18. Z.Z. Hill - Another one of those voices from barbecues and family gatherings. Raspy, bluesy, and just right. Unfortunately Arziel died too soon to capitalize on his vocal gifts.
Down Home Blues (THE Version)
Everybody Knows About My Good Thing
Let's Make a Deal
17. Angela Winbush - Will there be a louder woman on this list? Save for one, I doubt it. Angie's levels of loudness surely surpass your favorite singer's, and it works. Who can forget her fierce sequined body suits from the 80s and the haircut all black mothers (including Claire Huxtable) had in the late-80s/early-90s?
I'll Never Be The Same
16. Regina Belle - I don't know what the people's problem is. Folks (that includes you) are straight narcoleptic on Regina's rawness. That voice? C'mon! She can do jazzy, straight R&B, cheesy Disney, what else do you want? Plus, she looks fantastic nowadays. I love it when people age well.
So Many Tears
Show Me the Way
Baby Come To Me
15. Chaka Khan - Okay, maybe save two cuz Chaka is definitely in contention for loudest woman (hell, person) ever, but again, she can sang. You can't just be loud, you have to be able to control it. This Ms. Khan does.
Love Has Fallen on Me
We Got Each Other
Stop on By w/ Rufus (Bobby Womack wrote it!)
14. Gladys Knight - Another voice of velvety gravy and oyster dressing and other aptly symbolic foods. (And on another episode of When Fat Girls Get Literary ....) Gladys isn't as big as Aretha 'nem and that's a shame cuz unlike some others she hasn't lost that voice at all.
The Makings of You
If I Were Your Woman
13. El DeBarge - This is kinda blasphemous cuz El is meant to represent the ultimate male falsetto on this list, and I know somebody's gonna go, "Phillip Bailey? Eddie Kendricks?" Yeah, I know, I know, but this is MY list, and I do what I want! Now, Bobby could've easily been here instead, but let's face it, El is more of my contemporary. These days, I can't listen to him without becoming a little sad. All that talent. Poor baby. (Okay, I'm including a Bobby DeBarge song, too. I just can't leave him out. Also, if you're out there and have the Gemini album by El, hook me up.)
Time Will Reveal
Where Is My Love?
Secret Garden w/ Quincy Jones, Al B. Sure, James Ingram & Barry White
I Wanna Be Closer (Bobby DeBarge w/ Switch)