So many female recording artists have left behind them a legacy of beautiful, progressive and haunting songs. From the powerful ballads of Whitney Houston to the no-apologies, take-no-prisoners revolution of the Madonna era, these ladies are unforgettable. Let’s take a look at the top five female recording artists.

#1 Madonna

The material girl is number one on the list. This megastar sold over 300 million records around the world, more than any other female artist in history. “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl” are just two of her boundary-pushing hits. Madonna’s record sales apparently broke a record of their own, earning her a well-deserved spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

#2 Nana Mouskouri

Greek artist Nana Mouskouri’s sang for 50 years before passing away in the 1980s. Mouskouri sold between 200 and 300 million records worldwide. In 1981, her song, “Je Chante Avec Toi, Liberté” was so popular in France it was translated into many languages and sold all over the world.

#3 Celine Dion

Celine Dion is a French-Canadian singer who won a singing contest in 1982 and became an overnight success. She then became one of the most successful musicians of all time. Dion has sold more than 200 million albums around the globe. She didn’t start her singing career in English, but her first English album, “Unison,” was a hit. Previously, she released several albums in her native French language.

#4 Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey sold over 200 million albums worldwide. Her genre is American pop and R&B singer-songwriter. She was the first artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Vision of Love,” “Love Takes Time,” and “Someday” are just a few of few masterpieces.

#5 Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston came from a family of soul singers, so music was in her blood. Her debut album, “Whitney Houston,” (1985) became the best-selling debut album of its time. She sold over 170 million albums and singles.

These talented female recording artists are just some of the amazing women who paved the way for today’s performers, who can proudly stand on the shoulders of giants.

Jazz Vocalist Sylvia Brooks has just finished her latest album, The Arrangement. Ms. Brooks has worked with some of Los Angeles’ most soulful and accomplished players and is a rising star in her own right

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