Top 10 Greatest Musical Entertainers of All Time

There are many great entertainers, but there are a select few who can induce tears and fainting before they even begin to sing. These are artists who not only meet expectations but shatter them.

There are singers who don't just raise the bar, they break it. For many entertainers, their art is music. Yet, for some, music itself transforms into art.

The following are the artists, singers, and entertainers who have exceeded expectations, broken the bar, and transformed their music into art.
The Top Ten
1 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson (Michael Joseph Jackson; August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter. He passed away from cardiac arrest caused by a propofol and benzodiazepine overdose on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under the initials MJ... read more

Just the fact that a little black boy from a Midwestern town was able to become a seemingly mythical pop legend is mind-blowing. The electrifying dance moves and angelic voice just add to the recipe that makes up Michael Jackson, the greatest entertainer of all time. He revolutionized music and was the first artist to turn it into art.

His extraordinary wardrobe, his take on the music video, and his amazing dances made his music come alive. He pioneered the music video format with Thriller, and none of his videos disappointed. He never settled and was never second-best. For him, it was all or nothing. If he couldn't excite and please his fans, he didn't want to do it at all. His perseverance, perfectionism, talent, and hard work is what makes him the greatest entertainer of all time.

Michael Jackson is the one and only. I'm 36, and I feel blessed I managed to witness his peaking years in the 80's. As a military brat living overseas, I must say Michael Jackson was the most popular artist. Everyone imitated his dance moves, and his music was heard everywhere. I've never met anyone who has not heard of the King of Pop. The fact that his fame is GLOBAL proves his success and passion for his music.

I never heard of the Beatles or Elvis Presley until we moved to the U.S. Michael is blessed with pure talent and originality. He proved it from when he was still a little kid with the Jackson 5, and he peaked as a solo artist. The Beatles would be nothing without each other. It's proven that they fell off the charts when the band broke up.

Elvis now? He was mostly famous because teenage girls at that time had no other "hottie" to idolize. Did Elvis dance like Michael? Did he entertain like Mike GLOBALLY? Nope. That proves everything. I'm not even talking about all of Michael's awards and recognition for humanitarian efforts.

Not to mention, his fame lasted just about his entire life. That is no easy task, or the world wouldn't have so many one-hit wonders. Michael truly is the King. The one and only. An inspirational story of "rags to riches." May he rest in peace.

2 Beyoncé Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, is an American singer and actress, who started out in the popular pop/r&b girl group Destiny's Child. They had multiple top 5 hits such as "No, No, No", "Say My Name", "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Survivor", "Independent Women", "Bootylicious", and "Jumpin', Jumpin" from 1999 to 2004. After they broke up in 2006, Beyonce pursued her solo career, creating smash hits such... read more

She has the voice. The body. The moves. Performances that will blow your mind. She comes with something new every time. She does her thing without bothering anyone or trying to be more than anyone. She just does her thing without trying to break records or sell numbers. She shows respect, appreciation, and does tributes to other huge artists. Artists admire her. And the ones who hate her, don't really hate her. They hate that people talk as if she were some kind of god, and that's not her fault. I kinda think that she is underrated because radios don't play her music, and they compare her to others that are not on her level.

Vocal perfection. Stunning visuals. Hard-hitting choreography, frequent costume changes... and every single costume seems like it was made specifically for the song she was performing. Definitely one of the GOATs, no other female performer (or performer in general) can compare, except maybe Gaga.

3 Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone, known professionally as Madonna, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically in 2012 "Madge" or MDNA. She has 14 studio albums (Madonna, Like a Virgin, True Blue, Like a Prayer,... read more

Instead of pointing out that Madonna doesn't have the best voice in the business, how about pointing out that she dominated the 80s with live vocals in her shows with no backing tracks. She's a workaholic, and much of that work has been on herself - getting better and better at singing, dancing, and expressing herself in her shows in some very innovative and incredible ways. She was born to be a live entertainer, and every concert feels fresh and different from the one before. I've seen many live performers over the years, and Madonna was only rivaled by Prince and Michael Jackson when it comes to seeing a superhero appear onstage before you. She radiates inspiration.

The Top 5 ends here with Madonna Ciccone, arguably the most successful female artist of all time. Madonna's daring performances and irresistible tunes both angered and excited people all over the world. Some say she is far too overrated. Some insist she is overlooked. Whatever it may be, Madonna's sultry shows and Marilynesque style make her an unforgettable piece of 80s and 90s pop culture.

