The Definitive List of Over 25+ Best Female Singers of the 70s

The music industry underwent significant transformation during the 70s, and female singers played a pivotal role in shaping the era’s musical landscape. Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, and Janis Joplin stood out as some of the most renowned female vocalists of that time.

These extraordinary women were recognized for their commanding voices, exceptional songwriting abilities, and profound emotional connections with audiences. They also demonstrated a remarkable aptitude for exploring various music genres, seamlessly fusing elements of rock, folk, and country to create a distinctive and personal sound.

Female Singers of the 70s

Carole King emerged as one of the decade’s most accomplished songwriters, penning instant classics such as “You’ve Got a Friend” and “I Feel the Earth Move.” Linda Ronstadt, renowned for her soulful voice and diverse musical style, achieved tremendous commercial success with albums like “Heart Like a Wheel” and “Simple Dreams.”

Joni Mitchell, a gifted songwriter, and performer, captivated listeners with her introspective lyrics and intricate melodies. Meanwhile, Janis Joplin, an unstoppable force of nature, possessed a raw, potent voice and an untamed, free-spirited persona that enthralled audiences worldwide.

Best Female Singers of the 70s

The 1970s was an era of extraordinary talent and innovation in the music industry, and female singers played an integral role in shaping the sound and spirit of the decade. From soulful ballads to powerful rock anthems, these remarkable women left an indelible mark on the musical landscape of the 70s.

The list of the best female singers of the 70s is a testament to the incredible diversity and range of talent during this time. Each artist brought her unique style, vocal prowess, and storytelling abilities to the forefront, captivating audiences worldwide.

One of the standout voices of the decade was Carole King. Her soulful and introspective compositions, such as “You’ve Got a Friend” and “I Feel the Earth Move,” showcased her remarkable songwriting skills and resonated deeply with listeners.

1. Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, renowned as the ‘Queen of Soul,’ left an indelible mark on the music industry, surpassing the boundaries of her genre and becoming one of the most influential female singers of all time.

Her exceptional vocal abilities, songwriting skills, and proficiency in playing the piano propelled her to unparalleled recognition. Beginning her career in gospel music within the church, Franklin’s talent quickly gained momentum during the late 1950s and 1960s.

She even delivered a soul-stirring performance at the memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 1960s, showcasing her ability to channel emotions through her voice.

Her reign continued with an impressive string of victories, winning the Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance eight consecutive times from 1968 to 1975. Her iconic 1968 recording of “Respect” remains one of the most renowned songs in music history.

Despite her chart-topping success throughout the 1970s, Franklin remained firmly rooted in her gospel upbringing, never straying too far from her origins of singing in church choirs. Her unwavering connection to her gospel roots added depth and authenticity to her soulful hits.

With a career spanning five decades, Franklin’s impact extended far beyond her music. Her notable performances include gracing the stage at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009 and captivating audiences at various Democratic Party events over the years.

When Franklin passed away at the age of 76 in 2018, her legacy was honored by pop music star Mary J. Blige, who described her as a heavenly gift that inspired countless women to find their voices and pursue their musical dreams.

2. Stevie Nicks

Let’s shine the spotlight on Stevie Nicks, an integral member of one of the most successful lineups in the history of Fleetwood Mac.

In 1975, Nicks and her bandmates unleashed their self-titled album, “Fleetwood Mac,” which was followed by the iconic release of “Rumours” in 1977.

Both albums soared to the top of the charts, with “Rumours” maintaining its number one position for an impressive span of over thirty weeks. Not only did it achieve commercial success, but “Rumours” also garnered prestigious accolades, including a Grammy and an American Music Award.

The band struck gold with their hit single “Dreams,” which topped the charts in 1977. Additionally, they delivered nine other top 20 singles in the latter half of the 1970s, solidifying Nick’s reputation as one of the most exceptional female rock singers of all time.

Her distinctive voice and captivating stage presence contributed significantly to the band’s success and resonated with audiences worldwide.

