Burnaboy African Giant ranked no. 197 on Rolling Stone’s 200 Greatest Singers of All Time list KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Sunday, January 1, 2023

Burnaboy African Giant ranked no. 197 on Rolling Stone’s 200 Greatest Singers of All Time list

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Burnaboy African Giant ranked no. 197 on Rolling Stone’s 200 Greatest Singers of All Time list. 

Before you start scrolling (and commenting), remember that this is the list of the greatest singers, not the list of the greatest voices. talent is impressive; Genius is transcendent. Sure, a lot of the folks here were born with massive whistles, perfect pitch and limitless range. Others have rougher, weirder, or more delicate instruments. Our article on the man who ranked at No. 112 says, “Ozzy Osbourne doesn’t have what most people would call a good voice, but boy does he have a great one.” That might appeal to more than a few people apply here.

In all cases, what counted for us was originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog and the breadth of their musical legacy. A voice can be gorgeous like Mariah Carey’s, rugged like Toots Hibbert’s, understated like Willie Nelson’s, slippery and voluptuous like D’Angelo’s or stimulating like Bob Dylan’s. But in the end, the singers behind it are here for a reason: they can reshape the world just by opening their mouths.

CHICAGO - AUGUST 1995: Singer Brandy performs during 'The 1995 Sears Peak Performance Program' at the Park West Theater in Chicago, Illinois in August 1995. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
Brandy Norwood made the transition from Nineties teen queen — America’s sweetheart on the sitcom Moesha — to sophisticated adult R&B stylist. She grew up singing in church, graduating to prime pop bangers like “I Wanna Be Down” and “Sittin’ Up in My Room.” She hit Number One at the height of the TRL era with her Monica duet “The Boy Is Mine.” Brandy aimed for a more adult tone in her Coldplay-influenced 2004 Afrodisiac and a duet with her brother Ray J on the Phil Collins remake “Another Day in Paradise.” She also sang in a classic Verzuz battle in 2020, going up against her old rival (and friend) Monica. —R.S.

Burna Boy
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - AUGUST 13: Burna Boy performs at the 2022 Way Out West Festival on August 13, 2022 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Julia Reinhart/WireImage)
A Nigerian cultural giant, Burna Boy is the ambassador of Afrobeats as a global movement that can feel equally at home climbing the European charts and maintaining a subtle emotional connection with past African genres like highlife. Burna’s voice is sweet like caramel, but it can also soar on slickly produced tracks like his recent megahit “Last Last,” or the 2019 gem “Anybody,” amped up by deep bass accents and insanely sophisticated polyrhythms. His vocal lines find inspiration in everything from hip-hop and R&B to hooky pop and dancehall — the world is his playground. —E.L.

Billie Eilish

Opting for subtlety instead of force or volume, Billie Eilish’s restraint makes the big emotions in her writing all the more intense. After revealing her soul-inflected tone at 14 with “Ocean Eyes,” she’s since mastered the technical elements that now comprise her signature style: controlled slides, delicate vibrato, and breathy texture that has inspired a new generation of pop singers to emulate. Though she leaned into an ASMR-like deadpan for her spooky 2019 debut album, she played with the timeless sorrow of 1950s jazz and contemporary pop on her sophomore effort, Happier Than Ever, which also saw her releasing a cathartic belt on its title track. —M.K.


When Rosalía sings, it feels as if she’s pulling out decades of history from her throat and resurrecting them into thin air. Her vocal tone, the intuitive melismas and rhythmic accents of which were built from training in flamenco for more than a decade, possesses a crystalline nature that in turn awakens emotions deep in the hearts of listeners. With her 2018 breakthrough album, El Mal Querer, she started heavily incorporating Auto-Tune — not to mask her voice, but to instead emphasize the nuanced texture of her performance, which fluidly shifts from ferocity to playfulness to sorrow. Continuing to bring tradition into a new future, she pushed harder into experimentalism with 2022’s Motomami. —M.K.

Aretha Franklin described her mission as a singer like this: “Me with my hand outstretched, hoping someone will take it.” That kind of deep, empathetic bond between artist and listener is the most elemental connection in music. And you can think of our list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time as a celebration of that bond. 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.

When Rolling Stone first published its list of the 100 Greatest Singers in 2008, we used an elaborate voting process that included input from well-known musicians. The results skewed toward classic rock and singers from the Sixties and Seventies. This new list was compiled our staff and key contributors, and it encompasses 100 years of pop music as an ongoing global conversation, where iconic Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar lands between Amy Winehouse and Johnny Cash, and salsa queen Celia Cruz is up there in the rankings with Prince and Marvin Gaye. You might notice that, say, there isn’t any opera on our list — that’s because our purview is pop music writ large, meaning that almost all the artists on this list had significant careers as crossover stars making popular music for the masses. 

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