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Top 5 Best Female Vocalist of the 70's

Updated on February 4, 2019
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The 70's was an era of disco, t.v. sitcoms, movies, and music that most of us remember. People enjoyed life more, with less stress.

1. Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand is one of the greatest female voices during the 70's era and to date. Some of her recording hits are "Evergreen", "The Way We Were", "Stoney End", and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", just to name a few. In 1968, and all through the 70's she was one of the most popular female artists during that time.

Streisand has sold more recordings as a female artist in history. She was the number one female recording artist ever.

A Brooklyn, New York native she grew up around talent. Streisand's mother Diana Rosen was a singer but decided later to go in a different direction by becoming a school secretary.

Early in her career, she sang in nightclubs in Manhattan, New York. Streisand also worked on Broadway; she appeared in the musical " I Can Get It For You Wholesale".

In 1963 she was signed to Columbia Records and recorded the album titled "The Barbra Streisand Album" which put her on the path to success. She won an award for album of the year and was named best female vocalist.

In 1967, Streisand received death threats; she stopped performing in public for years because she feared for her life. But, in 1994 she decided to perform again on stage and followed that with a world tour. Barbra Streisand's career has spanned for over 5 decades, making her one of the best female artists of all time.

2. Donna Summer

Known as the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer was a singer/songwriter born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 31, 1948. She was signed with Oasis Records in 1973-75 and other record labels after; having a string of 70's hits that was loved and well known by most of us were "She Works Hard For The Money", "Bad Girls", "Last Dance", "Hot Stuff", "Love To Love You Baby" and there were plenty of other hits. She was a sensational vocalist and performer.

Summer gained her stardom status during the 70's disco era. Early in her career, she sang gospel, and later joined a rock group known as "The Crow". She topped the Billboard charts with hit after hit. Summer was a powerhouse in the dance clubs around the world, earning her the title she's so famous for.

It is reported that Donna Summer has sold over 100,000 million copies over her career making her one of the best top selling female artist ever.

After a lengthy battle with lung cancer, she lost her fight. She believed the 9/11 explosions caused her illness because of the asbestos that was found in the rubble of the collapsed buildings. Donna Summer succumbed to lung cancer in 2012. Rest In Peace, Queen of Disco.

3. Olivia Newton John

Olivia Newton-John was most known for starring in the movie "Grease" in 1978, playing the role of the goody two shoes Sandy Olsson, girlfriend of Danny Zuko, (John Travolta).

Some of her famous hits throughout the 70s were "Summer Nights", "Hopelessly Devoted To You", Let Me Be There", "Magic", and "Little Bit More Love". Born in Cambridge, England in 1948, Newton-John parents moved to Melbourne, Australia when she was just a little girl.

Her music career started when she was discovered on the show "Sing, Sing, Sing" when she was just five years old. Newton-John transitioned into a mainstream soft pop star after singing pop country and had no problem belting out the notes while soothing it over with her soft, subtle angelic soprano vocals.

She had much success during the 70's era, charting the Billboards. Here in the US Newton-John had five singles that went top ten. She went on to continue to keep the momentum going over into the '80s with the hit "Physical". Her career has spanned for over five decades; she's still performing and captivating us with her sweet soft voice.

4. Minnie Riperton

The 1975 single "Loving You" is what Minnie Riperton is most known for. Riperton an American singer-songwriter had other hits during the 70s.

Songs like "Inside My Love", "Memory Lane", "Perfect Angel", and "Light My Fire" made Minnie a powerhouse vocalist that had a 5 and a half octave range.

Minnie Riperton was born November 8th, 1947 to Thelma and Daniel Riperton. Growing up on Chicago's south side; she sang lead in a group called "The Gems" and "The Rotary Connection".

During 1967-1971 she was the 1st five and a half octave range vocalist to hit the charts. Yes! Minnie could belt out notes higher than Mariah Carey.

Riperton studied Opera and had vocal training that taught her how to sing like a bird.

Sadly, Riperton's success and career were short-lived. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976. She had a mastectomy but continued to perform, even at times when she was sick and not feeling well. Early in the year of 1979, she did a breast cancer TV commercial at a time when disclosing that kind of information was taboo.

On July 12th, 1979 Minnie Riperton lost her battle with breast cancer. She died in the arms of her husband Richard Rudolph, leaving behind two beautiful children. Maya and Marc Rudolph.

She was truly one of the best recording artists of her time that were taken too soon. Her famous "Loving You" single is still played and a favorite with many. We truly lost one of a kind. A legend of her time.

5. Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter an American soft rock singer/drummer, that was a member of the brother-sister group the "Carpenters".

Karen was the drummer of the famous duo. Born March 2, 1950, in New Haven, Connecticut. Her Brother Richard Carpenter formed the duo in 1968. Richard on the piano and Karen on drums. The "Carpenters" became one of the most successful groups during the 70s with hits like "Top Of The World", "They Long To Be"; "We've Only Just Begun", and "Rainy Days and Mondays". Karen's unique voice was one of her best attributes, even though she considered herself a drummer first. Her range has been described as a countertenor; which was a much different sounding voice than what we hear with today's recording artists. The 1989 film titled "The Karen Carpenter Story" is a biopic about her life with the "Carpenters" and the struggles she had with anorexia. Karen Carpenter died on February 4, 1983, in her sleep from heart failure due to an ongoing battle with anorexia. Another fine artist with an amazing vocal talent that was taken too soon.


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