Stevie Nicks’ enchanting vocals, combined with her songwriting prowess, created an enduring musical legacy. Her contributions to Fleetwood Mac’s catalog, including hits like “Rhiannon” and “Landslide,” continue to captivate listeners and have secured her place among the rock and roll pantheon.

3. Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight, the distinguished lead vocalist of the rhythm and blues band known as The Pips, exuded such a remarkable presence that the band is commonly recognized as Gladys Knight and The Pips, despite their formal name.

In 1973, the band unveiled two albums that swiftly ascended to the summit of the R&B charts and secured places within the top ten of the coveted Billboard 200 chart.

Out of their impressive lineup of 31 singles throughout the 1970s, six soared into the top ten hits, etching their indelible mark on the music scene. Among these hits, the timeless “Midnight Train to Georgia” claimed the pinnacle of the charts and continues to be celebrated and performed to this day.

The remarkable achievements of Gladys Knight and The Pips were further honored when they were inducted into the esteemed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. This esteemed recognition solidified their status as pioneers and icons in the music industry.

Gladys Knight’s soulful and captivating vocals, combined with The Pips’ extraordinary musical talents, created a harmonious blend that captivated audiences worldwide. Their enduring impact continues to be felt, as their timeless melodies and rich harmonies resonate with music lovers across generations.

4. Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John, another prominent female singer of the 1970s, made a significant impact with a string of five number-one hits throughout her illustrious career.

In the 1970s, Newton-John achieved two number-one albums. “If You Love Me Let Me Know” in 1974 and “Have You Never Been Mellow” in 1975 showcased her immense popularity and further solidified her status as a chart-topping sensation.

However, it was her portrayal of Sandy in the iconic musical film “Grease” in 1978 that propelled Newton-John’s fame to unprecedented heights. The soundtrack album from the movie became one of the best-selling recorded musical albums of all time, elevating her stardom to stratospheric levels.

Additionally, her duets with co-star John Travolta, such as “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” became top-selling singles, contributing to her remarkable accomplishment of selling over 100 million records worldwide.

Beyond her musical achievements, Newton-John has also garnered attention for her active involvement as an advocate for animal rights, environmentalism, and health awareness. Her dedication to these causes has solidified her as an influential figure beyond the realm of music.

Olivia Newton-John’s incredible success as a singer and her ongoing contributions as an activist has left an indelible impact on both the music industry and society as a whole. Her talent, charisma, and unwavering dedication continue to inspire and resonate with fans around the world.

5. Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is a multi-talented artist who has left an indelible mark on the world of country music and beyond. While renowned as a country music singer, her versatile career encompasses various roles, including songwriter, author, actress, entrepreneur, and activist.

With a staggering catalog of over 3,000 compositions, Parton’s songwriting prowess is awe-inspiring. Throughout her remarkable forty-year career, she has charted more than 110 singles, and her 44 top ten country albums set a record for any artist. Her contributions to music have earned her numerous awards, including eleven Grammy wins and fifty nominations.

Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You” achieved legendary status when Whitney Houston recorded a captivating rendition, becoming one of the most famous songs of all time. Additionally, her anthem of the 1970s, “9 to 5,” resonated with audiences worldwide.

Beyond her musical achievements, Parton is a force in other creative realms. She has demonstrated her acting prowess in at least six films, including the movie adaptation of her hit song “9 to 5,” as well as memorable roles in “Steel Magnolias,” “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” and “Rhinestone.”

Parton’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident through her ownership of her own record label, aptly named Dolly Records, allowing her to retain creative control and showcase her unique artistry.

Moreover, Parton’s philanthropic efforts and activism have made her an inspiring figure. Her initiatives include promoting literacy through the Imagination Library program, supporting disaster relief efforts, and championing various charitable causes.

Dolly Parton’s exceptional talent, dedication, and versatility have made her an iconic figure in the music industry and beyond. Her immense contributions to country music, songwriting, acting, and philanthropy continue to inspire generations of artists and fans alike.

