Mariah Carey is crowned Queen.

Our fav pop queens are getting recognized for their influence in music, and the numbers don’t lie.

As we inch towards a new decade, new female pop forces are emerging, but Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Halsey… none of them would have achieved the same kind of success had it not been for the women before them.

Billboard put together a list of the top artists of all-time based off chart performance. We cherry-picked the Top 20 female solo artists of all time. Coming in at the top is Mariah Carey.

“Look, I’ve devoted my life to this career and writing songs,” Carey told Billboard of the accomplishment. “Obviously I have my own babies now. But these are my little song babies.”

Coming in at #2 is the Queen of Pop, Madonna. She has 12 Hot 100 #1s, nine Billboard 200 toppers and 38 Hot 100 top 10s.

Other BreatheHeavy favs on the list (in no particular order) include Britney Spears at #16, Lady Gaga at #15. Rihanna at #7, Adele at #10, Katy Perry at #19, Janet Jackson at #6, Beyonce at #11 and Miley Cyrus at #20.

Check out the Top Female Solo Artists of All Time list below, then write your favorite artist’s name in the comments. If you haven’t already, please register a free account and join the BreatheHeavy Community. 🙏

  1. Mariah Carey
  2. Madonna
  3. Barbra Streisand
  4. Taylor Swift
  5. Whitney Houston
  6. Janet Jackson
  7. Rihanna
  8. Celine Dion
  9. Aretha Franklin
  10. Adele
  11. Beyoncé
  12. Olivia Newton-John
  13. Diana Ross
  14. Donna Summer
  15. Lady Gaga
  16. Britney Spears
  17. P!nk
  18. Alicia Keys
  19. Katy Perry
  20. Miley Cyrus

16 Responses

  1. Adele: 4 #1s, 6 top 10, 13 charted

    Britney: 5 #1s, 13 top 10, 35 charted

    Adele ranks #36, Britney ranks #58. OK, Billboard. SMH. I don’t care how long Hello was at #1, my girl Brit deserves a higher ranking and I will fight like Taylor Swift to right this wrong!!!

  2. Interesting list. Some Britney fans are never happy are they? Let’s be real for a second. Brit hasn’t really promoted or given it her all since Circus. I am happy shes on this list period. Look at the icons on here. Katherine has worked her tail off and still didnt beat Brit…Brit flips her hair around and still outsells so many 😂

  3. Well, we know Britney was never a chart girl. She never was lucky with the charts – in the US atleast. I’m just glad she made the list. 😪 and Christina didn’t. 😂 I love Christina’s music but there’s just something so satisfying whenever Britney beats Christina in something (literally everything). 😅

  4. To me this list is fascinating. You can tell the impact of the modern music industry. In the 90’s, Mariah Carey releases 6 incredible albums, 18 #1 hits. You drop into the 2000s, things change. Cultural impact takes place over music and songwriting. Mariah slumps with 2 so/so releases, then bounces back with another 2 solid releases mid 2000s. But this is also where Britney shines. Britney’s impact is next level, but she only Ran 4 albums and stopped. She didn’t promote ‘Blackout’, and she hardly pushed ‘Circus’. The next 3 she didn’t promote at all. When your entire career is image based, you have to keep that image up. This opened the door for the next set of work horses to dominate the 10’s.

    Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, Adele…… all interesting paths to success. Out of all of them, Adele will have the lasting impact. She’ll be the one who’s vocals will potentially carry her chart success into the next decade.

    Madonna is done. Though she forged the way for the Britney’s and Gaga’s begins her, Madge can’t seem to find a way to make her music connect with fans new or old. The chart success will be non-existent.

    1. Also, I think It’s absolutely poetic that Christina isn’t on this list. She’s made 3 incredible albums, but 20 years into her career, we still don’t have a lane where Christina fits. She’s all over the place

  5. I’m indifferent towards this- I dont really know what statistics go into making a record number 1 (before streaming and now).
    Mariah definitely deserves the top spot.
    I always thought Alicia Keys was going to have a much bigger career. TS surprisingly high on there and I’m okay with it because she’s so connected to her work.

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