This is our take on the richest and most successful singers in the world. We haven’t listed them by net worth; instead these are the personalities who really stand out among the best, and most successful singers of all time.

Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson, the eighth child of perhaps the most famous musical family of all time, was born in Gary, Indiana USA in 1958. He was barely 7 years old when he joined his brothers performing as the Jackson 5. A year later, Michael would sing lead to My Girl by the Temptations. From then on, the trajectory of Michael’s rise to become the King of Pop was nothing short of spectacular. In the late 60s to the early 70s, while continuing to perform with his brothers, Michael started to come onto his own as a solo artist, releasing solo albums such as Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973) and Forever Michael (1975).

Michael moved to New York in 1978, and in 1979, released Off the Wall from which the chart-topping Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough was born along with 3 other top hits. Michael received 3 American Music Awards for his solo work, with the hit Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough bagging the Favorite Soul/R&B Single title – the album itself winning the Favorite Soul/R&B Album accolade. Michael himself crowned the Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist in 1980.

The next few years would quickly cement Michael’s fame as he showcased his unique talent in dance, vocals and musicality. Michael became the Michael the world would swoon over after the release of his sixth album Thriller in 1982.

After ThrillerBad, released in 1987 after a five-year hiatus, stomped the charts with 5 number one singles and went on to sell more than 45 million worldwide. Bad subsequently won Michael an Award of Achievement at the American Music Awards in 1989. His next spectacularly successful album Dangerous released in 1991 was certified 7 times platinum, selling some 30 million copies worldwide. Together with the Bad and Dangerous world tours, there was no stopping Michael’s fortune from accelerating at an astonishing rate.

Out of 35 nominations for a Grammy Award, Jackson won 13.  Of a total of 244 nominations for all music awards, he won 152.

In 2020, the estate of Michael Jackson has an estimated worth of over $750 million dollars. This is set to further increase with the opening of MJ: The Musical in Broadway in 2021.

Diana Ross

Diana Ross performs onstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Diana Ross was born on March 26, 1944. She is an American actress, singer, songwriter, and record producer. The popular star first became famous as the lead singer of The Supremes. The girl group quickly became one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time and to this day, they are still considered to be the best charting girl group in US history.

The Supremes went on to release many hit singles that topped international music charts. Baby LoveI Hear a SymphonyLove Child, and Someday We’ll Be Together are just four of their twelve songs that not only became worldwide hits but topped many different music charts, including the Billboard Hot 100. 

After spending more than 10 years with The Supremes, Diana Ross left the group in January 1970 to pursue a solo career. Shortly after, in June of 1970, Diana released her debut solo studio album – “Diana Ross”. The hit single from that eponymous album Aint No Mountain High Enough became the No. 1 pop hit. In 1973, she released the album Touch Me in the Morning which charted at No. 5 in the US and sold over 650,000 copies. Following that success, Diana would go on to release more than 24 albums, many of which were certified double platinum during her scintillating career. 

Diana Ross’s silvery voice, her shimmering gowns and always striking an elegant pose while on stage have made her an act that is inimitably Diana Ross.

Diana Ross has been nominated 13 times for a Grammy Award, and in 2012 won the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Out of 31 nominations for all music awards, Diana Ross won 12.

As of 2020, Diana Ross has a fortune of some $250 million.

Lionel Richie

Known as the King of Ballads, Lionel Richie initially sang with an R&B band called the Commodores. The Commodores was quite successful, having released some enduring hits like Three Times A Lady, written by Lionel. In 1982, Lionel embarked on a solo career after writing and singing the international hit-duet, Endless Love, with Diana Ross.  Since going solo, Richie wrote and sang some true ballad-classics like Truly from the debut album Lionel Richie became the number one song in the US. The album itself had 2 other hits, You Are and My Love was number 3 on the charts and sold well over 4 million copies. This was followed by several more songs, including Dancing on the Ceiling and Hello.

In 1985, he and Michael Jackson wrote the hunger song We Are the World which became an instant hit selling some 20 million copies. Lionel’s albums Louder than Words (1996) and Time (1998) did not do so well. He continued to release studio albums in the 2000s, like Coming Home (2006), and Just Go (2009) which were also not commercially successful. He resumed his success, however, with his 2012 country album Tuskegee.  In 2018 he was appointed a judge to reboot American Idol.

