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The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

Updated December 31, 2020 307.5k votes 16.9k voters 122.7k 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
    8,719
    6,444

    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
    4,013
    5,403

    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
    1,696

    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
    2,837
    3,885

    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
    1,047
    1,515

    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
    2,064
    978

    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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  • Judy Garland8
    864
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    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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  • Dolly Parton9
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    BirthplaceSevierville, Tennessee, United States of America

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

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  • Paul McCartney10
    1,452
    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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  • Betty White11
    711
    965

    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

  • Gene Wilder12
    610
    857

    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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  • Frank sinatra13
    1,964
    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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  • Louis Armstrong14
    1,008
    1,457

    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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  • Lucille Ball15
    1,376
    2,008

    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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  • Dick Van Dyke16
    496
    602

    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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  • Ray Charles17
    976
    1,416

    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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  • Aretha Franklin18
    1,341
    1,946

    BirthplaceTennessee, USA, Memphis

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

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  • Carol Burnett19
    685
    872

    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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  • Clint Eastwood20
    908
    1,148

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

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

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  • David Bowie21
    691
    973

    BirthplaceLondon, England

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

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  • Jimi Hendrix22
    852
    1,244

    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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  • Prince23
    1,587
    2,327

    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
    722

    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
    1,367

    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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