Black Women mostread2019 Top 10 Features

The Undeniable 7 Best Black Male Singers of All Time

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Who are the Best Black Male Singers? Perhaps a great part of great talent is great pain. I realized at least five of the women on yesterday’s list had suffered from some kind of addiction problem and four of the seven men on this list have also suffered from addiction. It proves that all that glitters is not gold and there is another side to show business that people rarely see. This is probably why the show UNSUNG is such a huge hit. Yesterday we did a list of the best female singers, today we do the male list do you agree with our choices? Comment if you like…

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terri January 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm

What about Charlie Wilson????!!!!! How can you leave a guy like that off of this list… he actually survived drug addiction and has done what none of these guys has done and made a real organic comeback and is relevant today with monster hits and uplifting music about women! Even my 8 year old nephew and 11 year old niece listen to him. Do some homework!!!

JJ February 1, 2012 at 4:41 am

So you left out names like..Teddy Pendergrass..Otis Redding..Gerald Levert..well we all have opinions.

preston February 2, 2012 at 12:33 am

Donny Hathaway didn’t make it huh!? 🙂

kaba March 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm

No Stevie, Jackie Wilson or DONNY HATHAWAY?!?!?!

elh June 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm

No Michael Jackson ???!!!!????

Edogg June 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Any time you have the “best” instead of “arguably the best” you are asking for trouble. This list is definitely in the arguable category. No Stevie, Teddy, Otis. You got to be kidding me!

Erin July 4, 2012 at 9:58 am

What about Jackie Wilson guys…are you kidding me ? Bobby Womack !? Huh ?

mstradford July 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

It’s hard to take a list like that seriously without Al Green. No disrespect to Phillip Bailey, but was his falsetto more piercing than Eddie Kendricks’? Seriously?

Phat Man July 20, 2012 at 3:48 am

The list for the men should be expaneded to ten and we should find a way to get Teddy Pendergrass, Ronnie Isley, Jeffrey Osborne, and Little Willie John on that list. Little Willie John is often forgotten when we talk about great male vocalists, but from th early 50s through the mid sixties he was untouchable. His life ended trgically and far too early, but we should never underestimate his impact. He is in my opinion, along with Ray Charles; one of the fathers of modern soul music. Don’t know about him? Read more about him online and check out some of his music on youtube. Also ask yourself why the godfather of soul James Brown saw fit to dedicate an entire album to him after he died. His impact was that great. Ray Charles should also be on any list of greatest as well. We have a tendency to only focus on the solo artists when we have these discussions, but we forget that there were many great singers in groups as well. Eddie Levert, Gerald Albright, & Levi Stubbs could each have had stellar solo careers if they chose to leave their groups. Maybe we should expand the list to 20 and include all of the above.

berty October 27, 2014 at 9:22 am

Any list must include Nat King Cole.

kendrick April 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Amen to Nat’ King’ Cole!!!!!! A lot of these singers would mention him as the Greatest!!!!!!!

Frank July 23, 2016 at 10:04 am

Absolutely, he was the King, the way he could sing a song. No greatest list of any kind list can be without him. He set the bar for more to follow. As a white singer I try to emulate the way he phrased his words, they were impeccable.

Cee Wee January 7, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Where is Ronald Isley?

Tami Tyree January 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

I would have a very different list: Sam Cooke, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Barry White, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield and Otis Redding as a tie.

Don March 24, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Probably need to expand that list out to Ten Teddy Pendegrass and Ronald Isley are missing.

Anonymous June 16, 2015 at 4:48 pm

No Teddy P James Brown Jackie Wilson Otis Redding WHO PICK THIS LIST

Gary Blue Shelly July 19, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Uncle Charlie Wilson and dont forget about Smokey & RON BANKS From the the group the dramatics Show Stevie some love & The Great Gerald levert And last but not least Brother Johnny gill all these brothers are great in there own way thanks For time

Anonymous October 18, 2015 at 8:22 pm

I believe mjj was kind loving and the best people are just cruel mean

Bobby Tee November 17, 2015 at 4:42 am

What about Billy Eckstine, Jackie Wilson, Nat King Cole. Check out Austin Cromer, not a household name but good enough for Dizzy to use him on some of his recordings. And let’s not forget Sammy Davis jr. Whoever created that list needs to do some serious listening. (Bobby Womack)?

