Female vocalists

One of my favourite singer-songwriters celebrated a birthday today – Kate Bush.

I know that many of you are fans of Kate’s work, so trust that you’ve played, or will be playing, some songs in honour of her today. Let me know which.

Another name that springs to mind when mulling over favoured female voices is that of Sam Brown, whose vocal talents are demonstrated particularly well here.

So many others… You probably already know that David is a great admirer of Joni Mitchell’s work. Suzanne Vega is also a popular choice in the Gilmour household.

I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight if I failed to mention as part of my list of favourites the remarkable Annie Lennox, who, as well as possessing such exquisite elegance in her voice (just search for her version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’), has dedicated so much of her time in support of many a noble cause.

So, your favourite songstresses and their stand-out performances, please; on stage, in the studio or wherever else they may have inspired you.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

102 thoughts on “Female vocalists”

  1. Bonnie Raitt – Love Sneaking Up On You
    Mary Black – There’s A Train That Leaves Tonight
    Eva Cassidy – Tall Trees In Georgia
    Sheryl Crow – Strong Enough

    1. Can’t disagree with any of the names posted but for me it has to be Julianne Regan of All About Eve & Eden House etc. with honourable mentions for Sinead O Connor, Tori Amos, Annie Haslam, Loreena McKennit and Grace Slick.

  2. Oh boy.

    I love soulful voices. No, I envy them. Both.

    Barbara Thomas, Gladys Knight, ARETHA, Oleta Adams, Dusty Springfield, Mavis Staples and Roberta Flack own/owned and operated voices that just move me.

    I will include Janis Joplin, Annie Lennox and (maybe surprisingly, maybe not) Cyndi Lauper on my list too. Ann Wilson. Carole King… not technically a great vocalist, maybe, but just so expressive.

    I’m-a go listen to “Set The Night To Music” now and then give someone the eye. 😉

  3. My all time favourite female vocalist is Bjork. I love her to bits. I used to play her debut album and Post non stop.

    I swear the lyrics she wrote was like her reading out exactly what I was thinking at the time:

    1. ‘And if you complain, once more, you’ll meet an army of me.’ What an excellent explanation of what will happen if you get pissed off one more time.

    2. ‘I miss you, but I haven’t met you yet. I haven’t been given my best souvenir. ‘ I used to wish for a best souvenir.

    3. ‘I play dead, it stops the hurting.’

    4. ‘My headphones, they saved my life.’ That is the best ever.

    I could go on and on. Unfortunately, I have never seen her live.

  4. All those you mentioned +

    Kristy Thirsk (Rose Chronicles) – Blood Red
    Imogen Heap – Hide & Seek

    …plus anything by Amy Lee (Evanescence), Kate Havnevik, Beverley Staunton, Jody Quine, P J Harvey, Miriam Stockley, Lisa Gerrard, Annie Haslam, Harland, Judie Tzuke, Beth Orton, Sarah McLachlan, Karen Carpenter (of course) and Edie Brickell – just a few that spring to mind.

  5. Dear FEd,

    How do you do it? Another great Blog topic. Thank you so much!

    My picks, which mind you, some are as dated as I am:

    1. Etta James – At Last
    2. The name slips me, the female vocalist that did the solo in Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon’s Great Gig in the Sky
    3. Fleetwood Mac’s, Christine McVie – Over My Head and Snowbird
    4. Abba’s, not sure which female performed My Love, My Life
    5. Karen Carpenter- Masquerade
    6. 10,000 Maniac’s Natalie Merchant

    My most favorite female vocalists is when my sister and I get together maybe once a year if we are lucky and do our renditions of whoever on the Karaoke. No better music made than two sisters getting together and doing what they love. What can I say, you would have to be there to see the love going on.

    Love to the World.

    1. The name slips me, the female vocalist that did the solo in Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon’s Great Gig In the Sky

      That would be Clare Torry.

  6. IMO, one of the best female vocalists out there is Toni Childs, and she even has a vague Pink Floyd connection… apparently it was seeing Pink Floyd in concert when younger that set her on a path to becoming a music artist, and also when on an Aussie music quiz show recently chose Syd Barrett as her special subject.

    Another singer worth mention is Lisa Gerrard, who a lot of people would know from her soundtrack work (Gladiator, Whale Rider, Black Hawk Down etc). Some might also know her from Dead Can Dance, the band she was in with Brendan Perry.