Out of 15 Grammy nominations, Lionel won 4 Awards. Out of 37 nominations for all music awards, Lionel won 17.

Lionel Richie was born June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 2020, he has built a net worth of some $220 million.

Madonna

Madonna Louise Ciccone, mononymously known as Madonna, is one of the most famous and influential celebrities in the music industry. Known for her overtly sexual dance moves, dynamic and sometimes controversial visuals and costume changes on stage, she is widely referred to as the Queen of Pop since the 1980s.

One of Madonna’s first singles for her first album with Sire Records in 1982 – Holiday – was a worldwide hit on its release. By the time her second studio album Like a Virgin was released in November 1984, Madonna had honed her style of dressing on stage which captivated the world and was copied by young women and men the world over. Her style consisted of streaked hair tied with a lace band, fingerless gloves and she wore her brassieres on the outside of her top. Her one conspicuous piece of jewelry was a rosary hanging from her neck. Her bottoms were often leotards under round fluffy skirts. Her style of dressing intrigued the music world and provoked critics to expound pop psychology about her style.

From 1985 onwards, Madonna’s trajectory to superstardom and world-renown was unstoppable. Like A Virgin was the number one album in most of Europe, the UK, and the US, and sold over 21 million copies worldwide. Her Like A Virgin tour was the beginning of a worldwide obsession with her style of dressing, attracting scores of young women and men to appear at her concerts in “Madonna-drag”. Each and every concert tour after Like A Virgin was awaited by fans all over the world with such anticipation that tickets often sold out within an hour of their release.

Madonna has released 14 studio albums, performed in 11 concert tours, starred in 17 films and directed 2 films during the span of her career so far. Madonna is ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as the best-selling artist of the 20th century and the second top selling female artist in the United States, selling 64.5 million RIAA certified albums. On a worldwide basis, Madonna has sold over 300 million records is the best-selling female artist of all time. She has won 7 out of 28 Grammys nominations, 20 out of 68 MTV Video Music Awards nominations, and is the first female artist to receive the lifetime achievement Video Vanguard Award. In 2008, she was made a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In fact, out of 628 nominations for all music awards, Madonna has won 224. 

As of 2020, Madonna is worth approximately $880 million.

Ricky Martin

Enrique Martin Morales, originally from Puerto Rico, is a singer, songwriter and record producer. Popularly known as Ricky Martin, this Spanish speaking and singing “King of Latin Pop” began his career at the tender age of 12 with the Latino boy band Menudo. In 1971, Ricky went solo and has since that time sold over 70 million records worldwide.

After releasing a few Spanish albums, Ricky was invited to perform his single The Cup of Life (from his album Vuelve) at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards show, following which Ricky was responsible for bringing Latin fever to the US music scene.  Livin’ La Vida Loca released in March of 1999 set Ricky on a worldwide trajectory of fame and popularity.  Livin’ la Vida Loca was widely credited as the song that effectively crossed over to the English language music scene. This enabled a lot of Spanish speaking artists to transition into the English music scene. After Livin La Vida Loca, Ricky recorded his first English language album, titled Ricky Martin which went on to sell 15 million copies, and remains his best-selling album to date.

Ricky has released 10 solo albums so far, which include Ricky Martin (1991), Me Amaras (1993), A Medio Vivir (1995) and A Quien Quiera Escuchar (2015). While Ricky has not released a full studio album of late, he has, however, collaborated with other Spanish artists, like with Pablo Alboran and Maluma in Quimera and Vente Pa Ca, respectively.  

Ricky has received 2 Grammy Awards, 4 Latin Grammy Awards, 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 3 Billboard Music Awards, 9 Billboard Latin Music Awards, 2 American Music Awards, 2 Latin American Music Awards, 8 World Music Awards and has been nominated for an Emmy Award.

Ricky Martin is worth $120 million in 2020. He lives with husband Jwan Yosef.

Beyoncé

Beyoncé, born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on September 4, 1981 in Houston, Texas, USA. is a singer-songwriter and actress.