4 Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the "King of Rock and Roll", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race... read more

He was the King. One cannot get into 4 Official Music Halls of Fame without a reason. Another thing to remember is that he has outsold every other solo performer, and is on par with the Beatles (both having claimed to sell over one billion records). To throw into the mix is the fact that he had such emotion and passion that he put into the really good songs, making these recordings amazing. Also, when he was younger (from when he started out, until about 1973), his dance/karate moves were amazing.

Everyone who has ever enjoyed modern music has this man and his peers to thank (guys like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, etc.). If it wasn't for all of them, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and so much of the music that we now love and enjoy would not be here. And if you don't believe this, remember that John Lennon himself said that it was Elvis who got him into music.

Michael Jackson was a gifted dancer, and to some, a gifted singer. He didn't have the range or vocal versatility that Elvis had, and of course, he sure didn't have the natural good looks. Elvis could sing gospel, rock and roll, R&B, country, and he sure could sing love songs like no one else. His charisma was undeniably unmatched by anyone, including Michael Jackson. He was on a first-name basis with the entire world, and yet never performed outside of the US. His voice was recognizable worldwide, as was his picture. He changed music, and music was never the same after Elvis. Bottom line, any list that puts anyone above Elvis Presley is a flawed list. They need to step back and look at the entire package again.

5 Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .

Dude had it all. He could shred with the best. He could sing with the best. No one, except maybe Meat Loaf, poured themselves out to the audience with every ounce of energy they had like Prince did. And some of his most beautiful work is stuff 99% of the people never heard, because they weren't radio hits. But it was beautiful art.

It's hard to compare, because everyone has their own niche, but, in my opinion, he and Meat Loaf should be floating around the top. Elvis was a great vocalist. He engaged the crowd. But he didn't put on a SHOW like Prince. Find Prince's Super Bowl halftime performance, in a torrential downpour. He killed it. Rain didn't bother him, or his dancers. Anyone who thinks this guy isn't one of the best knows nothing about music or entertainment. Or Prince. That's what it looks like from where I'm standing, anyway.

Prince was not only a singer but also a truly talented musician from the 80s until his unfortunate death. I love Prince because I look up to him. His music brings a great impact on the entertainment industry. Most of his songs are so unique and full of variety. From a Jimi Hendrix sound-alike song 'Dreamer' to a love letter to funk fans, "Raspberry Beret". His songs are way too incredible to listen to. Let's not forget to mention his biggest hit 'Purple Rain', a song with the sound of Progressive Rock with a blend of New Wave and Pop. It's my favorite song of all time. This man could play the guitar, bass, drums, piano, and 27 other instruments which I can't name. It's sad we lost a legend along with Michael Jackson. Prince defined the generation with his music as well as style. I can't say any more because he's one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time.

6 James Brown James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul".

He is simply the best entertainer ever. The man with the crown, James Brown. He has made dance and singing an art to watch and to enjoy. He has reinvented singing, dancing, and entertaining a live audience. There is still someone to come to surpass this guy. He has the voice, he has the dance, he has the mentality, he is the Einstein of music and the Napoleon of the podium, James Brown the Godfather of Soul.

Soul brother number one. Godfather of soul and King of Soul and R&B. Most sampled artist of all time. Nobody can beat James Brown. Michael Jackson himself confirmed in one event that James Brown was his biggest influence in music and dance.

James Brown is one of the greatest entertainers to have ever lived. If there were no Mr. Brown, there would be no Prince or Michael Jackson, and there would be no such thing as funk or hip-hop. Ask Dr. Funkenstein. He'll tell ya himself.

7 Tina Turner Tina Turner, née Anna Mae Bullock, was a singer, dancer, actress and author, whose career spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards.

The most professional, hard-working, dynamic, and unique female musical act ever. Legend. And just a wonderful person, to boot. There will never be another Tina Turner.

Tina Turner could do more on stage at 60 than Beyoncé can now. I'm not taking anything away from Beyoncé, but until you see Tina Turner in person, you really can't compare them. Her show was actually what I would call savage and raw. Nothing like her.

The greatest female entertainer of all time!

8 Janet Jackson Janet Jackson is a singer and dancer who is well known for her sexually graphic records, iconic performances, and slightly weak voice. She is regarded as a sex symbol through her songs and videos.

She belongs right behind her brother because she is the greatest female entertainer of all time. She doesn't need Michael. She can do it on her own, and that's why we love her so much.

Michael has nothing to do with it. The Jacksons just have natural talent!

She isn't overrated, and neither is Michael.

