The American monthly magazine Rolling Stone has compiled a list of the 200 greatest male and female singers of all time, especially in pop music. This list also includes African artists.
The magazine’s team has delved into singers from several decades even though the choice of this time span and the exclusivity given to pop singers may give rise to a wave of criticism on social networks, especially from music lovers disappointed not to find their favorite artists on the list.
Rolling Stone justified this choice by saying that it is a list of the greatest singers and not the best voices, adding that they took into account criteria such as influence, originality, and the extent of a catalog’s musical heritage.
The African music scene is shining internationally. Among the African artists on the list is Nigeria’s Burna Boy, who is ranked 197th and has already won three Grammy nominations for best global music performance. Another Nigerian was ranked 188th. This is the father of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti.
Similarly, the Congolese Tabu Ley Rochereau was ranked 178th best singer of all time, renowned for his immense contribution to Congolese Rumba. The magazine praised his “tenor” tone.
In 153rd place was South African singer Mahlathini, alias the Lion of Soweto, renowned for his enormous contribution to Mbaqanga music. The magazine praised his “basso profundo growl” in particular.
Senegalese pop star Youssou N’dour was ranked 69th. This artist combines his country’s mbalax with samba, jazz, soul, and even hip-hop.