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INFORMATION VINE * The Greatest Entertainers of The 20th Century *.

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INFORMATION VINE * The Greatest Entertainers of The 20th Century *. Empty INFORMATION VINE * The Greatest Entertainers of The 20th Century *.

Post by Paul Thu 11 Jan 2024, 6:47 am

The Greatest Entertainers of The 20th Century

INFORMATION VINE * The Greatest Entertainers of The 20th Century *. 5943ff5401d7942023deae00aae6261d
Photo Courtesy: [Anirudh Koul/Flickr]
Every so often someone is born who is destined to take the world by storm. While there are many entertainers across multiple forms of media, only a selected few can be known as some of the greatest of all time. A lot of entertainers leave an impression but not all leave a long-lasting impression that is heard throughout the century. Scroll through this gallery and learn a little more about the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. 

The King of Rock and Roll

Elvis Presley was known as the King who popularized the music of African Americans. His music was globally captivating with his rock n roll, blues, and country element that he became one of the biggest stars of the 20th century. He gave his first performance at the age of ten at a fair contest. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc./Wikimedia Commons]

After graduating high school, he went to Sun Records where he recorded his first disc which included multiple covers of other artists. Presley was considered one of the top entertainers of all time thanks to his charisma, charms, and “good looks,” but above all, his hillbilly tunes. He became one of the most successful solo artists of the 20th century with over 600 million-unit sales across the globe. 

The “One Take Charlie”

Sinatra was not only the “My Way” singer but a true film performer and artist. On stage, he was known as “The Sultan of Swoon” and/or “The Voice,” but Frank Sinatra was also an actor. He was known as the “One Take Charlie” due to his natural and instinctive approach to acting rather than perfectionism. 

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Photo Courtesy: [ Capitol Records/Wikimedia Commons]

He played parts that organically mirrored his own energy and personality. His most memorable performances were in The Joker Is Wild in 1957 and Some Came Running in 1958. Then as a producer in Robin and the 7 Hoods in 1964, A Hole in the Head in 1959, and a couple of others. Later he also took on the role as a director in None but the Brave in 1965. 

Soul Stirrer

Sam Cooke began his music career as a gospel singer. Inspired by the Soul Stirrers, he formed a quintet named the Highway QC’s in his teens. After finishing school, he was asked to join the Soul Stirrers. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Bradford Timeline/Flickr]

He continued to hone his craft before releasing his biggest hits “You Send Me” which reached the top of the charts in 1957, “Wonderful World” and “Chain Gang” soon followed. His diverse sound captured both white and black listeners and this is what made him one of the top entertainers of all time. He didn’t just sing to “one race,” he spoke to the soul indeed. 

The Bohemian Rhapsody Master

Freddie Mercury left a massive footprint in the music industry and across the globe with his masterpieces as a songwriter and singer. Mercury gathered the quartet Queen in 1971, and it didn’t take long for the band to reach the top charts. They released their first album in 1973 and then a second in 1974 and then multiple singles and debuts throughout the 80s. 

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Photo Courtesy: [weheartit/Wikimedia Commons]

Mercury was a natural entertainer on stage with his groovy moves and skintight spandex costumes. He danced away on stage, engaging the audience to join him. Mercury was one of the top talented artists of the 70s and 80s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. 

She will always be Loved

Whitney Houston was one of the most iconic entertainers of all time whose voice struck the hearts of millions around the globe. Houston’s singing abilities were first recognized by her community at the New Hope Baptist Church. She landed a modeling role and was featured in Seventeen magazine, becoming one of the first black women to appear on the cover of the magazine. She continued to sing and was then discovered by Arista Records and soon rose to fame with her natural beauty and enlightening vocals. 

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Her soulful voice could put the audience in a trance, she came to be one of the top-selling women artists with 200 million units sold worldwide. Most people know her for her exceptional cover “I Will Always Love You” written by Dolly Parton. She sang every song as if it were written by her, and that’s what made her one of the greatest entertainers of the 80s and 90s. 

The King of Pop

Michael Jackson continues to make millions even after passing. He had the moves, the voice, the charm, and the “looks.” He started out with the Jackson 5, the family band, and then branched out to a solo career. He challenged racial discrimination and filled the music industry with versatile creativity, winning the title of “The King of Pop.” He challenged the views on how blacks were expected to behave and the ideologies that people had of him and his skin color. 

