These famous female gospel singers can enthrall audiences and congregations alike with their passionate, heartfelt, and powerful voices. They are the ladies whose songs bring life to the gospel, with soaring emotion. Are they the best female gospel singers of all time? Take a look at any woman on this list, and you'll likely answer yes.
When it comes to gospel music, few families are as famous as the Winans. It seems every member of this family was blessed with the gift of an incredible singing voice. Several of the Winans women are considered among the top female gospel singers in the world – and possibly of all time. The family includes CeCe Winans and Vickie Winans. They’re listed separately here, but they often collaborate. Other women gospel singers listed here are also known for their secular music, including the likes of Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Whitney Houston. It's up to you to decide whether they should be ranked more highly than women known solely for their gospel music.
From the stunning sounds of Albertina Walker to the powerful vocals of Mahalia Jackson and Shirley Caesar, these are the Queens of Gospel Music. Take a look at this list and vote your favorite female gospel singers up to the top!
The 27 Biggest Female Artists in Christian Music
The and Dove Awards Female Vocalist of the Year was born on May 18, , in New York. Both of her parents were in a musical theater and she thought that was where her path would lie until, at 15, she became a member of the all-girl pop group Bella.
After the group broke up, she started writing her own music and released an indie album, "Just a Breath," in Her debut with Fervent Records ("My Paper Heart") hit stores in July
Franny is married to Matthew Goodwin (Newsong). They welcomed their first child in October and their second in July
Francesca Battistelli Starter Songs:
Christy Nockels first hit the national spotlight as part of the Passion conferences. From there, she added to her musical resume by forming Watermark with her husband Nathan. After five albums with Rocketown Records and seven No. 1 hits, the husband and wife team decided to retire Watermark and focus on other areas of their ministry.
Christy's first solo project came out in and she has been continuing to bless us with her voice ever since.
Christy Nockels Starter Songs:
Tamela Mann isn't just a Dove Award-winning singer; this wife and mom is also an acclaimed actress and NAACP Image Award nominee.
After starting her career in with Kirk Franklin and The Family, she has blossomed in all of her roles.
By the time she was 16, Amy Grant had released her first album and was on her way to becoming a dominant voice in the Christian music movement. Since then, she has sold 30+ million albums, including albums that have been certified double, triple and quadruple platinum by RIAA by selling 2 million, 3 million and 4 million copies each.
She has gone gold four times and platinum six times. She has won six Grammy's and 25 Dove's and has performed everywhere from the White House to Monday Night Football. Amy Grant has taken Christian music to a wider audience than any other artist in the Christian genre.
Amy Grant Starter Songs:
At the age of 19, Audrey Assad answered God's call to take her walk to the next level, and for her, that meant leading Worship in the foyer of a church that she didn't even attend!
Local events and a demo CD came next. Then, at 25, a move to Nashville, a Christmas tour with Chris Tomlin and a five-song EP was on her path. That CD caught the attention of a Sparrow Records A&R exec. Shortly before Audrey's 27th birthday, her national debut, "The House You're Building," hit stores.
Audrey Assad Starter Songs:
Becca, Alyssa, and Lauren Barlow are best known to the world collectively as BarlowGirl. The three sisters from Elgin, Illinois live together, work together, worship together and make incredible music together.
After spending years singing with their dad, Fervent Records picked them up in and they have released five albums since, with one being a Christmas album. Although they officially retired in , their music lives on.
BarlowGirl Starter Songs:
Britt Nicole grew up singing in a trio with her brother and cousin in her grandfather's church. By the time she was in high school, she was performing on the church's daily TV program. She was signed by Sparrow in and her debut release, "Say It," came out to much acclaim.
Britt Nicole Starter Songs:
Born and raised in Australia, Darlene Zschech is known around the world as a singer, songwriter, speaker, and author. She led worship at Hillsong Church for 25 years and became very well known for her song, "Shout to the Lord."
