Top 10 Female Singers Of The '50s, '60s, And '70s

By Lyra Radford
Circa 1955: American singer and actor Rosemary Clooney (1928 - 2002) sings and dances in a ballroom or on a stage, accompanied by a pianist and a band. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In the '50s, '60s, and '70s, female solo singers were ever-present on radio, TV and the pop charts -- as they should have been! While gender equality was an elusive dream in many fields, women were well represented in popular music, and the best female singers are legends. 

There were plenty of issues, to be sure. Women were judged on their appearance much more than their male counterparts. And while female singers were prominent, there were almost never any women playing instruments in the band. The music industry, like most occupational fields in history, had its own harmful gender roles, and the gist of it was that women were pretty singers and men were serious musicians.

The artistry of their music tells another story and speaks -- or sings -- for itself. Pop hits, country ballads, punk bangers and jazz standards, the best female singers' work is essential listening.