9 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), and John Deacon (bass guitar, vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate... read more

No one, and I mean no one, could command an audience like Freddie Mercury and Queen. Few performers so deliberately crafted their entire presence and performance to the crowd better than they did on the biggest stages in the world.

Queen, or at least Freddie, deserves to be number 1. They weren't afraid to take risks, like with Bohemian Rhapsody. They performed one of the greatest pieces of music in history (Live Aid). Their combination of vocal ranges was just amazing, not to mention they sounded the same live as they did in the studio.

They had the ability to capture every single person in the room, no matter how many people were there. Their songs were captivating. They made you feel a thousand different emotions and left the meaning of their songs a secret so everyone could have their own personal connection to the song. Additionally, every member had written a hit song, which shows how connected they were. They were the first band to do so, like Brian, who was the first person to write a song about time travel ('39).

Freddie was an amazing musician and performer. He reached out to everyone in the room and told them they could be who they wanted to be while he was trying to discover himself. Their concerts were electrifying. Freddie, Roger, Brian, and John are, and forever will be, rock gods. You'll never find anything better than them. EVER.

10 Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5th September 1946 - 24th November 1991) was a Zanzibari-born British singer of Indian descent, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the British rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range. Before he became a singer he has been in 3 other bands (Ibex, Sour Milk Sea,... read more

The best performer of ALL TIME. Why isn't he the number 1 on this list? People, wake up!

Pure genius, the true total performer.

Best stage performance combined with great vocals in different styles.

The Contenders
11 Jackie Evancho Jacqueline Marie "Jackie" Evancho is an American classical crossover singer who gained wide recognition at an early age. Since 2009, she has issued an EP and eight albums, including a platinum and gold album, and three Billboard 200 top 10 debuts. Evancho's latest album 'The Debut', was her eighth consecutive release to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart... read more

I have personally seen "live" in concert: the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, the Beach Boys, Eric Clapton, Prince, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, The Eagles, and many other HOF acts. I know what greatness looks like, and Jackie Evancho is true greatness. It's very funny that the haters seem to always be fans of Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, and other worthless pop princesses. What is a little disconcerting is that the haters seem unable to comprehend that somebody could actually disagree with them, and could dare to vote differently than they would. Welcome to life, get used to it.

She is the whole package: immensely talented, cute, funny, positive, and caring. She lights up everything around her.

The effect she has on the audience is astounding. Comes across as genuine and humble, even naive, but has a voice that is other-worldly!

12 Jennifer Lopez Jennifer Lynn Lopez, also known as J. Lo, is an American singer, actress, dancer, fashion designer, author and producer.

Watch the Celia Cruz tribute at the AMA's 2013 and the opening dance number at the AMA's 2015. She should be in the top 5.

She should be in the top 10.

Should be in the top 10.

13 David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016) was an English singer born in London, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He is credited for his experimental and creative musical discography which has won praise and accolades for many critics and fans... read more

David Bowie is very unique, and I like him so much. He's my 2nd biggest influence.

Very unique and cool.

14 The Beatles The Beatles were an English pop rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard... read more

The Beatles were nothing if not epic. Their albums were so ambitious and out-there they crossed back to mainstream. The Beatles managed to get psychedelic pop to Number One. The Beatles made girls cry just by standing onstage. Never has any band achieved so much success. The Beatles are still being swooned over by females from age fifty to age fifteen. The Beatles were like crack cocaine: they were short-lived, made people become ecstatic, and left everyone wishing for more.

The Beatles wrote their own material, pushed the boundaries of music, challenged their contemporaries to keep up, and opened the door for everyone who followed. No one stands above them. Not even the vastly overrated Michael Jackson.

Trumps Michael Jackson every time. They wrote music heads and tails above him and had depth and creativity that he could never imagine!

15 Cher Cher is an American singer and actress. Described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry, she is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances during her five-decade-long career, which has led to her being nicknamed the Goddess of Pop.

Cher is known as "The Goddess of Pop"! How is she not in the top ten?

She is the Goddess! No one compares.

Cher is the best!

16 Shakira Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll is a Colombian-Spanish singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, choreographer, and model.
17 K.S. Chithra Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music.

Chithra is just so totally unique, and the world needs to see and hear such a nice young lady with so much talent. "Surprisingly beautiful voice - original." "Wonderful singer, would grace any stage."

Although Chithra is fairly new to the music scene, she has already inspired countless people, including myself, to never be afraid to be different. Her outlandish costumes and extravagant stage shows, along with the artistry of her music, have proven that Chithra is here to stay. Her songs explore aspects of real life, written down in clever lyrics and put to a catchy beat. She does a fantastic job of capturing a moment in time and presenting it to our generation.

