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The most culturally important pop stars of all time.

Top tier: Elvis, Beatles

Second tier: Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Madge

Third tier: this is where the screaming begins...and important doesn't mean best or most talented.

by Anonymousreply 23711/02/2013

Is the OP an over 50 white guy? You forgot Michael Jackson. He is top tier.

by Anonymousreply 110/24/2013

Which culture are you referring to?

by Anonymousreply 210/25/2013

Katy Perry and her record smashing singles

by Anonymousreply 310/25/2013


by Anonymousreply 410/25/2013

top tier : the clash, the who, the ramones,

by Anonymousreply 510/25/2013

Elvis, the Stones, and Dylan are pop?! News to me.

by Anonymousreply 610/25/2013

Janet Jackson is top tier!

by Anonymousreply 810/25/2013

I'd put Elton John at tier 2.

by Anonymousreply 910/25/2013

And I'd kick that bitch down to level three where she belongs.

by Anonymousreply 1010/25/2013

Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey are definitely up there as well. In the last 20 years, no other female singers have been copied so much in terms of style.

Bob Dylan tier 2? keep dreaming.

by Anonymousreply 1110/25/2013

Aretha Frankin, David Bowie, Jimmy Hendrix, Elvis, Madonna

maybe also Whitney Houston, Chic

by Anonymousreply 1210/25/2013


by Anonymousreply 1310/25/2013

In no way is Madge the equal of Dylan or the Stones. I'd put her at the same level as Katy Perry, which is also where I'd put Mariah Carey. That would be well below the Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, and Kate Bush level.

by Anonymousreply 1410/25/2013

Michael Jackson, I vote for top tier also.

Pervert aside, the man was incredibly talented, certainly the best dancer to his own music.

by Anonymousreply 1510/25/2013

Liz Phair

by Anonymousreply 1610/25/2013

Indisputable Top Tier: Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson (No one else comes even close to the cultural impact of these three.)

Disputable Top Tier: Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Madonna

Bottom of Top Tier or Top of the Second Tier: Whitney Houston, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimmy Hendrix, Elton John, Bob Dylan

Someone who should be mentioned but won't - Liberace (One of the first musical TV stars, and blazed the trail for outrageous, over-the-top, bling acts to follow)

by Anonymousreply 1710/25/2013

R14 you need to get your damn life! NO ONE outside of UK gives a fuck about Kate Bush. Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell are far from the top tiers too.

by Anonymousreply 1810/25/2013

It's sad how such poor singers as the Beatles, Vadge and Dylan are considered some of the most influential. Elvis and Michael could at least sing well.

by Anonymousreply 1910/25/2013

What is this, Buzzfeed?

by Anonymousreply 2010/25/2013

Oh for Christ's sake: Bob Dylan is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. There is no tier high enough for him. As time goes on, I think MJ will turn out to have far less lasting cultural cache than Prince, for instance. Prince ahead of Stones and Madonna.

by Anonymousreply 2110/25/2013

PRINCE is the most talented all around male musician(encompassing singing,songwriting,producing,musicianship and instrument playing)the world has EVER known...and Barbra is the most talented female.

by Anonymousreply 2210/25/2013

Dylan is the worst famous male "singer" of all time. Great writer but can't carry a tune at all. Someone else should have sung his songs.

Rolling Stones are so overrated.

by Anonymousreply 2310/25/2013

I'd put "Motown" in the top tier. It was a collective effort of great artists there.

by Anonymousreply 2410/25/2013

Good one R24 !

Bob Dylan influential????

by Anonymousreply 2510/25/2013

For the youngsters here who don't know:

Bing Crosby

Frank Sinatra

by Anonymousreply 2610/25/2013

Can those people please let The Beatles go already. Even Paul McCarty thinks they were the Miley Cyrus and One Direction of their day.

by Anonymousreply 2710/25/2013

Whitney Houston-top tier

Sinatra-top tier

Mariah-second tier?

I'm also putting Connie Francis on the second tier, perhaps even first tier. She was the best selling female recording artist of all time until very recently, and the comparison isn't even quite fair given the different technology nowadays.

I'm trying to think of pre 1950's era people for this list but I can't...Al Jolson?

by Anonymousreply 2810/25/2013

Are Bob Dylan, Bing Crosby and Sinatra really considered "pop"?

by Anonymousreply 2910/25/2013

Also, Dalida for the top tier. Nobody in America knows who she is, but she is the most popular popstar of all time in the majority of Europe. She's practically a saint to the French. Total goddess.

by Anonymousreply 3010/25/2013

A bunch of over-50 Midwestern queens trying to be the ultimate arbiters of pop culture which they didn't even truly belong to when they were young... cute.

by Anonymousreply 3110/25/2013

R29, in their times, Sinatra and Crosby were considered pop stars. If they were popular now I'm sure there music would be in the "Easy Listening" or "Adult Contemporary" sections.

by Anonymousreply 3210/25/2013

Little Richard and Chuck berry need to be in top tier because they influenced Elvis, who influenced the Beatles and the Stones, who influenced Bowie and every other band.

I think r17 comes the closet with the best tiers, but I would include Madonna along with Michael Jackson in the top tier. Both artists defined the entire decade and influenced everything that is "relevant" today (i.e. Gaga Bieber Perry). Though Prince is uber talented, I don’t see his influence as prevalent as Mj and Madge.

by Anonymousreply 3310/25/2013

Bowie deserves to be in the top tier based on the numerous acts he inspired. Pretty much every band from the late 70s and through the 80s cite him as a big influence.

by Anonymousreply 3410/25/2013

[all posts by tedious troll removed.]

by Anonymousreply 3510/25/2013

Barbra a pop star? Really?

by Anonymousreply 3610/25/2013

[all posts by tedious troll removed.]

by Anonymousreply 3710/25/2013

ABBA is easily top-tier in the rest of the world.

by Anonymousreply 3810/25/2013

Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams belong on this list.

by Anonymousreply 3910/25/2013

All time? Then the top tier must include Frank Sinatra and Al Jolson. In their time they dominated pop music. I would add Cher, The Who. The Beach Boys & The Ramone's to the second tier.

by Anonymousreply 4010/25/2013

Sister Rosetta Tharpe?

Did I miss something?

by Anonymousreply 4110/25/2013

The Cure

by Anonymousreply 4210/25/2013


by Anonymousreply 4310/25/2013

I don't know what planet you're living on, r19. The Beatles and Dylan had a huge influence on popular music. They didn't just sing -- they wrote their own highly acclaimed music, which seamlessly lent itself to endless restylings by musicians in other genres -- and had a unique and influential personal style, making them true cultural phenomenons. They were true artists.

