Entertainment

The Greatest Entertainers of All Time  

Celebrity Lists
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63.5k votes 5.1k voters 26.6k views 328 items

List Rules Only individual people. No bands or group acts. Vote up the entertainers who put on the most riveting live shows.

When it comes to the greatest entertainers of all time, we're truly blessed to live in an age where technology allows us access to so many of these greats. Here you'll find a list of famous live entertainers who put on some of the best shows in recent history. Among them you'll find perhaps the most entertaining people on the planet, from singers to comedians.

Of course, many of the greatest entertainers to date were singers or musicians, or even dancing singers, such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince. However, you also have to consider top comedians and TV personalities, such as Jerry Seinfeld and Johnny Carson, respectively. 

Join the conversation about which were the best entertainers ever by voting for your favorites. Whether you were lucky enough to actually see one of their shows in person or have just enjoyed their talents through recordings, which ones do you think rank among the greatest entertainers ever to set foot on a stage?

list ordered by
1
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 51 (1958-2009)
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal ...more
2
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 45 (1946-1991)
Freddie Mercury was a British singer, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona ...more
3
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 42 (1935-1977)
Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and ...more
4
Prince is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 57 (1958-2016)
Prince Roger Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. A major figure in popular music for over three decades, Prince is renowned ...more
5
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 76
Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was ...more
6
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 83 (1915-1998)
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer, actor, director, and producer. Beginning his musical career in the swing era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, ...more
7
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy ...more
8
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 60
Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She achieved popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery ...more
9
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 71
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is an English singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since ...more
10
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 49 (1963-2012)
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop ...more
11
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 76
Anna Mae Bullock, known by her stage name Tina Turner, is a singer, dancer, actress, and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and ...more
12
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 71 (1932-2003)
John R. "Johnny" Cash was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as ...more
13
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 68
Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he has become one of ...more
14
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 70 (1901-1971)
Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter, singer, and an influential figure in jazz music. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet ...more
15
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 74 (1930-2004)
Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician and composer, who is sometimes referred to as "The Genius". He pioneered the ...more
16
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 73 (1933-2006)
James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of ...more
17
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 78 (1911-1989)
Lucille Désirée Ball was an American actress, comedian, model, and film studio executive. She was the star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, ...more
18
Sammy Davis, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 65 (1925-1990)
Samuel George "Sammy" Davis Jr., was an American entertainer. Primarily a dancer and singer, he was also an actor of stage and screen, musician, and impressionist, noted for his ...more
19
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Susan Bertolini added age 85
Carol Creighton Burnett is an American actress, comedian, singer, and writer. She is best known for her long-running TV variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, for CBS. She has achieved success on ...more
20
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Down in Florida added age 73
Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. Her career began as a child performer ...more
21
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 76
Sir James Paul McCartney MBE is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the ...more
22
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 80 (1925-2005)
John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, actor, and musician known for thirty years as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. ...more
23
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 74
Diana Ernestine Earle Ross is an American singer, actress, record producer and an occasional songwriter. Born and raised in Detroit, she rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the ...more
24
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 36 (1945-1981)
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley OM was a Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim. Starting out in 1963 with the group the ...more
25
Cher is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 72
Cher is an American singer, songwriter, actress, model, fashion designer, television host, comedian, dancer, businesswoman, philanthropist, author, film producer, director, and record producer. ...more