Darlene Zschech Starter Songs:
From being named as the Dove Awards New Artist of the Year to selling nearly a million albums, Ginny Owens has done it all and she has done it with grace. The Jackson, Mississippi native may have lost her sight as a young child, but she has never faltered in her drive or passion.
Ginny Owens Starter Songs:
Heather Williams doesn't bring a picture perfect past to the table when she sings. Instead, she brings loss—the loss of her own childhood through abuse and the loss of her firstborn son six months after his birth. She also brings hope—the hope that can only be found when you completely give yourself to God. Heather also brings the kind honesty that is only found through wisdom.
Heather Williams Starter Songs:
With three albums under her belt by , at 21, Holly Starr was really just getting started. Discovered by Brandon Bee on MySpace through some of the songs that she had recorded with her youth group, she has toured the country, sharing her music and her message with thousands.
Holly Starr Starter Songs:
This popular artist has had two Latin Grammy nominations, three English Grammy nominations, five Latin Billboard Award nominations, a Latin Billboard Female Pop Album of the Year award, and six Dove Awards.
Even more, she got the El Premio Lo Nuestro Award for New Artist of the Year, Soul to Soul Honors, an American Music Award nomination, three RIAA-certified platinum albums, three RIAA-certified gold albums, 16 No. 1 radio hits and more than 50 magazine covers. What's most surprising is that this all happened before the age of 30!
Jaci Velasquez Starter Songs:
The daughter of two pastors, Jamie Grace has been making music since the young age of Signed by Gotee Records in , the talented young woman, who was discovered by TobyMac, added college graduate to her impressive resume in May
JJ Heller has been performing full time since when she and her husband, Dave, took a leap of faith after graduating college and decided to fully pursue music. That leap paid off. By , her music was being heard by millions of listeners.
JJ Heller Starter Songs:
This worship pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas is also a member of Gateway Worship, the worship band associated with Gateway Church. Signed with Sparrow Records, Kari Jobe has won two Dove Awards. One was for Special Event Album of the Year and the other for Spanish Language Album of the Year.
Kari Jobe Starter Songs:
When Kerrie Roberts first started singing in church, she was so young (age 5) that in order to be seen in the choir, she had to stand on a milk crate. Her parents, a pastor and his choir director wife, continued to nurture her love of music. This went on through Kerrie's degree in studio music and jazz vocal from the University of Miami to her move in to New York City. In , when she was signed by Reunion Records, the entire family saw her dreams come to fruition.
Kerrie Roberts Starter Songs:
After graduating college with a degree in music, Mandisa worked as a backup singer for a wide variety of artists including Trisha Yearwood, Take 6, Shania Twain, Sandi Patty, and Christian author and speaker Beth Moore.
American Idol's fifth season changed her life, moving her from the background to the forefront. Though she didn't win American Idol, she did make it to the top nine, and after the Idol tour, she was signed by Sparrow Records in early
Mandisa Starter Songs:
As a Pastor's daughter, Martha Munizzi grew up in Christian music, going on the road with her family's traveling music ministry at the age of eight.
From Southern Gospel to Urban Gospel to Praise & Worship, she has done it all, and by blending all that she knew and loved, Munizzi went on to create her own personal style. That style won her the Best New Artist Award at the Stellar Awards - the first time a non-African American singer had taken home the trophy.
Martha Munizzi Starter Songs:
Though they grew up singing in church choirs since , sisters Erica and Tina Atkins have been wowing fans of Urban Gospel with some of the biggest hits in the genre. Seven Dove Awards, three Grammy Awards, 10 Stellar Awards and major mainstream success has followed them, and they just keep getting better!
Mary Mary Starter Songs:
Growing up, Moriah Peters always loved music, but her "life plans" didn't include making it. The high school honor student planned to take the college route with a major in psychology and a minor in music, which would lead her to law school and a career as an entertainment lawyer. A simple prayer for God to use her and lead her in the direction He chose for her led her to music.