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Michael’s singles were hit after hit, with creativity and significance in every single one of his videos. His performances always incorporated mind-blowing dance routines and his presence was contagious. Michael continuously set the bar higher for himself and paved the way for a new form of music production and promotion in the industry. 

The Queen of Rock and Roll

Tina Turner started out singing with her then-husband Ike Turner as a duo in the 1950s. Their live performances were spectacular and most cherished by the audience, but behind the scenes, life wasn’t so spectacular. Tina was domestically abused by Ike, and she later divorced and branched out as a solo artist. She came out with her first album Private Dancer in 1984 which was a huge hit and continued to exceptional success with her following albums. 

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Tina was also the first black artist to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. She won a dozen Grammys and was one of the top-selling singers of her era with over 20 million units sold worldwide. Tina was known for her low vocal range and “unstoppable energy” on stage. 

The Silent Comic

Charlie Chaplin was one of the greatest comic actors in the silent-film regime of the 20th century. He had a rough start as an actor but what made him one of the best entertainers was his complete dedication and devotion to land in the industry despite what it took. In his spare time, he would put on a suit, polish his shoes and clothes, and make calls at a theatrical agency as he explained himself in an interview. 

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He paved the way to find comedic relief of oneself; he ridiculed the nuances of humankind, from money to loneliness and love and for the first time, it gave people a sense of relief to not take themselves so seriously. Chaplin was capable of making fun and impersonating people and having the target laugh at the jokes themselves without being fully aware that they are the target. 

The Man in Black

Johnny Cash was an iconic singer, guitarist, songwriter, and overall human who tested the limits in both his life and the music industry. He was a romantic, a patriot, and yet with endless contradictions that he wasn’t afraid to sing forth. His sounds were a mix of country, blues, rock and roll, and gospel. 

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He was even inducted into three halls of fame: Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Hall of Fame. His unapologetic ways of pointing out the flaws of the country, social injustices, and social issues, led him to become one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Without his compelling and disturbing truths in his songs, he truly wouldn’t be the Johnny Cash the world came to love and despise at the same time. 

The non-conformist

Bette Davis became a leading lady in Hollywood, remembered for her appearances in about 100 Hollywood films. Davis was known for going full out, taking no orders that went against her virtues and professionalism. She played “egocentric” roles where she paved the way for actresses to go beyond the norm as women, playing the role of the character, whether ugly or unappealing. 

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The audience loved her for that; Davis could speak what others could not, she could play and portray how others could not and she was indestructible. Davis won her first Academy Award for her role as Mildred and an Oscar in her performance in Jezebel. Davis was undoubtedly the most iconic entertainer and woman in the film industry. 

The Queen of Country

Dolly Parton’s solo career marked her as one of the top performers, songwriters, and singers in Country music in the 80s and 90s. Her career was on an upward spiral with her songs “Joshua”, “Jolene”, and “I Will Always Love You” which peaked yet again after Whitney Houston covered it. 

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Her vocals, stories, writing skills, and narratives won her many awards and recognition. Her warmth, personality, and sweet charisma both on and off stage won the hearts of many and the ears of millions. Parton won the female vocalist award in the Country Music Association. 

The Wonky Wonka Actors

Gene Wilder started out with wonky roles that evidently made him one of the most unforgettable actors in the genre of comedy. Wilder starred in The Producer (directed by Mel Brooks) where his hilarious self shined the most. 

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He played wonky roles such as Willy Wonka in the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and also appeared in Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles which were the most successful and won Wilder a lot of recognition. Wilder did not appear in hundreds of movies, but his iconic figure continues to appear in memes, memoirs, and ads; the actor was truly one of a kind. 

Golden and Cheeky

Betty White’s most famous appearances were in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. She became a recognized actress for her charisma and cheeky humor. 

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She continued to make appearances in movies, TV shows, talk shows, and game shows at an older age with similar cheeky roles where she still carried her charm and light-hearted humor, and the audience never got tired of it. She was even invited to host Saturday Night Live by popular demand and she became the oldest actress to host the show. 

