Female singers of the 70s: 20 iconic musicians who are unforgettable

Female singers of the 70s: 20 iconic musicians who are unforgettable

Music is one of the oldest mediums for dishing out entertainment. It gets better with different genres. Interestingly, the female musicians of the 70s are part of why certain kinds of music are popular now. So, who are these iconic and unforgettable 70s female musicians?

Female singers of the 70s
Singer/artist Grace Slick attends her art exhibition at Art One Gallery in Santa Monica, California. Photo: David Livingston
Source: Getty Images

Many female singers of the 70s did not just enter the industry in that decade; some had been around for a decade or two. The 1970s, however, was a game-changer for them, and they took the opportunity, crooning the tales of love and heartbreak.

20 iconic female singers of the 70s

Notable female singers have contributed immensely to the world of music. While the list is in no particular order, below are some of those female singers whose skills cannot be forgotten so soon.

1. Bonnie Rait

Female singers of the 70s
Bonnie spent most of their career hoping to be recognised at cafes and small clubs. Photo: @bonnieraittofficial
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Bonnie Lynn Raitt
  • Date of birth: 8th November 1949
  • Age: 72 years old
  • Profession: Blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and activist

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Bonnie is better referred to as a musical pioneer when playing some instruments like the electric guitar and bottlenecks. Her journey towards stardom was daunting as she is one of the female singers of the 70s and 80s who spent most of their career hoping to be recognised at cafes and small clubs. Her determination would, however, pay off in the 90s.

2. Aretha Franklin

Female singers of the 70s
Aretha's career began in the church, where she was part of the choir. Photo: @arethafranklin
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Aretha Louise Franklin
  • Date of birth: 25 March 1942
  • Died: 16 August 2018
  • Profession: Singer, songwriter, and pianist

This is one of the most celebrated female singers of the 60s and 70s and was dubbed the Queen of Soul. She was born in 1942, and by the 1950s, she was already making some strides in the music industry.

3. Dolly Parton

famous female singers
Dolly Parton has over 100 singles in her career and has won 11 Grammy Awards. Photo: @dollyparton
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Dolly Rebecca Parton
  • Date of birth: 19 January 1946
  • Age: 76 years old
  • Place of birth: Sevier County, Tennessee, United States
  • Profession: Singer-songwriter, actress, and businesswoman

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Only a few male and female musicians in the industry can hold a lantern to Dolly's face in popularity and musical dexterity in the 70s. The country singer has over 100 singles in her career and has won 11 Grammy Awards from about 50 nominations. She is also an actress, activist and entrepreneur, among other things.

4. Joni Mitchell

Female singers of the 70s
Mitchell ran singing gigs in the United States of America and Canada before finally getting her fame in the 1960s. Photo: @jonimitchell
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell CC
  • Date of birth: 7 November 1943
  • Age: 78 years old
  • Place of birth: Fort Macleod, Canada
  • Profession: Singer-songwriter

Mitchell used to do singing gigs in the United States of America and Canada before finally getting her fame in the 1960s. She has won eight Grammys to this day since she made her breakthrough. Renowned for iconic albums such as Court and Spark in the 1970s, the Canadian continues to practice her career to date actively.

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5. Donna Summer

Female singers of the 70s
Donna is one of the best-selling artists in record sales, with over 130 million worldwide sales. Photo: @officialdonnasummer
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: LaDonna Adrian Gaines
  • Stage name: Donna Summer
  • Date of birth: 31 December 1948
  • Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Died: 17 May 2012

LaDonna Adrian Gaines is one of the best-selling artists in record sales, with over 130 million worldwide sales. Her genre includes the dance and music scene and RnB, Soul, and Disco. Summer's albums in the 70s made it to the top 30 on the charts.