At an early audition, the American Idol judges told her to go out and get experience. She didn't stop following God. Instead, she made a demo and headed to Nashville with three songs and no experience. Several record labels made offers and she signed with Reunion Records.
Moriah Peters Starter Songs:
Natalie Grant was only 17 when she got involved in music at her church. It wasn't long before she was singing with the group the Truth. She spent two years with them before heading to Nashville to pursue a solo career.
She signed with Benson Records in and released her self-titled debut album in A move to Curb Records came next—she has released six albums with them. Grant was the Dove Female Vocalist of the Year from -
Natalie Grant Starter Songs:
Nichole Nordeman got her start in Colorado Springs, Colorado playing piano in her home church. Her music minister told her about the GMA's Academy of Gospel Music Arts contest and suggested she enter.
Nichole took his advice and won the contest, getting the attention of the Vice President of Star Song records, John Mays. Her first album produced four hits on the Christian adult contemporary charts.
Nichole Nordeman Starter Songs:
Plumb (otherwise known as Tiffany Arbuckle Lee), first came into the national spotlight when her band got signed in Three years and two albums later, the band broke up and she made the decision to leave the stage and focus on songwriting instead.
A fan's note about how her song had changed her life reversed her course and she started down the solo artist road, signing with Curb in
Plumb Starter Songs:
Point of Grace
Since , the ladies of Point of Grace have shared their passion for the Lord with us through their music. Twelve albums, 27 No. 1 radio singles, and 9 Dove Awards show that they've been doing a fantastic job!
Point of Grace Starter Songs:
Rebecca St. James
Rebecca St. James isn't just a Dove and Grammy award-winning singer and a songwriter; she is also an accomplished author, actress, and advocate for sexual abstinence until marriage, and pro-life.
Her projects include nine albums, nine books, and 10 films. As a spokesperson for Compassion International, she has seen over 30, of her fans reach out to sponsor children in need at her concerts.
Rebecca St. James Starter Songs:
Sara Groves has written songs almost her entire life, but for years, she didn't really consider them as life-changing for anyone but herself. After college, she spent a few years teaching high school, singing during her off hours.
In , she recorded her first album as a gift for her family and friends. Little did she know that her gift to her loved ones would give her a new career. For this wife and mom of three, that career has resulted in several albums, three Dove nods and the realization that her music does change lives by pointing people to God.
Sara Groves Starter Songs:
Since , Twila Paris has been sharing her heart through music. She's given us over 20 albums and 30+ No. 1 hits, and she's won 10 Dove Awards (including three for Female Vocalist of the Year). With over million albums sold, Twila has also shared her heart through books, penning five of them.
Twila Paris Starter Songs:
List of Christian country artists
The following is a list of Christian country artists.
Christian country music, sometimes marketed as country gospel, inspirational country is country music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as (in terms of the varying music styles) to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music. It originated as a blend of early mountain music, cowboy music, and the music from the plantations of the Deep South. The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music () defines CCM as "music that appeals to self-identified fans of contemporary Christian music on account of a perceived connection to what they regard as Christianity". Based on this definition, this list includes artists that work in the Christian music industry as well as artists in the general market.
- ^"Kris Kristofferson Opens Up About The 'Profound Religious Experience' That Inspired 'Why Me'". Retrieved June 15,
- ^Leggett, Steve. "Richie McDonald – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 15,
- ^ abcdEvans Price, Deborah (November 26, ). "Gospel Lectern". Billboard. (48): ISSN
- ^Ankeny, Jason. "Susie Luchsinger – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 15,
- ^Herald, The Gospel (April 14, ). "Country Star Reba McEntire Credits God, Her Christian Faith For Immense Success". Retrieved March 14,
- ^Rimmer, Mike (March 1, ). "Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying". Cross Rhythms. Cross Rhythms (84). Retrieved July 15,
- ^"Cody McCarver". www.facebook.com. Retrieved June 15,
20 Best Christian Country Songs
While not every successful country singer releases Christian songs, those who've ignored Christian values haven't gotten very far.