I Love Lucille

Lucille Ball was the most iconic comedy actress of the 50s, she starred as Lucy in I Love Lucy with her husband Desi Arnaz. She was captivating, stunning, and funny, the show brought in multiple awards for the actors. Ball was definitely loved by the audience, she was the most beloved actress of the 1950s. 

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Her consistency and perfectionism triumphed; she was claimed to spend hours rehearsing her famous facial expressions. She received numerous awards, becoming the number one show in the country at the time. Lucille Ball paved the way for numerous comedian actors that followed, such as Penny Marshall, Mary Tyler Moore, and Robin Williams. She was the first woman to win the International Radio and Television’s Gold Medal. 

The Oz Wizard

Judy Garland was one of the greatest performers of the 1930s and onwards, but her fame did come with a price. Her career started as soon as she could talk; at the age of two, she was forced to get on stage with her two sisters, sing, perform and entertain. She was forced to go on extensive diets because at the height of just four feet and 11 inches, Garland appeared “thick” and “full” on screen. To maintain her appearance and work ethic, she was forced to take drugs to help her sleep at night, smoke and drink coffee to reduce her appetite. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Rogelio A. Galaviz C./Flickr]

The singer and actress was loved for her on-screen performances but who knows if it would’ve been the same behind the scenes. Her most memorable role was as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Garland won numerous awards for her role and led to even more films and live plays where the star could shine even brighter with her vocal abilities. She mesmerized the audience with her sweetness and charm. 

The Wonderful World of Satchmo 

Louis Armstrong was known by many names like “Satchmo”, “Pops” and “Ambassador Satch”. He was a phenomenal African American singer and jazz trumpeter. His presence on stage was unshakeable; he led the band and the audience to a “wonderful world” indeed. Armstrong jumped from band to band and played solo at venues as well. He partnered up with Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band in 1922, then with the Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra in 1924, and the Hot Five between 1925 and 1928. 

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Photo Courtesy: [World-Telegram staff photographer/Wikimedia Commons]

It didn’t matter whether Armstrong played solo or in a band, he was exceptional in both. His rhythm, high notes, and swinging vocabulary paved the way for jazz music. His most memorable hits were “Star Dust”, “I Can't Give You Anything but Love”, “Chimes Blues”, and “What A Wonderful World.” 

The Guitar Wizard

Jimi Hendrix was the singer, songwriter, and electric guitarist who captivated the audience with his outrageous sounds and skills. His presence on stage was out of this world, literally, his fingers seemed as if they were flowing on water while playing the guitar. He excited the audience by playing with very little effort shown. 

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He won the name of the “Guitar Wizard,” introducing sounds via the guitar that were unheard of, explored what others dared not, and conceived a new musical form through his combinations of distinctive sounds. 

Pay it Forward

Carol Burnett was a comedian and actress who was gifted a scholarship by a mystery man/woman who left college money for her in her mailbox in exchange for paying it forward when she succeeded. In her first year of college at UCLA, she received her first award as “Most Promising Newcomer.” The actress got her first TV role on The Winchell-Mahoney Show, then The Garry Moore Show in 1959, and her musical Once Upon A Mattress on Broadway. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Public Domain/The U.S. National Archives]

Her remarkable facials and charisma landed her various other roles before her very own show in 1967, The Carol Burnett Show. Burnett became one of the most respected actresses of the era and even received the Kennedy Center Honors for influencing American culture with her art and skills. She won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2013 and paved the way for sketch comedy for women. 

The Master of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock was a filmmaker who became known as the “Master of Suspense” for his skillful psychological suspense tactics in his films. His way of creating the most profound and conflicting emotions, twisting accusations, and mind-altering endings made him one of the most respected directors, creators, and filmmakers of the century. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Ante Brkan/Wikimedia Commons]

Hitchcock was capable of entrancing the audience with his psychological characters and very linear kind of plots. He didn't allow much improvisation in his films as the characters were quite particular for the plot. He was very direct in his vision which came to show in his successful works like Blackmail, Rebecca, The Birds, and many more. 