Madonna? Her music is nowhere near that caliber. She's a studio creation, and she consistently confuses style with shock value. She's not an artist, she's a poseur. She will be a musical footnote, if that, 100 years from now, but people will still be playing Beatles and Dylan songs. To put her in their category is laughable.

by Anonymousreply 4410/25/2013

If we are going to go by the influence one act had on the ones that follow, Buddy Holly needs to be included as well. He was a very big influence on the Beatles, who in turn were a very big influence on nearly every band that showed up in the next ten to fifteen years.

by Anonymousreply 4510/25/2013

R44, I concur with you completely on the relative [italic]musical[/italic] value of the Beatles, Dylan, and Madonna. But Madonna seemed as significant [italic]culturally[/italic] in her time. I remember it very well. It felt as if the world gradually went to absolute shit during the '80s, starting with Reagan, then the advent of AIDS, and then musical miseria that was Madonna. I've often wondered if she only seemed as significant because I was gay, and therefore more exposed to her, but no, I used to hear her on someone's radio at a particular job in 1983-85. Like it or not, she was an enormous cultural happening.

by Anonymousreply 4610/25/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Anonymousreply 4710/25/2013

If you are going to put Madonna that high up on the list, then you need to put Debbie Harry even higher because, at least according the Madonna in her early years, she was an influence on her.

[quote] To deny that Madonna did not have an impact on American society is absurd.

She had an impact on only one portion of American society.

by Anonymousreply 4810/25/2013

If you're talking about rock, then Dylan belongs up there with The Beatles and Elvis. He's responsible not only for the folk influence on rock (think of all the performers and groups who worked in that tradition) but also for the permanent prevalence of singer-songwriters.

If you're widening the category to pop, then certainly Bing Crosby has to be included: he changed the way pop singers sang. He made singing conversational for the first time, and there wasn't a singer afterward who didn't follow his style. Sinatra is important, too, because he perfected Crosby's style, took it farther than anyone else, including Crosby himself. First in the early forties and then again through the fifties, every pop singer wanted to sound like him. He was It until Elvis came along -- and again after Elvis (and rock) faded from prominence until the British invasion in late 1963. If influence is the primary criterion, then also add Billie Holiday. Sinatra, among many others, said that Holiday had the deepest impact on popular singing in the century.

by Anonymousreply 4910/25/2013

Haven't read the whole thread, but hope that Bowie has a mention somewhere. If not then this list is totally invalid.

by Anonymousreply 5010/25/2013

How many other musicians cover Madonna songs, r47? What style influence did she have other than on the mid-80's wannabees? How many successful movies has she appeared in compared to her number of monumental flops?

She's no more going to be among the musical immortals for her 80's popularity than Cher is for her 70's popularity. She's already fading, and the older she gets, the more she will fade.

by Anonymousreply 5110/25/2013

"I'd put her at the same level as Katy Perry, which is also where I'd put Mariah Carey. That would be well below the Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, and Kate Bush level."

Please, you are confusing influence with talent. Bush and Ronstadt are certainly more TALENTED than Madge, but they are not more influential. Half the female pop singers on the scene are ripping off Madge now. (And half the male singers are ripping off Michael Jackson)

by Anonymousreply 5210/25/2013

"If we are going to go by the influence one act had on the ones that follow, Buddy Holly needs to be included as well. He was a very big influence on the Beatles, who in turn were a very big influence on nearly every band that showed up in the next ten to fifteen years."

Agree with this - he should be up there with the Beatles and Dylan. Same goes for Chuck Berry - so many people ripped him off.

by Anonymousreply 5310/25/2013

r52, the female pop "singers" whom you say are ripping Madge off now are nothing but off-key buzzing flies on the giant turd she laid on popular music. Like her, they are nothing without an experienced creative team behind them to expertly package and sell them until they reach their short expiration date.

There is nothing culturally important about that. Just typical music industry opportunism and money-grubbing, combined with the lack of taste exhibited by many of the public. Ten years from now, these singers will be washed up, and so will Madonna.

by Anonymousreply 5410/25/2013

Top tier Louis Armstrong, Ella, Elvis, Beatles and Prince

by Anonymousreply 5510/25/2013

[quote]How many other musicians cover Madonna songs,

Actually, there are few covers done by punk/alternative acts. Iggy Pop covered Burning Up, John Wesley Harding covered Like a Prayer and the Lords of the New Church did cover of Like a Virgin. Sonic Youth performing as Ciccone Youth did a song called Get into the Groovy which Madonna tried to keep from seeing the light of day. Fortunately, she failed.

by Anonymousreply 5610/25/2013

"There is nothing culturally important about that."

The entire music landscape would be different without Madge. Pretty much every female pop star today has been influenced by her - the ones who are dominating the charts. You people are confusing "artists I like" with "culturally important"

You can hate a singer while acknowledging the influence that he/she had. I despise Michael Jackson, but he is so influential and so many male singers have ripped him off.

by Anonymousreply 5710/25/2013

I agree with R24 about Motown. This may sound Oprah-ish but, in particular, Diana Ross and the Supremes were huge for a lot of young black girls and kids in general. They opened the door for a lot of girl groups by their popularity and countless TV appearances. I think Diana Ross helped to break down color barriers.

by Anonymousreply 5810/25/2013

I don't know if one could or indeed should call people like Art Tatum, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan and Oscar Peterson as mere "pop stars" but they people so high up in the upper echelons of music every pop star of today must look like ants.

by Anonymousreply 5910/25/2013

Little Richard. He created rock n roll

by Anonymousreply 6010/25/2013

Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Madonna def. belong up there for females.

The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson for males.

by Anonymousreply 6110/25/2013

David Bowie

by Anonymousreply 6210/25/2013

"I agree with R24 about Motown. This may sound Oprah-ish but, in particular, Diana Ross and the Supremes were huge for a lot of young black girls and kids in general. They opened the door for a lot of girl groups by their popularity and countless TV appearances. I think Diana Ross helped to break down color barriers."

The Supremes had more #1 hits than anyone in the 60s except the Beatles. I agree that they broke down a ton of barriers not just for black artists but for female artists, too.

by Anonymousreply 6310/25/2013

[quote]Little Richard and Chuck berry need to be in top tier because they influenced Elvis

As peers to a small degree that in no way justifies your assertion. Elvis had several regional hits a year prior to Richard & Berry's first releases (and several nationwide hits incl. Heartbreak Hotel before either of them released an album).

Your myth persists for racial reasons, not factual. There are even several 'black music' books that list Presley as first recording in the 1960s (!!) in order to prove your mythical case. This should be embarrassing by now.

by Anonymousreply 6410/25/2013

"All time" started in the 1950's?

by Anonymousreply 6510/25/2013

"Your myth persists for racial reasons, not factual."

ROFLMAO. You are the one who isn't being factual. Elvis himself freely admitted to being inspired by black artists. He never claimed his music existed in a bubble.

by Anonymousreply 6610/25/2013

I prefer Ella than Billie The best female singer ever

by Anonymousreply 6710/25/2013

Billie Holiday was wonderful, R67, but culturally important? Was she even a "pop star"?

Then again, my questions seem to accept the premise, which is preposterous.

by Anonymousreply 6810/25/2013

Not at all r64 However, your reply is the most embarrassing thing I've read in quite some time.

I bet you've been waiting forever to dispel that "myth." Nerd.

by Anonymousreply 6910/25/2013

[quote]Elvis himself freely admitted to being inspired by black artists. He never claimed his music existed in a bubble.

Blatant redirection by an asshole. Neither the original post or the reply addressed whether Elvis was 'inspired by black artists'.

Your ends apparently justify your means when trying to score a racial animus point.

by Anonymousreply 7010/25/2013

"Blatant redirection by an asshole"

I'm an asshole because I pointed out a FACT? Why don't you dial down the rage and stop attacking people for no reason. You sound like those Fox News types who whine about how hard white men have it in our society...

by Anonymousreply 7110/25/2013

What a ridiculous comment, R70. Their discographies and interviews and all manner of other material are public record.