Beyoncé first became famous with her all-girl group Destiny’s Child when the hit single No, No, No Part 2 from the group’s first studio album (released in 1998) and their second studio album The Writing’s on the Wall (released in 1999) won two Grammy Awards and distributed more than eight million copies in the US. Their third studio album Survivor released in 2001 reached number one on the Billboard 200.

Beyoncé left the group in early 2000s to launch her solo album called Dangerously in Love in 2003. The album was released to rave reviews, headlined by the uplifting Crazy in Love with Jay-Z, charted at top spots worldwide.

In 2004 Beyoncé won five Grammy Awards, including best contemporary R&B album and best female R&B vocal performance. Beyoncé would go on to become one of the most popular R&B performers and all-round singers. She dominated the Grammys in 2010 and bagged six awards, including the Best Song of the Year, Best Female pop vocal performance and best contemporary R&B.

So far, Beyoncé has sold over 100 million records. She is the most nominated singer for a Grammy Award, with a total of 24 wins. She has also clocked 24 MTV Music Video Awards to date.  Out of 804 nominations for all music awards, Beyoncé has won 418.

As of 2020, Beyoncé has a wealth of about $500 million.

Elton John

Sir Elton Hercules John is a singer, songwriter and composer. His fame has endured over 50 years of showbusiness.

Elton’s songs are known to almost all generations alive today.  He has sold over 300 million records and has more than 50 Top 40 hits in the UK Singles chart and the US Billboard 100, including seven number ones in the UK and nine in the US, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the US.  

Elton has had successes as well in musicals, having composed for The Lion King, Aida and Billy Elliot the Musical.

His discography features well-known songs like Daniel, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart in the 70s, Blue Eyes, Candle in the Wind, That’s What Friends are For in the 80s, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (reprised with George Michael), Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Circle of Life in the 90s, and Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word in the 2000s, which most people would know the lyrics of by heart.

Elton’s Candle in the Wind, rewritten in tribute to Princess Diana sold over 33 million copies, and has the record of being the best-selling single in the history of the UK and the US charts.

To date, Sir Elton John has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award and the Kennedy Center Honor. Of 67 nominations for all music and other awards, Sir Elton John has won 30 of them.

As of 2020, Sir Elton John has amassed a fortune of $500 million.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Joan Streisand is one of the most recognizable singers of all time and she has one of the longest and most successful singing careers of all time.

Born April 24, 1942, Barbra, or Babs to her friends and fans, is a two-time Academy Award and ten times Grammy Award winner. Barbra has released a total of 36 albums and has sold over 150 million copies worldwide.

The Recording Industry of Association of America and Billboard Streisand as holding the record for the most top 10 albums of any female recording artist: a total of 34 since 1963. According to Billboard, she holds the record for the female with the most number-one albums, i.e., 11.

Billboard also recognizes her as the greatest female of all time on its 200 chart and one of the greatest artists of all time on its Hot 100 chart.  Streisand is the only recording artist to have a number-one album in each of the last six decades, having released 53 gold albums, 31 platinum albums, and 14 multi-platinum albums in the United States.  Some of Streisand’s most memorable songs include People (1964), The Way We Were (1974), Guilty (1980) with Barry Gibbs, and Tell Him (1997) duet with Celine Dion.  Of course, her Evergreen, the cover song of the movie, A Star Is Born won her an Academy Award for Best Song in 1977.

Out of 52 nominations for all music awards and inductions into halls of fame, Barbra has won 17 awards and three inductions. As of 2020, Barbra Streisand has a total wealth of approximately $420 million.

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American singer, songwriter and musician.  Bruce’s career has spanned five decades and the lyrics of his songs are known to be either poetic or speak to social issues and justice of the time. Even if someone does not know Springsteen, he or she would have heard Born in the USA playing on the radio or social media. Born in the USA is singularly Springsteen’s most commercially successful album of all time, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Bruce has released over 20 albums to date.

Fans of Springsteen speak of his 100 of his greatest hits but Born to Run, Thunder Road, Badlands, Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, Atlantic City, Jungleland, Born in the USA, Pointblank, Land of Hope and Dreams, and Prove it All Night are conventionally agreed to be the top ten hits of Bruch Springsteen.

In total, Bruce Springsteen has sold over 135 million records worldwide, and has won 20 Grammy Awards and two Golden Globes.  