6. Linda Ronstadt

Born in Arizona in 1946, Linda Ronstadt is a renowned American singer and songwriter celebrated for her dynamic vocals and her seamless fusion of rock, pop, country, and folk elements within her music.

During the 1970s, Ronstadt’s career soared with chart-topping hits such as “You’re No Good,” “Blue Bayou,” and “When Will I Be Loved.” Her unique talent lies in her ability to interpret a diverse range of songs and genres, infusing each one with her distinctive style and emotional depth.

In addition to her success as a singer, Ronstadt showcased her skills as a talented producer, overseeing the production of many of her own albums and collaborating with a wide array of artists throughout her career. She fearlessly embraced risks and constantly experimented with different musical styles, serving as a wellspring of inspiration for future generations of musicians.

Ronstadt’s extraordinary contributions have earned her numerous accolades, including 10 Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award. Despite her retirement from music in 2011 due to health reasons, her impact on popular music remains unparalleled, firmly establishing her as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

7. Cher

Cher, an American singer, actress, and iconic figure, has been captivating audiences for over six decades. Born in California in 1946, she embarked on her career as a backup singer before forming a duo with her husband, Sonny Bono. The duo, famously known as Sonny & Cher, rose to prominence in the 1960s with chart-toppers like “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On.”

Following the disbandment of the duo in the 1970s, Cher embarked on a solo journey that would solidify her as one of the most accomplished and influential female artists in history. Hits such as “Belief,” “Strong Enough,” and “If I Could Turn Back Time” propelled her to pop culture stardom, while her audacious fashion choices and unwavering attitude made her an inspirational role model for generations of fans.

Cher’s impact extends beyond her music career; she has also achieved significant success as an actress. Memorable roles in films like “Moonstruck,” “Mermaids,” and “The Witches of Eastwick” showcased her versatility and earned her numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Actress.

To this day, Cher remains a beloved and respected figure in the entertainment industry, with an immeasurable influence on popular culture. Her music and performances continue to inspire and delight fans worldwide, solidifying her status as one of the most enduring and iconic figures in the annals of American music history.

8. Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire, an American country music singer, songwriter, and actress, was born in Oklahoma in 1955. Her unmistakable powerhouse vocals, compelling storytelling abilities, and captivating stage presence have made her an enduring figure in the industry.

McEntire’s career took flight in the 1980s with a string of hits that included “Can’t Even Get the Blues,” “How Blue,” and “Whoever’s in New England.” Her music resonated with audiences as she skillfully conveyed raw emotions and forged connections through her songs, often exploring themes of love, heartbreak, and resilience.

Beyond her musical achievements, McEntire has also achieved success as an actress, leaving her mark in films, television shows, and on Broadway. Her natural talent and ability to bring authenticity to her roles earned her widespread acclaim.

Throughout her illustrious career, McEntire has garnered numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards, 16 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 14 Country Music Association Awards. With over 85 million records sold worldwide, she stands among the best-selling music artists of all time. Her profound influence on country music endures, and she continues to be beloved as an iconic figure within the industry.

9. Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, an American singer, songwriter, and musician, is widely recognized as one of the most exceptional vocalists in history. Born in Tennessee in 1942, she began her musical journey as a gospel singer in her father’s church, rapidly earning acclaim for her commanding voice and soulful artistry.

In the 1960s, Franklin signed with Atlantic Records, igniting a string of hits that propelled her to superstardom. Songs like “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and “Think” swiftly became iconic, while her electrifying live performances solidified her status as a beloved figure among fans.

Throughout her remarkable career, Franklin secured 18 Grammy Awards and sold over 75 million records worldwide. Her music was characterized by its profound ability to evoke emotion and passion, and it served as a powerful catalyst for social change during the civil rights era.

In addition to her musical endeavors, Franklin was renowned for her philanthropic and humanitarian work. She ardently supported various causes, including HIV/AIDS research and children’s charities, actively striving for equality and justice.