David C.Linton November 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Kevin, we are usually in sync, BUT NOT to have Al Green on this list is a faux paus! I like Peabo but he doesn’t beat Al Green (who had more #1 hits in the 70’s than any other R&B male artist) or Teddy (“dubbed the worlds greatest lead singer”) or the proflic and distinct soud Curtis Mayfield..no Stevie? OMG!

Wayne Sharpe - Manager of WJAM-FM/AM, Selma, Al. January 17, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Where in the hell are Smokey Robinson, Al Green, Jackie Wilson, Donny Hathaway, Teddy Pendergrass and Levi Stubbs, just to mention. Only a list of seven? You got to be kidding me. You need at least 25.

RWS January 17, 2016 at 8:12 pm

WTF!! No King Cole-Jackie Wilson-Roy Hamilton-Tony Williams??

RickToye January 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Where is the Al Green?????

MarkR January 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Cant argue with the list mine would have had some of the same I would have Donnie Hathaway, Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, , Marvin Gaye, David Ruffin Al Green but why not top 10 would still be hard I was trying to put Peabo, Jackie Wilson, Billy Eckstein and Eddie Kendricks on but already at 7

Charles P. Edwards III January 29, 2016 at 9:51 pm

You blew it. Peabo was only a so-so singer. Eddie Kendricks over Phillip Bailey. You don’t have Mr. Excitement on your list or Harold Melvin or Teddy. Freddie Jackson, and both Levert’s disrespected by YOU. Quit making list. Or state as only your opinion. Maybe if you break it down by decade.

KevRoss January 29, 2016 at 10:10 pm

OK, I’ll quit… and do a new one next week!

Elliane March 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm

BS list! ….AL Green… Teddy… Jeffrey Osborne… Lou Rawls…. Brook Benton.Curtis Mayfield.. Barry White.. .. and the list goes on

WAINWRIGHT April 6, 2016 at 10:23 am


Isabel May 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm

You just cannot leave off Ollie “Ali” Woodson.

George Ganyon June 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Nat King Cole

Richard Khelama November 27, 2016 at 8:26 am

No Teddy??,, No Al Green??,No Eddie Levert??,& Dennis Edwards,& Howard Hewitt could sing with the best of them. It’s a very good list guys,but you left some names out that can’t be explained……

Jim Binion January 2, 2017 at 7:08 am

Add Johnny Hartman and Lou Rawls – great crooners.

Pamela Jarrett January 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm

How could you leave off two of the sweetest voices and the faces of Motown the great Smokey Robinson and Eddie Kendricks. Those two voices where so great, especially when singing a love song. Eddie died way to young, but Smokey can still bring it after all these years.

Val Lasartemay January 13, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Obviously the list is incomplete, leaving Nat King Cole off the list is understandable unless you know that Marvin Gaye’s ultimate dream was to cross over and reach the same audience same goes for Luther neither of them hit their objective of crossing over like NKC. I consider this list more about crooners than singers having said that no mention of Barry White makes this list hard to take serious.

Joy Wilson February 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Please include the Great Smokey Robinson, Johnny Gill, Al Green… These singers have such beautiful voices . Smokey Robinson in concert, the man still had it! Please include their names in your list and make it longer if you say BEST.. there are several !!!

pamela williams-lacy February 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

This list is based upon the opinion of the writer; it’s subjective and certainly can be challenged. I don’t agree with Peabo Bryson nor Phillip Baily. The key here is vocally not most popular. I think any singer that has impacted an industry and influenced other artist because of their talent should be on this list. Sam/Luther/Bobby IMO are at that level. The arguement of leaving Stevie Wonder off this list is a huge error.

Carol March 11, 2017 at 6:24 pm

Isaac Hayes

Marc April 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Eddie Kendricks and Stevie Wonder should be on this list. The good news is you have the best singer of all time, David Ruffin, on here.