I wouldn't have a problem attempting a case for Richard or Berry on their own merits, without relying on a mythical Elvis crutch. But you apparently do and are desperate to maintain your myth instead.

by Anonymousreply 7210/25/2013

[quote]The entire music landscape would be different without Madge.

Different, and better.

by Anonymousreply 7310/25/2013

Kurt Cobain, like him or not his is hugely culturally significant.

by Anonymousreply 7410/25/2013

Cobain. Elliott Smith. Morrissey. Pj Harvey.

But really Kurt Cobain. It's such an age thing, but those who were teenagers during that time, Cobain was a god.

by Anonymousreply 7510/25/2013

Man, you are weirdly angry about this. I hope that you are a relative of his or something but you’re probably a troll.


You can also find, as a matter of public record, Elvis acknowledging Little Richard as an influence. Not to mention the gazillion publications that have reported it. Also because Elvis recorded music prior to little Richard doesn't mean he wasn't an influence. They had concerts in the 50s. He also had songwriters. This is not brain surgery.

by Anonymousreply 7610/25/2013

You are an asshole, R72, because when the original post was called out for the non-factual urban legend that it is, you lied and pretended the original post said something else entirely, which is exactly characteristic of Fox.

by Anonymousreply 7710/25/2013

"because when the original post was called out for the non-factual urban legend that it is"

No, it's not a non-factual urban legend. Read r77. Stop calling me names when you are a racist freeper. I bet you listen to Rush Limbaugh every day.

by Anonymousreply 7810/25/2013

Again a restatement of the original meaning of the original post from R77 and a twisting of the reply. Along with new inventions like Elvis attending Little Richard concerts in the early 50s. Just nonsense.

Perhaps you should go start a thread about seeing Tommy Hilfiger on Oprah talking about why black people shouldn't wear his clothes.

by Anonymousreply 7910/25/2013

"Perhaps you should go start a thread about seeing Tommy Hilfiger on Oprah talking about why black people shouldn't wear his clothes"

Perhaps you should go to a Fox News board and rant about "blah people"

Getting this thread back on topic....what about the Everly Brothers? Or James Brown? Tons of people have acknowledged their influence.

by Anonymousreply 8010/25/2013

Radiohead, even though I don't like them, I do understand they are an important band.

Throing Muses first US band signed to 4Ad, they also got Ivo to sign Pixies and these Boston bands shaped the 90s alt scene inspiring often lesser yet more commercially successful bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and a few others.

by Anonymousreply 8110/25/2013

Elvis, Beatles, MJ and Madge

by Anonymousreply 8210/25/2013

Perfect illustration of the racial myth noted in the original reply. Anyone who doesn't support race-based urban legends is defacto a Faux Limbaugh freeper racist.

And the significant musicians who were most influenced by Richard and Berry were The Beatles. But that justification wouldn't have been posted because it doesn't fit the long-standing race-based myth.

by Anonymousreply 8310/25/2013

[quote]And the significant musicians who were most influenced by Richard and Berry were The Beatles.

Not true. Buddy Holly was their biggest influence. They said so many times and even chose the name Beatles because it was similar to the name of Holly's band, The Crickets.

by Anonymousreply 8410/25/2013

Actually r84, along with Elvis, the Rolling Stones were heavily influenced by Richards and Berry.

by Anonymousreply 8510/25/2013

I think Mariah is the most influential singer to debut after 1990. Her stuff in the mid-90s had a huge impact in breaking down the barriers between pop, r&b and hip-hop. Now, it's not really a big deal to hear about a Kanye West working with someone like Katy Perry or GaGa, but music was still really segregated throughout most of the 90s. Mariah's early collaborations with rappers really changed the way people looked at the rigidity of genres.

by Anonymousreply 8610/25/2013


by Anonymousreply 8710/25/2013

was Elvis that popular outside the U.S.?

The million dollar question is... Will Elvis appeal strongly to future generations? I work at a record store (a real novelty these days, I know) and the majority of twentysomething music lovers and audiophiles are always looking for old Beatles/MJ... Even shit like Johnny Cash. But we stopped buying back so many Elvis vinyls because nobody buys them.

by Anonymousreply 8810/25/2013

Depeche Mode, the most commercially successful electronic band in history. They are still hugely popular in many parts of the world. Especially Germany, where you can find regular clubnights devoted to Depeche Mode music.

by Anonymousreply 8910/25/2013

Top Tier: Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bob Dylan

Second Tier: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Rolling Stones, Whitney Houston, Prince, Marvin Gaye

Third Tier: Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, U2, R.E.M., Johnny Cash, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Supremes, Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Nirvana, David Bowie

by Anonymousreply 9010/25/2013

In what universe is "of all time" defined as the last 60 years?

by Anonymousreply 9110/25/2013

No. Just no.

by Anonymousreply 9210/25/2013

I don't consider Madonna top tier.

by Anonymousreply 9310/25/2013

R29, what else would they be considered?

YES, pop.

(Pop means popular music as opposed to classical music).

by Anonymousreply 9410/25/2013

Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald? Holiday is culturally more important, but Fitzgerald had a much longer career and released dozens and dozens of albums -- more than Sinatra or Crosby. And most of Ella's albums are better than Billie"s.

by Anonymousreply 9510/25/2013


Mariah Carey was a pushed pop star by her label boss CEO husband. She was a terrible singer when on stage, her voice was the product of studio techniques.

by Anonymousreply 9610/25/2013

Grandmaster flash, public enemy

by Anonymousreply 9710/25/2013

What?. Madonna has NO VOICE! If you consider "Tits & ass". CULTURE, yeah. Look at the young women that emulate that...Myley, Britney, god it is endless. And sooo impressive, my goodness Madonna sure made an "invaluable" cultural contribution.

WHITNEY is Top Tier Talent, bitches, no question.

by Anonymousreply 9810/25/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Anonymousreply 9910/25/2013

I told you that Liberace would not be mentioned.

I am a lone, glittery voice calling in the night.

by Anonymousreply 10010/25/2013

Louis Armstrong.

by Anonymousreply 10110/25/2013

R97, she sounded amazing live throughout the 90s, but I said nothing about how she sounded. What I did say is that she was hugely influential during her peak and she was.

by Anonymousreply 10210/25/2013

Madonna and Janet were influential..just not in a good way. We now have this generation of entertainers not singers. People doing handstands, flips, showing breasts and ass but no real singing.

by Anonymousreply 10310/25/2013

[quote]In what universe is "of all time" defined as the last 60 years?

Yes, this sort of arbitrariness clearly snubs the pop stars of the 16th and 17th century.

by Anonymousreply 10410/25/2013

Another vote for Debbie Harry and Blondie. They made music that was Punk, New Wave, Reggae and (though I'm not sure this is necessarily a good thing), with "Rapture" they introduced rap music to most of the world.