Today, Aretha Franklin’s legacy reverberates through her timeless music, continuing to inspire and captivate audiences globally. She stands as one of the greatest singers of all time, leaving an immeasurable impact on American music and a lasting imprint on the hearts of millions.

10. Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli, an American actress, singer, and dancer, was born in California in 1946, into a family steeped in Hollywood glamour. As the daughter of renowned actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli, she was immersed in a world of entertainment from a young age.

Minnelli’s career soared in the 1960s with her breakout role in the Broadway musical “Flora the Red Menace.” This marked the beginning of her illustrious journey, starring in numerous Broadway productions and films, most notably in “Cabaret,” where she earned an Academy Award for Best Actress.

In addition to her achievements as an actress, Minnelli is revered for her powerful vocals and her ability to interpret an extensive array of musical styles. Her music is defined by her distinctive voice, her capacity to convey deep emotions, and her theatrical finesse.

Throughout her remarkable career, Minnelli has amassed a collection of prestigious awards, including four Tony Awards, an Academy Award, and a Grammy Award. She has also been acknowledged for her philanthropic endeavors and her advocacy for LGBT rights.

Despite enduring various health challenges, Minnelli remains an adored and iconic figure in the entertainment industry. Her enduring influence continues to reverberate, and her artistic legacy remains an inspiration to generations, attesting to her enduring impact on the world of entertainment.

11. Kate Bush

Kate Bush, an English singer, songwriter, and musician, has left an indelible mark on the music industry as one of the most groundbreaking and influential artists of her era. Born in London in 1958, she embarked on her musical journey at a young age, swiftly establishing herself with a distinctive voice and an experimental sound.

Bush’s music is characterized by its daring approach, utilizing unconventional song structures, intricate arrangements, and a vast range of musical styles and influences. Her powerful vocals and ability to convey profound emotions through her music have solidified her status as a true musical innovator.

Her breakthrough album, “The Kick Inside,” released in 1978, featured iconic hits like “Wuthering Heights” and “The Man with the Child in His Eyes.” Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Bush’s music continued to evolve, with albums such as “Hounds of Love,” “The Sensual World,” and “The Red Shoes” further cementing her reputation as one of the most imaginative and creative artists of her generation.

Beyond her music career, Bush has also made significant contributions as a writer, dancer, and visual artist. Her multifaceted talents have garnered her numerous awards and accolades, showcasing her impact not only in music but also across various artistic realms. Her influence on contemporary music and culture is undeniable.

Today, Kate Bush remains adored and respected within the music industry, with her music continuing to inspire and captivate musicians and fans worldwide. Her artistic legacy is a testament to her fearless and pioneering spirit, ensuring her enduring influence on the world of music.

12. Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter, an American singer, and drummer born in 1950 in Connecticut, made an indelible impact on the music industry as part of the beloved duo, The Carpenters, alongside her brother Richard Carpenter. Karen was renowned for her exceptional and emotive voice, possessing a warm and powerful tone that brought songs to life. Additionally, her drumming skills contributed to shaping the duo’s distinct sound.

The Carpenters’ music spanned genres, encompassing elements of pop, rock, and soft rock, and achieved significant popularity throughout the 1970s. Their songs delved into themes of love, heartbreak, and longing, with hits like “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” and “Rainy Days and Mondays” resonating deeply with listeners.

Karen’s influence on music is profound, solidifying her status as one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Her music continues to be cherished and adored by fans worldwide, and her profound impact can be heard in the work of countless artists who have been inspired by her talent and artistry.

Tragically, Karen passed away in 1983 at the young age of 32 due to complications stemming from an eating disorder. Her untimely death sent shockwaves through the music world, and her legacy as a gifted musician and beloved icon remains enduring and secure.

13. Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack, an American singer, songwriter, and musician, made a significant impact in the 1970s with her soulful voice and seamless fusion of jazz, R&B, and pop elements. Born in North Carolina in 1937, Flack exhibited a passion for music from a young age, mastering the piano and pursuing musical studies throughout her formative years.