Of a total of 98 nominations for all music awards, Bruce Springsteen has won 35 awards.

Bruce Springsteen is worth an estimated $500 million as of 2020.

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara on 5 September 1946 was the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen.  

Freddie is regarded as one of the greatest lead singers in rock music history and was particularly known for his energetic and flamboyant stage persona. Possessing a four-octave vocal range, Freddie would scale the highs and lows of his songs effortlessly, bringing a unique level of complexity to his music. When one thinks of his vocal range, one would immediately recall Bohemian Rhapsody which combined influences of classical music to mesh with the rock song. In fact in the Summer Olympics of 1992 in Barcelona, Mercury teamed up with operatic soprano Monserrat Caballe, to sing the title hit Barcelona to the highest acclaim for a rock star and the soprano.  

Other unforgettable songs include We Are the Champions, Don’t Stop Me Now, The Show Must Go On which all played up Freddie’s incredible vocal range. Freddie’s career with Queen was recently dramatized in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody released in 2018.

Of 19 nominations for music awards, Queen won 8 of them. In 2018, Queen won the Academy Award Lifetime Achievement Award. Freddie himself was nominated four times for a Grammy Award in 1978 and in 1980.

At the time of his death, Freddie Mercury amassed a fortune of some $40 million, which is estimated today to be approximately $60 to $80 million.

Julio Iglesias

Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva is a Spanish singing sensation whose velvety voice would make women swoon just listening to his records.  Born on September 23, 1943, this Spanish heartthrob was a singer, and songwriter. Before becoming a professional singer, Julio was a former professional footballer.

Of all foreign singers, Julio was one of the most commercially successful cross-over Spanish language singers, having sold 100 million records worldwide in 14 languages.  It has been said also that during his career, he had performed over 5000 concerts to over 60 million people in five continents.

Julio’s songs spoke mainly of love, romance, and longings. Although he first featured as Spain’s entry in the 1970 Eurovision Song contest, Julio moved to Miami, Florida in 1979 and signed a deal with CBS International and started signing in English, French, Portuguese, and German. In 1981, he released De Nina a Mujer. Following this, he released his first-ever English album, Begin the Beguine, an English cover of the Spanish original.  Begin the Beguine went straight to the number one spot in the United Kingdom, establishing Julio Iglesias as the most romantic male singer of the 80s.

In his career, Julio has released more than 40 albums, and he was so celebrated that he was even honored as the most popular international artist in China in 2013. UNICEF even named him Special Ambassador for the Performing Arts in 1989.

Julio has won two Grammy Awards, Latin Grammys, World Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and the Lo Nuestro Award. He has had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 1985. Julio is father to Enrique Iglesias, an enormously popular American-Spanish singer based in Miami.

As of 2020, Julio Iglesias is worth over $600 million.

Lady Gaga

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is famous for her eclectic styles and reinventions of herself over the course of her career. Sometimes compared to Madonna, fans will, however, say that Gaga is vocally stronger, while Madonna is more of a dancer. Both were iconic in their stage presentation, with Gaga bordering on the weird sometimes, once wearing a piece of raw steak as part of her headgear.

Born on March 28, 1986, Lady Gaga started singing at open mic nights in New York. She studied at the Collaborative Arts Project 21 through the Tisch School of the Arts before dropping out to pursue music professionally. Gaga rose to fame with her debut album The Fame under which the immensely popular singles Just Dance and Poker Face was a part of the album’s discography. Following this success, Gaga’s five succeeding studio albums were all top hits on the US Billboard 200. Born This Way, her iconic second album sold more than one million copies in the first week of release. The title track Born This Way released in 2011 was the fastest-selling song on downloads and streaming apps.

Gaga was also good at transforming herself. In 2014, she recorded a jazz album with Tony Bennett. She even ventured into country-pop and soft rock, which was the influence behind her 2016 album Joanne.

Gaga is also an actress and her most famous movie to date is the 2018 version of A Star is Born playing opposite Bradley Cooper

In total, Gaga has sold over 124 million albums, and was the fourth highest-paid female musician in 2010.

