Today we’re going to look at some of the best black female gospel singers.
Do a bit of digging, and you will soon realize there is a substantial number of black female gospel singers who are accomplished, successful, influential and on a mission to spread the good word.
These anointed singers have voices of angels and are known for delivering positive, spiritual messages with their powerful vocals, not just to churches and congregations but also to the world at large.
Here, we’re going to be looking at some of the best black female gospel singers – some still living and active, some no longer with us but nevertheless highly accomplished and well regarded.
Let’s get into it!
Grammy award winning American gospel musician and songwriter Tasha Cobbs grew up in the church at Jesup New Life Ministries.
She launched her solo career in 2010 and released Smile, an independent, self-released album. Since then, she’s also released Grace in 2013, One Place: Live in 2015, Heart. Passion. Pursuit. in 2017, Heart. Passion. Pursuit.: Live at Passion City Church in 2018 and Smile (Live) in 2019.
Cobbs has a crystal-clear mezzo-soprano voice with a beautiful vibrato. It’s no wonder she’s successful.
American gospel singer and actress Tamela Mann’s music career started when she joined the Kirk Franklin and the Family.
Her acting career began shortly after she was discovered by actor, writer, producer, comedian and director, Tyler Perry, in 1999.
Mann has since appeared on both the small screen and big screen in a variety of roles. She and her husband also created their own label in 2005, called Tillymann Music Group.
Kierra “Kiki” Sheard
Gospel singer Kierra Sheard is also a fashion designer and radio host. Daughter of gospel singer Karen Clark Sheard (also see next entry), she launched her music career with her debut album, I Owe You, in 2004.
When she was six years old, she began singing in the choir at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ. By 10, she had made her professional stage debut.
Sheard has a powerful, clear voice that can instantly fill a room.
Karen Clark Sheard
Karen Clark Sheard is a Grammy award winning gospel singer, musician and songwriter that seemingly defies age.
She is best known as the youngest member of The Clark Sisters. Her fame, however, would explode after she released her first solo album, Finally Karen, during a Clark Sisters hiatus.
After the success of her debut album and a great deal of touring, Sheard was hospitalized when one of her blood vessels burst during a minor surgery. Her chance of survival was slim, but Sheard soldiered on and continued to experience success in her career.
Le’Andria Johnson is a Grammy award winning gospel musician and singer-songwriter. She was also the season three winner of the BET show Sunday Best.
Born into a musical family, Johnson began singing at the age of 2 at HQ Ministries, where she would also go onto become the worship leader.
Inspired by her three children, Johnson auditioned for Sunday Best, in hopes of giving them a better life. Appearing in shabby clothes due to financial constraints, Johnson was almost immediately eliminated, but was voted through after her stunning performance of “This is the day The Lord Hath made.”
Erica Campbell is a Grammy award winning contemporary gospel recording artist, musician and radio host.
Campbell began her music career in 1998 with her younger sister Tina Campbell, forming Mary Mary. Mary Mary earned multiple Stellar Music, Dove, Grammy, NAACP Image, American Music, Soul Train and BET awards.
Campbell is a wildly successful singer.
Vanessa Bell Armstrong
Gospel singer Vanessa Bell Armstrong made her solo debut in 1983 with the album Peace Be Still. The tittle track is now her signature gospel song, and her second album, Chosen made it to the top of the US Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart.
In the late 80s, Armstrong enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame with her self-titled 1987 Jive Records debut. The Billboard charting hit “You Bring Out The Best in Me” and the club favorite “Pressing On” had a lot to do with that mainstream success.
Armstrong has a deep, powerful, smooth voice.
Tramaine Hawkins, A Talented Black Female Gospel Singer
Image source: Tramaine Hawkins
Tramaine Hawkins is an award-winning gospel singer. Her career, spanning five decades, has earned her two Grammy awards, two Doves and 19 Stellar awards.
Hawkins grew up in the Ephesians Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California. In high school, she sang in a group called the Heavenly Tones with her friends.
Hawkins won her first Grammy in 1981 and was also inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame.
Gospel singer, musician, songwriter and evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole, like Karen Clark Sheard, is best known for her involvement with The Clark Sisters, a group with three Grammy awards to their name.
Known as the “Rose of Gospel Music”, she began singing at an early age along with her sisters. As a mezzo-soprano, she was known as the “jazzy sister.”
Her self-titled solo debut was released in June 2002 and won her two Stellar awards and Soul Train Lady of Soul award.