In the late 1960s, Flack signed with Atlantic Records and released her debut album, “First Take,” which featured the breakout hit “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” The song became an enormous success, winning the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1973 and propelling Flack into stardom.

Throughout the 1970s, Flack continued to deliver hit albums and singles, including the Grammy-winning “Killing Me Softly With His Song” in 1974 and the chart-topping “Feel Like Makin’ Love” in 1975.

Flack’s music is revered for its emotional depth and her ability to evoke profound sentiments through her performances. Her distinctive voice and skillful blending of diverse genres have established her as a cherished and influential figure in the music industry.

Today, Roberta Flack remains an iconic presence in the music industry, with her music and performances serving as a timeless source of inspiration and resonance for fans across the globe. Her contributions have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape, ensuring her enduring legacy as a remarkable artist.

14. Donna Fargo

Donna Fargo, an American country music singer, and songwriter, hails from North Carolina, born in 1945. She garnered attention for her infectious, upbeat songs and her distinctive style that seamlessly blended traditional country with pop sensibilities.

Fargo’s career soared in the 1970s with hits such as “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA,” “Funny Face,” and “You Can’t Be a Beacon (If Your Light Don’t Shine).” Her music exuded a unique charm, combining witty and heartfelt lyrics, often exploring themes of love, optimism, and the simple joys of everyday life.

In addition to her prowess as a singer, Fargo exhibited impressive songwriting skills, penning many of her own songs and collaborating with various artists throughout her career. Her music captured the spirit of the times and resonated deeply with audiences, forging a genuine connection through her heartfelt lyrics.

Fargo’s contributions were recognized with numerous awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1973. Despite stepping away from the limelight in the 1980s to prioritize her family and health, her music continues to inspire and delight fans to this day.

Donna Fargo’s indelible mark on the country music landscape endures, with her infectious melodies and relatable lyrics continuing to uplift and captivate listeners. Her unique blend of country and pop influences and her ability to craft songs that embody joy and authenticity cement her legacy as an esteemed artist.

15. Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler, a Welsh singer celebrated for her distinctive raspy voice and captivating performances, emerged onto the music scene in the 1970s and achieved international acclaim in the 1980s with a string of chart-topping hits.

Tyler’s breakthrough came with the release of the song “It’s a Heartache,” which soared to the top of the charts in multiple countries in 1978. Throughout the 1980s, she consistently delivered successful albums and singles, including the iconic “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which stands as one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Recognized for her ability to convey intense emotions through her performances, Tyler’s music is renowned for its profound emotional depth. Her unique voice and dynamic stage presence have endeared her to audiences, establishing her as a beloved figure in the music industry.

Throughout her enduring career, Tyler has continued to release albums and perform worldwide, earning numerous awards and accolades. Among her accomplishments is a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Her music and performances remain a source of inspiration and resonance for fans across the globe.

16. Judy Collins

Judy Collins, an American folk singer and songwriter born in Seattle, Washington in 1939, has left an indelible mark on the music industry with her distinct voice, remarkable interpretations of classic folk songs, and her talent for crafting and performing original material.

Collins’ career took flight in the 1960s, propelled by hits such as “Both Sides, Now,” “Someday Soon,” and “Send in the Clowns.” Her music was characterized by her crystalline vocals, poetic lyrics, and innate ability to encapsulate the essence of the era within her songs.

Beyond her musical achievements, Collins has been a fervent advocate for social justice and political activism throughout her career. She has actively participated in various causes, including the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and environmental initiatives.

Honored with numerous awards, including multiple Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association, Collins’ impact on the folk music scene reverberates to this day. She remains a cherished and revered figure in the industry, her influence felt through her timeless music and her unwavering dedication to causes she holds dear.

