20+ Top Female R&B Singers of the 90s – Perfect List

In the musical landscape of the 1990s, a golden era of R&B emerged, defining the genre and captivating audiences worldwide. Among the countless talented artists who graced this period, the female R&B singers of the ’90s stood out as powerful, soulful, and iconic voices that left an indelible mark on the music industry.

The ’90s R&B scene witnessed an explosion of creativity and innovation, encompassing a diverse range of styles that blended soulful melodies, captivating lyrics, and infectious beats. Female R&B singers played a crucial role in shaping this landscape, using their voices to express raw emotions, tell compelling stories, and provide a soundtrack to the lives of countless fans.

Female R&B Singers of the 90s

From the outset of the decade, the stage was set for a parade of extraordinary talents. Among the luminaries were Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Janet Jackson, each rising to unparalleled stardom with their distinctive voices and captivating stage presence.

Whitney Houston’s powerful and soul-stirring vocals touched the hearts of millions, making her an international sensation. Meanwhile, Mariah Carey showcased her incredible vocal range, effortlessly blending pop and R&B to create chart-topping hits that continue to resonate with audiences today. Janet Jackson, in turn, became a trailblazer, seamlessly incorporating elements of dance, R&B, and hip-hop into her music, forever influencing the R&B genre.

Female R&B Singers of the 90s

1. Aaliyah

In the 1990s, a prominent figure in the R&B music scene was Aaliyah, a talented female singer. Born in 1979, she quickly rose to stardom with her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number,” released in 1994. This album not only showcased her remarkable talents but also produced several chart-topping hits, solidifying her position as one of the leading R&B artists of the decade.

Following the immense success of her debut, Aaliyah continued to shine with her 1996 release, “One In A Million.” This album was yet another smashing hit and featured popular singles like “Are You That Somebody” and “Try Again.” Her remarkable voice and captivating performances ensured her lasting fame.

Sadly, Aaliyah’s promising career was cut short by her untimely death in 2001, leaving behind a legacy of influential music and a significant impact on the R&B genre.

2. Milira

Milira, an iconic American singer-songwriter, and guitarist, achieved legendary status as one of the most beloved R&B artists of the 1990s.

Her soulful and commanding vocals established her as a true icon in the music world, earning her numerous accolades and two Grammy nominations.

Among her many achievements was the release of several successful albums, including the renowned “The Sweetest Voice,” which boasted a collection of chart-topping tracks. The impact of her music continues to resonate with aspiring R&B singers, and her profound influence can still be felt in today’s music landscape. Milira’s legacy serves as an enduring source of inspiration for generations to come.

3. Janice Dempsey

Janice Dempsey, a prominent R&B singer from the 1990s, has been making waves in the music industry for over two decades. Her journey began in the late 90s, and since then, she has delighted her fans with a rich discography of albums, singles, and captivating music videos.

What sets Janice apart is her distinctive signature sound, skillfully blending R&B, soul, funk, and pop elements. Her exceptional emotional range allows her to delve into a wide array of themes, connecting with her audience on a profound level.

Among her many attributes, Janice is renowned for her sultry tone, commanding vocals, and infectious lyrics. These qualities have contributed to her immense popularity, earning her a place among the most celebrated R&B singers of the 90s. As her music continues to resonate with listeners, Janice Dempsey’s talent and artistry leave an indelible mark on the world of R&B.

4. Stefanie Bolton

In the 1990s, Stefanie Bolton emerged as a captivating R&B singer, captivating audiences with her passionate and sultry sound. Renowned for her distinctive style of songwriting and singing, she effortlessly merges soulful melodies with contemporary rhythms, creating a unique and alluring musical experience.

Some of her most memorable and catchy hits, such as “What About Me,” “Don’t Leave Me Alone,” and “Love’s Got a Hold of Me,” have further cemented her position as a prominent figure in the R&B realm.

Even today, Stefanie Bolton continues to shine on the music scene, captivating listeners with her performances, recording albums and collaborating with fellow artists in the ever-evolving landscape of R&B. Her enduring talent and dedication to her craft ensure her music will continue to resonate with fans both old and new.

5. Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu, a celebrated Black female R&B singer of the 90s, remains an iconic figure in the music world. Her soulful and emotionally evocative sound captivated audiences during the early 2000s, endearing her to fans worldwide.

Throughout a career spanning more than two decades, Erykah Badu has graced us with numerous studio albums, showcasing her exceptional talent and artistry. Her musical prowess has not gone unnoticed, earning her multiple nominations and awards, including four Grammy Awards, a testament to her immense impact on the industry.

