jones, It’s My Party, which became an instant, certified gold number-one hit nationwide. Gores follow-up hits included You Don’t Own Me, Judy’s Turn to Cry, Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows and She’s a Fool, all recorded before Gore was 18 years old.
Following Gore’s successful music career, she hosted numerous editions of the 2003 PBS TV series In the Life, which is the longest running LGBTQ+ television show of all-time, with a run-time of two decades. Despite the controversy that surrounded LGBTQ+ relationships in the 1960s, Gore came out as a lesbian in a 2005 interview, and that she had been in a happy relationship since the early 1980s.
Gore died at the age of 68 after battling lung cancer in 2015. In regard to her lasting legacy, NPR has since listed her second studio album as one of the top 150 female-recoded albums of all-time. As stated in The New York Times, “Gore made herself the voice of teenaged girls aggrieved by fickle boyfriends, moving quickly from tearful self-pity to fierce self-assertion.” Overall, Lesley Gore is one of my favorite female singers of the 60s.
11. Donna Summer
|Born||December 31, 1948 Boston Massachusetts|
|Died||May 17, 2012|
|Years active||1968 to 2012|
|Genre||Disco, Dance, R&B, Pop, Post Disco, Eurodisco|
The Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, was one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Now regarded as a cultural icon, she has sold over 100 million records, won five Grammy Awards, was the first black woman to ever be nominated for an MTV Video Music Award, and has been noted by The Times as “one of the world’s leading female singers” since her passing.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (known professionally by her stage name) grew up with a passion for music, performing in her church choir and giving her first solo performance at the age of ten. Summer moved to New York City just a few weeks before her high school graduation to pursue a career in musical theatre. She was cast in the Munich production of the musical, Hair, as the character Sheila. She moved to Germany where she became fluent in the language which she often sang in.
Summer released her debut studio album in 1974, Lady of the Night, which established her as a successful solo artist. Some of her biggest hits throughout her career include Hot Stuff, Last Dance, I Feel Love, On The Radio and MacArthur Park.
Summer died in 2012 at the age of 63 after battling lung cancer. A multitude of artists responded to the legends passing, with country icon Dolly Parton stating that “Donna, Like Whitney, was one of the greatest voices ever. I loved her records. She was the queen of disco and will remain so. I knew her and found her to be one of the most likeable and fun people ever.”
10. Barbra Streisand
|Born||April 24, 1942|
|Years active||1960 to Present|
|Genre||Traditional pop, Broadway, Disco|
Known for her iconic roles across television and film and for her theatrical music, Barbra Joan Streisand is easily one of the most iconic female singers not only of her generation, but of all time, as she is the highest-certified female artist in the United States.
Streisand fell in love with music at a young age, as she recalls her mother being a good singer who would sing on occasion. She always wanted to become a superstar and became determined to become an actress after seeing The Diary of Anne Frank of Broadway at the age of 14. Streisand graduated high school at the age of 16 and moved into her own apartment in New York City to pursue a career in show business against her mother’s wishes.
Streisand performed in her first professional play, Another Evening with Harry Stoones, after performing at nightclubs and finding inspiration from Billie Holiday, Ethel Waters and Mabel Mercer. She released her debut studio album in 1963, The Barbara Streisand Album, which won three Grammy Awards and hit the number 10 spot on the Billboard Albums chart.
Since the release of her debut album, Barbra Streisand has appeared in iconic films such as Hello, Dolly! and A Star Is Born and has released 50 studio albums. A handful of Streisand’s multitudes of accolades include ten Grammy Awards, 2 Academy Awards, five Emmy Awards, 9 Golden Globes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts awarded by former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
9. Patti Smith
|Born||December 30, 1946 Chicago, Illinois|
|Years active||1967 to Present|
|Genre||Punk rock, Proto-punk, Art punk, Art rock|
Cited by many as the Punk Poet Laureate, Patti Smith remains one of the most defining female voices in all of Rock music, with a career spanning five decades with countless Billboard hits and awards received throughout her career.
The eldest of four children, Smith was inspired at a young age by her mother who was a former jazz singer. Her mother passed down some of her records to Smith, with some of her biggest inspirations being Bob Dylan’s Another Side of Bob Dylan and Patience and Prudence’s The Money Tree. Smith began working in a factory immediately following high school and moved to Manhattan in New York City where she began writing poetry regularly.