    Some other notables (for me anyway):-

    June Tabor
    Anneke van Giersbergen (formerly from The Gathering, now doing solo stuff as Agua de Annique)
    Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins)
    Diamanda Galas

  7. Maria Callas “La Traviata” definitely.

    I also like Nina Simone version of “Love Me Or Leave Me” on her first album.

    I´m leaving a lot of great female singers out of this list, sorry for that, I don´t know why it´s for me harder to choose between women singers. Maybe because they all sound like mermaids to me. 😀

    And happy birthday to Kate.

  8. Another great topic FEd.

    I would have to say Patti Smith is one of my favorites. Her albums Horses and Easter still stand up today I think. She also collaborated with Blue Oyster Cult On the songs Revenge Of Vera Gemini off the Agents Of Fortune record with some haunting vocals and lyrics, and co-wrote the shooting shark off boc’s Revolution By Night Record.

    Hope everyone is well,

  9. Hi Ho FEd,

    I’ve had this very question rolling around in my head for the last couple of weeks as it happens, and very early I decided on…

    Sandy Denny. The Deserter from Liege and Lief is a pretty darn good example of why. But her whole career is a darn good example truth be told.

    And as you asked for songstresses, in no particular order, honourable mentions can go to…

    Sinead O’Connor: The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
    Billie Holliday: Summertime
    Vera Lynn: A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
    Kate Miller-Heidke: Mama
    Bjork: Vokuro
    Bessie Smith: Alexander’s Ragtime Band

    And that’s about it. But for me, Sandy Denny sings rings around that lot.


  10. Female vocalists? How about classic vocalists like Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Judy Garland? All greats, but maybe not so popular out here in Floyd-ville.,

    How about Aimee Mann? She’s great!!

    And Sara McLaughlin, very atmospheric and richly textured like the best of David’s work.

    Tori Amos is another favorite…

    I have to stop before I write about every female vocalist ever!

  11. Happy Birthday, Kate!

    Annie Lennox is just fantastic singing Hallelujah!

    Kate Bush… cannot forget Running Up That Hill with David. Wuthering Heights is just fantastic as well.

    Suzanne Vega’s the Queen and the Soldier… I identify with the soldier except I lived.

    Along with Sam Brown I think David knows his Singers/Musicians well.

    See you all in chat!

  12. All of the aforementioned female singers are extremely talented and just great to listen to.

    For me, this particular version of Nina Simone’s ‘Ain’t Got No/I Got Life’ is one of my favorite performances. She had a beautiful voice!

  13. My favorite female vocalist is I guess Sandy Denny. Beautiful voice.

    Fortunate to see her once as well.

    The song that even now still gives me goosebumps when I hear it is ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes’.

  14. Happy Birthday to Kate Bush! 🙂

    I have to go with Lisa Gerrard for my favorite female vocalist. She caught my ear with a couple of her songs several years ago and I’ve been intrigued since then. I can’t point out any particular live performances because I’ve never seen her perform live, but I’ve watched some on YouTube and they’ve all been beautiful. She has the kind of voice that could bring tears to your eyes. 🙂

  15. The best of the best lady singas… Miss Bonnie Rait. Call her man; we ain’t gettin’ younger. She rocks beer bottleneck slide, like a man. Don’t you love crossover music? With the best? It’s a musical gift. Kinda like a new baby?

    I have loved the musical rivalry between our countries, from the very beginning. Please make some more musical war. Which, by the way should be the only type of war allowed.

  16. Even though she’s completely hit-and-miss with her songwriting abilities, Tori Amos’ voice is always unique and pretty damn impressive.

  17. Hi David,

    A few years ago i discovered Jewel (from US I think) and her truly brilliant love song called “Absence of Fear”. This song is still for me the best love song I’ve heard. Every thing is perfect: voice, instrumental, arrangements…

    This song is to be listened at the crepuscule, with headphones on ears, and volume to the max…

    Best regards from France.

    A French fan who would love to see D. Gilmour live again…

  18. Another great topic.

    Looking through my collection I don’t have many female vocalists’ work, nothing by Sam Brown, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox…

    But I do love their work. I was first introduced to Sam Brown from when she appeared at George Harrison’s memorial ‘Concert for George’. It was soon after that I got P.U.L.S.E and was blown away by her vocals on Great Gig.

    Kate Bush is again someone I have not heard that much of. I do enjoy her music when I hear it and I think she has one of the best voices of any female vocalist.

    Annie Lennox, never really cared for her music, but I saw her live at the ‘Peace One Day’ concert last year and she was fantastic.