Sculpting his own way

David Bowie was a rock star known for his distinct characters and mind-altering musical transformations. Bowie recreated himself visually over and over again to reflect his music; his appearance on and off stage were on constant evolution, and this invited the audience to grow along with him. This made him one of the greatest entertainers of his era. He transformed into multiple characters along with his career (Ziggy Stardust being one of them) and musical genres as well. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Robert Sullivan/Flickr]

Bowie could sculpt and alchemize his way into different musical sounds with such ease that his listeners could follow easily. He was also an actor who appeared in The Man Who Fell to Earth and A Space Odyssey

One Beatle

Paul McCartney was one of the most respected singers, songwriters, and musicians of the 1960s. He helped shape and bridge the mundane and the commercial into a creative work of art. McCartney was one of the leading songwriters of the Beatles. His experience with music from an early age allowed him to expand in his music career as an adult and although McCartney had learned various instruments in his youth, he came to learn a lot more through self-teaching himself and playing it by the ear. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Raph_PH/Wikimedia Commons]

McCartney first shined playing with the Beatles and then forming his own band Wings later down the road. His songwriting skills and extensive knowledge and comprehension of sound made him one of the top entertainers of all time. 

Last edited by Paul on Thu 11 Jan 2024, 6:50 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Paul Thu 11 Jan 2024, 6:48 am

A Female Screen Legend

Audrey Hepburn was a beloved actress, fashion icon, and then humanitarian. She studied ballet and dance extensively and her skills would come to show in some of her films and plays. Hepburn carried herself beyond her age and was cherished both on and offset. Her beauty shone through every character played, and the audience simply loved watching her. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Paramount-photo/Wikimedia Commons]

Hepburn was the first actress to receive a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and a BAFTA Award for one performance alone. She was also known for her rare shenanigans taking it a bit too far with some things more than others; for instance, for one of her roles she was to have a fawn follow her around and to truly get into character, she took a fawn everywhere she went offset. The actress was a light-hearted spirit and well beyond her era. 

An Imaginator

Steven Spielberg is the most recognized American director, screenwriter, and producer. He was the creator of the most known films to this day: Jaws, E.T The Extraterrestrial, Catch Me If You Can, The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, and many others. He was the one who set the stage for blockbuster movies. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Gage Skidmore /Wikimedia Commons]

Spielberg told stories in such a way that were unique and could speak to a wide range of watchers. He brought historical issues to the front and was able to provoke emotion and stir change within the minds of viewers. His ability to envision and formulate an idea onto the screen was remarkable which makes him one of the greatest entertainers on this list. 


Prince was a breath of fresh air coming out of the hard rock era in the 1970s. His sound was a mix of funk, rock, and pop and it captivated a wide range of listeners. His music was suitable for both grooving and soundtracks for a Tim Burton-style film. He was one of very few musicians ever who took full control over their own music. 

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Prince played almost every instrument and produced his own songs. His image reflected an androgynous figure reflecting Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard, and James Brown. Prince truly embodied the edgy personality most assumed was just a “character at play.” His fashion, manners, speech, and the overall way he carried himself was a boundary-breaker of sexuality, gender, and music. 

Anti-Hero Hero

Paul Newman became one of the most cherished actors of his era. He starred in The Hustler and Cool Hand Luke which got him into the spotlight of Hollywood. Newman became the man of iconic roles and films, he was intelligent, handsome, and strikingly charismatic, all that struck both Hollywood and the audience. 

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Newman played the roles of losers, rebels, and anti-hero tough guys, the opposite of what he was off-screen, both of which were magnetic to the public. The actor cared deeply for the underdogs, and donated lots of money to charities, and made sure to offer his generosity as much as he could. 

Groucho the Monk

Groucho Marx was a comedian and actor who started out with theatrical acts in the Marx Brothers. Groucho won over the audience’s attention with his quick snappy one-liners. The Marx Brothers starred in films in the 1920s before Groucho and the group branched out on their own in 1949. He was the kind of actor and comedian who got people to laugh at themselves. 

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Groucho’s appearance had been developed throughout the years and people came to recognize him with the thick glasses, the painted mustache, long coat, and a cigar. Apparently, the man found the cigar quite useful whenever he forgot a line; he’d simply stick it in his mouth until he remembered his lines, and people wouldn’t even know. He got his nickname “Groucho the Monk” from their comic strip called Knocko the Monk. 

The Pioneer of Musical Comedy

Mel Brooks is a director, writer, producer, filmmaker, and actor who conceived vulgar themes into comedy works of art, Brooks is mostly known for Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers. His outstanding work and pioneering musical comedy got him an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. 

