Entertainment

The Greatest Entertainers of All Time 

Celebrity Lists
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Updated February 16, 2020 119.9k votes 8.8k voters 51.9k views 351 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 (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant ...more

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#7 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #2 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time

2
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 45 (1946-1991)
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the ...more

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#5 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #866 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing Everything We Know About Freddie Mercury’s Last Relationship

3
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Died at 83 (1915-1998)
Francis Albert 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 ...more

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#3 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Frank Sinatra Songs of All Timelisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

4
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 42 (1935-1977)
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th ...more

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#5 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #365 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film Historyfeaturing The Best Elvis Presley Albums of All Time

5
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 49 (1963-2012)
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and ...more

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#4 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #94 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time

6
Prince is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 57 (1958-2016)
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was ...more

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#20 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #18 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Prince Songs of All Time

7
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 68
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music, ...more

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#115 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #8 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Stevie Wonder Songs of All Time

8
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)
Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Born in Chicago, Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during ...more

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#42 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film History #6 of 408 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Timefeaturing The Best Ever Robin Williams Movies

9
Sammy Davis, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 65 (1925-1990)
Samuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American singer, musician, dancer, actor, vaudevillian, comedian and activist known for his impressions of actors, musicians and ...more

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#194 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing How Did Sammy Davis Jr. End Up $15 Million In Debt?listed on Famous Christians Who Converted to Judaism

10
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 76
Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New ...more

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#10 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #2 of 974 The Best Female Vocalists Everfeaturing The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time

11
Fred Astaire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Died at 88 (1899-1987)
Fred Astaire (born May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, and television presenter. He is widely considered the most influential dancer in the ...more

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#114 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film Historyfeaturing The Best Fred Astaire Movies

12
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 79
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939) is an internationally recognized singer, songwriter, and actress. She is originally from the United States, and has been a Swiss citizen ...more

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#26 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #101 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing Every Man Tina Turner Has Dated

13
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 60
Madonna Louise Ciccone (, Italian: [tʃikˈkoːne]; born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, ...more

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#28 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #44 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Madonna Albums of All Time

14
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 78 (1911-1989)
Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedian, model, entertainment studio executive and producer. She was the star of the self-produced ...more

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#59 of 926 People We Wish Were Still Alivefeaturing Lucille Ball And Desi Arnaz Founded A Production Company, And You Can Thank Them For 'Star Trek' 16 Fascinating Facts About Lucille Ball You Probably Didn't Know

15
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 79 (1917-1996)
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her ...more

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#16 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #61 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Ella Fitzgerald Albums of All Time

16
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 71
Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 ...more

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#20 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #72 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the Worldfeaturing 14 Elton John Stories That Prove He's A Legend

17
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 17 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

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#112 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearsfeaturing The Best James Brown Albums of All Timelisted on List of Famous Unpublished Books

18
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 92
Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" ...more

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#147 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Chuck Berry Albums of All Timelisted on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time

19
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 80 (1925-2005)
John William Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. He is best known as the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson ...more

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#34 of 408 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time #39 of 362 The Funniest People of All Time

20
Walt Disney is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
DaveHarding added
Dec. at 65 (1901-1966)
Walter Elias Disney (; December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced ...more

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#20 of 926 People We Wish Were Still Alive #96 of 473 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Personlisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

21
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Susan Bertolini added
Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through ...more

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#66 of 332 The Coolest Actors Everfeaturing 18 Surprising and Revealing Facts About Charlie Chaplinlisted on Famous Left Handed People

22
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 74 (1930-2004)
Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), professionally known as simply Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. Among friends and fellow ...more

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#77 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #23 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Ray Charles Songs

23
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 70 (1901-1971)
Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist and occasional actor who was one of the most influential ...more

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#66 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #34 of 926 People We Wish Were Still Alivefeaturing The Best Louis Armstrong Albums of All Time

24
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
age 74
Diana Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, ...more

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#135 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #1,087 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

25
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Entertainers of All Time
Dec. at 71 (1932-2003)
John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, ...more

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#24 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #30 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Johnny Cash Songs of All Time