In 1974 she began performing rock music alongside a full band. They called themselves the Patti Smith Group and released their debut studio album the following year, Horses, which was met with acclaim as it molded spoken word with punk rock and featured a cover of Van Morrison’s Gloria. Patti Smith Groups follow-up hits include Because the Night, Dancing Barefoot, Frederick and People Have the Power.
Smith became an iconic figure throughout the latter half of the 1970s for her unique songwriting and vocal performance. She has since been noted as a major influence for artists across all genres, including Madonna, Courtney Love, Shirley Manson, Johnny Marr and Morrissey. In 2010, Smith was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time by Rolling Stone Magazine.
8. Diana Ross
|Born||March 26, 1944 Detroit, Michigan|
|Years active||1956 to Present|
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Disco, Dance, Pop|
With one of the most powerful voices in the music industry, Diana Ross is one of the greatest R&B singers of all-time. Starting with a successful career in the all-girl group the Supremes, the most successful girl-group of all-time, and later emerging as a solo artist, Ross has since been noted as a cultural icon and one of the most important female figures of all-time, having been named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard in the 1970s.
Ross began her music career at the age of 15 when she joined the girl-group the Primettes, who later became known as the Supremes in 1961. The group produced a number of hits throughout their career, including You Can’t Hurry Love, Stop! In The Name of Love, Come See About Me and Baby Love.
Ross embarked on her solo career after departing from the Supremes in 1970, releasing her self-titled debut studio album which featured the hits Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand). Some of Ross’ follow-up hits include I’m Coming Out, Upside Down, Endless Love, Chain Reaction and You Are Everything.
Ross is still active in the music industry today at the age of 77. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ross began working on new material which is expected to be released on her upcoming twenty-fifth studio album, Thank You, in November 2021.
7. Dusty Springfield
|Born||April 16, 1939 West Hampstead, London, United Kingdom|
|Died||March 2, 1999|
|Years active||1958 to 1995|
|Genre||Blue-eyed soul, Pop, R&B|
One of the most impactful artists of the 1960s, Dusty Springfield is known best for her dramatic ballads, blue-eyed soul and jazz and for her defining style that went on to shape the standard for women throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (known professionally by her stage name), Springfield was raised in a music-loving family, as her father would often tap on her hand and ask her to name the tune. She had an adoration for an array of artists, including Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Rodgers and Hammerstein and George Gershwin.
Springfield began singing with her brother Tom in local clubs after they graduated high school. In 1960 they formed the folk-pop trio, The Springfields, before Springfield embarked on her solo career in 1963. She released her debut studio album the following year, Dusty, which featured numerous covers of her favorite songs, such as Mama Said and You Don’t Own Me.
Springfield became a near instant icon of the Swinging Sixties with the release of her 1969 studio album Dusty In Memphis which featured the hits Son of a Preacher Man and The Windmills of Your Mind. Some of Springfields follow-up hits include Spooky, Take Another Little Piece of My Heart, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me and The Look of Love.
Springfields legacy has been described by AllMusic, stating that Springfield was “the finest white soul singer of her era, a performer of remarkable emotional resonance whose body of work spans the decades and their attendant musical transformations with a consistency and purity unmatched by any of her contemporaries.”
6. Loretta Lynn
|Born||April 14, 1932 Butcher Hollow, Kentucky|
|Years active||1960 to Present|
|Genre||Country, Americana, Honkey-Tonk, Gospel|
Loretta Lynn is one of the most legendary country artists of all-time. With her career spanning nearly six decades, Lynn is the most awarded female country artist of all-time, with 18 Grammy Award nominations and 24 number one hit songs under her belt.
Known best for her major hit Coal Miner’s Daughter, Lynn became synonymous with the then unconventional themes that were at the heart of her music, such as women’s societal and personal struggles. She often spoke about birth control, cheating, childbirth and widowhood, all of which set an example for what topics should be discussed in music. Lynn stated in an interview with CBS that “no topic was off limits, as long as it was relatable to women.”