6. Grace Slick

Female singers of the 70s
Grace was the lead singer for the Jefferson Airplane band. Photo: Mark Sullivan
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Grace Barnett Wing
  • Best known as: Grace Slick
  • Date of birth: 30 October 1939
  • Age: 82 years old
  • Place of birth: Highland Park, Illinois, United States
  • Profession: Artist, painter, singer-songwriter (retired)

As her name suggests, Grace is Slick with several music genres and is one of the most prominent female pop singers of the 1970s. Her real name is Grace Barnett Wing, and she was the lead singer for the Jefferson Airplane band, which went on to be known as the Jefferson Starship and, later, just simply, Starship. She is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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7. Patti Smith

Female singers of the 70s
Patti Smith performs Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather" at Cain's Ballroom. Photo: Lester Cohen
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Patricia Lee Smith
  • Date of birth: 30 December 1946
  • Age: 75 years
  • Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Profession: Singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet

Patti may not have enjoyed the sterling recognition on a global scale like some of her colleagues, but she is not a pushover when it comes to music, especially when songwriting is the topic. She wrote prose and poetry.

8. Olivia Newton-John

Female singers of the 70s
Olivia is known to have sold over 100 million copies of her music. Photo: @therealonj
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE
  • Date of birth: 26th September 1948
  • Age: 73 years old
  • Place of birth: Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Profession: Singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, activist

The list of 70s music artists would be incomplete without this iconic figure in the mentions. Olivia is known to have sold over 100 million copies of her music. In addition, she had two albums from the 1970s topping the charts for a while. She became even more popular after getting a co-lead role in a musical movie titled Grease in 1978.

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9. Linda Ronstadt

Female singers of the 70s
Linda Ronstadt is a prominent force in the art of making music. Photo: @lindaronstadtmusic
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Linda Maria Ronstadt
  • Date of birth: 15th July 1946
  • Age: 75 years old
  • Place of birth: Tucson, Arizona, United States

With 10 Grammys from about 26 nominations, Linda is a prominent force in the art of making music. She has been in this game for as far back as the 70s and dropped eight albums in that decade. You can see her in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame since she was added in 2014.

10. Stevie Nicks

Female singers of the 70s
Inductee Stevie Nicks answers questions in the press room during the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center. Photo: Dia Dipasupil
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Stephanie Lynn Nicks
  • Date of birth: 26 May 1948
  • Age: 73 years old
  • Place of birth: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
  • Profession: Singer, songwriter, and producer

Stevie was part of the famous Fleetwood Mac band that rocked the 1970s with well-accepted albums. Their 1977 Rumours album was number one on the charts for more than six months, and this helped Stevie and the rest of her band win an American Music Award and a Grammy.

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11. Carly Simon

Female singers of the 70s
Carly became a force when she went solo in the 1970s. Photo: @carlysimonhq
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Carly Elisabeth Simon
  • Date of birth: 25 June 1945
  • Age: 76 years old
  • Place of birth: New York, New York, United States
  • Profession: Singer, songwriter, children's author

Formerly the other half of a music duo better known as The Simon Sisters in the 60s, Carly became a force to reckon with when she went solo in the 1970s and won a Grammy almost immediately. She has about 15 albums and has worked on theme songs for numerous movies.

12. Gladys Knight

Female singers of the 70s
Gladys Knight is one of the female artists that rocked in the 70s. Photo: @msgladysknight
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Gladys Maria Knight
  • Nickname: The Empress of Soul
  • Date of birth: 28 May 1944
  • Age: 77 years old
  • Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

If any female rock singers deserve an entry on this list, it has to be Gladys, who led the vocal section of a band popularly known as The Pips. Many people attributed the band's success to her vocal prowess.

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13. Diana Ross

Female singers of the 70s
Diana Ross is a symbol of motivation in the female community. Photo: @dianaross
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Diana Ross
  • Date of birth: 26 March 1944
  • Age: 78 years old
  • Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Profession: Entertainer and actress

Arguably one of the most famous black singers in the 1970s, Diana continues to be a symbol of motivation in the female community. She was part of a band known as The Supremes until she decided to go solo in 1969. She never won a Grammy from her 12 nominations but got the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

14. Cher

Female singers of the 70s
Cher was popular before, during, and is still famous beyond the 70s. Photo: @cher
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Cherilyn Sarkisian
  • Nickname: Goddess of Pop
  • Date of birth: 20 May 1946
  • Age: 75 years old
  • Place of birth: El Centro, California, United States

Cher was popular before, during, and is still famous beyond the 70s. She dabbled in acting throughout her career.