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He spent quite a while twisting the biblical genre and historical topics. The guy was even recognized by President Obama with a National Medal of Arts for his entertaining and humorous works. If you can make the president laugh, then that says something (for most); unlike Newman who thrived on being on President Nixon’s bad side. 

The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger rose to fame as one of the most recognized bodybuilders of his era, which catapulted him into becoming a Hollywood actor and star. He later became the governor of California in 2003. Let’s just say, this man was definitely one of the greatest performers of all time with his blockbuster movie roles in Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, and Total Recall

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Schwarzenegger won five Mr. Universe titles and six Mr. Olympias, and this got him multiple leading roles in action films. He also had a sense of humor and starred in comedy films like Twins and Kindergarten Cop

The Shakespeare of Rock and Roll 

Chuck Berry became one of the top rock and roll musicians of all time. He gained the title of “father of rock n roll” with his songwriting and unique sounds. His most famous song to this day is "Maybellene" with a mix of blues and country sounds and narrative lyrics. His skillful and creative way of putting phrases and lines together led his music to the top of R&B and Pop charts; Bob Dylan even called Berry “the Shakespeare of rock and roll.” 

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He attracted a diverse audience, from blacks to whites and overall youth, thanks to joining blues and R&B beats. His music always spoke to the audience, and he made sure of it. He made music not for political or ethnic groups, but for the people he knew would buy his music. 

First Lady of Song

Ella Fitzgerald was the top jazz singer of the century and became the first African American woman to take home a Grammy Award. Her vocals were timeless, ageless, and versatile. Fitzgerald sang different styles like bebop and swing. 

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Her voice stood out amongst the other female jazz singers with her velvety voice. She was originally discovered at a contest singing “Judy” and “The Object of My Affection” and came to record over 200 albums and over 2,000 songs in her entire career. 

Robin Williams

Robin Williams was a comedian and actor whose performances were outstanding improvisational-styled. He made his way up the ladder quite rapidly, landing roles in The Mork and Mindy ShowPopeye, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, and more. Williams was a natural in both drama and comedy roles which led him to play distinctive roles throughout his career. 

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Williams' voice was so captivating that he won the part as the genie’s voice in the 1992 Aladdin film. He became one of the biggest performers in Hollywood’s history. Every single role (or most), whether it was a leading or supporting role, that Williams played were legendary. 

Lady Day

Billie Holiday was yet another jazz singer that was considered one of the top influential in history. She never attended any formal vocal or music lessons, but she carried a natural recording voice with depth and emotion. Producer John Hammond discovered Holiday performing in a jazz club. 

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She quickly got onto recording tracks; first with clarinetist Benny Goodman, then jazz pianist Teddy Wilson. Holiday was known for her improvisational skills and ability to manipulate phrases and tempo. She became one of the greatest performers in the 1930s and 1950s with her organic instinctive recognition of the musical structure and incorporating a singing style that was unique and profound in her era. 

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone rose to fame via his writing skills and became one of the top entertainers recognized in history. Many know him for his roles in the Rocky franchise, but many may have missed the fact that he wrote it and he wouldn’t sell it unless he played the leading role. 

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Stallone made his own stardom through writing, directing, and starring in his own work, what other way than to take the lead right? He succeeded in multiple other action films such as The Expendables, First Blood, Driven, and a few others. Despite not having the longest career, Stallone was a box-office success and shone in every single one of his roles. 

The Action Ninja

Bruce Lee was a martial artist and actor who made his way from Hong Kong to the US. He received mass recognition for his role in The Green Hornet TV series in 1966. Lee became a top performer with his Jeet Kune Do technique training. 

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His outrageous physical skills and abilities made him one of the most entertaining people to watch in action films in the 60s. He starred in the Fists of Fury and Enter the Dragon. Lee’s intent was to perform the best he could, never to “show off” as he thought that was solely for the fools. He paved the way for Chinese martial artists in American films, the most prominent being Jackie Chan. 

A Wonder

Stevie Wonder is known as one of the top creative songwriters and musicians of the 20th century. He made his first recording at just the age of 11 and soon hit number one on Pop and R&B charts. Wonder’s most famous songs like “Superstition,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” and “My Cherie Amour'' made him the cleverest songwriter in music. 

