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Favorite Female Singers -Karen Carpenter - Canadian Female Singers and American Female Singers

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Karen Carpenter

A photo of Karen Carpenter

A photo of Karen Carpenter

My List of favorite female singers starts with Karen Carpenter

I have heard and seen a lot of female singers in my lifetime, starting way back in the 1950s with artistes like Ella Fitzgerald. Peggy Lee ( Does anyone remember 'Fever' ? How could anyone forget 'Fever'?) right through to the present time!

Having said all of that I am nominating Karen Carpenter as the best female singer that I have been fortunate enough to hear.

Unfortunately no longer with us I feel she has become a legend with a legion of loyal followers.The rest of the list is in no particular order of popularity.

Who I prefer to listen to depends on my mood at the time. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes happy.

I hope you don't mind that I am actually cheating a bit with a duet but I feel she so dominated with her singing that no one really notices her brother Richard!

Karen Carpenter - Theres a Kind of Hush

Karen Carpenter

Karen Anne Carpenter was born on March 2, 1950 and to our great loss passed away on February 4, 1983'

Karen was a highly successful American singer who first came to prominence as a drummer.

Karen Carpenter's drumming skills, although much less generally known than her singing ability, were not unnoticed. Carpenter was placed first in Playboy's reader poll for Best Rock Drummer of 1975. But it is for her vocal performances that she is best remembered.

Karen with her brother Richard comprised "The Carpenters" and between them composed and sang many great songs.

Karen suffered from anorexia nervosa, a little known disease at the time. Apparently recovering, she died suddenly at the age of 32 from heart failure later attributed to complications related to her illness.

Karen Carpenter is my No 1 Female Singer I present for your listening pleasure a song that I never tire of hearing.

Dolly Parton - Great Balls of Fire

Dolly Parton

Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on January 19, 1946 and is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter, author, actor and philanthropist, known for her prolific work in country music.

In the 44 years since her national chart debut, she remains the most successful female country music artist, with 25 number-one singles, a record for any female performer, and a record 42 top-10 country albums. She has the distinction of having performed on a top-5 country hit in each of the last five decades. Now those figures speak for themselves.

She is known for her distinctive mountain soprano, sometimes bawdy humor, flamboyant dress sense and voluptuous figure.

I realize that Dolly Parton will not be be on everyone's list of favorites, but hey this is my list, so there!

Dolly has written and sung some great songs, One in particular is the theme song from "Bodyguard" and sung by Witney Huston "I will always love you".

Personally I think Dolly's version which from memory she sang to Burt Reynolds in the "Best Little Whore House" ? is the better rendition.

Dolly Parton has to be on my list as one of the best. I offer this version of "Great Balls of Fire" as a tribute to her versatility.

Crying - a duet with Roy Orbison

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K D Lang

Kathryn Dawn Lang OC ( Order of Canada) was born on November 2, 1961, in Edmonton, Alberta and is a Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer and songwriter.

Lang first came to the attention of the US audiences when she toured with Roy Orbison as one of three female backup singers.

Her career received a huge boost when Orbison chose her to record a duet of his standard, "Crying".

This duet won them the Grammy Award for "Best Country Collaboration with Vocals" in 1989.

The song was first used in the Jon Cryer film "Hiding Out" released in 1987.

Lang won the American Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her 1989 album, "Absolute Torch and Twang".

In 2003, she won her fourth Grammy Award, this time for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for her collaboration with Tony Bennett on "A Wonderful World".

On June 3, 2008, it was announced that she would receive a star on Canada's "Walk of Fame".

In April 2008, lang spent time in Melbourne, Australia, this was in connection with her support for the Tibet human rights issues. On April 24, 2008, she joined pro-Tibet protesters in Canberra as the Beijing 2008 Olympic torch relay made its way through the Australian capital.

What list would be complete without kd lang. I have killed two birds with one stone by presenting her singing a song written by a favorite of mine Roy Orbison

Diana Krall

Diana Krall

Diana Jean Krall, OC, OBC was born on November 16, 1964 and is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer.

Diana is known for her graceful contralto vocals.

Diana Krall married British musician Elvis Costello on December 6, 2003 at Elton John's estate outside London.

Diana's and Elvis's twin sons Dexter and Frank , were born December 6, 2006 in New York City.

Diana's award include:-

Grammy's for Jazz Vocal Performance in 1999 and Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2002.