5. Karen Carpenter
|Born||March 2, 1950 New Haven, Connecticut|
|Died||February 4, 1983|
|Years active||1968 to 1983|
|Genre||Easy listening, Pop, Soft rock, Jazz|
Known for her music duo the Carpenters, Karen Anne Carpenter has one of the most recognizable voices across all music genres, with her distinct softness, three-octave contralto vocal range and signature songs (They Long To Be) Close To You, Yesterday Once More, Top Of The World and her iconic Christmas song, Merry Christmas Darling.
Carpenter joined her high school band at the age of 14 and learned to play the drums, inspired by Ringo Starr and Joe Morello. She begged her family for a Ludwig drum set which she soon received and within a year of practicing could play complex time signatures. She attended Long Beach State University with her brother Richard where they joined the school choir. It was around this time that Carpenter was given voice lessons by the choir director, who told her that her voice was suited for pop music.
Carpenter formed the duo the Carpenters with her brother Richard in 1969, receiving critical acclaim by the release of their second studio album, Close to You, in 1970. They have since been regarded as one of the best-selling music groups of all-time, having sold over 90 million records globally.
Karen Carpenter died at the age of 32 in 1983 after a long battle with anorexia nervosa. Carpenters struggle with the illness shocked the world, though Carpenters death received wide news coverage and helped bring awareness of eating disorders into the public eye.
4. Nancy Sinatra
|Born||June 8, 1940 Jersey City, New Jersey|
|Years active||1961 to Present|
|Genre||Pop, Country, Rock|
Known not only as the daughter of one of the world’s greatest musicians, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra is one of the defining female figures of the 1960s and 70s, with her iconic go-go style leaving a significant impact on the Swinging Sixties movement.
Sinatra learned to play the piano at a young age while also partaking in dance, acting and voice lessons. She went on to study dance, voice and music at UCLA, though she dropped out after her first year. Sinatra appeared on television for the first time on her father 1960 special The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis.
Sinatra was signed to her father’s record label the following year and released her debut single, Cuff Links and a Tie Clip, which went unnoticed. She received advice from record producer and songwriter Lee Hazlewood who suggested that she sing in a lower key, as it would suit her voice better. He helped her record her iconic hit in 1966, These Boots Are Made for Walkin.’ Sinatra’s follow-up hits include Somethin’ Stupid, Summer Wine and Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) which was featured on the soundtrack for the Quentin Tarantino film, Kill Bill Vol. 1.
3. Janis Joplin
|Born||January 19, 1943 Port Arthur, Texas|
|Died||October 4, 1970|
|Years active||1962 to 1970|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, Blues rock, Soul|
Often referred to as the “female Elvis Presley,” Janis Joplin is one of the most iconic and best-selling female rock stars of all time despite leaving behind only four albums. She was known for her “electric” stage performances, mezzo-soprano voice and over the top fashion style.
Considered an outcast in high school, Joplin became interested in folk and blues music and began singing with her friends. She later attended the University of Texas at Austin where the campus newspaper wrote a profile piece on her in 1962 which stated “she goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levis to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song, it will be handy.”
Joplin recorded her debut single later that year, titled What Good Can Drinkin’ Do. She joined her first band in 1966, Big Brother and the Holding Company, who she stayed with until 1969 when she embarked on her solo career. She released her debut studio album, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, later that year. Some of Joplin’s most notable work includes Cry Baby, Down on Me, Piece of My Heart, Ball and Chain and Mercedes Benz.
Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1970, just one year following the release of her debut album as a solo artist. Joplin’s death “shook the nation,” as it occurred just 16 days following the death of fellow rock icon Jimi Hendrix, also aged 27.
Joplin was described by music historian Tom Moon as having “a devastatingly original voice,” while The New York Times stated that she was “overpowering and deeply vulnerable as an artist.” Since her passing, Joplin has topped countless “best of” lists, as she has been featured on Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time list and 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time list.
2. Aretha Franklin
|Born||March 25, 1942 Memphis, Tennessee|
|Died||August 16, 2018|
|Years active||1954 to 2018|
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Gospel, Pop, Jazz|
Regarded by many as The Queen of Soul, Aretha Louise Franklin began her career at the age of 18 and has since become one of the most iconic names across all music genres, having been ranked at number one on Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time list.