The Mamas and Papas defined an era ("California Dreamin'" almost singlehandedly sums up much of late '60s pop culture in America), but their influence was limited by the fact that they were so good no one could hope to copy them.

by Anonymousreply 10510/25/2013

If you're going to look for punk bands that were culturally significant, then you should start (and end?) at the Sex Pistols.

by Anonymousreply 10610/25/2013

I consider the Sex Pistols primarily a British phenomenon. The Ramones on the other hand . . .

by Anonymousreply 10710/25/2013

Has anybody mentioned James Marshall HENDRIX?

by Anonymousreply 10810/25/2013

Tina Turner is certainly at least second tier when you talk about culturally important. She broke ground for over forty women to be cougars. Being born in 1939, she had an army of baby boomers following her lead. Her name is synonymous with a woman getting out of a bad relationship and achieving on her own, and reinventing herself at an age where a woman used to be pushed to the side. She is much more about working hard than musical artistry, but as far as cultural importance, few artists have such immediate and total recognition and near universal public knowledge of basic details of her life, or been as personally responsible for so much cultural change.

by Anonymousreply 10910/25/2013

I can think of no other thread on DL that reveals it is populated by elder gays more so than this one.

by Anonymousreply 11010/25/2013

Then name somebody, R111. Chicken

by Anonymousreply 11110/25/2013

Michael Jackson sang like Mickey Mouse and his songs lack any depth. Second tier at best.

by Anonymousreply 11210/25/2013

That's nice r111, but all that really proves is that elder gays have better taste in music.

Oh yeah, and britney, katy, kesha, rihanna and all the other autotuned pop tarts still suck.

by Anonymousreply 11310/25/2013

[quote]Yes, this sort of arbitrariness clearly snubs the pop stars of the 16th and 17th century.

As evidenced by the comments on this thread, there are plenty of pop stars that preceded Elvis Presley and the Beatles. So we should at least go back to the beginning of recorded music, not the 1950s.

by Anonymousreply 11410/25/2013

5 pages with people throwing out Michael Jackson, Prince even couple of rappers and no on mentions James Brown? I can't wait for someone to question what he did that was important

by Anonymousreply 11510/25/2013

[quote]I can think of no other thread on DL that reveals it is populated by elder gays more so than this one

Name the culturally important pop stars that will support a different viewpoint.

Otherwise, you're just being peevish.

by Anonymousreply 11610/25/2013

Madonna and Michael Jackson are definitely top tier.

Janet Jackson and U2 are tier II

new Kids On The Block would be tier III

by Anonymousreply 11710/25/2013

I don't put Madonna on the same level as Elvis or the Beatles.

by Anonymousreply 11810/26/2013

{quote]Madonna...influenced everything that is "relevant" today


by Anonymousreply 11910/26/2013

Err Madonna is indeed top tier. An iconic popstar for 25+ years.

by Anonymousreply 12010/26/2013

[R121] I love Madonna, especially her concerts and agree that she is a wonderful performer. But top tier, no way. I never saw Sinatra in person, but I am amazed that so many people have forgotten about him or ignored his (and Bing Crosby's) influence on popular singing.

Truly the OP should have titled this thread the most culturally important pop stars of the last 60 years because that was obvious in his or her selections and in most of the responses.

by Anonymousreply 12110/26/2013

Yeah she did r120. Hate her or not, you have to give her the credit she deserves. Every "relevant" female pop star today was influenced by Madonna. That's why she belongs on the top tier. Culturally important and relevant don’t necessarily mean extremely talented. Miley Cirus Katy Perry Bieber are all relevant believe it or not.

by Anonymousreply 12210/26/2013

We should start other culturally important lists!

by Anonymousreply 12310/26/2013

[all posts by tedious troll removed.]

by Anonymousreply 12410/26/2013

r123, so we have Madonna to thank for all those untalented, lip syncing hos?

thanks a lot Madonna, thanks fucking a lot.

by Anonymousreply 12510/26/2013

Being popular for a time and being culturally influential aren't necessarily exclusive; I can't believe people aren't getting the point of this thread.

by Anonymousreply 12610/26/2013

Top Tier: MICHAEL JACKSON. No one else came close.

Second Tier: Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, The Jackson Five, The Jacksons, Beyoncé Knowles, Prince, Whitney Houston, George Michael, Lionel Richie, Earth Wind & Fire, maybe the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Mariah Carey, James Brown, Otis Redding.

Third Tier: Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, New Edition, Rick James, Pointer Sisters, En Vogue, TLC.

Elvis and the Beatles top tier? Fuck no. They both sucked. Non-original and they both stole songs. The Beatles were a group created for a Saturday morning cartoon in the '60s. They were considered a joke even then. Elvis couldn't carry a tune in a bucket and was only popular because little 9 year old white girls liked him and thought he was cute. No talent. He stole songs and couldn't sing at all. The Justin Bieber of the 40s and 50s.

by Anonymousreply 12710/26/2013

R128 You are either a troll or an idiot, or both. Assuming you're not a troll, The Beatles were not a manufactured group created for a cartoon show. You obviously have them confused with their copy-cats, The Monkees. The Beatles did a few cover songs in their early years but were phenomenal song writers. You have obviously never listened to their music.

You are deaf is you think Elvis 'couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.' The man had a multi-octave vocal range which got stronger as he got older. Say what you will about the man, but he COULD sing. The stolen songs thing is idiotic and a lie. He, like many other performers, was not a song writer. He PAID people to write songs for him. Elvis' interpretations of other people's songs were almost unrecognizable in many cases.

He wasn't a songwriter, but he was an amazing arranger and could have been a great song-writer if he had taken the time. Elvis was huge among the entire population, not just 9 year old girls. The man had a tremendous amount of talent.

If you think Elvis could not sing, I implore you to go to YouTube right now and pull up any of the following songs: An American Trilogy, Surrender, It's Now Or Never, Reconsider Baby, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Suspicious Minds, Tomorrow Is A Long Time, Hurt, among many others. You will eat your words for breakfast. The man was amazing.

by Anonymousreply 12810/26/2013

There is cultural influence and there is music. Sometimes they run together.

Acts like the Beatles and Elvis would never have been what they are without the music that majorly influenced them, what they ripped from. All their early influence was Blues music that Black artists, who were not known in the mainstream, were turning out. Everything that made Elvis what he was he ripped from Black culture, even the way he moved. If you research it you will see it is fact.

Madonna influenced culture but as far a music goes she didn't bring anything new to the table. It was pop music before she came along and still is pop music. She was simply the first sexually liberated and style conscious female artist (ripping off Debbie Harry). She also had the benefit of emerging at the same time that music videos became popular. Right place, right time.

The most culturally legitimately important musicians? Some of them you don't even know their names. Because Black Blues and Rhythm & Blues produced Rock n Roll there are a handful of Black artists that never got to the mainstream but are known by true music lovers/scholars.

Culturally and musically - Jimi Hendrix

by Anonymousreply 12910/26/2013

Donna Summer is top tier.