    My other choices are:

    Amy Winehouse
    Bic Runga
    Sia Furler

    And who could forget Christina Aguilera? :))

  19. Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox (her version of “Hallelujah” is wonderful), Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, Tori Amos, Sinead O’Connor and, of course, Kate Bush. Happy belated Birthday to her. 🙂

    Shame on me, I never listened to Sam Brown, but I think I’ll do it. She has a very beautiful voice, thank you for the video, FEd.

    Have you ever heard about a Dutch (metal?) band called Within Temptation? It’s strange enough, considering the kind of music they play, but they have a female vocalist. I like her voice very much.

    Here is one of their songs, “Mother Earth”, if someone is interested.

    1. Hi, Alessandra

      I like Within Temptation too.

      I know there’s also “Mother Earth” instrumental version. Good listen!

      Bye, Hydrea

  20. I’ve heard that song so many times, yet I never realised it was Sam Brown who sang it! :))

    Without question, my favourite female singer is Amy Hartzler (Lee) of Evanescence. You can tell that her songs mean something to her and she’s not just singing because “it’s her job”. Perfect example is this live performance of Breathe No More.

    Her voice does seem to struggle a bit live on some of the louder songs, but I prefer this type of song anyway.

    A few more of my favourites here, here, here and here.

  21. Five names that pops up in my mind, thinking of female vocalists are:

    Ella Fitzgerald
    Aretha Franklin
    Norah Jones
    Annie Lennox
    Janis Joplin

    Enjoy the weekend.

  22. Heather Findlay from Mostly Autumn @ The Spirit of 66 Belgium Verviers 2000 and after that on many occasions more.

    Heather was then aged 20 or so, a bit shy and not a Rock lady at all. But she had that “touch”, that charisma that twinkles your spirit. I thought she was the daughter of Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks.

    They played a lot of their own material, then 2 albums, and a cover from the Stones, Fleedwood Mac and Comfortably Numb… and I got a tear in my eye… so beautiful and, forgive me David, but this Bryan Josh did your trick more as outstanding.

    Nowadays she is a Rock Diva, she can play with the audience and overwhelm the crowd with her voice. And still I get some tears in my eyes, mostly with “Heroes Never Die”, a song about the lost of our dearest family, friends… creepy. Please check out this song, it’s very emotional.

    Next year we’ll celebrate their 10the anniversary here in the Netherlands and we’re looking for a guest guitarist. Is it allowed to ask David?

    P.S. Happy birthday Kate!

  23. 1. Heather Findlay (Mostly Autumn), Christina Booth-Murphy (Magenta), Rachel Jones (ex-Karnataka, the Reasoning), Tracy Hitchings (Landmarq), Suzie Bogdanowicz (Glasshammer); because they’re lovely, sing great lines on the proggy hit single of 2005: “All Around the World”/ProgAID

    2. Annie Haslma and Kate Bush; because I think that the previous named ladies are fan of them. 😉

    3. Claire Torry, Sam Brown, Durga McBroom, Rachel Fury, Margaret Taylor, Claudia Fontaine, Carol Kenyon, Michelle Carol; because they all did “Great Gig In The Sky”/Pink Floyd.

    4. Sharon den Adel, Amy Lee, Floor Janssen, Simone Simons, Anneke van Griesbergen, the sisters Kleman; because they’re all Dutch, gifted with a golden voice and nice to watch.

    5. Tori Amos, Joanna Hogg (Iona), Barbara Dickson, Suzanna Melvoin (Prince, Roger Waters and… ), Sheryl Crow, Heather Nova, Sarah McLachlan, Anne Marie Helder, Olivia Sparnenn, Silje Wergeland (the Gathering), Heidi Jo Jones, Marcela Bolivia (Stream of Passion), Emma Brown (Solliste), Carly Simon; because they’re really good looking and have made nice music.

    6. Nico, Janis Joplin, Billy Holiday, Kirsty MacColl, Linda McCartney, Cassie Canes, Sandy Denny and all I’ve forgotten; because they were great, hope their music sounds forever.

  24. In no particular order…

    Kate Bush
    Annie Haslam (Renaissance)
    Sam Brown
    Joni Mitchell
    Patti Smith
    Clare Torry
    Vera Lynn (no really)
    Karen Carpenter
    Cass Elliot
    Nicole Atkins
    Beth Orton

  25. Great choices there, FEd!

    OK, my half centavo’s worth…

    Sam Brown – from Deep Purple’s release In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra (2000), her stellar version of Wait a While is heart-wrenching and moving.

    Sara McClachlan – literally ANYTHING off Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.

    Janis Joplin – Cry Baby (alt version) from the 2005 remastered Pearl CD.

