13 Incredible Singers Like Diana Ross: Similar Artists

Written by Dan Farrant

Diana Ross’s groundbreaking journey began with fronting The Supremes and led to her illustrious solo career. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Endless Love” were some of her chart-topping hits that graced our ears and have remained timeless classics.

With her ethereal voice and stage presence, the fabulous singer redefined the music world, setting standards for artists to follow. As we explore the legacies of other remarkable singers, one can’t help but look for similarities.

Thus, in this article, let’s dive into the extraordinary careers of 13 remarkable singers like Diana Ross and celebrate their contributions to the world of music.

Diana Ross by Raph_PH (CC BY 2.0)

1. Whitney Houston

Always unforgettable, Whitney Houston‘s prodigious talent made her one of the best-selling music artists in history. Like Diana Ross, Houston’s voice has the raw power of pure emotion and effortlessly bridges pop and R&B. 

Tracks like “I Will Always Love You” and “Greatest Love of All” showcase her unbridled vocal range and passionate delivery. Ross and Houston transcended barriers, became icons of their music genre, and scaled racial ceilings in the entertainment industry. 

With her numerous awards, including six Grammys, Houston displayed a star power and vocal girth comparable to legends like Diana Ross and will remain timeless and not forgotten.

2. Tina Turner

As the Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner is a musical stunner like Diana Ross. The voices of these women command attention: Turner thrills fans with her distinctive husky rasp and Ross with her smooth, soulful delivery. 

Turner’s tumultuous personal life matches Ross, and their resilience proves what it takes to survive and thrive against all odds. Tracks like “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It” are iconic of Turner’s remarkable range and blend her sultry tones with invigorating rock.

As trailblazers, both artists embarked on musical journeys that shattered records, filled stadiums, and created lasting legacies. Their undeniable talent and stories of triumph solidified them as two of the most inspirational female artists in music history.

3. Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, shared a mutual respect with Diana Ross and belongs on the pedestal of great vocalists.

Franklin’s triumphant voice in hits like “Respect” and “Natural Woman” embodies the spirit and soul of a generation. Ross and Franklin broke new ground for black female artists, gracefully navigating the turbulent 1960s and ’70s, commanding respect wherever they went.

While their styles may differ, the underlying essence of empowering women through their music binds them forever. Franklin’s 18 Grammy Awards and being the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame highlight her monumental contributions to music.

4. Janet Jackson

With an illustrious career spanning over four decades, Janet Jackson emerges as a force echoing the aura of Diana Ross. Much like Ross, Jackson began her journey in a famous musical family.

Then, when she shot to fame, Jackson gave us hits like “Rhythm Nation,” “Together Again,” “That’s the Way Love Goes,” and “All for You,” which influenced pop and R&B landscapes.

Jackson’s multi-talents also extend beyond singing — like Ross, she established herself as a celebrated actress, appearing in films such as Nutty Professor II and For Colored Girls.

Five Grammy Awards mark Jackson’s illustrious career, and in 2019, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

5. Mariah Carey

The exquisite range of Mariah Carey’s voice draws parallels to the ethereal quality of Diana Ross. Carey’s mesmerizing singing style and popular tunes like “Hero” and “Without You” display her ability to dominate pop and R&B genres, much like Ross. 

Over her career, Carey has worked with a range of artists from different genres. These collaborations have resulted in some of her most popular tracks, such as “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men and “Heartbreaker” with Jay-Z.

Carey’s record-breaking feats, including her 19 Billboard Hot 100 #1 hits and five Grammy Awards, place her among the echelons like Ross.

6. Mary J. Blige

Heralded as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige is an iconic figure in the world of R&B music. And like Diana Ross, she has made a significant impact on the genre with her raw, emotive vocal style and deeply personal lyrics.

Blige’s music career began in earnest with the release of her debut album, What’s the 411? in 1992. With tracks like “Family Affair” and “No More Drama,” she seamlessly blends R&B with hip-hop and echoes Ross’s style for fusing genres. 

As of 2023, Blige has received an impressive total of 88 awards for her music and acting career. These include nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, and three Golden Globe nominations, among many others.

7. Beyoncé

The unrivaled artistry of Beyoncé often draws comparisons to icons like Diana Ross. Starting her journey with Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé’s evolution into a global superstar mirrors Ross’s journey from The Supremes to a successful solo artist.

Chart-topping hits such as “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” showcase Beyoncé’s range, from soulful ballads to empowering anthems. Her trailblazing effort in music, film, and business has set her apart as an icon. Like Ross, Beyoncé has also headlined major events, breaking barriers for black female artists. 