Diana Krall has become my favorite Jazz female singer by virtue of this one song "East of the Sun" (and West of the Moon)

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand who was born Barbara Joan Streisand, on April 24, 1942 is an American singer and film and theater actress.

Barbra also reached great heights as a composer, political activist, film producer and director.

Barbra Streisand has won Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Original Song as well as multiple Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and Golden Globe Awards.

Miss Streisand is one of the most successful female entertainers in modern entertainment history and one of the best selling solo recording artists in the US.

Barbra Streisand has sold over 71 million albums. She is the highest ranking female artist on the Recording Industry Association of America's Top Selling Artists list.

Streisand is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award.

Barbra Streisand is on my list of female singers because she can sing just about any type of song. Here I give you "Woman in Love"

Bette Midler

Bette Midler AKA "The Divine Miss M,"

Bette Midler was born on December 1, 1945 and is an American singer, actress and comedienne, also known (as her informal stage name) as The Divine Miss M.

During her career, she has won four Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards.

Midler began her singing career in the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in the city, where she became close to her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow, who produced her first major album, The Divine Miss M, in 1973.

Bette looks back on her bathhouse days with pride and often says that she wears the label 'Bathhouse Betty' with pride″.

I present her in this article in the role that I adore her in and I am sure you will if not get a laugh at least raise a smile.

Without any further ado I present:-

" Dolores DeLago and the Delago Sisters and her swinging balls!"

Dolores DeLago

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack who was born on February 10, 1937 is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician.

Roberta is notable in the areas of jazz, soul, R&B and folk. Flack is best known for singles such as:-

  • "Killing Me Softly with His Song",
  • "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face",
  • "Where Is the Love"
  • "The Closer I Get to You" (two of her many duets with Donny Hathaway),
  • "Feel Like Makin' Love".

"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" won the 1973 Grammy Record of the Year and "Killing Me Softly with His Song" won the same award at the Grammy Awards of 1974. She and U2 are the only artists to win the award in back-to-back years.

Eva Cassidy

Eva Marie Cassidy was born on February 2, 1963 and died, sadly at the tender young age of 33, on November 2, 1996 .

Eva was an American vocalist, musician, and artist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country and pop classics.

She released her first album "The Other Side", a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown in 1992 followed by a live solo album, "Live at Blues Alley" in 1996.

Eva Cassidy was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, DC when she died of melanoma in 1996.
Four years later, Cassidy's music was brought to the attention of UK audiences when her versions of "Over the Rainbow" and "Fields of Gold" were played by Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2.

I must confess to not knowing of Eva until I heard her version of "Fields of Gold" one night on the radio. It nearly drove me mad trying to discover who was this lady with the voice of an angel.

I love Eva Cassidy's version of "Fields of Gold" written by Sting.

The Power of Love

Celine Dion

Céline Marie Claudette Dion, CC, OQ was born on March 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec and is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress.

Celine Dion was born to a large, impoverished family, and emerged as a teenage star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record.

In 1999 at the height of her success, Dion announced a temporary retirement from entertainment in order to start a family and spend time with her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

She returned to the music scene in 2002 and signed a three-year (later extended to almost five years) contract to perform nightly in a five-star theatrical show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

In 2004, after surpassing 175 million in album sales worldwide, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for becoming the best-selling female artist of all time.

In April 2007 Sony BMG announced that Celine Dion had sold over 200 million albums worldwide. That is quite an achievement, and a tribute to her talent.

Shania Twain and Anne Murray

Shania Twain and Anne Murray

Shania Twain was born Eilleen Regina Edwards, on August 28, 1965 and is a Canadian singer and songwriter in the country and pop music genres.

Her third album "Come on Over" is the best-selling album of all time by a female musician and the best-selling album in the history of country music.

Shania Twain is the only female musician to have three albums certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America and is also the second best selling artist in Canada, behind fellow Canadian Céline Dion, with three of her studio albums being certified double diamond by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

Anne Murray

Anne Murray, was born Morna Anne Murray on June 20, 1945and is a Canadian singer.

Anne Murray has performed in Pop, Country and Adult Contemporary styles. So far, her albums have sold over 54 million copies.

Murray was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach #1 on the U.S. charts, and also the first to earn a gold record for one of her signature songs, "Snowbird" (1970).

Anne Murray has been classed a role model for other Canadian international success stories such as Céline Dion, Sarah McLachlan and Shania Twain.

Anne is also the first woman and the first Canadian to win "Album of the Year" at the Country Music Association Awards for her 1984 album "A Little Good News".

© 2009 Peter


Peter (author) from Australia on June 25, 2019:

Thanks Reginald certainly agree with you about the clean and smooth tone.

Although Karen has, sadly not been with us for such a long time her voice has not dated and she is still on any Playlist that I listen to.

So glad you enjoyed the Hub.

Reginald Thomas from Connecticut on June 25, 2019:

I enjoyed this hub especially the video examples. My favorite female singer is Karen Carpenter. Such a clean, smooth tone.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 08, 2015:

@dahoglund singers like Karen Carpenter do not come along that often do they? I feel that it was a 'privilege' for us to have her as long as we did!

What a shame she is no longer with us :(

I also like Emmy Lou Harris, I guess we must have similar tastes ?

@Jodah, mate I have the same thing, whenever I hear one of her songs it just 'resonates' with me somehow or other ?

Great to know that you enjoyed the collection ! So many great Female Singers to choose from it was hard to break it down into a short list !

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 08, 2015:

Hi agvulpes. I love this collection of female singers, and I agree with you Karen Carpenter is on top of my list. Her voice was heavenly and I can never get it out of my head. Love Dolly, Bette, Shania, Anne Murray...hey all of them. Good hub, voted up.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on January 08, 2015:

Karen Carpenter's death was certainly a sad thing. She would have contributed a great deal to the music world beyond what she did. My personal favorite would be Emmy Lou Harris.Sharing

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2015:

@janshares I'm so glad to meet another Karen Carpenter fan! You know even after all these years I still get a lump in my throat when I hear her voice.

I agree with you that Karen and her brother were geniuses when it comes to music :)

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on January 02, 2015:

I love your list of top female singers, agvulpes. You include some of my favorites! Your number one is my number one : Karen Carpenter. I have very few artists downloaded on my Kindle Fire, she was the first. I can listen to the greatest hits all day. I think she and her brother were geniuses. Glad I stopped by, loved hearing her voice again. Voted up and useful.

Peter (author) from Australia on February 07, 2013:

G'day Ray and thanks for reminding me of the singing ability of Agnetha Faltskog! I have always been a big fan of ABBA and did not realise that Agnetha had a 'solo' singing career. I will catch up on my research and do some pleasurable listening.

I certainly agree with you about Madonna and Karen Carpenter is certainly still tops with me. :)

RayBlack on February 02, 2013:

I agree that Karen Carpenter was the greatest female singer of all time. The rest of your list are all great singers BUT to me its Karen Carpenter, Agnetha Faltskog and then everybody else in whatever order you wish to place them except you can leave Madonna completely off the list. Just sayin!!

Peter (author) from Australia on March 12, 2011:

@marwan, still today as you say! I was listening to the Carpenters CD only just this morning. With all the sadness in the world I needed a cheer up and listened to 'On Top of the World' seemed rather appropriate?

Thanks for dropping by, there are still many fans of Karen Carpenter around the world :-)

Marwan Asmar from Amman, Jordan on March 12, 2011:

Her songs and voice continue to rediate even today

Peter (author) from Australia on March 10, 2011:

mvb you sure do know your Carpenters :-)

Thanks so much for adding all this info about Karen, I was not aware of her high register. Karen's contralto voice with vibrato turned on WOW I could listen to her all day.

What a tragic loss for us!

I certainly will look more closely at Richards work, he seems to me to have gone quiet lately, do you know what he is doing?

As you say Chet Atkins and Karen Carpenter together, yes that would be heaven on earth.

mvb thanks so much for adding to the Karen Carpenter Story.

mvb on March 10, 2011:

yes-Karen was the best easily. one thing you don,t read about much is she had a almost 4 octave range. theres one voices only short piece i believe off the first album that she sings using falsetto-a harmony part overdubbed by her in falsetto also-richard comes in with more harmony-more overdubbing-just beautiful. her vibrato-perfect in every octave. but, the contra-alto range she used, her phrasing and that vibrato made her unmatchable. and richards voice is extremely underrated. and to me as a songwriter he belongs in the same boat as mccartney,lennon,barry gibb,david gates,billy joel and others. be sure to add his solo albums songs he wrote and the instrumentals. Chet Atkins and Karen together alone. Mr.Guitar and The Voice-that would have been heaven on earth. thanks for reading this yall. reponses would be nice. bye for now, mvb

