There are a number of qualifiers for this list. First, all listed must have had a significant career over the years. In my opinion, singers like Howard Hewitt, Maxwell, Tyrese and Usher, although extremely talented, don’t currently have the body of work to qualify for the list such as those listed.
Secondly, if a singer is known more for being a lead for a group such as David Ruffin, Levi Stubbs or Maurice White, they don’t qualify. They must be bonafide Solo Artists…
Lets see who agrees/disagrees with Shack’s Top Ten for this category, let the debate begin and enjoy.
intro & list written by Shack
You could probably replace this guy with any of the honorable mentions (especially, Smokey, James B., Stevie) but his vocals and style are too impressive and somewhat similar to No 1. <see below!
Just as in No. 8, Prince’s greatness and contribution cannot be denied.
Some say he doesn’t belong in this group. I say different!
-Greatest soul and blues singer of the 50’s and early 60’s. Very under rated. Only one of this group to have a movie made about his life/music.
Many may not remember his greatness but he probably would have been No. 1 or 2 had he not been killed – over a woman I believe!
Same as No.4 except his was Philadelphia soul.
#4 –Al Green
Consistent and great Memphis Soul/R&B and gospel singer.
Most melodious of all singers listed. In my opinion, his greatness was circumvented by health problems.
Greatest Soul singer ever. Dominated 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s until his demise from drug use.
#1-Nat King Cole
Simply the smoothest singer of any race in history. Don’t think his greatness can be disputed. Had to endure racism on his show when he did a duet with a White woman and sponsors pulled the plug. Had he lived longer (died at 45) who knows what greatness he would have achieved.
Hon. Mention – Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson, Jeffrey Osborne, James Brown, Otis Redding, Barry White, Lou Rawls, Issac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, B.B. King