5 of the most popular female music artists


Female artists in the present century have overcome hurdles to pitch a tent among the stars of the music industry. Some female artists have made a mark in male-dominated genres while others have set commercialising records and the rest have garnered global recognition with their exceptional voices.

Here is a list of five of the most popular female artists

1: Adele

Hello! it’s Adele, and she needs no introduction. Record-breaking sales, top-performing albums, and multiple awards – all bolstered by an angelic voice and lyrical harmony – make Adele nothing short of a star.

The London-born musician has a rich, velvety and jaw-dropping voice that resonates with every listener, stirring emotions that leave you teary, a high-pitched tune that makes you gasp, and a melodious symphony that makes you stare at your loved one in awe.

The 36-year-old has cemented her place as not only one of the most popular female artists but one of the best performing and lyrically endowed musicians in the world.

Adele became the artist with the world’s best-selling album of the 21st century when she released her second studio album, ‘21′ in 2011. The album had some of the most globally acclaimed love songs of the century which earned her the award for Album of the Year among her six Grammy Awards gotten from the album alone. Some of the songs in her ‘21′ album include ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Rolling in the Deep’, ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ etc.

She then released her third studio album ‘25′ in 2015 which went on to break the record for the most sales in the first week of its release with over three million copies sold across the UK and US in just a week. The album had one of the world’s greatest hit love songs ‘Hello’ which earned her more global recognition.

Adele has gone on to release another studio album which has continued to break streaming and sales records across continents, cementing herself as one of the most popular female artists of the 21st century.

2: Beyonce

Talk about high-level consistency: ‘Queen Bey’ has been in the music business since 1990. The longevity isn’t the only marvelling thing about the iconic music artist – her ability to consistently drop hit albums and singles is in cognisance to the trends and age at that time.

The more music evolves, the more she evolves to be at the top of the business. Beyonce is also being regarded as one of the greatest live entertainers. Her energetic dancing and high-pitched voice rave crowds and it’s no surprise she has amazed such an astronomical number of followers and fans over the years.

She has achieved significant milestones that have set her on par with her male counterparts, particularly in the Grammy Award category where she emerged as the most-awarded artist with 32 Grammy’s.

From her very first ‘Dangerously in Love’ album released in 2003 down to her 2024 released album, ‘Cowboy Carter’, one can’t think of a single song from all her albums that isn’t lyrically embodied, melodiously soothing or dancefully enthralled.

With over 200 million sales worldwide and over 20 songs at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, Beyonce is a legend globally and is arguably the most popular and successful female artist in history.

3: Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is one of the ‘hottest’ music artists who combines an artistically rhythmic play on words in fast gear like ‘Chun Li’ and a harmoniously soothing slow-paced sound like in ‘Grand Piano’.

The rap icon gained popularity in 2010 after the release of her ‘Pink Friday’s album that saw her dominate the rap genre among women in the same year.  It’s safe to say that no female rapper has dominated an era like the Trinidad and Tobago-born rapper did holding her fort for over a decade from 2010.

Minaj has garnered global popularity which is evident in her overall 100 million record sales while also earning recognition for the most number-one albums and top-ten songs in the US by any female rapper in history.

Despite not winning the Grammy, she has gained multiple awards in recent years including nine American Music Awards, twelve BET Awards, five  Billboard Music Awards etc.

4: Rihanna

Rihanna has soared in leaps and bounds since coming into the limelight in 2005 with Def Jam Recordings. She is prominent for her earthstorming single, ‘Umbrella’ which serenaded streaming chats and platforms globally.

She has sold over 250 million records worldwide, becoming the second-best-selling female artist in history. She’s also the highest-certified female music artist in history on RIAA’s Top Artists singles ranking. Her reputation among female artists globally is unwavering and irrefutable as she’s also the only female artist with seven U.S diamond certified singles, the most by any female artist in history.

The Barbadian artist has created a fusion of electronic, pop, rock and dancehall into her music and this is a pivotal reason why her music is accepted globally.

Her musical success story won’t be complete without referencing her unique, powerful and enchanting voice that has become her signature tune over the years.

She is multifaceted in music and fits into any musical sound. Whether it’s in the incorporation of a harmonious solo, just like she did in ‘Lift Me,’ or an upbeat dancehall tune like ‘Man Down,’ or the touchy melodic symphony like ‘Wild Thoughts,’ Rihanna is absolutely who she thinks she is.

5: Taylor Swift

Stand up for the Queen! When it comes to inspirational stories about breaking bounds and barriers –  to exhibiting your craft in a densely populated hemisphere of interests, to seeing an influx of interest in millions coming to enjoy and be part of your feats and success – one name comes to mind: Taylor Alison Swift!

Arguably the best commercial artist of the decade, Swift has broken, set and extended records to cement herself in the folklore of musical greats in the past century.

She is currently the most-streamed musical artist on Spotify, the highest-grossing female touring act and the highest-grossing musical act. Taylor Swift tickets have earned over $1 billion in sales from her highly anticipated Eras Tour which kick-started at the La Défense Arena in France on 9 May.

The 2023 Times Person of the Year has received a mountainous number of accolades over the years including,14 Grammy Awards, 40 American Music Awards, 39 Billboard Music Awards etc.

The 34-year-old intertwines her honey-toned, soulful voice with live enthralling theatrical performances where she uses a signature Guitar to thrill audiences during concerts.

The ‘Bad Blood’ crooner has vast popularity that spans across continents. In the U.S alone, a 2023 report from Forbes reveal that  53% of adults living in the U.S. are fans of Swift.


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast.Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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