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Absolute BEST Black Male Singers of All Time

Absolute Best Black Male Singers of All Time

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Best Black Male Singers:

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… (click NEXT button above or below)

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David Ruffin

He may have had some major ego and drug issues and he may not have gotten along with the other Temptations but NOBODY can deny that David Ruffin has to make the list of one of the Best Black Male Singers. It’s most unfortunate the all too familiar drug addiction situation destroyed his chances at a greater career as a solo artist but his music with the Temptations will be etched with a permanent place in the great history of music.

SEE OUR LIST OF BEST BLACK FEMALE SINGERS

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Luther Vandross

The last Luther Vandross was an amazing vocalist spending over a decade behind the scenes recording for Chic, Change, David Bowie and background for Roberta Flack before finally getting his own record deal after Flack fired him and took him to Larkin Arnold to sign him on Epic in the early 80s. The rest, as they say, is history. Luther is an undeniable best black male singer of all time and he was a smash out the gate with a stellar resume of music to follow years later.

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Marvin Gaye

Truly one of the greatest vocalist and one of the best black male singers n the history of music. His early 70s music when he claimed he was completely high off weed was when he did his BEST material. Marvin’s personal life was always up and down and his relationship with his father, who eventually shot him to death was incredibly strained. In one of his biographies, he claimed no matter how much he achieved, his father was never impressed. It’s amazing how some people’s relationships with their own parents can be so destructive.BEST BLACK FEMALE SINGERS OF ALL TIME LIST

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Sam Cooke

Best Black Male Singers: His gospel vocals transcended to R&B and made him a huge star. There has never been anyone like him. His untimely death/murder was most unfortunate. He certainly had a lot more hits left in him.

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Bobby Womack

Once Sam Cooke’s best friend, Bobby Womack’s interpretation of songs hit the nail on the head so hard you can actually feel what he was singing about. No other man on the best black male singers list could take a song and do what Womack was able to do with it.

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Peabo Bryson

Best Black Male Singers: Bryson was born to sing yet underrated. I once saw him in concert singing Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You.” He sang it in a higher key and while most would agree that Marvin’s material should not be remade… Peabo should have recorded that version, it was that great and different from the original. Peabo’s range is probably the best out of all the singers on this list but some of his best R&B work rarely hit but he had huge success with his pop duets in the 80s and 90s. His album I Am Love is some of his best work and it flopped.

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Phillip Bailey

Philip Bailey was extremely underrated. I’ve never been a big fan of falsetto singers but his amazing falsetto voice was certainly featured all over Earth Wind and Fire’s greatest hits. By the time he left the group to pursue a solo career his biggest hit was with Phil Collins “Easy Lover” but then he was rarely heard from again and later rejoined EW&F.

BEST BLACK FEMALE SINGERS OF ALL TIME LIST

Kevin Ross
Kevin Ross
Kevin Ross is the CEO of Radio Facts. He is a music and radio industry vet who has been a programmer and a radio host in several markets like Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, and more. He started The Industry Dot Biz in 1995 as a voice for Black industry executives to have a voice in the industry. Ross is a musician, writer, voice talent, and author. The Industry Dot Biz is currently the largest urban industry trade and site.

66 COMMENTS

  1. 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!!!

      • Not only Jackie. No Nat King Cole, no Clyde McPhatter. Funny thing is everyone on here listens to and sings along with Clyde and Nat every freaking year at Christmas. King Solomon Burke isn’t even mentioned. His songs were here before and will be long after most on this list are long forgotten.

  2. 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!

    • I agree wholeheartedly. Nobody on the list could touch him. Even if you ignore the rest of his body of work, I cite one song and rest my case:”Danny Boy”.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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)?