Ja. Streeter March 13, 2018 at 8:45 am

We should have the top 25, 50 and 100 male singer/crooners; as well as bands. Now if if will be chronological by era then it allows the top 5 to ten for inclusion and focus, on subject matter, suggestions and nominations.

Kevin Ross April 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm

That would be a LOT of work but good idea.

Ja. Streeter March 13, 2018 at 8:47 am

if should be it will be…

Marilyn August 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Give ma a break with this list. Are all of you under 60 yr of age?

Where the heck is Johnny Hartman? Oh. Don’t know who he is? Check Google or brick and mortar, the LIBRARY.

Dorothy Martin September 12, 2018 at 8:51 am

What about Joe Simon. No best. Singer list is complete without him.

Kevin Ross October 9, 2018 at 7:08 pm

He wasn’t bad but not a major star.

Bo Brumble October 4, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Jackie Wilson could outsing anybody.

Kevin Ross October 9, 2018 at 6:57 pm

I agree but he made a lot of fast songs and ballads are generally how an artist spotlights their talent. You agree?

CeeCee January 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm

No Teddy? No Smokey? You’ve got to be kidding. Peabo and Bobby Womack are awesome, and I’m fans of both, but to put them above the two I mentioned on the all-time greats list? No, sir.

Eric March 2, 2019 at 11:36 pm

My 7 on the list

Nat King Cole
Sam Cooke
Luthier Vandross
Marvin Gaye
Teddy Pendergrass

Eric March 2, 2019 at 11:38 pm

Smoky Robinson
Donny Hathaway

Anonymous September 12, 2019 at 11:55 am

Marvin Junior of The DELLS He’s the guy the 1st Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes album was written for. Stay In My Corner says it all. He was as great as they come

Lamont Boles October 24, 2019 at 11:26 am

Hey Kevin ….Hope All Is Well….Thank You very much for keeping me on your list to stay informed.
I have read most of the responding comments and I must remind folks that the Title is “Undeniable 7 Best Black Male Singers Of All Time”……….Lets Define Best…….would that be “Greatest” or “Most Popular” or “Most Skilled”…??????
However I do agree with the comment of ….(The list should be at least 10)….7 would automatically eliminate several Vocalists who had more Swag than Skill.
Being Blessed with a past career that allowed me to work with sevearal singers on that list…..I must share a past statement Luther used to make when I Accompanied him during Radio visits with Jocks……He would tell them that he can’t believe that even though we worked together on over 10 projects and one of them was my idea to do a signature Wedding Song at an actual wedding (“Here and Now” His first Grammy).
I was not his number one favorite male vocalist , he was actually my number three.
Marvin Gaye is my Number # !………Cmon Kevin …who else made Women scream on the “Star Spangled Banner”
Rance Allen is my Number # 2….when it comes to Male Vocal Skills…..you step to Rance and you will get a lesson and then catch a vocal beat down.
Luther was my Definite # 3……His vocal performance on covers were completely nasty to the original versions that didn’t have his skill level and he was one of the Best Performers in Concert History.
And then in no order i will agree with Professor Linton on Distinctive Voices like ….Al Green , Nat King Cole , David Ruffin , Smokey Robinson , James Brown , Jackie Wilson , Marvin Winans , Sam Cooke , Levi Stubbs , Stevie Wonder , Teddy Pendergrass , Barry White , Lou Rawls, Gerald Levert, Johnny Gill , Alexander O’neal and so many others.
I guess it goes back in reference to the saying “Beauty Is In The Eyes Of the Beholder” ……well a “Great Voice and A Great Song” depends on who is listening……..

Ralston Baker November 23, 2019 at 5:34 pm

One only has to listen to Marvin Pentz Gaye Jnr’s “Flying High In The Friendly Sky” to understand why he is the greatest soul singer to ever set foot in a recording studio! Buff said!

Masque January 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm

What!! where is Jerry Butler????, No Ice Man, gee [email protected]%#&*%$


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