    Go check out these suggestions… you might be turned on by one or more of these tunes.


    1. Sam Brown – from Deep Purple’s release In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra (2000), her stellar version of Wait a While is heart-wrenching and moving.


      Is this available on CD?

    2. I believe it was, though I purchased it back in 2000. Methinks it might not be in print anymore.


    3. Fed:

      A search of Amazon.com shows that it is available as a CD audiodisk and also in VHS and DVD formats.

      The movie was directed by Aubrey Powell, known to Pink Floyd fans as Po Powell, who worked with Storm Thorgerson’s company Hipgnosis. Hipgnosis are credited with designing most of the Pink Floyd album covers.

  26. I just wanted to add that I was fortunate enough to have seen Clare Torry perform “The Great Gig In The Sky” when she appeared with Roger Waters at his “Radio KAOS” concert at Madison Square Garden. 😀

    Continuing on…

    – Marilyn McCoo
    – Carly Simon
    – Stevie Nicks

    Although she’s nuttier than any fruitcake I also adore Sarah Brightman.

    Her work here with Andrea Bocelli is awe inspiring.

    – Mary Fahl (October Project)
    – Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission)

  27. Hi, FEd.

    Kate Bush is a great talent: singer and songwriter, musician and dancer. She’s all in one!

    Happy Birthday, Kate!

    P.S. Today, I saw on “BBC World News” TV bad news about Gary McKinnon. This is a human case and it’s important to support him and his family. I hope and I believe President Barack Obama can and must help to keep Gary free.

    Stay well. 🙂

    Bye, Hydrea

  28. Love Sam Brown. My favourites, though, are Aimee Mann and Cat Power, both of whom I’ve been lucky enough to see live. I also like Laura Marling.

    On a more serious subject, the BBC’s latest ‘Have Your Say’ is about the on-going question of Gary McKinnon. This can be read here.

    I could only read a few comments as the narrow-minded, un-compassionate, right wing views of some made my blood boil.

    Hope all is well.


  29. Another wonderful female vocalist and musician: Loreena McKennitt from Canada.

    Just listen and see here.

  30. The single most crushing song ever recorded…

    Sam Brown’s Letting Go

    “You came down to see me in your long white dress
    That angels wear
    I could see you and I could feel you,
    I know you were there
    And I was driving a big car on my own in the dark,
    And we were together, but it didn`t last

    But you were real in the dream
    I know you were there to tell me you were alright
    You were real in the dream,
    It`s hard you know, this letting go…
    It was all in a dream

    I knew you were leaving
    You went into yourself,
    And we all knew a sorrow like we`d never felt
    And there was pushing and shoving as we tried to hold on
    But you slipped through our fingers and then you were gone

    But you were real in the dream
    I know you were there to tell me you were alright
    You were real in the dream,
    It`s hard you know, this letting go…
    It was all in a dream

    And what you left behind has deep roots in my heart and in my mind
    The voice of love and life, in my heart and in my mind
    But you were real in the dream
    I know you were there to tell me you were alright
    You were real in the dream,
    It`s hard you know, this letting go…

    It was all in a dream…”

    1. If I remember rightly I think this song was about Sam’s mother who passed away.

      I remember watching Miss Brown singing it live at a charity benefit concert at the Oxford Apollo around 1992 sometime and I had a job staving off the tears. It was so moving.

    2. You are correct Julie.

      This song came into my life around the exact same time that my Mom passed away.

      I literally took it as a message from her… “to tell me you were alright”.

      This stunning song helped a great deal with my handling death’s stomach punch and for this I am forever grateful to Sam.

  31. Anyone remember Lydia Pence from Cold Blood? WOW. She’s still around. She had a set of pipes! You Got Me Hummin’, most well known song on the album In Cold Blood.

    She was as good as the chick on Dark Side Of The Moon. No kiddin’. The one pressed in 1973.

  32. Happy Birthday Kate and you made a good choice Fed.

    I would like to add Cher. I really like her voice.

    1. One of my favourites too, I saw her with Stone the Crows a couple of times then not at all, although I had her albums, until very recently. Her voice is still amazing.

      ash X

  33. Hi FEd,

    Female vocalists – there are a lot of good ones.

    Janis Joplin was one of my favorites, particularly because she sounded real and raw.

    Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks are up there, too. I know Stevie gets a lot of flack for sounding like a goat, but she has an instantly recognizable voice. Christine always sounds more reserved and a little mysterious.

    From the country side, Faith Hill and Martina McBride can really belt it out there. They have a lot of power in their voices.

