I have chosen these 5 solo female singers both based on my admiration for their immense talent and the fact that they create music that is beautiful and refined and women who I think we should all always listen to.
We all know and love Ms. Franklin’s top hits like ‘Natural Woman’ and ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ but I think if more people delved into her discography and gave her a thorough listening to, they will be as surprised as I was to find a vast catalog of incredible songs. Aretha Franklin has some of the best, most varied and emotional songs in all of soul music. She has amazing covers of a lot of soul classics and a broad number of songs that everyone should familiarise themselves with.
Once you listen to her albums you develop a well-rounded understanding of her sound and style that, although they are wonderful, isn’t fully captured in her main songs that we hear so often. The true Queen of soul music and the epitome of all things wonderful about that genre, she is one of the finest female singers in history and someone that we should always listen to. My song recommendations: Day Dreaming, Get It Right, Sister from Texas & Don’t Play That Song.
Whenever I tell people that I’m a fan of Dame Shirley Bassey I think their initial reaction is to think that I listen to ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ on repeat. I, of course, do that sometimes but once you listen to all her other music you realize that she is actually one of the finest female singers music has to offer. Her songs are so ranged and varied in style and lyric but always delivered to perfection with her powerful and emotional voice. I think what she does so well, which I think not many singers are capable of, is she creates drama with her songs.
Ms. Bassey summarises everything we should all admire in female singers: talent, confidence, control and an unshakeable skill of being completely fabulous. She is completely in control of her mighty voice and her songs show it. Her songs range from jazz, funk, power ballads and soul and if you listen to her I’m sure you’ll love, and find her as impressive, as I do. My song recommendations: Jezahel, History Repeating, Spinning Wheel & Something.
In my view, music’s most quirky, intelligent and fascinating member, Kate Bush is a musician like no other. She is a type of musician where you either are an obsessed fan of hers and everything she does or not one at all, there is no in-between. That is primarily because she is so astonishingly unique and all of her songs encapsulate this artistic singularity that I, and all her other fans, hold so dear. I love and admire a lot of singers but it is quite rare that I would describe singers as artists. Kate Bush is an artist.
With her diverse lyrics and sounds, finding inspirations from subjects as ranged and niche as nuclear war and James Joyce’s Ulysses, she creates pieces of music that artistically express her sheer talent in each of her songs. At first glance, to a lot of people, she may seem like a peculiar, high pitched question mark of a singer, which I completely understand – she is all of those things. But once you submerge yourself and have an in-depth listen to her music, you will discover some of the finest music ever made and will start listening to her as regularly as I do. My song recommendations: Them Heavy People, Wuthering Heights, Feel It & Blow Away.
A woman I have loved and admired for a long time and the undisputable Queen of Disco, Diana Ross is a master in the maker of music to dance to. Not only was she the lead singer of The Supremes, a group responsible for some of the best Motown music ever made, she also then continued with a solo career to huge success which provided hit after hit. She is a singer with an amazing voice that delivers songs with ease and confidence that just makes them so wonderful to listen to and even better to dance to.
Her music is always uplifting and has such lively and fun undertones, made that just bit more refined and special with her amazing voice and clear and experienced skill for making music. Music that is not only is so clearly masterfully performed and crafted in a way to make it of such high quality but also songs that are just so easy and wonderful to sing along and dance to. My song recommendations: I’m Coming Out, The Boss, Chain Reaction & It’s My House.
A woman that represents everything right about jazz music, Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most elegant and talented members of the genre. I think jazz can, to many people, have a reputation of being somewhat exclusive, as if it’s an acquired taste of people with a certain musical affiliation. Ms. Fitzgerald completely dismantles this reputation with her music. Her songs are so cheerily catchy and joyous to listen to and always delivered with her perfect diction and faultless, always in tune voice.
There is just this always present sense of refinement and experience with Ella Fitzgerlad and her music. You play her songs and all of a sudden you feel like you’re in a safe pair of hands, that will deliver some of the most beautiful and toe-tappingly addictive jazz in musical history. Her songs are timeless and can be put on in any relaxed and laid back situation, the melodies and lyrics adding bouncy and smoothly rhythmic music that everyone will love and should always listen to. My song recommendations: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Solid As A Rock, Savoy Truffle, Summertime.