Female Singers in the 70s
So many musical genres were popular in the 1970s, so when considering who some of the most notable female singers in the 70s may have been, it’s necessary to look at a wide variety of music types.
Here’s a list of a few memorable female vocal artists of the decade.
Karen Carpenter – The female half of the famous pop duo, The Carpenters, drum-playing Karen had an easy, sultry voice that no doubt catapulted the group to fame. Her sweet voice was universally appealing and was the highlight of songs like Close to You and We’ve Only Just Begun.
Olivia Newtown - John – Another easy listening singer, Olivia Newton-John became a hit in her native Australia before breaking through on the airwaves in the U.S. Her voice seemed almost timid at times but she showed in the musical “Grease” that she could belt as well. Hits for Olivia included I Honestly Love You, Please Mister Please, A Little More Love, and If You Love Me Let Me Know.
Donna Summer – On the other end of the spectrum, disco queen Donna Summer had a sexy, appealing voice that kept her on the top of the charts. She was also an accomplished female songwriter. Some of her hits included Last Dance, Hot Stuff, On the Radio, and Love to Love You, Baby.
Gloria Gaynor – No list would be complete without the other Queen of Disco, Gloria Gaynor, whose recordings helped bring the genre to the forefront of popular culture. Her biggest hits included I Will Survive and Never Can Say Goodbye.
Diana Ross – In the 70s, Diana went from being the centerpiece of the Supremes to a top female solo artist. Songs that made it to the top of the charts included Touch Me in the Morning, Love Hangover, and Theme from “Mahogany”.
Carole King – An amazing female songwriter, Carole King was also an incredible performer whose folksy sound was indicative of the music of the earlier part of the decade. Greatest hits included Tapestry, It’s Too Late, and Jazz Man.
Carly Simon – Originally in a 60s duo with her sister, Simon launched her solo career in the early 70s. Best placed in the adult contemporary category, her biggest hit of the decade was You’re So Vain, but other favorites included Anticipation, That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be, Mockingbird, Nobody Does it Better, and You Belong to Me.
Linda Ronstadt – Popular in the mid to late 70s, Linda Ronstadt’s sound was often described as West Coast Rock. Her sound was a pleasant mix of country, folk, and rock and her hits included Blue Bayou, You’re No Good, and When Will I Be Loved.
Helen Reddy – Born in Australia, Helen Reddy had 15 Billboard top hits in the 1970s. Her biggest hit was I Am Women, which stayed at the top of the charts for several weeks. Other memorable offerings included Delta Dawn, Angie Baby, You and Me Against the World, Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady, and Leave Me Alone.
Cher – Cher began the 70s still paired with husband, Sonny Bono, whose vocal talents were questionable. However, when she branched out on her own, she took the world by storm with hits like Half Breed; Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves; and Dark Lady.
Barbra Streisand – Though many most closely associate Barbra with movie musicals and theater, her pop career in the 70s was quite impressive. Nearly everyone was singing along with hits like Evergreen, The Way We Were, My Heart Belongs to Me, and You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (with Neil Diamond).
Anne Murray – This Canadian pop/adult contemporary singer was a country music crossover who enjoyed a very prolific U.S. career in the 1970s with songs like Snowbird, A Love Song, You Needed Me, I Just Fall in Love Again, and Broken Hearted Me.
Other notable female singers of the 70s include:
- Dolly Parton
- Yvonne Elliman
- Deborah Harry
- Marie Osmond
- Lynn Anderson
- Tanya Tucker
- Thelma Houston
- Bette Midler
- Suzi Quatro
- Crystal Gayle