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Top 10 Pop Music Divas of All Time

The Best of the Best

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The dictionary defines 'diva' as simply goddess. All of these women qualify as pop music goddesses. In the spirit of Ancient Greek and Roman goddesses, all of them could easily go by simply a single name, and we would know who they are. Some of them frequently do go by a single name. These are the top 10 pop music divas of all time listed alphabetically.

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey
Photo by Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

Mariah Carey has more #1 pop hits in the US than anyone but the Beatles. She is a winner of five Grammy Awards. After her career seemed to be fading in the early 2000's, she returned with the hit "We Belong Together" spending 14 weeks at #1 and becoming one of the biggest pop hit singles of all time.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 2005 - "We Belong Together" - #1
  • 1995 - "Fantasy" - #1
  • 1993 - "Dreamlover" - #1
  • 1993 - "Hero" - #1
  • 1990 - "Vision Of Love" - #1

 

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Cher

Cher
Photo by Scott Gries / Getty Images

Cher is not only an iconic singer, she is also an accomplished actress. This has enabled her to take home a Grammy, Oscar and Emmy award. She began her music career as a teenage backup singer, was half of the highly successful duo Sonny and Cher with her husband Sonny Bono, and then fully eclipsed that success as a solo artist. Her farewell concert tour took a phenomenal three years to complete largely due to the demand for tickets from her fans.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1998 - "Believe" - #1
  • 1971 - "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" - #1
  • 1973 - "Half-Breed" - #1
  • 1974 - "Dark Lady" - #1
  • 1966 - "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" - #2

 

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Celine Dion

Celine Dion
Photo by Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Born and raised in Quebec, Canada, Celine Dion began her career as a successful teen singer performing in French. She eventually emerged as one of the top pop singers overall performing mostly in English. By 2007, Sony BMG announced that she had sold over 200 million albums worldwide. Her nearly five year stint at Caesars Palace was acclaimed as one of the top Las Vegas shows of all time.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1996 - "Because You Loved Me" - #1
  • 1998 - "I'm Your Angel" - #1
  • 1993 - "The Power of Love" - #1
  • 1998 - "My Heart Will Go On" - #1
  • 1996 - "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" - #2

 

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Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin
Photo by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Aretha Franklin is the "Queen of Soul," but major pop hits spanning over three decades prove she is one of the top pop divas of all time as well. Beyond her singing, Franklin is a very skilled piano player and songwriter. She has won 20 Grammy Awards in her career, and she became the first female artist to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1967 - "Respect" - #1
  • 1967 - "Chain of Fools" - #2
  • 1971 - "Spanish Harlem" - #2
  • 1973 - "Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)" - #3
  • 1985 - "Freeway of Love" - #3

 

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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
Photo courtesy Sony BMG

Whitney Houston's self-titled debut album released in 1985 became the bestselling debut album by a female artist. Her second album was the first by a woman to debut at the top of the album chart. Four studio albums, a movie soundtrack, and her greatest hits collection are all estimated to have sold 10 million copies or more around the world. Whitney Houston became the first artist ever to release seven consecutive #1 singles.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1992 - "I Will Always Love You" - #1
  • 1986 - "Greatest Love Of All" - #1
  • 1987 - "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - #1
  • 1990 - "All The Man That I Need" - #1
  • 1987 - "Didn't We Almost Have It All" - #1

 

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Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson
Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Janet Jackson's success as a pop artist rivals that of her brother Michael Jackson. She has not only been successful as a singer, her dancing and the choreography in her shows has influenced a wide range of performers, and she is an accomplished actress. Five consecutive Janet Jackson albums debuted at #1 on the album chart.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1993 - "That's The Way Love Goes" - #1
  • 2001 - "All For You" - #1
  • 1989 - "Miss You Much" - #1
  • 2000 - "Doesn't Really Matter" - #1
  • 1990 - "Escapade" - #1

 

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Madonna

Madonna
Courtesy Alberto E. Rodriguez

Madonna has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Guinness Book of Records considers her the most successful female artist of all time. She is the artist with the most top 10 hits in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. She has long been admired as one of the top business women in the music industry.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1994 - "Take a Bow" - #1
  • 1984 - "Like a Virgin" - #1
  • 2000 - "Music" - #1
  • 1990 - "Vogue" - #1
  • 1989 - "Like a Prayer" - #1

 

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Diana Ross

Diana Ross
Photo by ShowBiz Ireland / Getty Images

Diana Ross began her career in the 1960s as a member of the Supremes, the most successful female group ever at that time. She went solo in the 1970s and became one of the most successful female solo artists of all time. Diana Ross was the first female solo artist in the US to release six #1 pop singles. She has won a Tony Award for her stage show An Evening With Diana Ross.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1980 - "Upside Down" - #1
  • 1970 - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - #1
  • 1976 - "Love Hangover" - #1
  • 1973 - "Touch Me In the Morning" - #1
  • 1975 - "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" - #1

 

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Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand
Photo by Jo Hale / Getty Images

As well as being one of the top singers of all time, Barbra Streisand is accomplished as both a film actress and director. She has won nine Grammy Awards, two Oscars and four Emmys. She has released 29 top 10 albums, the most by any female recording artist, and they span more than three decades. 50 of her albums have been certified gold.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1976 - "Love Theme From A Star Is Born (Evergreen)" - #1
  • 1980 - "Woman In Love" - #1
  • 1973 - "The Way We Were" - #1
  • 1980 - "Guilty" - #3
  • 1979 - "The Main Event" - #3

 

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Donna Summer

Donna Summer
Photo by Scott Gries / Getty Images

Donna Summer was the undisputed "Queen of Disco." She is the first artist to hit #1 with three consecutive double albums. She is the first female artist to have five top 10 singles in one calendar year. Donna Summer has earned five Grammy Awards. Her #1 hits on the dance music chart have spanned from 1975 through 2009.

Top Five Hits

 

  • 1979 - "Bad Girls" - #1
  • 1979 - "Hot Stuff" - #1
  • 1978 - "MacArthur Park" - #1
  • 1979 - "Dim All the Lights" - #2
  • 1975 - "Love To Love You Baby" - #2

 

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