Rolling Stone has updated its 100 Greatest Singers list from 2008 with its new 200 Greatest Singers Of All Time.
And while the roster of artists is extensive and varied, due in part to the change in criteria, there are a few questionable decisions that have outraged fans, but likely none more galvanizing than having Celine Dion left off the list, according to TMZ.
Known for her powerful and technically skilled vocals, the Canadian singer, 54, has also amassed more 200 million record sales worldwide, all while winning a slew of accolades and awards over her five decades in the limelight.
Fan backlash: Despite being known for her powerful and technically skilled voice, Celine Dion, 54, was left off of Rolling Stones’ new 200 Greatest Singers Of All Time, which is an update of its 100 Greatest Singers list from 2008; the Canadian singer is seen in September 2019
There doesn’t appear to be any big surprises in the Top 10 of the RS list, other than Dion being snubbed.
Many would agree that having Aretha Franklin at the number one spot is a no-brainer, which was followed up by Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday and Mariah Carey, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Otis Reeding and Al Green.
While soul and R&B artists dominated the Top 10, the number 11-20 was far more varied and eclectic with the addition of rock and pop singers.
Rock and roll icons Little Richard and John Lennon were 11 and 12, followed by Patsy Cline, Freddie Mercury, Bob Dylan, Prince, Elvis Presley, Celia Cruz, Frank Sinatra and Marvin Gaye.
Some fans outraged over the Dion snub would like point out some of the questionable names on the updated roster that don’t have what most people would consider a classic voice, but that’s where the new criteria comes into play.
Star shining bright: After breaking out as a star in her native Canada with French-language albums in the 1980s, Dion would cross-over to English and become a global superstar after the release of The Colour Of My Love (1993); she’s pictured performing in 1988
Rolling Stone’s Top Ten Greatest Singers of All Time
1. Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin topped Rolling Stone’s list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time. The magazine described her voice as ‘A force of nature. A work of genius. A gift from the heavens’
2. Whitney Houston
3. Sam Cooke
4. Billie Holiday
5. Mariah Carey
Rolling Stone praised Mariah Carey’s five octave range and gushed ‘Everything from coy, breathy coos to guttural, full-bodied belts can be deployed with equally electrifying results.’ Carey came in at number 5 in the top 200
6. Ray Charles
7. Stevie Wonder
9. Otis Redding
10. Al Green
Al Green, at number 10, is described as being able to ‘evoke rapturous transport like it’s effortless.’ Rolling Stone added: ‘Few singers create the illusion of being carried away by the very song they’re singing the way he can’
Among those names that most experts would agree don’t have a better singing voice than Celine Dion included many of the rockers on the list such as Ozzy Osbourne (#112), Glen Danzig (#199), Kurt Cobain (#36), Bruce Springsteen (#77), Mick Jagger (#52), John Foggerty (#118), Patti Smith (#117), Chrissie Hynde (#114), Roger Daltry (#109), , Courtney Love (#125) and Joe Strummer (#130).
Plus, it’s obvious that crooners like Leonard Cohen (#103), Bob Dylan (#15), Lou Reed (#107) and Johnny Cash (#85) leaned more on attitude and a unique poetic style in their vocal delivery and lyrics.
Critics would also argue against most of the pop stars that included Lady Gaga (#58), Taylor Swift (#102), Usher (#97), Selena (#89), The Weeknd (#110) and George Michael (#62).
But readers need to remember that when Rolling Stone first published its 100 Greatest Singers list in 2008, journalists ‘used an elaborate voting process that included input from well-known musicians’ that skewed toward classic rock and singers from the 1960s and 1970s.
This updated version was complied by the publication’s staff and key contributors, and trended towards the last 100 years of popular music, while asking its readers to ‘keep in mind that this is the Greatest Singers list, not the Greatest Voices List.’
What seemed to matter the most to RS journalists was ‘originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy.
Making the case: Many fans and critics would argue against rocker Ozzy Osbourne (#112) being on the RS list while Dion was left off
Making the case: Dion fans and singing experts would also argue against the crooners that made the list like Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, as well as many of the pop stars: the late Velvet Underground star is seen in June 2013, four months before his death
Ten (Rather Controversial) Stars Who Beat Celine Dion To Be Included On Rolling Stone’s List Of Greatest Singers of All Time
1. Brandy (No. 193)
Brandy made the cut, according to Rolling Stone, for her ‘transition from Nineties teen queen — America’s sweetheart on the sitcom Moesha — to sophisticated adult R&B stylist’
2. Usher (No. 97)
3. Kurt Cobain (No. 36)
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is included in the list because his voice ‘was a sound at war with itself: often harsh to the point of being grotesque but resolutely melodic even at its ugliest’
4. Courtney Love (No. 130)
5. Billie Eilish (No. 198)
6. SZA (No. 180)
7. Ariana Grande (No. 43)
There ‘are layers to her genius,’ said Rolling Stone about putting Ariana Grande on their list of greatest singers. ‘Ariana is such an apt and knowledgeable vocalist that she also recognizes the power of restraint, wielding her gift in both showstopping and simple ways’
8: Lana del rey (No. 175)
9. Ozzy Osbourne (No. 112)
10: Morrissey (No. 166)
British vocalist Morrissey is described as ‘one of pop’s most emotionally articulate singers.’ Rolling Stone states: ‘Nobody can top Morrissey when it comes to flamboyantly melancholy ballads’
‘These are the vocalists that have shaped history and defined our lives — from smooth operators to raw shouters, from gospel to punk, from Sinatra to Selena to SZA,’ the article read.
Dion is far and away one of the most accomplished and impactful singers in modern history after having first emerged in her native Canada as a teen star with a series of french-language albums in the 1980s.
She would go on to gain international fame by winning the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest.
After learning to speak English, Dion signed to Epic Records in the United States, eventually releasing her debut English-language album, Unison (1990).
In the wake of her third English-language album, The Colour Of My Love (1993), the Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada native had become a global superstar.
Over these past four decades she has won five Grammys, six AMAs, seven Billboard Awards, 12 World Music Awards, 20 JUNO Awards, to name a few.
She also hold a slew of global records that includes best-selling French-language albums in history; best-selling contemporary female artist; first and only female artist to have two of her albums sell over 30 million copies worldwide; World’s best-selling solo artist of the 90s; and second woman in history to sell 50 million albums in Europe, among many others.
It appears Dion, herself, doesn’t seem to care that she was left off the Rolling Stone 200 Greatest Singers Of All Time, considering she hasn’t responded publicly
Major credentials: With sales of more 200 million record sales worldwide, Celine Dion is among the best-selling musical artists of all time; she is seen performing in France in July 2017