You may not like disco but Donna and Gorgio Moroder created the template for all electronic dance music. True pioneers.

by Anonymousreply 13010/26/2013

TOP TIER: A Blacks only club, honey

LOWER TIERS: Everybody else.

by Anonymousreply 13110/26/2013

I've never thought of Madonna as a rock star or pop star or whatever. Madonna has always been more of a performance artist than anything else. Her music is totally disposable and forgettable. As singer/musician/songwriter she's nothing. She got where she is on sheer drive and ambition, not talent.

by Anonymousreply 13210/26/2013

Michael Jackson had it all. The best voice of all time. The best dancer of all time. The sexiest appeal of al time. Plus he just gave off an air of primal sexuality that no one else has before or since. He was the sexiest man ever.

by Anonymousreply 13310/26/2013

Janet Jackson Is the one and only top tier!!!

by Anonymousreply 13410/26/2013

I think most of you have misunderstood what OP is asking. He's asking about culturally important pop stars who will have an impact throughout history. This doesn't necessarily equate to greatest talent or voice and it's more than just being a celebrity.

I would interpret this as someone who defines an era, who through their presence and their work lead to or contribute to a cultural shift of some kind, figures who encapsulate an era. Also, someone who has an influence beyond their time and place, so who is instantly recognisable outside of their own country/culture and whose image/reputation continues long after their time. Also, someone who is famous beyond their field. I think an important point is with just one image they can be summed up. In other words, iconic.

So, I would put down in the top tier Elvis, Beatles, Madge, Michael Jackson.

Second tier, whatever that means, the Rolling Stones, although their tongue logo could be top tier.

I actually think John Lennon is perhaps more of an important pop culture figures than the Beatles, maybe because of the way he died so young. But a song like Imagine is known throughout the world and used to instantaneously get across a message that amost everyone can recognise. I was just in Prague and there is a John Lennon Wall, which has visitors' graffiti all over and is supposed to symbolise freedom or something, as in the 1980s people would scribble Lennon-related graffiti on it in an act of rebellion against the Communist regime.

For Michael Jackson, just look what happened when he died and all over the world people were doing their own group versions of the Thriller video in the streets.

I think maybe from earlier eras Mozart and Beethoven.

Bob Dylan is, of course, an incredibly important figure but he was more about his time and place than transcending it.

From outside of music, I'd say figures like John Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Rudolph Valentino, Princess Diana, James Dean, Muhammad Ali, maybe even someone like Oscar Wilde or Albert Einstein.

by Anonymousreply 13510/26/2013

R130, Wrong! Elvis' sexy stage gyrations were not "stolen from the black man." As a matter of fact, according to both Chuck Berry and Little Richard, black performers, from the mid-1950's on, lifted Elvis' stage moves. Get off your racist high horse. Give Elvis some credit where it's due. According to people like you, Elvis had no talent and was just a "milli vanilli" lipsyncher. I call bullshit. I'm sick of this culture that belittles Elvis, solely based on lies.

by Anonymousreply 13610/26/2013

Good Gawd, R134! To each his own, but Michael Jackson was never within a billion light years of "sexy." The man was bulimic looking and fug (even before all of the plastic surgery butchery). He was not even "cute", much less "the sexiest man ever."

by Anonymousreply 13710/26/2013

Innovative artists are so because they take existing musical styles and add an interpretation to them that is unique and compelling (this includes EVERYONE... Elvis, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Beatles, etc). All musicians have influences, but artists take their influences and create something unique.

by Anonymousreply 13810/26/2013

White persons and non black people have created and discovered things like electricity, the transistor, the computer, the LP, the 8 track, the cassette player, the CD, (all the technology needed to mass market music). Don't forget the electric guitar, radio, and, yes, the internet. For what it's worth, I'm glad blacks like Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix "robbed" the creation of the electric guitar and the turntable and took them to new places.

by Anonymousreply 13910/26/2013

The raving Michael Jackson fangurl at R134 is absolutely cuckoo.

Jackson didn't have the best voice of all time, wasn't the greatest dancer of all time, and didn't have the "sexiest appeal" of all time. He eluded no sexuality at all, despite his crotch-grabbing antics. He seemed quite sexless. His attempts to kiss females were greeted with laughter. He didn't even know how to kiss a woman! I guess they creeped him out, seeing as his preference was for little boys.

I guess this nitwit has never heard Elvis Presley. At his best, HE was the "sexiest man ever."

by Anonymousreply 14010/26/2013

[quote]Yeah she did [R120]. Hate her or not, you have to give her the credit she deserves. Every "relevant" female pop star today was influenced by Madonna. That's why she belongs on the top tier. Culturally important and relevant don’t necessarily mean extremely talented. Miley Cirus Katy Perry Bieber are all relevant believe it or not.

Yes, but you're forgetting that those same "relevant" female pop stars of today have also cited Janet as being a major influence. Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Britney, Christina Aguilera, Keri Hilson, Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica, Mya, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Simpson, TLC...they've ALL either copied/paid homage to Janet in their videos, music, personal style, concerts, photography, etc, or said in print and interviews that she had a major impact on their own careers. Hell, women as far back as the '80s (Karyn White, Vanessa Williams, Nia Peeples) and '90s (Salt N Pepa, Faith Evans) have jacked various Janet styles and videos.

And it doesn't stop at females. Various males from Usher to Chris Brown to UK artist Peter Andre have had videos that mimic what Janet has already done in the medium. The media will have you believe that Madonna is the end all-be all of who influenced who for the new crop of pop stars, but, truth be told, Janet is woefully underrated and underappreciated for what she's done for pop music and pop imagery in general.

by Anonymousreply 14110/26/2013

Ugh, the Elvis creep from yesterday is back @r137

by Anonymousreply 14210/26/2013


by Anonymousreply 14310/26/2013

The Beatles didn't steal black music, what bullshit. The Beatles loved black r&b music and rockabilly music of the 1950's, and gave credit to both as part of their overall influences. They loved both Little Richard and The Everly Brothers. Watch early Beatle interview videos, they (especially John Lennon) always gave credit to the black recording artists that they covered.

This "Beatles stole black music" accusation is old and tired, and there is no evidence to back it up.

You want somebody who can be legitimately accused of stealing black music? Try Pat Boone.

by Anonymousreply 14410/26/2013

So when black people perform classical music are they stealing it from the white Europeans who created it?

by Anonymousreply 14510/26/2013

I really loved me some Arthur Alexander.

by Anonymousreply 14610/26/2013

Someone mentioned Liz Phair in here and although they were probably kind of joking, I would argue she is probably third tier at least. Her debut spawned tons of imitators that still get made to this day. If it wasn't for her debut, there would have been no Jagged Little Pill, Misunderstood(Pink), etc.

by Anonymousreply 14710/26/2013

Music over all Top Tier: Those with true iconic Idol status, worshiped long after their introduction to the world. minimum 30 years in the spotlight.

Music over all 2nd Tier: Those who know for something specific, an innovator., truly the first to do something. Made a true change in music. Not worshipped, but know and respected.

Music over all 3rd Tier: Those who worshiped, have been around less than 30 years, but more than 10 years.

Music over all 4th Tier: Current music icons, worshiped, been around less than 10 years but more than 5 years.

