Uma (Yma) Sumac (see below)
I think I got carried away! I probably missed quite a few. As you can see I'm kinda diverse when it comes to music.
If you have never heard Uma (Yma) Suma, check this out for style and purity; YouTube - Yma Sumac - Montana: recital URSS 1961 Be prepared to be taken to another place!
A lot of who have already been listed are great. I'm glad I'm not seeing any of the studio star wanna-be's listed. At least that I see/recognize so far.
Allison Krause is awesome. Her work with Robert Plant as of late was a bizarre match, but what a pair!!!!
You can't forget DFW local, Leann Rimes. She's go that classic voice. It was a shame she had to fade into the shadows just as she was making it big over legal crap.
Jennifer Nettles is another I really like. Natalie Manes as well. Man, what pipes...
Can't forget Wynonna Judd either.
Going back a ways but not listed yet but has to be included as an absolute queen, well maybe king (, that was bad) of vocal talent, KD Lang.
How about some newer...although I'm not a fan of the adolescent genre', Hayley Williams has some incredible vocal talent.
She's been mentioned but I'll say it again, Janis Joplin. Everyone has probably seen some of her hay-day concert footage and of course recordings, but if you've ever seen real early stuff, pre-acid, she was incredible. She sang from every fiber in her body. I don't know how 1 person could make it through 1 song like she'd do, and still be standing. She'd finish and barely be able to walk off stage, yet be smiling very humbly and almost embaressed...
I could sit here for hours listing female artists as I think back over the years.....