Some, like Josh Turner and Randy Travis, are able to weave their faith into the music a little more comfortably than others. Country listeners know when a performance lacks sincerity, and more than a few songs have been written that were swatted away like a mosquito. When done right, nothing sticks to one's soul stronger than a song that inspires.
It wasn't easy, but we whittled down every country song written about God and Christian values to a list of 20 of our favorites. Chances are one has caused you tear up.
Listen to the Top 20 Christian Country Songs
'Me and God'Josh Turner
Josh Turner is one of a few artists to make this list of the Top 20 Christian Songs twice. "Me and God," featuring Ralph Stanley, is a fun look at how friendly one's relationship with the Big Man can be. Stanley's weathered voice forces one to do a double take at the stereo every time. Turner has won numerous Dove Awards for his inspirational music, and is never shy about discussing his family's strong faith.
'The Little Girl'John Michael Montgomery
This No. 1 hit for John Michael Montgomery still surprises fans who may have missed the message when it was released in Jesus comes down from the cross to protect the little girl from her parents' abuse and violence. Years later, when she is with a family who loves her, she becomes aware of the miracle. The song works as an inspirational Christian song, but it's also capable of touching those of other faiths. It's just a dang good story.
'God Must Really Love Me'Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan's music is full of themes of God, family and country. The Army veteran often espouses those basic, good old-fashioned values in his music, and "God Must Really Love Me" is a prime example. The second single from Morgan's That's Why album is a rumination about the nature of God's mercy and forgiveness.
'New Again'Sara Evans Feat. Brad Paisley
Sara Evans and Brad Paisley are both very open about their Christian faith, and they've both recorded various gospel-themed songs over the years. They teamed up for "New Again," which appeared on the soundtrack to The Passion of the Christ. Evans and Paisley voice the roles of Mary and Jesus in the emotionally-charged song.
'The Old Rugged Cross'Johnny Cash
What a fantastic combination of a classic hymn and a classic voice. Johnny Cash was never afraid to share his faith in song, and he loved "The Old Rugged Cross" so much that he included it on three different albums over the course of his career.
'You're Not My God'Keith Urban
Keith Urban doesn't talk about faith in public much, but he sure knows how to sing about it. "You're Not My God" isn't a worship song; instead, it's a sharp rebuke to the temptations of the mortal world, including money and drugs, with Urban telling all of those vices, "You're not my god / You're not my friend / You're not the one that I will walk with in the end."
'Thy Will'Hillary Scott and the Scott Family
Hillary Scott says "Thy Will" was inspired by a personal, private heartbreak that she will eventually share with her fans. The song is about keeping faith even in times of struggle, a message that no doubt resonates with Christians everywhere. The moving ballad is from a family gospel project she recorded outside of Lady Antebellum, and it's about "letting go and letting God."
'There Will Come a Day'Faith Hill
Faith Hill scored one of the biggest hits of her career with her Breathe album in , and among secular hits like the title song and "The Way You Love Me," she chose to close out the album with a contemporary gospel song. "There Will Come a Day." The lyrics talk about holding on through the trials and tribulations of the world, because "There's a better place where our Father waits there will come a day."
'Something in the Water'Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood is one of the most open stars in country music when it comes to sharing her faith. She took it to a new level with "Something in the Water," a song that exalts the benefits of getting saved through being baptized. Underwood even included a passage from "Amazing Grace" at the end to help drive the song's Christian message home.
'Family Bible'George Jones
Like Johnny Cash, George Jones struggled with his own private demons both publicly and privately throughout most of his life. He was also a man of faith, and in "Family Bible," he recalls how Dad would read to us from the family Bible / And wed count our many blessings one by one. The song appears on his album Cup of Loneliness.