Music over all 5th Tier: Current music idols, worshiped, been round less than 5 years.

by Anonymousreply 14810/26/2013

You really have to do these kind of polls by decade or generation. What's top tier to me is different from someone older or younger.

by Anonymousreply 14910/26/2013

Thank you r150. There are too many generations, too many cultures and too many musical genres for anything to be definitive. This thread is giving me a headache

by Anonymousreply 15010/26/2013

[all posts by tedious troll removed.]

by Anonymousreply 15110/26/2013

Again, too many cultures, too may opinions. R152, I agree Elvis, The Beatles and Hendrix are culturally important. And I agree Mariah, Celine and Bieber may not be. But Madonna and Whitney certainly are.

by Anonymousreply 15210/26/2013

That's correct, r152. I wonder if anyone read the original question.

by Anonymousreply 15310/26/2013

Whitney is not culturally important. Just to blacks really.

by Anonymousreply 15410/26/2013

I can tell this thread is dominated by young people when they don't include Sinatra in the group with Elvis and the Beatles. Sinatra was the BLUEPRINT for the pop stars that came after him.

Young people think he was just some famous guy in the 50s and early 60s, but his fame began in the early 40s with exactly the kind of fevered following that Elvis and the Beatles got later. And his time at the TOP of the fame food chain PERSISTED for decades. Even in the mid-late 60s, he was as famous as Elvis, the Pope and Michael Jackson, combined.

by Anonymousreply 15510/26/2013

Yes, exactly, R152. Elvis and the Beatles aren't likely 'culturally' important to everyone. Do you honestly think the people buying that Miley, Gaga, or Beyonce mess even know who Elvis is?

Likewise, Gospel singers -- think Mahalia Jackson, Rev. James Cleveland, the Ward Singers, the Clark Sisters, various choirs, etc., might form a relevant cultural influence to some and not others. Other black artists of whatever genre (and yes, most certainly Whitney Houston) are going to be important to, particularly, black people who grew up with these artists and their songs. Even Rap and HipHop to some.

As R150 and R151, have said, these rankings don't mean very much.

by Anonymousreply 15610/26/2013

R155, I am by no means a Whitney Houston fan; it saddened me to see her fall apart so completely. But your statement is silly and I only want to deal with the facts. Whitney Houston was a huge success. I can remember growing up hearing her music constantly and her appeal was pop more than urban. I decided to look up the facts given your myopic assessment. For example it said "Whitney Houston was the best-selling album by a female artist in Canada in 1980s". I guess you're thinking Canada is predominately black.

by Anonymousreply 15710/26/2013

It's too wide a net that OP has used.

Sinatra, Crosby and others of that ilk were culturally important in the pre-rock and roll years.

Beatles, Elvis and others were culturally important in the early rock years and the 1960's.

And like it or not, diva whores like Madonna, Rihanna, Britney, and Miley are culturally important now.

Although I think personally they are important in showing how far society has fallen in recent years if anything at all.

by Anonymousreply 15810/26/2013

R156, without Crosby, there would never have been a Sinatra. Or a Perry Como.

by Anonymousreply 15910/26/2013

OP these people aren't intelligent enough to have this conversation. R155 You don't know what the f**k you're talking about.

I personally was never a huge Whitney Houston fan. However there is no denying the impact that she had on the music world and popular culture.

Whitney Houston's debut album is listed as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine and is on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Definitive 200 list.In 2004, Billboard picked the success of her first release on the charts as one of 110 Musical Milestones in its history. Houston's entrance into the music industry is considered one of the 25 musical milestones of the last 25 years, according to USA Today in 2007.

Houston was considered by many to be a "singer's singer", who had an influence on countless other vocalists, both female and male. Similarly, Steve Huey from Allmusic wrote that the shadow of Houston's prodigious technique still looms large over nearly every pop diva and smooth urban soul singer – male or female – in her wake, and spawned a legion of imitators.

A number of artists have acknowledged Houston as an influence, including Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Christina Aguilera, LeAnn Rimes, Jessica Simpson, Nelly Furtado, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Ciara, Pink, Ashanti, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson, Stacie Orrico, Amerie, and Destiny's Child.

by Anonymousreply 16010/26/2013

The Beatles, Elvis, etc., were part of a huge upheaval in society and culture. You can make tiny little statements like "People who like Miley don't know who Ringo Starr is," but that doesn't diminish the impact at the time.

Madonna was a giant star. She wasn't very talented (immaterial in this context), but she had tremendous impact on the culture itself. She's practically the symbol of a change in status and attitude for women--no, she didn't cause it, but she was certainly an emblem of it.

by Anonymousreply 16110/26/2013

You may not consider Little Richard top tier but the artist that you do consider top tier probably would.

Bob Dylan first performed covers of Penniman's songs on piano in high school with his rock and roll group, the Golden Chords; in 1959 when leaving school, he wrote in his yearbook under "Ambition": "to join Little Richard" Jimi Hendrix was quoted in 1966 saying, "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice.

Michael Jackson admitted that Penniman had been a huge influence on him prior to Off the Wall Several members of The Beatles were heavily influenced by Penniman, including Paul McCartney and George Harrison. McCartney idolized Penniman in school and later used Penniman's vocals as inspiration for his uptempo rockers

Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were also profoundly influenced by Penniman, with Jagger citing him as his first induction to R&B music and referring to him as "the originator and my first idol". Upon hearing "Tutti Frutti", Richards explained, "it was if, in a single instant, the world changed from monochrome to Technicolor"

Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were also profoundly influenced by Penniman, with Jagger citing him as his first induction to R&B music and referring to him as "the originator and my first idol". Upon hearing "Tutti Frutti", Richards explained, "it was if, in a single instant, the world changed from monochrome to Technicolor"

After opening for him with his band Bluesology, pianist Reginald Dwight was inspired to be a "rock and roll piano player", later changing his name to Elton John.

Farookh Bulsara performed covers of Penniman's songs as a teen, before finding fame as Freddie Mercury, frontman for Queen.

Patti Smith said, "To me, Little Richard was a person that was able to focus a certain physical, anarchistic, and spiritual energy into a form which we call rock 'n' roll.. I understood it as something that had to do with my future. When I was a little girl, Santa Claus didn't turn me on. Easter Bunny didn't turn me on. God turned me on. Little Richard turned me on"

The music of Deep Purple and Motörhead was also influenced by Penniman, as well as that of AC/DC. The latter's Bon Scott idolized Penniman and aspired to sing like him, and Angus Young was first inspired to play guitar after listening to Penniman's music.

by Anonymousreply 16210/27/2013

Oh Yeah Elvis Priestly and The Beatles are just sooooo popular with people under 30. If they were so significant how come I have never even heard of even one song by either of them? They mean nothing to our generation. Their era is dead.

Today's stars are so much more popular than they were. Everybody knows at least one song by Britney, Miley, Gaga, Robin Thicke, Timberlake. Even Bieber. No one under 30 has heard ANYTHING by Elvis, Sinatra, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or Aretha Franklin. Those acts have never been played on the radio in my life that I have heard. We've only heard of Michael Jackson & Whitney Houston because they died a few years ago, otherwise they would be forgotten too.

Face it, old people. No one remembers your music. It did not stand the test of time. Time will tell if my generation's will. I think it will hold up because of technology, better songwriters and production. Maybe they will be forgotten too. Who knows?

by Anonymousreply 16310/27/2013

R162, you misunderstand... My point was, as R152 stated, being famous =/= culturally important. Anyone that didn't experience the huge upheaval in society and culture the Beatles and Elvis may have had, is not going to share your views. Elvis, the Beatles and Madonna are all famous, but it is a far cry from being the sole and universal standard of measurable importance. And I didn't mean to diminish their impact on culture, but again, everyone is not going to see it that way. Times change constantly, as does culture, and whoever is around and is famous has some impact or they wouldn't be very famous at all.