Chithra has a lot to give. Her voice is strong, well controlled, and agile. Power is the most wonderful thing in her voice. And by power, I mean her soul when she sings. I think her voice has no limits. Like I said, she has a lot to give unpredictably. Chithra is full of surprises!

18 Dimash Kudaibergen Dinmukhamed Kanatuly Kudaibergenov, commonly known as Dimash Kudaibergen (born May 24th, 1994) is a Kazakh singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Dimash is best known as a contestant of Chinese talent show "Singer 2017" where he was declared a runner-up. He is also known for possessing a wide vocal range, measuring up to 5 octaves.
19 Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress.

On the start of her career, she performed at an event called the Lollapalooza Festival during 2007 whereby a record label company Interscope found her due to her performance being “amusing” to watch. Since Interscope found her, she was a mastermind behind her songs with... read more

Although Gaga is fairly new to the music scene, she has already inspired countless people, including myself, to never be afraid to be different. Her outlandish costumes and extravagant stage shows, along with the artistry of her music, have proven that Gaga is here to stay. Her albums explore aspects of real life, written down in clever lyrics and put to a catchy beat. "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" on The Fame talks about the prep school club scene in NYC. She does a fantastic job of capturing a moment in time and presenting it to our generation.

20 Frank Sinatra Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

Hey, I'm a Prince fan, but he couldn't hold a candle to Frank as far as being an entertainer. Just because you like someone does not make them a great entertainer. They might be a great musician or songwriter, but being an entertainer is different. The Beatles were not entertainers. Frank was called the Chairman of the Board for a reason. He took control of every stage he walked on like no other, except maybe Michael Jackson. Patti LaBelle should be on this list too, but don't give me Madonna or Beyoncé. Please...

Unparalleled command of stage and screen. THE idol and symbol of America in his time. And that voice.

Greatest entertainer along with Elvis of all time.

21 Britney Spears Britney Jean Spears, born on December 2, 1981, is an American former singer and actress. She was born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana. As a child, she performed acting roles in stage productions and television shows, such as "The Mickey Mouse Club," before signing with Jive Records in 1997... read more

She's the best princess of pop. I love her performances, and the ones from her prime era are untouchable.

22 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters (Vocals and Bass), and Richard Wright (Vocals and Keyboard). Barrett was replaced by Gilmour in 1968... read more

Omg, are you serious? Lady Gaga, Chithra, Miley Cyrus, and Madonna above Pink Floyd? Sorry, but that is just wrong. Many of the artists I mentioned lip-sync, but all can't sing. Pink Floyd is the ultimate stoner music; it is the closest thing to a drug I can think of. Their live shows are pretty awesome too. They were among the first to use bright-colored light shows in their live performances. All these artists I mentioned are gonna die soon anyway. Bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd will live on forever.

23 Robbie Williams Robert Peter Williams is an English singer, songwriter and actor. He was a member of the pop group Take That from 1990 to 1995 and again from 2009 to 2012. He has also had commercial success as a solo artist.

In 2006, Williams entered the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1.6 million tickets for his Close Encounters Tour in a single day.

Total perfection in every way. His live concerts are the best I've ever seen.

By far the most charismatic and entertaining, the full package...

24 Geri Halliwell
25 Judy Garland Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm (June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American singer, actress, and vaudevillian. The American Film Institute named her 8th greatest female star of classic American cinema. She's also the mother of actress and singer Liza Minnelli.

Most people remember her as the girl next door, Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz. But she did two movies a few years later: "Babes in Arms", and "Babes on Broadway" that really showcased her incredible talent. Unfortunately, those movies are never shown on T.V. or cable because they each had small vaudeville blackface scenes that are not politically correct. She was quite beautiful in her early 20's before the amphetamines Hollywood studios gave her slowly tarnished her looks and health. Fred Astaire said she was the greatest entertainer that ever lived. That pretty much says it all.

Sadly, Judy Garland passed too early for many young people to experience her amazing talent!

No one has ever possessed her wealth of talent! Her 'singing' communicated with her audience like no other will ever be able to accomplish! Her ability to 'act' is amazing, even in light of the fact that she never was able to really get the 'serious' roles because we loved her too much in her 'singing' roles! She could 'dance' with the best of them, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, or just by herself! She possessed a 'comedic' skill that was admired by none other than Lucille Ball! Yet, it was her 'empathy' and 'tender sincerity' that drew us to her and made us all love and root for her!

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