Rolling Stone’s Controversial Top Singers of All Time

The list received intense backlash from those accusing the publication of bias


Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone voted to reach a consensus on the top 200 greatest singers of all time

by Isabel Andjell, Staff Writer

Earlier this month, Rolling Stone magazine released its “200 Greatest Singers of All Time” list. In a disclaimer at the beginning of the publication, the publications said it made a list of the greatest singers of all time, not the greatest voices of all time. Some of the aspects contributors considered were, “originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy.”

While the writers may have had good intentions putting together the list, music enthusiasts everywhere felt as though their favorite artists were snubbed. The undeniable best singer of all time was Aretha Franklin, succeeded by Whitney Houston, and Sam Cooke. However, Celine Dion, Cher, Nat King Cole, Janet Jackson, and Madonna, among others, were not included anywhere on the list. Celine Dion fans were particularly quick to jump to Dion’s defense and question the list’s objectivity.

Rolling Stone has also received criticism for the placement of singers. The magazine was accused of favoring artists like Taylor Swift and SZA, who came into the music world not long ago. They ranked higher than an artist like Barbra Streisand – an artist people feel should have had a higher placement. KISS’s Gene Simmons, who did not make the list, said the list was “skewed” and one-sided toward more contemporary artists.