    Then there’s Alanis Morisette. I liked her because in the midst of boy bands and little doe-eyed jailbait waifs, she comes out all attitude and in-your-face.

    Gwen Stefani – I don’t know any guy my age who didn’t have the hots for her.

    There are other great ones already mentioned here that broke the moulds and showed women could be serious artists right along with the men.

    Have a good weekend,

  34. re: Gary McKinnon

    Hey FE’d

    look, let’s get this out of the way 1st
    you are going to tell me to shut up
    that I’m stupid
    an idiot
    that I don’t know what I’m talking about
    that I should shut my mouth
    you’ll probably swear in indignation

    Gary McKinnon can not win
    why? because he is playing their game, by their rules

    what do I mean?
    I mean he has to ‘establish’ Common Law Jurisdiction


    he is being tried under an ‘Act of Parliament’ to get him deported
    ‘Acts of Parliament’ are Admiralty Law – Maritime Law, Business Law, City Law, Mickey Mouse Law, it doesn’t matter what you call it – they can not be enacted on ‘dry land’
    don’t believe me?
    why do you enter the ‘Dock’ when go to court? so you can be ‘berthed’ and they can enact their Admiralty Law on you

    there is only the Law
    there is only Common Law
    Common Law of the Land Jurisdiction

    he needs a lawyer that can practise Common Law, good luck finding one
    ‘let’s kill all the lawyers, let’s kill them tonight’
    they say that for a reason

    the 1st duty of a lawyer is not to the client who is paying him
    no, the client is way down the list, in fact the client is last on the list
    the 1st duty of a lawyer is to the Court
    he will do as he is told if and when the Court tells him

    the Court will be a Court de Facto – i.e. a ‘private hearing’ WITHOUT a jury
    it is his inalienable human right to be heard by a jury
    to be able to convince a jury of his innocence
    this is a Court de Jour

    he needs to establish Common Law, needs to look into it

    check out this guy
    I guess he’s an ex cop or judge or lawyer but you can tell he is extremely pissed off with the system

    they only way he can win is to establish Common Law
    did he breach the peace?
    did he cause harm?
    did he cause injury?
    did he cause loss?
    did he employ deceit in his dealings and promises?

    no, he didn’t
    case dismissed?

    I am only passing on this as knowledge I am not a lawyer and I don’t offer legal advice
    but I think that this will be the only way he can win his case


  35. An addition to my earlier post re: Amy Lee/Evanescence

    I’ll also add an honourable mention to Avril Lavigne. She’s not the best by any means, but some of her songs are pretty damn good, and she has a great voice.

    For example, here.

  36. Of course Kate Bush should be at/near the top, considering that she is also an incredible songwriter.

    To round out a Top Three, I’d go with Karen Carpenter (THE most beautiful voice of the rock era, period), and Sarah Maclachlan.

    As an alternate, I’d nominate Lynn Blakey of American alt-country trio Tres Chicas. Oh, and k.d. lang, and…

  37. I love that Chicago song, first hear for me. And the G symbol for Gary and the Pentagon shape. Who made that Fed? Classic drawing.

    For female singers:

    1) Billie Holiday
    2) Aretha
    3) Stevie Nicks – love Rhiannon.
    4) Sam Brown – Stop. Wow, never heard that.
    5) Claire Torry – she did justice on GGITS. Extra Wow.

  38. Sad news about Gary, I hope his appeal is successful. The story aired on our local Sacramento news stations. The Chicago video is excellent.

    My favorite female vocalists are Kate Bush – Happy B-Day to her, Tori Amos, Carly Simon, Marianne Faithfull and Dolly Parton.

    Have a great weekend all.

    1. Hi Christine

      Hope you had a good flight back home to the USA and you did have a good time, here in Europe.

      It was really nice meeting you again (our mini Ritzy Reunion!) and to see your husband and your two lovely daughters!

      Take care, Ernest

      P.S. Exactly, it was Kate’s Birthday (31 July?). My all-time fav. female singer!

  39. re: Gary McKinnon

    I just want to clarify I am not advocating any form of movement towards ‘Freeman’ or anything like that

    with him having asperger’s he might be on benefit so he might lose that if he went via the freeman

    BUT he could get a lawyer to work for him – get the lawyer to dismiss the legal fiction for starters (MR GARY MCKINNON – he wasn’t born that) just produce the birth cert. and tell them there’s the legal fiction

    then get the lawyer to be acting ‘with a full power of attorney’ (- lawyers; see above)

    and he wouldn’t have to go down the freeman road and still keep his benefit.


