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The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

Updated December 31, 2020 307.4k votes 16.9k voters 122.5k views583 items

List RulesOnly 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?

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  • Michael Jackson1
    8,709
    6,442

    Michael Jackson

    Dec. at 51 (1958-2009)

    BirthplaceUSA, Indiana, Gary

    Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • Tina Turner2
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    BirthplaceNutbush, Tennessee, United States of America

    Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939) is an internationally recognized...  more

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  • Freddie Mercury3
    4,009
    5,400

    Freddie Mercury

    Dec. at 45 (1946-1991)

    BirthplaceStone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania

    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British...  more

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  • Charlie Chaplin4
    1,539
    1,690

    Charlie Chaplin

    Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)

    BirthplaceWalworth, United Kingdom

    Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor,...  more

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  • Elvis Presley5
    2,833
    3,882

    Elvis Presley

    Age: Died at 42 (1935-1977)

    BirthplaceTupelo, Mississippi, USA

    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was...  more

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  • Johnny Cash6
    1,045
    1,513

    Johnny Cash

    Dec. at 71 (1932-2003)

    BirthplaceKingsland, Arkansas, United States of America

    John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American...  more

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  • Bette Davis7
    2,063
    975

    Bette Davis

    Dec. at 81 (1908-1989)

    BirthplaceLowell, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (; April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989) was an American actress of...  more

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  • Louis Armstrong8
    1,008
    1,451

    Louis Armstrong

    Dec. at 70 (1901-1971)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops,...  more

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  • Gene Wilder9
    608
    853

    BirthplaceMilwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America

    Jerome Silberman (June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016), known professionally as Gene Wilder, was...  more

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  • Judy Garland10
    861
    1,238

    Judy Garland

    Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)

    BirthplaceGrand Rapids, Minnesota, United States of America

    Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress,...  more

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  • Betty White11
    708
    962

    BirthplaceOak Park, Illinois, United States of America

    Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922) is an American actress and comedian, with...  more

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    #11 of 349 The Best American Actresses Working Today#1 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100

  • Dolly Parton12
    927
    1,338

    BirthplaceSevierville, Tennessee, United States of America

    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • Lucille Ball13
    1,375
    2,005

    Lucille Ball

    Dec. at 78 (1911-1989)

    BirthplaceJamestown, New York, United States of America

    Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedian,...  more

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  • Ray Charles14
    976
    1,412

    Ray Charles

    Dec. at 74 (1930-2004)

    BirthplaceGeorgia, USA, Albany

    Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), professionally known as simply Ray...  more

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  • Dick Van Dyke15
    495
    600

    BirthplaceWest Plains, Missouri, United States of America

    Richard Wayne Van Dyke (born December 13, 1925) is an American actor, comedian, singer, and...  more

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  • Frank sinatra16
    1,960
    2,877

    Frank sinatra

    Dec. at 83 (1915-1998)

    BirthplaceHoboken, New Jersey, United States of America

    Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and...  more

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  • Paul McCartney17
    1,447
    2,098

    BirthplaceWalton, Liverpool, United Kingdom

    Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician,...  more

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  • Jimi Hendrix18
    852
    1,240

    Jimi Hendrix

    Dec. at 28 (1942-1970)

    BirthplaceWashington, Area code 206, Western United States, Northwestern United States, United States of America

    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18,...  more

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  • David Bowie19
    689
    970

    BirthplaceLondon, England

    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (,...  more

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  • Carol Burnett20
    683
    871

    BirthplaceSan Antonio, Texas, United States of America

    Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) is an American actress, comedian, singer and...  more

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    #20 of 233 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time#17 of 126 The Greatest Broadway Stars of All Time

  • Clint Eastwood21
    905
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    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    Clinton Eastwood Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American actor, filmmaker, musician, and...  more

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  • Aretha Franklin22
    1,338
    1,943

    BirthplaceTennessee, USA, Memphis

    Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • Prince23
    1,583
    2,323

    Prince

    Dec. at 57 (1958-2016)

    BirthplaceMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • Alfred Hitchcock24
    511
    719

    Alfred Hitchcock

    Dec. at 81 (1899-1980)

    BirthplaceLeytonstone, London, United Kingdom

    Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and...  more

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  • Steven Spielberg25
    1,001
    1,365

    BirthplaceCincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    Steven Allan Spielberg (; born December 18, 1946) is an American filmmaker. He is considered...  more

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