17. Suzi Quatro

Suzi Quatro, an American singer, songwriter, and actress born in 1950 in Michigan, stands as a prominent figure known for her commanding vocals, distinct bass guitar skills, and dynamic stage presence. Her music spans the genres of rock, pop, and glam, and she played a pivotal role as a trailblazer in the male-dominated world of rock and roll.

With a discography encompassing over 15 albums, Quatro has amassed a collection of hits that includes “Can the Can,” “48 Crash,” and “Devil Gate Drive.” In addition to her musical pursuits, she has showcased her talent in various TV shows and movies, most notably the popular series “Happy Days.”

Quatro’s influence on music and popular culture is profound, positioning her as one of the most influential female rockers in history. Her music and persona defied gender stereotypes within the music industry, opening doors for countless aspiring female rock musicians who followed in her footsteps.

Beyond her music career, Quatro has proven her versatility as an accomplished author, radio presenter, and TV host. Her legacy as a pioneer for women in rock and roll, her enduring impact on popular culture, and her continued artistic contributions solidify her status as a revered and esteemed figure within the music industry.

18. Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell, a Canadian singer-songwriter and painter born in Alberta in 1943, stands as a remarkable artist celebrated for her distinctive blend of folk, pop, and jazz. Recognized for her poetic lyrics, intricate guitar playing, and unique voice, Mitchell’s music delves into themes of love, relationships, and societal issues, resonating with audiences worldwide.

With a discography spanning over 20 albums, Mitchell has crafted a catalog of hits that includes “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Both Sides, Now,” and “Woodstock.” Her talent has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including nine Grammy Awards, and she was rightfully inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Mitchell’s impact on music and popular culture is profound, solidifying her status as one of the most influential and innovative musicians of all time. Her approach to songwriting, characterized by her willingness to experiment with different styles and genres, has left an indelible mark on countless musicians and artists who followed in her footsteps.

Beyond her music career, Mitchell’s artistic endeavors extend to the realm of painting, where she has established herself as a talented visual artist with exhibitions around the world. Her enduring legacy as a trailblazer for women in music and her far-reaching influence on popular culture continues to inspire and captivate fans and musicians across the globe.

19. Janis Ian

Janis Ian, an American singer-songwriter born in 1951, is renowned for her unmistakable voice, poignant lyrics, and ability to capture the essence of her time through her music.

Ian’s career skyrocketed in the 1960s with hits like “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)” and “At Seventeen.” Her music was distinguished by her fearless exploration of complex and controversial subjects, including race relations, sexual identity, and the pressures faced by teenagers.

Beyond her musical accomplishments, Ian has been a passionate advocate for social justice and political activism. Throughout her career, she has lent her voice to numerous causes, such as the anti-war movement, LGBTQ+ rights, and fighting against censorship in the arts.

Honored with numerous awards, including multiple Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s International Center, Ian’s influence on the folk music scene endures. Her music continues to resonate, and she remains a respected and influential figure in the industry, having left an indelible mark on both music and society at large.

20. Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle, an American singer, and actress, has graced the music industry with her talent and presence for over six decades. Born in Philadelphia in 1944, LaBelle embarked on her musical journey in the early 1960s as the lead singer of the acclaimed group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles.

In the 1970s, LaBelle transitioned into a successful solo career, releasing a series of hit albums and singles that showcased her soulful and powerful vocals. Her iconic rendition of “Lady Marmalade” became a global sensation in 1975, highlighting her ability to fuse R&B, gospel, and rock elements in her music.

LaBelle’s contributions have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including multiple Grammy Awards and induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Beyond her musical achievements, she has also made a significant impact through her philanthropic work, particularly in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and advocating for the LGBT community.

Parallel to her music career, LaBelle has ventured into acting, gracing both film and television productions with her talent. Today, Patti LaBelle remains a legendary figure in the music industry, her music, and performances serving as a timeless source of inspiration for musicians and fans worldwide.

21. Barbara Streisand

Barbra Streisand, an iconic American singer, actress, and filmmaker, has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry spanning over six decades. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942, Streisand launched her career in the 1960s as a singer, captivating audiences in nightclubs and on television.