Beyond her accolades, Erykah Badu’s work continues to resonate with millions, transcending borders and inspiring generations of aspiring artists. Her legacy as an influential musician endures, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of music lovers across the globe.

6. Coko of SWV

Coko, a prominent Black female R&B singer from the 90s, gained fame as a key member of the highly successful all-female group SWV. Their hit songs, including “Weak” and “Right Here,” propelled them to stardom and earned them a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts.

Taking on the role of lead vocalist in this iconic trio, Coko showcased her powerhouse vocals, contributing significantly to the group’s success during their prime in the mid-90s. Their exceptional talent and hard work earned them numerous awards and accolades.

Following her time with SWV, Coko’s music journey continued as she transitioned into gospel singing. Her solo albums serve as a testament to her enduring talent, further showcasing her artistic range and prowess as a versatile musician.

Throughout her career, Coko’s influence on the R&B and gospel music scenes remains remarkable, solidifying her status as an enduring and accomplished artist.

7. Deborah Cox

Deborah Cox, a Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum R&B singer, and songwriter, has made a significant mark on the music industry over the course of more than two decades.

Her musical journey began in the 90s with her self-titled debut album, receiving critical acclaim and propelling her to the forefront as one of the most remarkable female R&B artists of that era.

Ever since her debut, Deborah has enjoyed a thriving and successful singing career. Her discography is adorned with an impressive array of hit singles and chart-topping albums, while her captivating performances have led to sold-out tours, captivating audiences around the world.

Adding to her achievements, Deborah Cox has earned multiple platinum-selling records, solidifying her position as a powerhouse in the R&B genre. Her talent and dedication have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the music scene, ensuring her enduring legacy as a prominent and celebrated artist.

8. Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston, a renowned American singer, actress, and record producer, achieved extraordinary fame in the 90s through her groundbreaking R&B singles.

Blessed with a powerful voice, mesmerizing beauty, and undeniable charisma on stage, she was revered as the queen of 90s R&B music, admired not only by her fans but also by industry professionals.

Her albums received widespread critical acclaim and achieved immense commercial success, selling millions of copies worldwide. Even today, her immense talent serves as a beacon of inspiration for countless aspiring young female singers, leaving an enduring legacy that transcends generations.

9. Phyllis Hyman

Phyllis Hyman, a renowned female R&B singer, captured the hearts of audiences in the late 1980s and 1990s with her unforgettable music.

Her chart-topping hits like “Living in Confusion” (1985), “Can’t We Fall In Love Again,” and “You Know How To Love Me” dominated the airwaves, solidifying her status as a music powerhouse.

Additionally, her rendition of Luther Ingram’s classic “If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right” and her signature ballad “Somewhere In My Lifetime” further showcased her incredible talent and versatility.

Phyllis Hyman’s music touched on themes of love, empowerment, self-expression, and heartache, resonating deeply with generations of music enthusiasts, even long after her untimely passing in 1995. Her legacy endures through her timeless songs, which continue to inspire and captivate music fans worldwide.

10. Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton, a Grammy Award-winning R&B/soul singer, soared to stardom in the mid-90s, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. With her commanding and emotive vocals, captivating songwriting, and glamorous stage presence, she stands as one of the most accomplished female vocalists in history.

Her repertoire boasts numerous chart-topping hits, including unforgettable tracks like “Unbreak My Heart,” “He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me,” and “You’re Makin’ Me High.” Each song showcases her remarkable talent and has resonated deeply with audiences around the world.

Toni Braxton’s immense success and artistry have solidified her place among the most celebrated and influential musicians of her time, leaving a lasting impact on R&B and soul music. Her powerful voice continues to enchant and move audiences, cementing her status as an enduring musical icon.

11. Mya

Mya, the acclaimed American R&B singer, songwriter, and actress, boasts an impressive career highlighted by chart-topping singles in the ’90s and early 2000s, earning her a Grammy award.

Over the years, Mya has showcased her versatility by collaborating with A-list artists such as Lil’ Kim, Nas, and Silkk the Shocker, offering captivating remixes of her most popular songs. Since her debut in 1998, she has released a total of eight studio albums, in addition to numerous mixtapes, special edition releases, and concert DVDs.

12. Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson, an iconic female R&B singer, has left an indelible mark on the music industry since the 1980s. Her soulful and alluring voice, combined with her innovative and creative lyrics, firmly places her among the most influential singers of the 90s R&B genre.