I was pointing out that while their influence lingers, cultural importance doesn't carry over well over time (obviously the Beatles defined the 60s or whatever, but time didn't stop there). I hope I don't appear to take for granted what they accomplished, and I hope this clears it up.

by Anonymousreply 16410/27/2013

Top Tier

'40s = Frank Sinatra

'50s = Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry

'60s = The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix

'70s = Led Zeppelin, Bee Gees, Rolling Stones

'80s = Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson

'90s = Nirvana, Madonna

'00s = Lady Gaga

by Anonymousreply 16510/27/2013

[quote]Oh Yeah Elvis Priestly and The Beatles are just sooooo popular with people under 30. If they were so significant how come I have never even heard of even one song by either of them? They mean nothing to our generation. Their era is dead.

The fact that you say you've never heard a song by Elvis or The Beatles says more about your ignorance than it does about anything else.

But you either live in a bubble or you're a liar if you say you've never heard a song by either. I'm going with the latter.

by Anonymousreply 16610/27/2013

R164 is so white-washed.

He mentions Robin Thicke and Bieber? Bieber has never even had a hit song!

Rihanna is the top artist in the industry, that Bajan is unstoppable.

by Anonymousreply 16710/27/2013

R164, Please do not appoint yourself the spokesperson for our generation. I am 19 and I have not only heard of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin, but I have over 150 Beatles songs, 350 Elvis Presley songs, 30 Sinatra songs, and 15 Aretha songs on my iPod. Just because you never venture past Disney Radio and Pop stations does not mean that our entire generation listens to Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. I have NO songs by any of those Disney-pop bubblegum assholes on my iPod.

Venture past Disney radio and you will hear a wealth of great older music: Madonna, Prince, The Stones, The Doors, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Donna Summer, Elvis, The Beatles, and many, many more. Expand your horizons or shut the fuck up. Quit appointing yourself as the authority for everyone under 30.

by Anonymousreply 16810/27/2013

I understand never hearing Elvis (a lot of young people dont know he existed) but not knowing a song of the beatles? Wow just wow.

by Anonymousreply 16910/27/2013

R164, you're either lying or trolling. Their records have most certainly been played on the radio in my lifetime and I'm only 23. I don't really care for the ones you've listed, but it isn't hard to recognize several of their songs.

And better songwriters? Ha, that's a punchline! The only reason I know at least one song by recent acts, thankfully I only know one song in most their cases, is because I have to suffer this mess.

by Anonymousreply 17010/27/2013

I've always had a theory that if all music made by white people disappeared from the earth tomorrow that no one would notice. Their music does not hold up over time.

Everybody remembers songs by Michael, Whitney, Donna, Diana, Aretha, Janet, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Jay Z, Tupac, NWA, Public Enemy, Otis Redding. Those stand the test of time. White music has stolen from all of them. They have no originality. Michael was completely unique. There was no one like him before him. He sounded like nobody. He created a new form of music. He created a new form of dancing.

He took music video to the next level. 50 years after Elvis and 40 years after The Beatles, no one remembers their songs. Everyone knows Michaels' songs. Everyone! Even 100 year old nuns in Tibet know Michael. He is the only top tier performer.


by Anonymousreply 17110/27/2013

R164 I'm pretty sure that your "generation" would prefer someone else be their spokesperson. You're really not representing them very well.

Have someone show you change the station on your radio. Yes, you can actually pick up more than one station on a radio.

by Anonymousreply 17210/27/2013

R171 well yes they're played on oldies and classic rock stations.

If you know the songs, it's from them being used in movies and tv.

by Anonymousreply 17310/27/2013

Correction That should read: " you how to change...."

by Anonymousreply 17410/27/2013

No, R174, I don't remember movies or Tv shows well enough. I just spend a lo time on youtube listening to music. I even listen to songs I know I won't like (once only) to prove my point, that's how I know Elvis' songs. The Beatles aren't bad, not great but they did write nice songs. Besides that, your parents couldn't have been playing Bieber, Thicke, or Timberlake while you were growing up. So, what did they like?

by Anonymousreply 17510/27/2013

God damn, I hate threads like this. This thread just sucks. For some reason it seems like White people are being slammed on here for no reason. Every artist borrows from earlier artists, no matter their color. No performer on this earth has ever been 100% original. A true artist learns from those he/she admires and, if they are great themselves, adds their own flavor and touches of individuality to create something great.

Any time a White artist is mentioned, someone chimes in about them being thieves. Stealing from the Black man. That's just stupid. Black artists draw from their influences as well. For the ass that said Michael Jackson created a new form of music... bullshit. The type of music he sang (disco) was around for years. His dancing... lifted from New York street and break dancers. Music video? I think the video directors (like John Landis) had more to do with his video style than he did. He had influences just like everyone else. And guess what? Elvis was one of HIS influences. Like it or not!

by Anonymousreply 17610/27/2013

An interesting thread subject, I just wish the OP did not feel the need to add the "tier" quantification --- it just leads to arguing, name calling, pissing matches and hurt feelings...

So, with that said - here are some of my suggestions for most culturally important pop stars of all time....

Stephen Foster - the father of American music.

Irving Berlin - wrote some of the most popular songs of the 20th century

Louis Armstrong - His phrasing and syncopation influenced practically every musician of the 2oth century.

Paul Whiteman - the king of jazz in the 1920s - popularized jazz to the masses - young adults going to see a pop music performance - rock concert - started with him.

Bing Crosby Frank Sinatra - first genuine pop star sensations -

George and Ira Gershwin Cole Porter Johnny Mercer - defined music and lyrics of the middle of the century

Nat King Cole - he was the stepping stone to acceptability of "race music" a black man with a television show in the 50s....

ok im tired. time for bed... you queens can rip apart my reply while I sleep.

by Anonymousreply 17710/27/2013

r172, your theory simply doesn't hold up.

by Anonymousreply 17810/27/2013

Damn you're old r178.

Get some sleep gramps.

by Anonymousreply 17910/27/2013

jean-baptiste Lully

by Anonymousreply 18010/27/2013

50's Nat King Cole

60's Supremes, Aretha Franklin

70's Jackson 5, Donna Summer

80's Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Jacksons, Whitney

90's Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z

00's Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Beyonce

10's Rihanna, Chris Brown, Beyonce

by Anonymousreply 18110/27/2013

Oh please, r182, The Supremes and Aretha were not more important than the Beatles in the 60's.

by Anonymousreply 18210/27/2013

r182 is a racist bigot.

by Anonymousreply 18310/27/2013

r14 - to put Madonna on the same level as Katy Perry clearly shows you don't get what this conversation is all about.

by Anonymousreply 18410/27/2013

R182, Yeah, those are real winners. I can proudly say that none of your 'top tiers' are in my music collection. You are a complete and total racist. I know you don't call yourself that, but that's what you are. It's sad.

by Anonymousreply 18510/27/2013

r160 Crosby didn't have bobby-soxers. And his popularity/fame did not sustain itself the way Frank's did.

