Skip to content

5 Stars Who Were Left Off Rolling Stone's "Greatest Singers of All Time" List, Including Celine Dion

The backlash to the 200-item list was swift when Dion was snubbed.

Any list of the best of anything is going to be debated, but a recent music-themed list got readers particularly upset. On Jan. 1, Rolling Stone released its list of The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time. The introduction to the list indicates that the publication doesn't necessarily believe that the greatest singers are also the best vocalists of all time, however. "Before you start scrolling (and commenting), keep in mind that this is the Greatest Singers list, not the Greatest Voices List," Rolling Stone explains. "Talent is impressive; genius is transcendent. Sure, many of the people here were born with massive pipes, perfect pitch, and boundless range. Others have rougher, stranger, or more delicate instruments."

But, disclaimers aside, one singer's exclusion left fans baffled and angry. As many people commenting online see it, no matter how you slice it, Celine Dion should have been on the list—and near the top, at that. (As it is, Aretha Franklin claimed the No. 1 spot.) Read on to find out more about the backlash Rolling Stone is facing, including for four more singers who didn't make the cut.

READ THIS NEXT: This Is the Most Hated Rock Band of All Time, According to Data.

Celine Dion

Celine Dion at the premiere of "Beauty and the Beast" in 2017
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

By far, the loudest complaint about the list on social media has been regarding the exclusion of Dion. The snub was even talked about on news shows and made headlines in various publications. In response, many fans of the Canadian singer posted clips of her performing and highlighted some of her many accomplishments.

"Rolling Stone omitting the Céline Dion from its list of the greatest singers of all time is a crime against humanity," wrote one fan. Another tweeted in response to a Rolling Stone tweet about the list, "Oh but she didn't make the cut?!? As a VOCALIST?!?! Garbage. Your list is garbage. Celine Dion is one of the greatest there is. Top 10 easy!!!"

Songwriter Diane Warren, who wrote Dion's hit "Because You Loved Me," also got in on the action. "One more reason these stupid [expletive] lists don't mean [expletive]," Warren tweeted. "Really??? A list of greatest singers @RollingStone and #CelineDion isn't on it??"


Cher at the premiere of "Sidney" in September 2022
Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock

Another music icon left off the list is Cher, whose career in music has spanned several decades, from her time as half of Sonny & Cher to her solo work.

"Cher has been relevant for 6 decades. The audacity!!" wrote one Twitter user. Another posted, "I enjoyed Rolling Stone's 200 best singers list and knew there was only one choice fo #1, but Cher belongs on that list." Someone else tweeted, "Also absolutely insane that CHER didn't make Rolling Stone's list — easily one of the most recognizable and unique vocal tones in music."

For more entertainment news sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland performing on stage circa 1960
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The list includes singers from various genres and eras throughout music history, so some were also surprised that actor and singer Judy Garland was not featured.

"No Judy Garland, when many of her contemporaries like Frank Sinatra, Ella [Fitzgerald], and Billie [Holiday] deservedly made the list? Wow, just wow," reads a tweet about the list. "How do you leave out Judy Garland @RollingStone in your TOP TWO HUNDRED singers??? Your memory must be wiped or something because that's just plain wrong. Hell, I was stunned she wasn't in the top 5 or 10, much less the top 50, 100, or 150!!!!!!" reads another.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson at the 2022 Tony Awards
lev radin / Shutterstock

Singer, Oscar-winning actor, and newly minted talk show host Jennifer Hudson is also conspicuously absent from the list.

"Hold Up…Out 200 Singers, You missed Celine Dion, Cher & Jennifer Hudson? And Put Michael Jackson at #86? Who wrote this list? I would like a Word…" a fan wrote on Twitter.

A couple of Hudson's fellow American Idol alums, namely Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, were included, however. "I'm no expert of 'Greatest Singers of All Time' like the Rolling Stone magazine experts but I'm pretty sure Carrie Underwood (#158) would agree that Jennifer Hudson deserves a spot on this list ahead of her," someone tweeted.

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars at the 2012 Grammys
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

It wasn't just women singers people felt were snubbed. A number of fans were upset that Bruno Mars was overlooked.

One fan tweeted, "Rolling stone not including bruno mars in the greatest singers of all time is a big joke." Another shared, "Rolling Stones [sic] missed so many great singers on their 200 greatest singers list and among them how did they exclude Bruno Mars! Bruno is a game changer in the music world. He can perform live! Some singers on the list are only recording artists."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under