She has won 11 Grammy Awards and out of 703 nominations for all music awards, Gaga has won 313 of them

As of 2020, Lady Gaga has a net worth of over $300 million.

Justin Bieber

Justin Drew Bieber was just 13 years of age when he was discovered by Scooter Braun, a talent manager who watched his Youtube videos, featuring cover songs.  In 2008, Justin signed to RBMG Records and released My World, an EP in 2009. Seven songs from My World charted on Billboard Hot 100, quickly establishing Justin as a teenage idol.

Following his first EP, Justin released his 3D biopic-concert film – Justin Bieber: Never Say Never to great commercial success. Justin released a couple more albums before moving to more mature sounds in 2015 with Purpose which contains three number-one singles, What Do You MeanSorry, and Love Yourself.  With Mature, Justin seems to have left behind his bad boys brawling days and minor incursions of the law.

In recent years, following Purpose, Justin has also been seen in collaborations such as the worldwide hit Despacito with Luis Fonzi.

Bieber has sold more than 150 million records, earning him the accolade of being one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He has also won a Grammy Award, 15 American Music Awards, and various other awards.  Justin also became the first artist to surpass the 10 billion total view mark on Vevo. Out of a total of 434 nominations for all music awards, Bieber has won 158 of them.

In 2020, Justin Bieber is estimated to be worth $285 million.

Ed Sheeran

Before Ed Sheeran became famous, he had a helping hand in the form of Jamie Foxx who let him crash on his couch for six weeks and also gave him an opportunity to showcase his music at an open mic session that Foxx was hosting. 

Edward Christopher Sheeran is an English singer, songwriter and record producer, born on February 17, 1991. After signing with Asylum Records to produce his debut album in 2011, his single The A Team became a hit. His second studio album, Thinking Out Loud, was released in June of 2014 and quickly became the second best-selling album worldwide, winning the 2015 Brit Award for Album of the Year. The title song Thinking Out Loud from his second studio album won him a Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.

Sheeran released his third album in 2017 to snatch two top positions for Shape of You and Castle on the Hill in the UK Chars and in the US top 10, both from his third album and would go on in the UK to have 10 top 10 UK singles within one album. Sheeran was named the Global Recording Artist of the Year. His fourth studio album released in 2019 called No. 6 Collaborations Project charted at number one in most major music markets, placing at the UK number one spot for singles, I Don’t CareBeautiful People and Take Me Back to London.

In total, this young ginger-haired songster has sold more than 150 million records worldwide and has 84 million RIAA certified units. Spotify has named Ed the most-streamed artist of the decade. His concert tour was also the highest-grossing of all time as of August 2019.

Ed Sheeran has a net worth in excess of $200 million. He is a four-time Grammy Award winner and out of 325 nominations for all music awards, Ed has won 116 of them.

Eminem

Marshall Bruce Mathers III known to his fans as Eminem was made famous for his transgressive work during the early 2000s. In 2017, Eminem released his single, Unaccommodating, contained in his 11th album, Music to Be Murdered By, causing outrage with two lines of its lyrics.

Born on October 17, 1972, Eminem global success was credited with having broken racial barriers for the acceptance of white rappers. He came to represent the angst of the American underclass and is thought to be one of the greatest rappers of all time.

Eminem’s second EP Slim Shady EP (released in 1997) was the album that launched him to enjoy mainstream popularity in 1999. Eminem went on to release two more albums and then went silent for about four years before releasing Relapse in 2009 and Recovery in 2010. Recovery became a best-selling album worldwide, following which Eminem would release The Marshall Mathers LP2RevivalKamikazeand Music to Be Murdered By in 2017, all of which became number one albums in the US.  He has the rare accolade of having ten albums charting at number one on the Billboard 200, making him the only artist to have achieved this.

Eminem has so far sold over 220 million records and is the best-selling male music artist in the US as of 2010. He has won 15 Grammy Awards, and out of 362 nominations for all music awards, he has won 255 of them.

In 2020, Eminem has a net worth of $235 million.

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey, dubbed the Songbird Supreme by Guinness World Records was born March 27, 1969.  She is a worldwide sensation, by holding the record for the most number-one singles by a solo artist.

