Top 10 music divas of all time

We count down the biggest music divas of our time...

Successful and famous; they are the women we call divas. Tough and formidable with the voice of an angel, they’ve made it to the top in a world littered with has beens and wannabes.

Whether they’re belting out a power ballad or knocking back some soy cheese in an all-white dressing room, they’re not afraid to do things their way. This week on MTV Classic we feature the Top 50 Divas. Here is our Top 10...

10. Christina Aguilera

As a child, Aguilera performed on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ before becoming the sweet, all-American pop star with the release of ‘Genie in a Bottle.’ She got ‘Dirrty’ in 2002 and has continued to push boundaries - both musically and artistically - ever since, cementing her place as a modern day diva.

9. Donna Summer

Breaking out in the late ‘70s, Donna Summer came to be known as the Queen of Disco. Although synonymous with the scene, her success continued into the ‘80s even after the popularity of disco had faded. A five time Grammy winner, Summer continued her musical career before passing away in 2012.

8. Bjork

The Icelandic songstress first shot to fame as a solo artist with her critically-acclaimed album ‘Debut.’ Possessing a unique vocal style, Bjork became known for her eclectic music and bizarre outfits like the swan dress she wore to the 2001 Academy Awards. Bjork has had her fair share of controversy, even attracting a reputation for attacking photographers in airports.

7. Beyonce Knowles

A superstar from a young age as part of Destiny’s Child, Beyonce has gone from strength to strength as a solo artist. She’s won 17 Grammys, sold millions of records and has a bunch of acting credits to her name. This triple threat has done it all... and she’s only just turned 32!

6. Madonna

The best-selling female recording artist of all time, Madonna’s status as a pop star is rivalled only by that of Michael Jackson. In an industry where some artists don’t last longer than a packet of chewing gum, Madonna has built a career of success and longevity that is unparalleled.

5. Aretha Franklin

Known as the Queen of Soul, the enduring Aretha Franklin is the original diva. With a voice that many consider to be the greatest of all time, she has recorded countless hits across a fifty year career.

4. Celine Dion

The Canadian superstar has had phenomenal success in both the French and English speaking worlds. The woman responsible for ‘My Heart Will Go On’ has spent years wowing punters in Las Vegas casinos.

3. Diana Ross

Starting out with The Supremes in the 1960’s, Ross has had a career that others can only dream of. Not just a successful recording artist, Ross was a pioneer that helped pave the way for African American women in the world of pop music. No stranger to the headlines, the personal life of Diana Ross has been tabloid fodder for years.

2. Mariah Carey

Selling more than 200 million records worldwide, Mariah Carey is one of the biggest pop stars of the century. Her five-octave range and signature vocal acrobatics have influenced a generation of aspiring starlets. Mariah showed off her diva side in a running battle with Nicki Minaj on the most recent series of ‘American Idol.’

1. Whitney Houston

In the mid ‘80s Whitney burst onto the scene with her self-titled debut album. With her good looks and clean image, exceptional voice and a sound that straddled both pop and R&B, Whitney was the darling of the industry. However, a troubled marriage to Bobby Brown, poor performances and cancelled shows as well as her highly publicised personal problems would mark her later in life.

— David Thomas

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