Franklins adoration for music began at a young age, as she performed regularly in her church choir, learned to play the piano by ear and was singing her own solos at church by the age of 12. Franklin began touring alongside her father around this time. The duo would travel across the country to perform at numerous churches.
At the age of 16, Franklin met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and followed him on tour. King Jr. remained one of Franklins biggest inspirations, others being Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles. At the age of 18, Franklin confessed to her father that she would like to pursue a career in pop music and left to work with Columbia Records in 1960, though it wasn’t until she signed with Atlantic Records in 1966 that she hit it big with the hits (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Baby I Love You, Think and I Say a Little Prayer.
Franklin died at the age of 76 in 2018 after battling pancreatic cancer. In honor of Franklin, former President of the United States Barack Obama stated that she “helped define the American experience.” President Barack Obama also awarded Franklin with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for her contributions to American music culture.
1. Stevie Nicks
|Born||May 26, 1948 Phoenix, Arizona|
|Years active||1966 to Present|
Regarded as one of the most culturally significant artists of all time for her mysterious stage presence, raspy voice and poetic, lyrical songwriting, Stephanie Lynn Nicks (known professionally as Stevie Nicks) has won eight Grammy Awards, sold over 120 million records globally and was one of the first women to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Nicks wrote her first songs at the age of 16 after receiving a Goya guitar for her birthday, I’m Sad but Not Blue and I’ve Loved and I’ve Lost. She went on to form her first band while still in high school, the Changing Times.
During her senior year of high school Nicks met her future partner and band member Lindsey Buckingham. The two went on to attend San Jose University, though they ended up dropping out to focus on music, joining the band Fleetwood Mac in 1975.
Fleetwood Mac became a global sensation and one of the best-selling bands of all-time with the release of their self-titled tenth studio album which featured the hits Landslide and Rhiannon. Some of their later hits include Dreams, Go Your Own Way, Gypsy, Chain and Sisters of the Moon. Nicks embarked on her own solo career in 1981 and has released an array of hits, including Edge of Seventeen, Leather and Lace, Rooms on Fire and Edge of Midnight.
Rolling Stone Magazine has referred to Stevie Nicks as “the Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll” for the sheer magnitude that her impact has left on the music industry since her debut. The Times has stated that “even at 60 she is still working the gossamer tunics and shawls that have influenced two generations of Stevie acolytes, and given her performances the feel of a Wiccan ritual.” Overall, Stevie Nicks is easily one of the best female singers of the 60s and 70s.
That does it for this list. Let us know who your favorite female singers of the 70s or 60s are in the comments below.
Growing up in a small town in South Carolina with little to do, I spent the majority of my adolescence listening to music and writing stories. I began playing the violin in the 5th grade which helped me grow to appreciate modern music’s roots from an early age. At the age of 12 my older brother introduced me to the music he grew up with; Nu Metal, Grunge, 90’s Hip-Hop, Rap and Classic Rock. I became infatuated and embarked on my own music journey, discovering who I truly was along the way. During college I developed a passion for journalism, which I’ve now been lucky enough to merge with my love for music here at Guitar Lobby.
8 thoughts on “18 Best Female Singers of the 60s and 70s (with Videos)”
I can’t believe any list would not have Linda Ronstadt on it
“forming their band Fleetwood Mac in 1967” — that’s not true. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975.
Nicks sounds like a dying lamb
I’m looking for a female singer from the 1960s that sings the lyrics Come on and truck lets do the tricky tricky truck you put your hand on your hip and you let your back bone slip now come on and lets truck
Connie Francis should be first
How do you leave Connie off when she sold the most records in the 60s of any female singers .
Nicks, Joplin, Sinatra, Smith, Summer, Gore, King,…… Really. Some wrote great songs but none of them had great singing voices.
Some of the great singing voices were Vikki Carr, Linda Ronstadt, Rita Coolidge, Dion Warwick, Connie Francis, Marilyn McCoo, and many others belong on this list.
We were there. We loved these great voices.
Interesting. Perfectly illustrates the folly of such lists.
Leslie Gore and Nancy Sinatra, but no JONI MITCHELL. Who put this list together anyways?