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15. Etta James

black singers in the 70s
Etta enjoyed a successful career from the 50s to the millennium's second decade. Photo: @ettajamesofficial
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Jamesetta Hawkins
  • Best known as: Etta James
  • Date of birth: 25 January 1938
  • Place of birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Died: 20 January 2012

Etta enjoyed a successful career from the 50s to the millennium's second decade. She started her music career as a girl in the church choir. She dropped her first album in the early 60s, and the accompanying fame helped her become one of the greatest in the 70s.

16. Barbara Streisand

Female singers of the 70s
Barbra was popularly known as one of the hottest singers of 70s female songs. Photo: @barbara_streisan
Source: Instagram
  • Full name: Barbara Joan "Barbra" Streisand
  • Date of birth: 24 April 1942
  • Age: 80 years old
  • Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Profession: Singer and actress

Barbra was popularly known as one of the hottest singers of the 70s. She was a great musician and was already enjoying enormous success in her acting career in the late 60s. She recorded millions of sales for her albums, and only a few musicians or bands could challenge her.

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17. Lesley Gore

Who were popular female singers in the 70s?
American singer-songwriter Lesley Gore performing on the TV show, Thank Your Lucky Stars, at Alpha Studios, Birmingham. Photo: David Redfern
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Lesley Sue Goldstein
  • Best known as: Lesley Gore
  • Date of birth: 2 May 1946
  • Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Died: 16 February 2015

Gore was an astute pop musician and later television show host who knew what to do with her fame when she got it. She became known for her support for the LGTBQ+ community and was even recognized as a lesbian.

18. Dusty Springfield

Female singers of the 70s
Dusty Springfield performing on Lulu's BBC TV show, It's Lulu. Photo: Michael Putland
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien OBE
  • Best known as: Dusty Springfield
  • Date of birth: 16 April 1939
  • Place of birth: West Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
  • Died: 2nd March 1999

This music icon became a source of inspiration to singing women in the 60s and 70s. Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien was her birth name, and she became popular with the release of her first album titled Dusty in Memphis.

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19. Karen Carpenter

Female singers of the 70s: 20 iconic musicians who are unforgettable
Karen Carpenter plays the drums while singing into a microphone. Photo: Hulton Archive
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Karen Anne Carpenter
  • Date of birth: 2 March 1950
  • Place of birth: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • Died: 4 February 1983

Karen had her celebrity status snatched away by death at 32 years, but she spent the better part of those years changing the narrative of pop music for the generations to come. She discovered her love for music as a kid and joined her school choir; thankfully, she had a brother who also loved music, and together, they formed a music duo. They sold over 90 million record sales worldwide.

20. Carole King

Female singers of the 70s
Inductee Carole King attends the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: Arturo Holmes
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Carole King Klein
  • Date of birth: 9 February 1942
  • Age: 80 years old
  • Place of birth: Manhattan, New York, United States
  • Profession: Singer, songwriter, and musician

The singer, producer, and composer has seen the better parts of at least five decades and should, undoubtedly, be on the list of best female singers of all time. Perhaps one of her most significant accomplishments was one of her 70s albums titled Tapestry, staying on the charts for as long as six years.

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FAQs

  1. Who were popular female singers in the 70s? The likes of Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, and Karen Carpenter are among those on the list.
  2. Who was a popular singer in the 70s? Stevie Nicks is, undoubtedly, one of them. Others included Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin etc.
  3. Who were the biggest band of the 70s? The Beatles, The Supremes, and The Pips took the centre stage.
  4. What was the biggest selling single of the 70s? Rivers of Babylon was one of them.
  5. Who was the most successful female rock and roll singer in the 70s? Patti Smith is one of the iconic figures.
  6. Who is the greatest female vocalist of all time? Aretha Franklin is attributed to be one of them.

The female singers of the 70s are no pushovers when discussing the giant strides that the industry experienced in that era. These women, some of whom are now late, won several global awards for their singing skills and activism in support of their gender and the human race at large.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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