Beyoncé’s 28 Grammy wins, record-breaking tours, and influential visual albums establish her as an exciting new performer and torchbearer of Ross’s legacy.

8. Chaka Khan

Born Yvette Marie Stevens, Chaka Khan is renowned as the Queen of Funk. Her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence have made her an icon in the music industry.

Both she and Diana Ross were essential musical pioneers and symbols of empowerment for women, particularly for women of color, in the industry.

While Ross mesmerized with Motown’s soul, Khan brought a fiery blend of funk and R&B to liven the scene, as evident in hits like “I’m Every Woman” and “Ain’t Nobody.” Both artists showcased an incredible talent for hopping genres, from soulful ballads to energetic dance tracks.

Khan is a 10-time Grammy Award winner. This demonstrates her considerable impact and influence in the music industry.

9. Gladys Knight

Rightly wearing the Empress of Soul crown, Gladys Knight evokes a musical sisterhood with Diana Ross. Leading Gladys Knight & the Pips, her soulful renditions like “Midnight Train to Georgia” mirror the soulful sound Ross reached with The Supremes.

As a solo artist, Knight continued to captivate audiences. Her discography spans several decades and genres, including R&B, pop, gospel, and adult contemporary music.

Like Ross, this queen remains a pillar of the Motown era, helping to influence and shape the sound of R&B for future generations. Success and admiration decorate her musical achievements, with Knight receiving seven Grammy Awards.

10. Patti Labelle

Next up is Patti LaBelle. Her dramatic stage presence and rich voice draw an unmistakable parallel with Diana Ross, with hits like “Lady Marmalade” and “On My Own” showcasing her versatile vocals.

Both artists received their music chomps from performing in a group and then turning to solo carers, which helped define an outstanding musical era. LaBelle’s contributions to the industry are astonishing and earned her two Grammy Awards and a unique spot in the R&B and soul stage.

Like Ross, LaBelle had some roles in films, television, and Broadway stages, further intertwining their legacies as they celebrate black excellence and groundbreaking artistry.

11. Alicia Keys

Bringing a modern touch to the soulful legacy of artists like Diana Ross is Alicia Keys. She burst onto the music scene in 2001 with her debut album, Songs in A Minor, which showcased her fusion of R&B, soul, jazz, and classical music.

Her classically trained voice and exemplary songwriting skills shine in hits like “Fallin'” and “If I Ain’t Got You.” While Ross dominated the Motown era, Keys revitalized the neo-soul genre in the early 2000s. 

Both artists share a creative spirit for delivering heartfelt ballads, powerful anthems, and a commitment to authenticity. Keys’s 15 Grammy Awards and her activism off-stage echo the spirit of pioneers like Ross, intertwining their paths on an unmatched musical journal.

12. Jennifer Hudson

Emerging from the reality television show American Idol, Jennifer Hudson‘s rise to stardom mirrors the captivating allure of legends like Diana Ross. 

Hudson’s brilliant vocals, evident in tracks like “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “Spotlight,” resonate with the emotional expressiveness that only singers like Ross can master.

In addition to her singing career, Hudson has also achieved considerable success as an actress. She earned an Academy Award for her role in the musical film Dreamgirls, showcasing her acting ability alongside her musical talents.

Hudson has also earned recognition as a Tony and Emmy Award-winning producer, making her one of the few artists who have received awards at the highest levels in multiple entertainment fields.

13. Anita Baker

Perhaps less known than the others on this list, the smokey and sultry voice of Anita Baker reminds listeners of the richness found in Diana Ross’s music portfolio. Hits, including “Sweet Love” and “Caught Up in the Rapture,” are examples of her seamless fusion of jazz, soul, and R&B. 

Undoubtedly, Ross is the defining voice of her generation. Baker’s influence during the ’80s and ’90s established a distinct space in soul music for her uniquely different style and sweet voice.

Both artists encapsulate the essence of raw feelings and draw listeners into intimate stories of love and longing, and with eight Grammy Awards, Baker’s influence and impact align beautifully with the timelessness of Diana Ross.

Summing Up Our List Of Artists Like Diana Ross

The music industry is rich in luminous voices, and Diana Ross’s professionalism and spirit established her as a true icon. These singers come from different eras and bring unique styles but still share a part of Ross’s essence.

We hope this article has inspired you to explore the diverse range of talented artists who, like Ross, have left an indelible mark on the music industry. Perhaps you have even found new favorites!

This list is far from complete, however. Let us know who we missed so we can add them here for you!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.