Rolling Stone has released their top 200 greatest singers of all time. While they specify their list is not about the best voices, some of their choices have meant talented vocalists have missed out. Rolling Stone’s greatest singers list has caused some fans to wonder why certain singers didn’t make the cut.

Rolling Stone have released their list of who they believe to be the top 200 greatest singers of all time. While most of the names at the top are deservedly there, there are a few questionable choices along the way. Furthermore, the decision to leave out certain artists has not sat well with fans, with singers such as Céline Dion and Cher missing.

The Rolling Stone’s Top 200

Before they even start their list, Rolling Stone lay out some stipulations about what their readers are about to find.

“In all cases, what mattered most to us was originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalogue, and the breadth of their musical legacy.[…] In the end, the singers behind it are here for one reason: They can remake the world just by opening their mouths.

That being said, it had to be a bit of an oversight to leave certain names off of this definitive list.

Coming in the top spot was Aretha Franklin, then Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey at number five (influenced by Christmas, perhaps?). Other names to make the top ten were Beyonce, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder.

Later down the list, you’ll find Elton John at the halfway point, only two positions above Taylor Swift. Ten spots later at 112, is Black Sabbath frontman, Ozzie Osbourne.

What comes apparently clear when scrolling through the list is a sense of nostalgia. That’s not to say that (mostly) all the artists are definitely talented, but there is a tendency to look 20 years back and beyond. There are some more modern artists, including Rihanna, Beyonce, Adele and Frank Ocean. However, if we’re looking at the last five years or so, we only really get Billie Eilish and Jungsook, both of which don’t rank particularly highly.

The list covers 100 years, so it’s not surprising that most of the greatest singers are from the 20th century. But, it does offer an unconscious criticism of the most recent artists gracing our ears.

That being said, the artists we believe were snubbed by Rolling Stone didn’t all rise to fame in the 21st century.

The Artists Not On The Rolling Stone’s Greatest Singers List

Not every artist was going to make the list, but it seems like a crime that the following shouldn’t be considered the greatest singers of all time.

Céline Dion

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This one has probably been spoken about the most, and rightly so. To forget or purposefully miss out Céline (we don’t know which would be worse!) seems to forget music altogether. An icon of the 90s, there aren’t many other people who could even attempt It’s All Coming Back To Me Now or My Heart Will Go On (not without a few drinks done them anyway…)

Even now, when some singers have lost their voices over the years, Céline has remained an outstanding vocalist throughout her career. Her voice is undoubtedly original and her legacy will go on and on. Shame on you Rolling Stone!


This one felt like a personal attack. Not including Cher when your brief speaks of legacy? Outrageous, horrendous and unforgivable. Cher’s career has spanned the decades with an uncountable amount of hits that every family member knows and loves.

Her voice is instantly recognisable and if anybody has influenced a good karaoke session, then it has to be Cher.

Cher’s talent and vocal skills are something to be admired. Maybe Rolling Stone will make another list of the absolute greatest singers for the ones they missed before.

Dave Grohl

We’ve not seen his name mentioned, but it seems like an obvious exclusion from the list. Grohl’s Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain was included on the list, along with his wife Courtney Love. However, the Foo Fighters frontman was nowhere to be seen.

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Grohl provided vocals for Nirvana and has been the lead singer of Foo Fighters since 1994. The weight of both of these rock bands’ cultural and musical significance lies heavily on Grohl’s back. To be part of two of the greatest rock bands of all time and to be forgotten on Rolling Stone’s top 200 is baffling. Grohl embodies legacy, originality and depth.

Jennifer Hudson

How an EGOT winner doesn’t make it onto this list, we’ll never know. Although she may not have as much of a legacy as some others, her vocal skill is outstanding. In 2020, Time listed her in the top 100 influential people in the world.

Her co-star, Beyonce, makes the top ten of Rolling Stone’s greatest singers, which begs the question of why there wasn’t room for Jennifer Hudson.

John Legend

We were all captivated by All Of Me when Legend released the soul ballad in 2013. The song picked up a Grammy and a couple of Billboard Awards before becoming a first dance staple at weddings.

Although this was his first number one, Legend’s career began 10 years before that. Other notable songs include Ordinary People, So High and Like I’m Going To Lose You. His sound is certainly distinct, with his soft soul voice accompanied by his piano.

Whilst there are definitely more notable artists on Rolling Stone’s top 200 singers list, there definitely could have been a couple of bumps to make way for Legend.