Peter (author) from Australia on December 26, 2010:

Hi Michelle thanks for your kind contribution. I have complete empathy with you about Karen Carpenter. She was a tragic loss for the whole world. I have a great concern for people who suffer from eating disorders.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment on my favorite female singers :-)

Anorexia-Reflections on December 26, 2010:

I absolutely adore Karen Carpenter! I will never the day she passed away - first, hearing it on the news and then feeling like a zombie for several weeks after. It was SO sad :( She is definitely my favorite singer of all time. Great list you have here :)

Peter (author) from Australia on October 05, 2010:

G'day wokka thanks for dropping by and thanks especially for mentioning Judith Durham. It is my own opinion that Judith reached her peak when singing with the Seekers and I say that not lightly. The Seekers did sing some great songs. Who could forget songs like 'Georgy Girl', 'I'll Never Find Another You' and my particular favorite 'The Carnival is Over'.

However having said that to me it boils down to which voice 'resonates' with each individual persons body and with mine it is undoubtedly Karen Carpenter, I have no problem if with you, it is Judith Durham I will enjoy her songs with you any day!

Thanks again for dropping by and leaving a great comment on the great topic of favourite female singers :-)

wokka on October 05, 2010:

You need to go over the A-Z on Judith Durham on Youtube. She has a voice an equal of any of these ladies and I say that , with greatest respect for Eva Cassidy and Karen Carpenter She is also more versatile than most being able to sing jazz, blues, gospel, pop and folk. AND she is Melbourne born and bred

Peter (author) from Australia on July 31, 2010:

So I am showing my age with Anne Murray lol

Every time I hear Karen Carpenter start to sing I get all sad that we lost her but by the end of the song I'm so happy that we at least had her for the short time we were able to enjoy her voice.

Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment :-)

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on July 30, 2010:

You certainly have some good ones here. Gosh...I forgot all about Anne Murray...I remember listening to her when I was young with my mom and I do love Karen Carpenter!

Peter (author) from Australia on July 09, 2010:

@sg20, I cannot add anything more, you have said it so wonderfully! Karen Carpenter is way out on top, she is my favorite singer not just on top of my favorite female singers.

sg20 on July 09, 2010:

Karen Carpenter was and always will be the greatest female voice the world has ever known.Greatly missed but the legacy lives on to her millions of fans around the world.

Peter (author) from Australia on May 19, 2010:

beth thanks for dropping by and saying hi!~

I can't really give you a reason but I could never understand how Joan Baez was that popular. Maybe I was missing something?

I guess that's why we all have our own favourite female singers lists?

Beth Arch from Pearl of the Orient Seas on May 17, 2010:

Great list! I couldn't argue more. One of my favorites is Joan Baez but she is not in your list.

Peter (author) from Australia on April 24, 2010:

Ladybythelake55, what more can I add to what you have said, apart from to agree with you completely!

It is always a pleasure to meet another Karen Carpenter lover!

Karen Carpenter 'was', 'is' and 'always will be' my favorite female singer.:-)

Ladybythelake55 from I was Born in Bethesda, Maryland and I live in Chicago,IL on April 24, 2010:

I love Karen Carpenter myself, I miss her sweet voice and when she died the world lost the sweetest voice it ever heard.

Peter (author) from Australia on April 15, 2010:

wavegirl22, I must agree with you about Barbra Streisand and her singing. She could be strident or soft depending on the song. I am not such a big fan of her in the movies, as an actor to me she does not come across as natural.

I still would have to rate Karen Carpenter as my all time favorite female singer :-)

Thanks again for contributing to the discussion!

Shari from New York, NY on April 15, 2010:

Love this tribute to all these amazing women. Barbara Streisand has to be my favorite. I swear when she sings it is as if the angels for the heavens were with her! Loved it!!

sherleyneeee342 on January 29, 2010:


Peter (author) from Australia on January 15, 2010:

daytripeer, you had me worried for a minute there old buddy.LOL

Thanks for the kind comment:-)

daytripeer on January 12, 2010:

I can appreciate anyone's list because it is their list and I appreciate yours. Now, to take a list of female singers seriously I require but one thing, Karen Carpenter, so, I take your list very seriously :-) Now, I have to go see your other list. good job.

Peter (author) from Australia on December 30, 2009:

Mike thanks for the comment. I agree that Linda and Sheryl have great voices:-)