Okay, time for me to start posting some examples.
I'm a composer/songwriter, so usually, if only the voice is good but the music isn't very interesting, then I would have to pass on it. I tend to like music that is less conventional in its stylistic approach in arrangement, as well as utilizing multiple genre influences to form its own unique hybrid. I'm also picky about the melodic development--not all songwriters are good with composing enticing melodic contours--most are quite bland and typical.
Anyway, I'll start with the first batch, and I'll post more batches later.
One of my favorites is Lisa Ekdahl's jazz vocals (I don't care for her folk stuff--I only like her jazz work). She's an incredible blend of very expressive voice that's also very feminine and cute--it's such a rare blend that it boggles me mind:
Morikawa Miho is one of those rare female vocalists who are capable of being a chameleon. On one song, she would rock out and sing with a powerful, sonorous voice, then in the next song, she'll sing in an intimate, sultry voice, and then in the next song, a cute, expressive, girly voice, and so on. Her technique is flawless--her live singing and her studio singing is identical, even when she's jumping around on stage and working up a sweat. In all of her live concerts, she has never once lost control of her voice--it's just astounding what she's capable of.
Her bright, optimistic side:
Her lyrical, intimate side:
And she'll belt it out when she needs to exert some power:
Her girly side. Note how even when she's being girly, her voice never loses power. Too often, the girly/cute singers have no power to speak of at all:
And this is her singing in a very cute voice (at age 17, when she first debuted). Note the flawless technique, despite going for the cutesy vibe. Again--this is extremely rare among female vocalists who sing in the cutesy/girly style:
Here's a nice youtube playlist someone made of her songs: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1417CBC1898DF5FC
Next, is a more recent favorite--South Korea's IU. Like Morikawa Miho, she debuted while still in high school, and also has a dynamic, versatile, and expressive voice that's capable of hitting powerful notes and then turn around and become intimate and husky, then soft and cute. What's more, she's got amazing stage presence--very expressive and infectious. She's just 20, and I have no doubt she'll have a long and fruitful career in front of her.
A compilation medley of IU doing a bunch of acoustic covers on her guitar:
Her very infectious stage presence (the song starts at 1:44). She's completely at ease, having fun, and feeds off the energy of the audience
Cocteau Twin's Elizabeth Fraser is one of the most respected female vocalists in alternative/indie music. Ethereal is the most suitable word to describe her voice:
I have always loved the song "West Point" by Jonantha Brooke--it's just so expressive and emotional:
And I'll wrap up with DaiQing Tana, a Mongolian singer with a hauntingly pure voice. It's impossible to not be moved by such a beautiful sound: