Starting from 2023, I’ve decided to disregard any ranking lists created by publications. Why should we assign value to these meaningless music lists? They are often put together by individuals who aren’t genuine music connoisseurs, leading to pointless arguments.
Rolling Stone’s “200 All-Time Singers” list is a prime example of this. Instead of respectfully acknowledging the greats, they did the complete opposite, resulting in a poorly constructed list.
That being said, I want to highlight five major discrepancies. This article isn’t meant to belittle the original writer or challenge their competence. Some of their choices were acceptable, like properly ranking Aretha Franklin. However, there were some shockingly awful selections that need to be addressed.
Brandy at #193?!?
First, it was Jack Harlow, and now they disrespect Brandy. It seems like some individuals must have missed the prime-Brandy era, considering her low placement on the list. To suggest that there are 193 singers better than Brandy is utterly absurd.
No disrespect to the late Aaliyah, but Brandy surpasses her vocally in every aspect and deserves a higher rank. This is not to diminish Aaliyah’s contributions, as we often take her talent for granted. Artistically and musically, Brandy couldn’t even come close to Aaliyah’s prowess.
However, when it comes to pure singing ability, Brandy operates on a whole different level. Let’s acknowledge the truth.
Aaliyah is Slightly Overrated
Speaking of Aaliyah, it’s clear that the list creator held a bias toward her. There’s no valid reason for her to be ranked as high as she is. Just like with Tupac, fans tend to overrate artists after their passing. The same happened with Aaliyah following her tragic death.
Aaliyah wasn’t primarily recognized for her vocal prowess; she was celebrated for her incredible creativity. She was the epitome of a complete package! This isn’t to say she couldn’t sing, but her singing abilities were not as elite as this list suggests.
Celine Dion Forgotten?
I’m not even a Celine Dion fan, but it was disheartening to see her omitted from this list. Leaving her out almost invalidates the entire list. She should be an obvious inclusion, much like the Beatles in a “200 Greatest British Bands of All-Time” list.
To be honest, she easily ranks among the top 10 singers of all time. Try naming another singer (excluding Whitney and Mariah) who can match Celine’s vocal ability. Out of respect, Rolling Stone should update their article if they want to maintain any shred of legitimacy.
I adore Rihanna as much as the next person, but will she truly be remembered as an all-time great vocalist? Most likely not. There are people who have even forgotten she still makes music because of her prolonged absence.
This list places Rihanna higher than Patti LaBelle, which is outrageous. Rolling Stone cannot simply overlook Patti LaBelle’s remarkable talent. If Rihanna’s entrepreneurial ventures are considered, then so should Patti LaBelle’s success with her frozen pies.
Rihanna’s contributions go beyond her music, but in terms of pure singing, she doesn’t come close to Patti LaBelle. Very few can rival Mrs. Patti’s vocal abilities.
Finally, the treatment of Luther Vandross on this list is deeply disappointing. To rank him as the 31st-best singer is ludicrous. It means they place 30 individuals, including two members of the Beatles, above Luther. This is completely unjust. Even though I wasn’t present during Luther’s prime, I recognize his greatness, and this ranking is completely unjustifiable.
Luther Vandross was an unparalleled vocalist, stylist, and performer. The Beatles were groundbreaking and innovative, but as singers, they were not on par with many of their contemporaries. Whether you prefer Fat Luther or Skinny Luther, they both could outperform the Beatles without a doubt.