Streisand’s music is celebrated for its resplendent and emotive voice, effectively conveying profound emotions through her performances. Throughout her illustrious career, she has released numerous albums, including acclaimed works like “The Barbra Streisand Album,” “Guilty,” and “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway,” earning her multiple Grammy Awards.

Beyond her musical pursuits, Streisand has made significant contributions as an actress and filmmaker. Her remarkable appearances in films such as “Funny Girl,” “The Way We Were,” and “A Star is Born” have captivated audiences, while her directing and producing endeavors have yielded successful films like “Yentl” and “The Prince of Tides.”

A true trailblazer for women in the entertainment industry, Streisand’s impact on popular culture cannot be overstated. Her profound influence has been acknowledged with numerous awards and honors, including the esteemed Presidential Medal of Freedom. Streisand’s music and performances continue to inspire and delight fans worldwide, solidifying her status as a revered and timeless figure in the industry.

22. Patti Smith

Patti Smith emerged as a formidable presence in the 1970s, defying the prevailing trends of glittering disco balls and synthesized sounds by charting her own path as a solo performer.

While widely recognized as a singer and songwriter, Smith also showcased her versatility as a writer of prose and poetry, infusing her performances with her own unique musicality.

While she may not have attained the chart-topping success of some of her contemporaries, her influence was undeniable and far-reaching.

One of her most renowned songs, “Because the Night,” reached impressive heights, peaking at number thirteen on the charts. Testament to her impact, the song has been recorded by esteemed artists such as Bruce Springsteen, 10,000 Maniacs, Tori Amos, and others.

In a moment that exemplified her influence and enduring legacy, Smith and Springsteen joined forces to perform “Because the Night” alongside U2 at the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s grand opening in 2010.

23. Donna Summer

Donna Summer was a trailblazing figure in the realms of disco, R&B, soul, and dance music, leaving an indelible mark as both a singer and songwriter.

With over 130 million records sold worldwide, Summer’s impact on the music industry is undeniable. In recognition of her immense contributions, she was rightfully inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Amidst the disco phenomenon of the 1970s, Summer enjoyed a string of chart-topping albums and singles. Notable among her impressive discography are iconic tracks such as the disco standard “Hot Stuff,” as well as influential songs like “Bad Girls,” “No More Tears (Enough is Enough),” and “Macarthur Park.”

One of her standout studio albums, “Bad Girls,” not only dominated the Billboard charts but also became a definitive disco classic. Additionally, Summer released five other albums throughout the 1970s, all of which achieved notable success, solidifying her position among the top 30 on the Billboard Charts.

24. Carly Simon

Carly Simon burst onto the music scene in the early 1970s, propelled by her talent and already having experienced some success performing alongside her sister, Lucy, as The Simon Sisters.

Her solo debut album, self-titled “Carly Simon,” released in 1971, catapulted her to new heights of stardom and acclaim. The album’s immense popularity earned Simon a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Throughout the decade, Simon consistently delivered hit albums and singles. “Anticipation,” her second album, and “No Secrets,” her third, solidified her commercial success and included her most renowned song, “You’re so Vain.”

Simon has continued to produce music, releasing over fifteen albums and contributing to movie soundtracks, which also garnered her recognition. Notably, her compilation album released in 1975, comprising her greatest hits, achieved a triple-platinum certification, exemplifying her enduring popularity and the impact of her music.

25. Carole King

Carole King’s enduring legacy reaches modern audiences through the Broadway musical, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” which serves as a tribute to her life and showcases her iconic songs. Both the album and the show have enjoyed remarkable success.

While King’s recording career commenced in 1958, it was the 1970s that proved to be her most prolific decade. Her album “Tapestry” became a monumental success, charting for an impressive six years and featuring timeless classics like “You’ve Got a Friend,” a song that continues to resonate with audiences to this day.