  40. Happy birthday Kate. 😀

    I also love an artist that people should listen to: Jean Carne singing Ain’t No Way.

  41. I would have to say Big Mama Thornton has to be one of the greatest blues singers I have ever heard. She sang Ball ‘n’ Chain which Janis Joplin did three years later which has to be one of my favorite songs ever.

    Plus if you get a chance, listen to Ida Cox for she is another famous blues singer who died in the 60s and this lady can really sing.

    Have a great weekend,

  42. Loreena McKennitt!

    Wonderful on the Bonny Portmore song especially.

    Kate Bush and Sam Brown are also definitely two outstanding women. Hope to hear more from them.

    1. I won’t pretend that I haven’t laughed at all of these clips before. Oh dear. Don’t they have good friends, loving family, trusted colleagues, fully-functioning ears?

      Singing ‘Stop’ while pretending that your teeth have been glued together is really something, isn’t it?

  43. “Stop” is definitely a great showcase for Sam, a real spine-tingler when she cuts loose.

    I’ve just made myself a playlist from the following artists/songs that lurk in my iTunes library (in “shuffle” order of course):

    – Kate Bush – “Wow”
    – Tasmin Archer – “Sleeping Satellite” (keen eyed geeks will spot that these three marvels all reside on one compilation disc…)
    – Corrine Bailey Ray- “Munich”
    – Eva Cassidy – her version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” would soothe the tusks off a warthog
    – Carole King – “It’s Too Late”
    – Roberta Flack – “The First Time Ever” – magnificent
    – Bjork – “Big Time Sensuality”
    – KT Tunstall – “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” – I didn’t expect to like this lady as much as I do
    – Karen Carpenter – such a beautiful, honeyed voice so often employed on MOR mediocrity, but “Goodbye to Love” is a great track and a great guitar solo also
    – Nina Simone – “Strange Fruit” – not recommended for a karaoke in Alabama
    – The Cranberries (Delores O’Riordan) – “Zombie”
    -Alanis Morrisette – “You Oughta Know” – what an album that is, by the way

    …and a plug for Lorraine McIntosh whose co-vocals with Deacon Blue add a real magic on Fellow Hoodlums e.g.”The Wildness”.

    Of course “The Great Gig” in original Clare Torry form, as toured and sung by just about anybody with a pulse, would be on any list (and may I say that the girls backing the unmentionable Antipodeans do a great job also).

  44. 😀 Love the song and Sam Brown’s vocals.

    My favorite female singer is Stevie Nicks… great performances solo or with Fleetwood Mac.

    Have a great day everyone. 🙂

  45. How about Margo Timmins of The Cowboy Junkies? Wow, what a rich and expressive voice, especially when she was younger. And Natalie Merchant, both as a songwriter and as a vocalist.

    Cheryl Crow is fun to listen to, and even though she doesn’t have a great voice, she makes it do the best that it can do. Joan Baez has a great voice, but her songs are so dark and depressing that it makes me want to jump off of a building.

    So how about something fun, like Kate Pearson’s B-52s or Tina Weymouth’s Tom-Tom Club?

    And currently, one of my newest faves is Queen Latifah. She’s got quite the set of pipes! She could sing the phone book and make it sound great.

  46. Hi there!

    Many good female vocalists have already been written down here.

    From my side I would add to this list:

    Thelma Houston
    Moya Brennan
    Patricia Kaas

    …and from Germany Inga Rumpf, a powerful blues vocalist.

    Have a nice day

  47. I agree with all the ladies mentioned above, and I must add Margo Buchanan, whom I “discovered” from David’s Meltdown DVD. Lovely, lovely voice!

  48. I like Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Sarah McLachlan, Sinead O’Connor, the French Edith Piaf and Barbara.

    And of course Kate Bush. Among my favourite songs: ‘A Coral Room’ from her last album ‘Aerial’ and ‘The Man With The Child In His Eyes’.

    But how about Tarja Turunen, former female vocalist (and driving force) of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish? Weird but beautiful voice. Fantastic band.

    I particularly love their songs ‘Nemo’ and ‘Sleeping Sun’.


    1. Hi Michèle!

      Barbara, is that the French chansonette with that song about Goettingen? I lived for some years in that town and like that chanson very much.


    2. Yes, Herbert, that’s the one. ‘Göttingen’ is a nice song about friendship between Germany and France that Barbara wrote in the ’60s.

      Here it is.

      There’s is also a version in German that you can listen to here. Do you know it?

      As for me, my favourite Barbara song is ‘L’Aigle Noir’.