With an impressive discography, Janet Jackson has released a total of 11 studio albums, five compilations, and four live albums. Her incredible body of work has garnered global acclaim and an astounding 100 million copies sold worldwide, securing her status as one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Janet’s music continues to captivate audiences, and her legacy as a trailblazer in the world of R&B remains unparalleled. Her influence on the genre and her contributions to the music industry has rightfully earned her a place in history as an iconic and influential figure.

13. Missy Elliot

Missy Elliot, an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer, stands as one of the pioneering figures of 90s R&B. Throughout her career, she has delivered a myriad of albums, featuring timeless tracks like “The Rain,” “Get Ur Freak On,” and “Work It.”

Her distinctive style is a fusion of rap, funk, soul, and hip-hop beats, setting her apart as a truly innovative artist in the music world. Missy’s unparalleled creativity and artistry have made a lasting impact on the industry, inspiring a new generation of female R&B artists, including the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna.

Her trailblazing contributions continue to resonate with audiences, and her influence on contemporary R&B remains profound, solidifying her status as a beloved and influential icon in the world of music.

14. Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams, a renowned R&B singer, gained immense popularity during the 1990s.

Her breakthrough came with the release of her debut single, “The Right Stuff,” which reached an impressive number eight on the U.S. Hot 100 chart. Throughout her career, Williams continued to deliver notable hits, including “Save the Best for Last,” “Dreamin’,” and “Love Is.”

In 1991, she released her highly acclaimed studio album, “The Comfort Zone,” which garnered widespread recognition. This album earned Vanessa Williams three Grammy Award nominations in categories such as Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Her exceptional talent and musical contributions have solidified her status as a successful and celebrated artist in the R&B genre.

15. Melissa Bell

Melissa Bell emerged as a prominent female R&B artist during the 1990s, leaving a lasting impact on the music scene. Her debut album, “Soul Understated,” catapulted her to stardom in 1994, generating a series of hit songs and establishing her as one of the era’s most accomplished female R&B artists.

Her music was a fusion of various genres, seamlessly blending jazz, neo-soul, hip-hop, funk, and reggae elements, all while showcasing her remarkable vocal prowess and songwriting abilities.

Even to this day, Melissa Bell’s influence endures, as her legacy continues to inspire and shape the music of new generations of R&B singers. Her contributions to the genre remain celebrated, making her an unforgettable and influential figure in the world of R&B.

16. Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson emerged as a highly influential and beloved female R&B singer during the 90s. In 2001, she unleashed her hit single “Heard It All Before,” swiftly becoming an anthem within the R&B genre and paving the way for other talented black female artists of that era.

Her soulful voice and dynamic stage presence earned her a dedicated fan following, making her a favorite among audiences. Moreover, her albums received critical acclaim from music enthusiasts worldwide, further solidifying her position as a respected and celebrated artist in the R&B scene. Sunshine Anderson’s impact on the music industry endures, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

17. Trina Broussard

Trina Broussard, a renowned American R&B singer, and songwriter from the 90s, is celebrated for her extraordinary talent. Her rise to fame was marked by the release of multiple hit records, captivating a generation with her emotive vocal prowess.

Among her notable singles, “Inside My Dream,” “Love You so much,” “Music,” and “Still in My Heart” became instant favorites and iconic anthems during the 90s. These beloved classics have stood the test of time, continuing to hold a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts even today.

Trina Broussard’s contribution to the R&B genre remains cherished and cherished, making her an enduring symbol of musical excellence.

18. Elise Estrada

Elise Estrada, a beloved female R&B singer from the 90s, captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with her alluring and soulful vocals, garnering admiration from her native Canada to the mainland United States.

Her distinctive vocal delivery and style, drawing inspiration from a variety of musical genres, have earned praise from both pop and R&B enthusiasts.

Throughout her career, she has released a collection of remarkable singles, such as “Dirty Little Secret,” “Insatiable,” and “Guitar Hero.” Her debut album, “Air Tight,” achieved gold certification in both Canada and the US, further solidifying her status as a rising star in the music industry. Elise Estrada’s talent and musical accomplishments continue to resonate with fans, leaving a lasting impact on the world of R&B.

19. Keyshia Cole

Keyshia Cole, a renowned American singer, and songwriter, has made a lasting impact in the world of R&B music. Her rise to stardom began in the mid-2000s with the release of her debut studio album, “The Way It Is” (2005).

Prior to her breakthrough, she had already showcased her talent by collaborating with prominent artists like rapper Eminem, Destiny’s Child, and Christina Aguilera on various tracks.