Throughout her career, King consistently delivered hits, with even her least successful record of the 1970s attaining gold certification. She remains actively engaged as a performer, composer, and singer, showcasing her enduring talent and dedication to her craft.

26. Bonnie Rait

Bonnie Raitt stands out as a true musical trailblazer, known for her exceptional electric guitar skills, particularly her expertise in playing bottleneck slides. She played a crucial role in breaking down barriers for women in the industry.

Her initial forays into live performances took place in intimate clubs and cafes, and through a stroke of good fortune, she eventually landed a recording opportunity. Although her early recordings garnered critical acclaim, commercial success eluded her.

Undeterred, Raitt persevered throughout the decade, recording multiple albums and continuously honing her craft. Her dedication and talent would ultimately pay off, as she experienced significant commercial success in the early 1990s.

Raitt’s journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to her artistry, and her contributions to the music industry have left an indelible mark. She remains an influential figure, revered for her musical prowess and her pioneering spirit.

27. Diana Ross

Diana Ross is an iconic singer who achieved remarkable success as a member of the Supremes during the 1960s.

After leaving the group to pursue a solo career in 1969, Ross continued to soar to new heights. Her solo debut, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” became a breakout hit, setting the stage for a string of successful albums and chart-topping songs throughout the decade.

Not only did Ross excel in the music industry, but she also ventured into acting, starring in the acclaimed biopic “Lady Sings the Blues,” portraying the legendary Billie Holiday. Her powerful performance in the film earned her an Academy Award nomination and propelled her further in both her acting and singing careers.

Ross’s contributions to music and film have been widely recognized, and her accolades include receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, a testament to her enduring impact and influence. She remains an esteemed figure in the entertainment industry, celebrated for her extraordinary talents and contributions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who were some famous female singers of the 1970s?

Some famous female singers of the 1970s included Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Nicks, Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, and Cher, among others.

What genres of music were popular among female singers in the 1970s?

Female singers in the 1970s were known for their versatility in various genres. They explored and achieved success in genres such as rock, pop, folk, country, R&B, soul, disco, and jazz.

What were some notable songs by female singers in the 1970s?

There were numerous notable songs by female singers in the 1970s. Some examples include Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” Linda Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou,” Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now,” Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon,” Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Olivia Newton-John’s “I Honestly Love You,” Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” and Cher’s “Believe.”

Did any female singers of the 1970s write their own songs?

Yes, many female singers of the 1970s were talented songwriters who wrote their own songs. Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Dolly Parton are notable examples of female singers who wrote their own music and lyrics.

Were there any female singers of the 1970s who also acted in movies or television?

Yes, several female singers of the 1970s also ventured into acting. Examples include Barbra Streisand, who appeared in films like “Funny Girl” and “A Star is Born,” and Diana Ross, who starred in “Lady Sings the Blues.” Additionally, Dolly Parton appeared in films such as “9 to 5” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

How did female singers of the 1970s influence music today?

Female singers of the 1970s played a vital role in shaping the music industry and have had a lasting impact. Their innovative sounds, powerful vocals, and songwriting skills continue to inspire and influence musicians today. Their contributions to various genres and their ability to connect with audiences on an emotional level have made a significant mark on the music landscape.


The female singers of the 1970s left an indelible mark on the music industry and continue to be celebrated for their talent, artistry, and influence. From the soulful performances of Aretha Franklin to the poetic songwriting of Joni Mitchell, these women pushed boundaries, shattered glass ceilings, and paved the way for future generations of artists.

Their music spanned a wide range of genres, showcasing their versatility and ability to captivate audiences across different musical landscapes. Whether it was the folk-infused melodies of Carole King, the powerful rock vocals of Stevie Nicks, or the soulful R&B sounds of Gladys Knight, each artist brought their unique style and perspective to the forefront.

Not only did these women excel in their musical careers, but they also made significant contributions to the realms of acting, songwriting, activism, and philanthropy. Their influence extended beyond the stage and studio, as they used their platforms to advocate for social justice, inspire change, and empower others.

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