Classic Rock

Aretha Franklin tops Rolling Stone’s “200 Greatest Singers of All Time” list

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Rolling Stone magazine is out with their picks for the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time, anointing Aretha Franklin with the top spot. 

The mag calls Aretha, who died in August 2018, “A force of nature. A work of genius. A gift from the heavens,” adding, “Aretha Franklin’s voice is all that and more, which is why she remains the unchallenged Queen, years after her final bow.” 

Coming in just behind Aretha at #2 is Whitney Houston, whom Rolling Stone calls the “standard-bearer for R&B vocals,” followed by Sam Cooke at three, Billie Holiday at four and Mariah Carey at five.

Rounding out the top 10 are Ray Charles at six, Stevie Wonder at seven, Beyoncé at eight, Otis Redding at nine and Al Green at 10.

The list is a combination of classic and contemporary artists, with both John Lennon and Paul McCartney landing on it — Lennon at #12, and McCartney at #26. Other artists placing fairly high include Freddie Mercury at 14, Bob Dylan at 15, Prince at 16, Frank Sinatra at 19 and Marvin Gaye at 20.

The list has caused some controversy, with omissions including Annie Lennox and Celine Dion, forcing some to question how it was actually compiled. The mag says it was based on “originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy,” adding, “this is the Greatest Singers list, not the Greatest Voices List.”

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