'I Saw God Today'George Strait
George Strait scored one of his biggest hits with "I Saw God Today," from his album Troubadour. The lyrics talk about the everyday miracles we all see each day and don't notice, like a flower growing, the colors of the sunset or a couple expecting a baby, using each as an example of God's presence in our lives even when we don't always realize. The song reached No. 1 and won a CMA award for Single of the Year.
'Angels Among Us'Alabama
This song was originally released as a Christmas single in , but the overwhelming response makes it possible to hear it at any time of year. Alabama's Randy Owen says it's one fans ask him about most often. One could argue it's a precursor to Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel." Both Christian songs are about letting God take over in troubled times.
'Holes in the Floor of Heaven'Steve Wariner
Some of the best Christian songs in country music lead families through tragedy. Steve Wariner's hit would bring a stone to tears. Anyone who's ever lost a spouse, parent or child can relate to this hopeful song about what awaits us all after we pass. "Holes in the Floor of Heaven" is a popular funeral song, even 13 years later.
'When I Get Where I'm Going'Brad Paisley Feat. Dolly Parton
This award-winning No. 1 hit for Brad Paisley was brought to life by his selfless invitation to Dolly Parton. Parton provides the angel wings that this song rides upon. Paisley often includes Christian themed songs on his albums, but this is the only one that's ever been released as a single. "When I Get Where I'm Going" was an easy choice for this Top 20 Christian Songs list.
'Bless the Broken Road'Rascal Flatts
"Bless the Broken Road" is a song about trusting in God's time, not ours. The lyrics talks about the series of ups and downs and disappointments that we all face as part of the cost of living, with a twist that shows how all of those trials are simply part of God's plan. The song traveled a broken road of its own; it was recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Marcus Hummon before Rascal Flatts took it to No. 1 in Their recording also won a Grammy for Best Country Song.
'Three Wooden Crosses'Randy Travis
"Three Wooden Crosses" is the ultimate redemption story, and Randy Travis is the perfect person to tell it as he has his own story to rely on for inspiration. The hook at the end of the song takes your breath away. There's no doubt this Christian song changed lives when it was released in , and continues to inspire listeners today.
'Go Rest High on That Mountain'Vince Gill
There is not a more popular song for funerals than Vince Gill's somber yet uplifting afterlife ballad. Gill's vocal performance is extraordinary on "Go Rest High on That Mountain." His patience on this over five-minute ballad pays off in a big way. Gill began writing this song after Keith Whitley's death in , but didn't finish it until the death of his brother four years later. It makes our list of the all-time Top 20 Christian Songs, but surprisingly, it was only a Top 20 single for Gill in
'Long Black Train'Josh Turner
The debut single from Josh Turner makes our list of the Top 10 Christian Songs and sets the tone for a career that would rack up Dove Awards faster than dollars in the offering dish. Some may remember this song's controversial video, which had some parental groups arguing that it encouraged suicide. That all seems silly now. To be honest, it did then, too. Turner's metaphor for temptation is sharp and effective. He has never used his music as a conversion club.
'Jesus Take the Wheel'Carrie Underwood
This is the song that launched Carrie Underwood's country career, as there was a lukewarm response to "Inside Your Heaven" on non-pop stations. CMT recently named "Jesus Take the Wheel" as the fourth best song of the decade. Underwood has since proven herself to be a very strong Christian capable of carrying a song of faith, including "Temporary Home" and "Something in the Water."
'Believe'Brooks and Dunn
The song that lands at No. 1 on our list of the Top 20 Christian Songs has it all: a great story, an inspirational message and a brilliant vocal performance. Ronnie Dunn builds up the final chorus like a movie director working toward a film's climax; it's a goosebump moment at live shows. Dunn hadn't written or performed a great Christian song prior to (or after) this hit. It's as if he spent himself on this one song.
Next: The 10 Best Fishing Songs
Gospel singers country female
.Inspirational Country Songs Selection 2018, Female Voices - Lifebreakthrough, Lyric Video
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