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He got people hooked on his ability to incorporate unique sounds and his distinctive ways of using electronic instruments, making him one of the top entertainers on this list. 

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando was a legend on screen, of which his most famous acts were in A Streetcar Named Desire and The Godfather. Brando would get small supporting roles and his work was always considered the finest. Brando knew his presence in the industry and used it to his advantage by asking for double or triple the salary even for the small parts. He utilized real emotions, never did the same thing twice, and did not act on emotions he didn’t personally feel himself. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Sipuede7/Wikimedia Commons]

He was astonishing on set and on stage (theatrical), even his co-workers had to wait for the audience’s applause to die off to keep the play going. Although he wasn’t that great of a person as most people described him, Brando continues to be one of the most phenomenal actors in film history and both directors and co-stars can testify to that. 

Marley and The Wailers

Bob Marley became the most beloved reggae songwriter and musician worldwide, leading the band The Wailers. He approached reggae as a means to communicate his profound visions for his community while also reaching people all across the globe. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Eddie Mallin/Wikimedia Commons]

He never sought to change the underground people, but instead to express the light of their souls and welcome listeners to other perspectives. Marley’s intent was to spread the Rastafari religion through his music. He became a prominent figure of freedom, peace, and love all around the globe, plus a pioneer of international musicians in the western world. 

A Little of Everything

Cher is an actress and singer who started out via the duo Sonny and Cher in the 1960s. Cher is recognized as the first “Kardashian” solely because her fame naturally unfolded without doing “much” in the field, or best to say “a little bit here, a little bit there.” She became a star with a few hits, a strong yet friendly character, and a fashion icon. Cher mentioned in an interview that she simply wanted to be famous, and indeed she became one of the top entertainers of the 60s and onward. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Raph_PH/Wikimedia Commons]

She didn’t necessarily have goals in mind, but she cherished being challenged and making comebacks over and over again. Cher modeled, sang, acted, and made people laugh being the center of attention. She even challenged the status quo and dressed in clothes that fit both men and women. Her voice too was so deep that it amazed the audience and many of these listeners questioned her gender. 

The Piano Man

Billy Joel is a singer, songwriter, and composer that wrote his biggest hits from the not-so-fortunate relationships of his. He was a phenomenal recording artist and a highly respected entertainer of the 1970s and 1990s. Joel began to learn piano at the age of four and by 16, he’d joined his third band. 

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Photo Courtesy: [David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons]

Joel was first inspired to pursue the music route after listening to the Beatles. His music transformed from pop to blues and jazz style after the 1970s. He sold over 150 million records and he still didn’t consider himself that big of a deal. 

The Voice of Protest

Bob Dylan, a top 20th-century singer, and songwriter known for his social and political stands through his lyrics. He reinvented himself over and over again, becoming a most fascinating entertainer with something new to express and share with the world, which welcomed his audience to grow alongside him as well. Dylan’s music was a poetic revolution in American music, with his folk/rock tunes and distinctive sounds. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Chris Hakkens/Wikimedia Commons]

He reinvented himself once again from rock to pop-like sounds and challenged the limitations that were posed on recording artists. He was the first rock musician to win a Kennedy Center Honors. 

The Great American Love Goddess

Rita Hayworth first started out as a dancer and became famous for her appearance in The Strawberry Blonde. Her charisma, sensuality, and confidence in Only Angels Have Wings won her the title of “The Great American Love Goddess.” Hayworth was a beloved actress. She was exotic, glamorous, and even with a unique ethnic look that sometimes didn’t land her the big roles in the beginning. 

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Photo Courtesy: [kate gabrielle/Flickr]

She left Hollywood at the peak of her career to marry Prince Aly Khan, she later divorced and returned to Hollywood in the 50s. She resumed where she left off, but she had been suffering from Alzheimer’s in the 60s so she was forced to film one line at a time. Despite her sudden fallout, the actress is remembered for her beauty and extraordinary performances of both strong and vulnerable females. 

The Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin was a pianist and singer who first toured with her father and later signed with Columbia Records. The artist self-taught herself for the most part and her voice became a worldwide sensation. She started singing at her father’s congregation and by the age of fourteen, she had recorded a set of tracks at the church called Songs of Faith. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Atlantic Records/Wikimedia Commons]

Her voice emitted sadness and a melancholic aura that left the audience completely hypnotized. Her vocal power and presence was one of a kind. She expanded her horizons by singing about female empowerment and civil rights movements but remained true to her origins. The singer became known as the Queen of Soul. 

Her heart will go on

Celine Dion, the French-Canadian singer who started out recording albums in French, came to win various awards by the time she reached 18. Her French album brought her recognition from a distinct group of listeners. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Kingkongphoto/Wikimedia Commons]

Celine continued to make hit after hit with her English-language album Unison in 1990 and soon broke into pop stardom when she recorded the theme song for Beauty and the Beast in 1992. She has written and recorded iconic songs such as the Titanic song “My Heart Will Go On” and “I’m Your Angel.” 

Folk and Blues

Nina Simone was a jazz, blues, and folk legend. She was one of those artists that did not give a single damn about what people thought and streamed all her civil rights movements through her music. She herself did not like the idea of being identified as a jazz singer as she felt she was more a folk and blues kind of gal. 

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Her performances were always raw, straight to the heart, even if the lyrics weren’t always her own. She was also known for bumping heads with her audience, and yet it was part of who she was as a person and entertainer. 

Ain't No Mountain High Enough Gal

Diana Ross started out with the Supremes, an astonishing trio in the 1960s. She led the Supremes to an outrageous peak in the music industry and entranced the country. Ross then left the trio, branching out on her own and making one of her biggest hits with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in 1970. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Motown Records/Wikimedia Commons]

She took a shot at film with her leading role in Lady Sings The Blues, winning her a Golden Globe in 1972. Wherever Ross went, her long-lasting fans went, and more joined her fan base. Ain’t no mountain high enough for the multi-talented star indeed. 

The Leading Lady walks away from Hollywood 

Grace Kelly was a leading lady in Hollywood before marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. The actress pursued an acting career despite her family’s disapproval. Her vocal power was not strong enough for Broadway and she went after the film sets instead. Her beauty captivated the audience, although she never presented herself as a “subject.” 

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Photo Courtesy: [Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Wikimedia Commons]

She never gave any personal tendencies away and remained quiet when in the public eye, which pulled even more attention to the fine actress. Her work ethic was on point, waking up at 5 am for work, rehearsed, ate, and went straight to bed. However, she did end up leaving her acting career to marry the Prince of Monaco. All her film work was banned from the country. 

A woman in a male-dominated world 

Janis Joplin was the woman who stepped into what was the “man’s world,” rock and the blues. She started out with the rock band Big Brother where she shined with her rocky-blues vocal style. She parted ways to pursue a solo career in 1968. 

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Photo Courtesy: [Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons]

Her presence on stage was what got her rolling because her confidence behind the scenes wasn’t always at its peak. The singer’s love and passion for the stage was unshakeable. She received a lot more attention after her death, as people recognized more and more of Joplin’s iconic role in a male-dominated industry. 

Elton John Everybody

Elton John is a British singer, pianist, and one of the most legendary composers of all time. He composed for movies like The Lion King and for the musical Billy Elliot. He paired up with Bernie Taupin, a lyricist, and began singing his way to stardom while writing for other artists of course. He made sure the audience’s eyes were on him at the piano with his fabulous outfits and glasses. 

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Photo Courtesy: [David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons]

Elton didn’t seek to portray himself as a sex icon, but he did appreciate the attention of the audience, so he went for humor instead. But the “humor” soon turned into a fashionista icon. Elton’s ability to incorporate piano in both rock and pop music made him one of the most talented and skillful musicians in history. 

The one who didn’t live long enough 

Jeff Buckley was a singer and songwriter who was a bit too ahead for his era, recognized for his old-soul-like essence. He only released one album in his lifetime and died young at the age of 28 or 30 (reports can’t get it together). 

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Photo Courtesy: [Jazz Guy/Flickr]

He covered songs like they were his own such as "Hallelujah" and wrote songs that would come to be known even more after his death such as "Grace". Buckley had a unique approach with a mix of soul, blues, folk, and a tint of rock. He was a most honest sight to behold and perhaps not made for the Hollywood scene which could be noted as the reason for his death. 

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