      And I’m glad that you mentioned Patricia Kaas in your post above, as I also like her very much.

  49. Kate. A wonderful composer and performer. I’ll never forget the Lionheart tour and fantastic night at the Sunderland Empire. Lifetime memories come from the truly great moments.

    Thanks for those.

    Steve 🙂

  50. re : Gary McKinnon

    Hey FE’d

    had some feedback from the anti-terrorist

    Q : “would there be any advice you would give Gary McKinnon?”

    A : ‘Indeed. I would be asking them who it is exactly they are charging, His PERSON?”

    they are prosecuting his ‘LEGAL FICTION’
    this doesn’t exist
    he wasn’t born MR GARY MCKINNON that’s for sure

    you own your ‘LEGAL FICTION’ you are NOT your ‘LEGAL FICTION’
    your ‘LEGAL FICTION’ doesn’t exist outside of a piece of paper – i.e. your birth certificate

    you are a human being with a brain and eyes and limbs to sense feel and touch and articulate, not some legal fiction

    this should be the starting point for any action via a lawyer

    I will pass on any further info that I get


  51. This is Shawn Colvin performing a lovely version of Sunny Came Home.

    Some of you may remember Shawn was one of the artists to perform on the Abbey Road series of programmes that David and band also performed on.

    ash X

  52. Norah Jones and Katie Melua are two voices I quite enjoy at the moment.

    That’s not counting the goosebumps of GGITS from Clare Torry, Durga McBroom and Claudia Fontaine.


  53. Belated birthday greetings to Kate Bush.

    I agree with Michele re: ‘A Coral Room’ from ‘Aerial’, one of many great tracks from a fine album. Who else could make ‘Pi’ to 106 decimal places, sound interesting. Or using a washing-machine sound oh so sensual, ‘Mr.Bartolozzi’.

    ‘Aerial’ has close links to David too. Michael Kamen arranged and conducted the orchestral parts at Abbey Road Studios and James Guthrie ‘mastered’ the album.

    As for other famed female vocalists, I’d certainly include Sam Brown, Annie Lennox, Karen Carpenter, Carole King, Sinead O’Connor and Enya.

    There’s also Mica Paris, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Kim Wilde and of course David’s latest collaborator, Chrissie Hynde.

    Not forgetting Dido.

  54. Who else could make ‘Pi’ to 106 decimal places, sound interesting.

    Oh, but she omitted the 79th to 100th decimal places…

    Shame on you, Kate! :/

  55. Sade Adu – no one mentioned her, for sure an interesting voice, a new album this autumn? It would be great, and I’m looking forward.

  56. Oh oh oh! This is definitely my topic, LOL.

    I´ll meditate on it tonight and post tomorrow. 😛

  57. I would highly recommend Eileen Rose. She is originally from Boston, Mass, lived in England for 10 years (which is how I came to see her), moved back to Boston and is now living in Nashville.

    She has an amazing voice, which can sound very soft and high one minute and then deep and raunchy the next.

    She’s released four albums so far and in working on a fifth, and comes over to the UK at least twice a year – generally playing at the Borderline in London and the Riga in Southend amongst other places. And if you’re in Italy or Holland she is a frequent visitor there too.

    And on another tack – the wonderful blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa has covered Sam Brown’s “Stop” on his latest album “The Ballad of John Henry”.

    Both Eileen and Joe are on Spotify and have MySpace pages if you want a listen.

  58. re: Gary McKinnon

    Hey FE’d

    had some more feedback from that guy

    if you’ve checked out his videos then look to the ‘mantra’ & rules 1) a, b & c & rule 2)
    obviously makes sense if you’ve watched the vids

    I do think that this might be the only way to get him out of this fiasco

    there’s a flaw in the extradition legal ruling
    that is to extradite someone from america, to the UK, you must provide all sorts of information & evidence

    but to extradite someone to the US, from the UK, you don’t have to provide anything!

    this is a major ‘wrong’ & a legal ‘hole’ which also requires looking in to


  59. I have a long list of female vocalists that I adore as I have always preferred the female voice. Probably because my mother was a singer in pubs and working men clubs from the age of 16 (I´m not into Freud though, I think he was sexually repressed, and so did Jung).