As a part of a group of female R&B singers in the 90s, Keyshia Cole played a pivotal role in reshaping the industry’s portrayal of women in mainstream music. These talented artists collectively challenged stereotypes and paved the way for a more empowering representation of women in the music scene. Keyshia Cole’s contributions to R&B and her influence on the industry continue to be appreciated and remembered by fans and fellow musicians alike.

20. Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani, an American singer, songwriter, fashion designer, and actress made her mark in the mid-90s as the lead vocalist of the rock band No Doubt.

Since those early days, she has ventured into a successful solo career as a pop and R&B artist, achieving great success with chart-topping hits like “What You Waiting For?” and “The Sweet Escape.”

Throughout her illustrious journey, Gwen Stefani has been honored with numerous Grammy Awards, reflecting her immense talent and dedication to her craft. Her iconic presence and remarkable contributions have solidified her position as one of the most beloved and popular female R&B singers of the 1990s, leaving a lasting impact on the music industry and captivating audiences worldwide.

21. Namie Amuro

Namie Amuro, a Japanese female R&B singer, achieved stardom during the 1990s.

Her soulful and commanding vocal prowess led her to dominate music charts, establishing her as one of Japan’s most accomplished artists in the music industry.

Namie Amuro’s musical artistry seamlessly combines urban hip-hop, R&B, pop, funk, and modern dance styles, creating a distinct and captivating sound. Her career is adorned with numerous albums, each showcasing her immense talent and versatility.

Beyond her own success, she has been a source of inspiration for many women singers in Japan, with her influence extending far beyond her own work. Namie Amuro’s enduring impact on the Japanese music scene cements her status as a true icon and trailblazer in the R&B genre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Top Female R&B Singers of the 90s?

The Top Female R&B Singers of the 90s include legendary artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Brandy, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, En Vogue, TLC, and Faith Evans, among others.

What made these artists stand out in the 90s R&B scene?

These artists stood out in the 90s R&B scene due to their exceptional vocal abilities, unique styles, and the emotional depth they brought to their performances. They were trailblazers who blended soul, pop, and hip-hop influences, creating music that resonated with a wide audience and set trends in the industry.

What are some of the signature songs from these R&B divas?

Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love,” Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love,” Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart,” Brandy’s “The Boy Is Mine,” Aaliyah’s “Try Again,” Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes,” En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go (Love),” TLC’s “Waterfalls,” and Faith Evans’ “Love Like This” are just a few examples of their signature hits.

Did these artists win any awards during the 90s?

Yes, these artists received numerous accolades and awards throughout the 90s. They won Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, and more, solidifying their status as some of the most celebrated musicians of the era.

How did the music of these R&B singers impact the industry and future generations?

The music of these R&B singers had a profound impact on the music industry, inspiring future generations of artists and shaping the R&B genre for years to come. Their influence can be heard in the works of contemporary R&B artists, and their artistry continues to be celebrated and referenced in modern music.

Are there any collaborative projects or memorable duets among these R&B divas?

Absolutely! Many of these R&B divas collaborated with each other on memorable duets. For instance, Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” was a chart-topping collaboration, and Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s duet “When You Believe” was a powerful moment in music history.

How can I listen to the music of these Top Female R&B Singers of the 90s?

The music of these iconic artists is widely available on various streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. You can also find their albums and singles on digital music stores or listen to them on classic R&B radio stations.

What is the legacy of these Top Female R&B Singers of the 90s in the music industry?

The legacy of these Top Female R&B Singers of the 90s is one of trailblazing artistry, timeless hits, and groundbreaking achievements. They not only paved the way for future generations of female musicians but also left an indelible mark on R&B music, influencing the genre and continuing to inspire artists worldwide. Their music and contributions remain celebrated and cherished by fans and the industry alike.


The Top Female R&B Singers of the 90s left an unforgettable mark on the music industry and the hearts of millions. With their exceptional vocal talents, unique styles, and emotional depth, these iconic artists soared to unparalleled heights during the golden era of R&B music.

Their signature songs, powerful performances, and numerous awards solidified their status as true musical legends. From Whitney Houston’s soul-stirring ballads to Mariah Carey’s soaring vocals, from Mary J. Blige’s raw emotion to Toni Braxton’s heartfelt ballads, each artist brought something special to the genre, creating a perfect list of extraordinary talents.

The impact of these R&B divas extended far beyond the 90s, influencing and inspiring future generations of artists. Their groundbreaking achievements and boundary-pushing artistry opened doors for female musicians and reshaped the R&B landscape for years to come.

As we continue to listen to their timeless hits and celebrate their enduring legacies, we are reminded of the magic they brought to the music world. Their music remains a source of comfort, empowerment, and nostalgia, touching the lives of countless listeners worldwide.

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