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Most romantic singers of the 20th century

Updated 11:33 AM ET, Tue September 6, 2016
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The multitalented Barbra Streisand has had huge success as a singer, an actress and a filmmaker. In the 1970s she had a string of big, unabashedly sappy hits (many from her movies), including "The Way We Were," "Evergreen (Love Theme From 'A Star is Born')" and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," her duet with Neil Diamond. Jim McCrary/Redferns/Getty Images
Thanks to one of the most stunning voices in music, Mariah Carey dominated the '90s pop charts with one No. 1 hit after another -- most of them love songs. Among the highlights: "Vision of Love," "Emotions," "Love Takes Time" and "Dreamlover." As a bonus she gave us the enduring holiday classic, "All I Want for Christmas Is You." VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Despite little formal training, jazz singer Billie Holiday (1915-1959) thrilled audiences in the '40s and '50s with her vulnerable voice and inimitable stylings. Her take on Gershwin's "The Man I Love" is a classic. Here she's seen singing with an orchid in her hair in the early 1950s. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) was a master at reinterpreting standards with his rich baritone and impeccable phrasing. Many of his romantic ballads, including "Strangers in the Night," "The Very Thought of You," "Fly Me to the Moon" and "The Way You Look Tonight," remain timeless classics. Daniel Rosenblum/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Elvis Presley (1935-1977) made audiences swoon with his deep voice, soulful eyes and sensuous swagger. "Love Me Tender," "Can't Help Falling In Love" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" are among the most romantic songs ever recorded. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The late Whitney Houston excelled at big-voiced romantic ballads, from "Saving All my Love For You" to "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." But it was her 1992 rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" that melted hearts around the globe. Here's a look at other romantic singers of the last century. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The silky vocals of Smokey Robinson -- with his Motown band the Miracles and later as a solo artist -- seduced listeners on such hits as "You've Really Got a Hold of Me," "The Tracks of My Tears" and "Being With You." Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Rod Stewart began his career as a rocker with The Faces, seen here at a 1973 concert in Los Angeles. By the mid-'70s he he had remade himself as a raspy crooner of love songs, including "Tonight's the Night," "The First Cut is the Deepest" and "You're In My Heart." Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Few female singers of the late 20th century sang about love better than Diana Ross. As the lead voice of Motown girl group the Supremes, she had big hits with "Stop! In the Name of Love," "You Keep Me Hanging On," "I Hear a Symphony," "Someday We'll Be Together" and "My World is Empty Without You." After launching a solo career she topped the charts again with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Endless Love," her smash 1981 duet with Lionel Richie. Larry Ellis/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Marvin Gaye (1939-1984) should be on this list just for "Let's Get It On," his classic 1973 ballad of seduction. But Gaye's soulful voice also gave us the tortured-love classic "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and the erotic "Sexual Healing." Evening Standard/Getty Images
British singer-songwriter Van Morrison charmed audiences on both sides of the the Atlantic with such lovestruck tunes as "Crazy Love," "Into the Mystic" and "Sweet Thing." His tender classic, "Have I Told You Lately (That I Love You)" has been widely covered. Here he is performing in New York City in 1969. PoPsie Randolph/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
The deep seductive purr of Barry White (1944-2003) powered such '70s love songs as "Can't get Enough of Your Love," "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up" and "You're The First, The Last, My Everything." Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Steve Perry was the lead singer for Journey during their late-'70s and early-'80s heyday. His soaring, luminous voice wrung emotion from such power ballads as "Faithfully" and "Open Arms." Matt Green/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
R&B singer Luther Vandross (1951-2005) consistently slayed listeners with his velvet voice. Even Mariah Carey said she was intimidated to duet with him. His many indelible love songs include "Stop to Love," "So Amazing" and "Here and Now." David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Tony Bennett gave us the timeless "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and at 89 is still going strong. David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images