Her most successful songs, HeroWithout YouAll I Want for Christmas is YouFantasyAlways be My Baby and One Sweet Day all charted high on the US Billboard Hot 100, with One Sweet Day at the number one spot  for 16 weeks.

Mariah is said to have a five-octave vocal range, and is distinguished by her singing style of holding one syllable of a word through successive notes in a song.

Throughout her career, Carey has sold over 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. With 19 songs at the number spot on the Billboard Hot 100, Carey holds the record for the most number-one singles by a solo artist. According to the RIAA, she is the second-highest certified female singer in the US with over 66.5 million certified album units.

Mariah has also won five Grammy Awards, and out of 377 nominations for all music awards, she has won 337 with 3 inductions into halls of fame.

As of 2020, Mariah has a net worth of about $500 million.

Billy Joel

William Martin Joel is one of the best-selling solo music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Born in 1949 in New York, Joel took piano lessons as a young kid and dropped out of high school later to pursue a career in music. In 1976, after two previous studio albums, Joel released The Stranger, his most commercially and critically successful album, with the world-renowned staple Just the Way You Are and She’s Always a Woman.

In the 20 years of a solo career, Joel has produced 33 Top 40 hits in the U.S., all of which he wrote himself, and three of which It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me, Tell Her About It, and We Didn’t Start the Fire finished at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Joel has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards, and won five of them, including Album of the Year for 52nd Street. Joel was inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

He is one of the best-selling music artist of all time, having sold over 150 million records worldwide. His 1985 compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol 1 & 2 is one of the best-selling albums of all time in the US according to RIAA certification. 

Out of 40 nominations for all music awards, Billy Joel won 13 of them.

As of 2020, Billy Joel is worth $225 million.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith’s I’m Not the Only One was not only hugely popular when it reached top ten in the UK, but enjoyed further popularity when it was meshed up with Ed Sheeran’s Think Out Loud.

Samuel Frederick Smith was born on May 19, 1992 in the UK. He is an English singer and songwriter.  Sam rose to prominence after being featured on Disclosure’s (an electronic music duo) single Latch. In 2014, Sam released his debut studio album In the Lonely Hour to great success, spawning five singles which have charted on the top spots on sides of the Atlantic. The album won four awards, at the 57thAnnual Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album, Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and nominations for Album of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.

Smith’s next big hit would be the title song for the 2015 installment of the James Bond films, Spectre, for which Smith won the Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Smith has since released a couple of chart-topping and award-winning albums. 

In total Smith has won four Grammy Awards and out of a total of 74 nominations for all music awards, he has won 29.

Sam Smith is worth about $40 million dollars. He identifies with being genderqueer, which comprises a range of non-binary sexuality and orientation.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles Robinson was a blind singer-songwriter, brilliant pianist and composer. He was widely said to have pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by meshing up blues, jazz, R&B and gospel into his music.

One of Charles’ greatest hits Georgia On My Mind was the first of his three career No. 1 hits on Billboard Hot 100. His 1962 album, Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music became his first album to top the Billboard 200.  Charles also reached the Top 40 on various Billboard charts with quite a few of his singles.

Charles is a 17-time Grammy Award winner out of 37 nominations. Ray was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. 10 of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and in 2002, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Charles No. 10 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of all time”, and No. 2 on their list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” in 2008.

As at the time of his death in 2004, he was worth $25 million.

Aretha Franklin

No list of successful singers is complete without mentioning Aretha Louise Franklin, born March 25, 1942. She was a singer-songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights, activist. Aretha began her career singing gospel at the church where her father was a minister.

At 18, she began singing secular songs and became a recording artist for Columbia Records. It was with Atlantic Records in 1966 that she became successful with hit songs like I Never Loved a ManRespectYou Make Me Feel Like A Woman, and I Say a Little Prayer. With these songs that endured, she was bound for the crown of Queen of Soul.

Aretha sold more than 75 million records worldwide and she is distinguished for having a number 1 record for each decade of her career since the 60s.

Besides topping music charts, Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom and sang at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009.  The Pulitzer Prize jury awarded Franklin in 2019 a posthumous special citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.” Franklin sadly passed on in 2018.

Out of 32 nominations for all music awards, she took home 28 of them.  

As at the time of her death, Aretha Franklin was worth $80 million.

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