    In no particular order (I´ve added a link to the live version of the first one, although the volume is a bit quiet, it´s brilliant) :

    Sarah McLachlan with Dixie Chicks and Jewel – Water is Wide
    Alanis Morisette – Utopia
    Sheryl Crow – Love is a Good Thing
    Ani… DiFranco – Self Evident
    Mariah Carey – Hero
    Whitney Houston – One Moment in Time
    Tina Arena – Show Me Heaven
    Eva Cassidy – Over The Rainbow (best version ever)
    Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
    Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
    Martina McBride – How Great Thou Art
    Carpenters – Close to You
    Tina Turner – Simply the Best
    The Divine Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings
    Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ About a Revolution
    Tina Turner – Simply The Best
    Grace Jones – Slave to the Rhythm
    Katie Melua – Call Off the Search

    1. I really love Carpenters, Sarah McLachlan and Shania Twain and many more… while boys singers are Michael Jackson, Sting, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie and many more.

      Thank you…

  60. I just noticed this one and have to put in my 2 cents.

    My favorite female vocalists are Joan Osborne, Sandy Denny, Chrissie Hynde, Annie Lennox, Aretha Franklin, Loreena McKennitt, Alison Moyet, Delores O’Riordan, Debbie Harry, Ann Wilson, Judy Collins, and, of course, Joni Mitchell.

  61. Hi Everyone,

    Speaking of female singers, I just heard for the first time Aretha Franklin’s sister who originally sang “Piece of My Heart” that became a hit by Janis Joplin. I had no idea she did that song first, and she sounded real good, too. 🙂

    Take care…

  62. Has anyone mentioned Paula Cole?

    I first became aware of her when I saw her as a backing vocalist on one of Peter Gabriel’s tours. She has a great voice.

    ash X

  63. I forgot the belated birthday wishes for Kate!

    Also, the song Stop is the only backing track I ever owned. Back in 1989 I was working on a Holiday Camp in N. Wales and my mother was trying to talk me into singing in pubs (2 years before I started to learn guitar). Someone made me the backing tape to Stop (my fave song at the time) and at the end of the night I used to play it and sing while cleaning tables.

  64. Julie Cruise. She had a few albums in the ’90s and was featured on Twin Peaks as the singer in the house band. She has such a eerie style.

  65. Sam Brown is amazing. 8| 8)

    While I’m here, I’d just like to thank David for his amazing work standing up for justice. It’s so heartening to know that if the Americans hacked into the Chinese and Russian defence systems he would fight so hard for their rights to be criminals too.

  66. I don’t know if any of you would consider me daft for saying this, but I really enjoy Dido. Her voice puts my soul at rest. Listen to her latest effort and you’ll see what I mean.

    Yikes! I need a distraction, ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Conway Twitty (Peter Griffin, “Family Guy”).

  67. Kate Bush is a singular and quite gifted singer. Have been searching on line for a link to her singing the song Once, with David and Roy Harper. Any ideas of where to find it?

    Other fantastic female vocalists: Bjork, Annie Lennox, Mavis Staples, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Cyndi Lauper, Alison Krauss, Linda Thompson, Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris, Jine Siberry, Tracey Thorne.

    Cheers. 😀

    1. Have been searching on line for a link to her singing the song Once, with David and Roy Harper. Any ideas of where to find it?

      Well, it’s on Roy Harper’s 1990 album of the same name…

  68. Billie Holiday–Strange Fruit
    Kate Bush–The Man With The Child In His Eyes, Houdini, Don’t Give Up (with Peter Gabriel)
    Joni Mitchell–Nathan La Franeer
    Annie Lennox–Hush, Hush, Hush (with Herbie Hancock)




  70. Yes, there are too many to mention.

    I think Karen Carpenter had one of the most beautiful voices ever, like warm honey! I also love Chrissie Hynde, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow and the singer from October Project.

    I am a singer/musician and played in a Pink Floyd tribute band for many years– loved it!!

  71. Excluding classical and jazz singers, my first choices would be Janis Joplin’s (her “Mercedes Benz” is delicious) and Clare Torry’s vocals on The Great Gig in the Sky.

    After that my references are Suzanne Vega, Fiona Apple, Annie Lennox and the late Elis Regina (Brazilian).

    I also keep an eye on Madeleine Peyroux and on Anjani Thomas (Leonard Cohen’s protégé), both highly influenced by jazz (to say the least).


  72. Oh its got to be Janis Joplin. She had so much passion and heartache in her voice. Just listen to “A Woman Left Lonely” and “Little Girl Blue”. Now tell me you don’t have a tear in your eye.

    Also Joni Mitchell. A great singer and songwriter. She can paint a picture in your mind.

  73. Margo Buchanan is incredible! Really fantastic voice, excellent songwriter. Just love her music. Especially the tongue-in-cheek “Rockstar.”

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