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

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Rolling Stone compiled its picks for the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time, and Aretha Franklin has the #1 spot.

According to the magazine, the late singer was “[a] force of nature. A work of genius. A gift from the heavens.” It also praised her for having a voice that “is all that and more,” which it deemed one of the reasons “she remains the unchallenged Queen, years after her final bow.”

Coming in at #2 is Whitney Houston, or as Rolling Stone calls her, the “standard-bearer for R&B vocals.” Sam Cooke secured the #3 spot, and Billie Holiday, Mariah CareyRay CharlesStevie WonderBeyoncéOtis Redding and Al Green respectively round out the top 10.

The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time list includes a combination of classic and contemporary artists, chosen based on “originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy.”

Also mentioned are Prince (#16), Marvin Gaye (#20), Mary J. Blige (#25), Aaliyah (#40), Toni Braxton (#48) and Rihanna (#68).

Rolling Stone clarifies that “this is the Greatest Singers list, not the Greatest Voices List.”

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