by Anonymousreply 18610/27/2013

R177 I'm not sure what you're referring to. I only recall a few mentions of thievery in the thread. Certainly there has not been a mention of thievery for every white artist referenced and the majority of the artist mentioned are white. It is impossible to talk about culturally important pop stars without talking about whom they were influenced by and whom they influenced.

by Anonymousreply 18710/27/2013

No (180) not old, just aware of history.....

by Anonymousreply 18810/27/2013

I say Diana Ross was top tier in the 70s and 80s. Donna Summer was top tier in the 70s and 80s. Tina Turner was top tier from 60s to 90s. Janet Jackson top tier in the 80s and 90s. Whitney top tier in the 80s and 90s. Beyoncé was/is top tier from the 90s until today. Rihanna is top tier today, as well as Chris Brown.

by Anonymousreply 18910/27/2013

Jim Morrison

by Anonymousreply 19010/27/2013

R186 You believe that R182 is a "racist" because everyone on his list is black? Does that mean that everyone who only listed whites is also a racist? You also seem to imply that if you don't own it; it couldn't possibly be top tier. Are you always this charming?

by Anonymousreply 19110/27/2013

Is Rihanna really all that important to pop music today? I don't really get what she offers thats unique to anyone else out there on the market. If you got rid of her, she'd be easily replaced with any other person on the street. She's just as manufactured as Britney is.

by Anonymousreply 19210/27/2013

r186: If none of those people are in you music collection, your just as racist as 182. Ad r183, The Supremes and Aretha were as important as the Beatles. If you don't know why, there's the problem.

by Anonymousreply 19310/27/2013

R194, I think not on the racism. I do not have any of those artists in my collection. However, I do have plenty of Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire, Ohio Players, Prince, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, BB King, Bo Diddley, Parliament/Funkadelic, Chic, Rick James, etc. in my collection. Let's not jump to conclusions.

by Anonymousreply 19410/27/2013

You'll be hard-pressed today to find a vocalist, in any genre, not influenced by Whitney Houston. For good or bad, she changed the way singers approached a song and the evidence is there for everyone to see ... from Mariah Carey to Beyonce; from Christina Aguilera to Robin Thicke.

by Anonymousreply 19510/27/2013

Top Tier Today: Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna.

Top Tier of Yesteryear: Janet, Madonna, Barbra, Aretha, Sheena, Olivia, Donna, Diana, Cher, Liza, Judy, Bette, Cyndi, Teena, Taylor, Tina.

by Anonymousreply 19610/27/2013

Notice r197, that none of your top tiers of today can actually sing without the use of autotune or other electronic enhancements.

Therein lies the problem.

by Anonymousreply 19710/27/2013

r197, only likes penises in his bed, not in his music.

by Anonymousreply 19810/27/2013

Chris Brown is a thug, he's not top tier anything.

by Anonymousreply 19910/27/2013


Glenn Miller.

Sinatra. Pop Idol, who created the record album, then his own label. Timeless.

Elvis. Brought sex to youth music, changed the culture.


Michael Jackson. Record business was dying on 1982."Thriller", along with MTV, changed that.

Velvet Underground. Revolutionary, sold nothing, but critically influential to this day. The Madonna queens shoukd be ashamed. There is no Madonna without Nico, the Velvets, and Warhol.

by Anonymousreply 20010/27/2013

Al Jolson

Bing Crosby

Frank Sinatra

by Anonymousreply 20110/27/2013

Rudee Valee

by Anonymousreply 20210/27/2013

i can't put elvis or beatles in top tier. rock music is stupid and juvenile. dance music is a least fun and r&b is where all the talent is. fuck elvis and beatles.

by Anonymousreply 20310/27/2013

r204 racist

by Anonymousreply 20410/27/2013

Michael Jackson was a phenomenon, but now the record industry is in its' final throes, his may be historic rather than legacy.

by Anonymousreply 20510/27/2013

Most culturally important? The TOP TIER is Al Jolson, BIng Crosby, Billy Holliday, Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Bob Dylan, the Beatles.

Maybe Michael Jackson. Arguments can be made for Liberace, Pat Boone, The Everly Brothers.

by Anonymousreply 20610/27/2013

I love all the white folks on here defending Elvis and the Beatles. They were terrible. Neither act could sing, dance or perform worth a fuck. Overrated dull whitebread crap.

by Anonymousreply 20710/27/2013

Howard Stern once said that it's ironic that Elvis got all the press for blue eyes soul, when outside of the recording studios in Memphis any black man walking by could out sing him.

by Anonymousreply 20810/27/2013

Elvis top tier? Seriously? Certainly not for anyone under 40. These things are generational.

For anyone under 20 Rihanna would come way before Elvis, Madonna, Mozart, Confucius, Michael Jackson...

by Anonymousreply 20910/27/2013

"For anyone under 20 Rihanna would come way before Elvis, Madonna, Mozart, Confucius, Michael Jackson..."

No. There is a difference between being popular and being culturally important. No one of any age thinks Rihanna is "important"

by Anonymousreply 21010/27/2013

R40 and others, do you understand the concepts of "culturally important" and "of all time"? They mean figures who had such an impact on the culture that they helped transform it or who were iconic, perhaps because they personfied their era. They don't mean "who's big at the moment". Who's big at the moment can change every 3, 5, 10 years. It's not about what the "current generation" are into, it's about figures whose legacy lives on long after their own generation.

by Anonymousreply 21110/27/2013

Can we just ignore the obvious racist bigot trolls and continue the discussion?

by Anonymousreply 21210/27/2013

[quote]I love all the white folks on here defending Elvis and the Beatles. They were terrible. Neither act could sing, dance or perform worth a fuck. Overrated dull whitebread crap.

The ability to dance is a recent, and really rather limited, requirement for a singer. Who is your favorite, R208, Britney or Christina?

Oh, wait. You hate white people. Racist.

I agree with you about Elvis, however. I'm always surprised to find him at the top of such lists. OTOH, the cultural impact of the Beatles is immeasurable. If you had been alive then, you'd know. To say they can't sing or perform only reveals your lack of perception, R208. But we already knew you were lacking, based on your cliched statement "overrated, dull whitebread crap."

I pray you choke on your hatred at the soonest possible moment, racist.

by Anonymousreply 21310/27/2013

I would put Patsy Cline in top tier... first real crossover from country to pop.. and her songs are still played today.

by Anonymousreply 21410/27/2013

The late Lou Reed.

by Anonymousreply 21510/27/2013

The late Lou Reed

by Anonymousreply 21610/27/2013

Oh, please. Their "culturally importance" diminishes with every year that goes by and their "impact" is going to end up being very insignificant to music. And "Madge???" ROTFLMAO.

by Anonymousreply 21810/27/2013

Tom Hintnaus. He didn't make music, but his cultural contribution was huge.

by Anonymousreply 21910/27/2013

[196] I think you are correct. All subsequent female vocalists certainly do their very best to mimic her range and style. That now makes a full 3 DECADES of MUSICAL INFLUENCE.

The only mimicry of Madonna usually involves some kind of sexuality, not to be confused with vocal talent.

by Anonymousreply 22010/27/2013

Queen belongs in the 2nd tier at least.

I hear one their songs on TV via commercials everyday and anytime I watch a sporting event.

by Anonymousreply 22110/27/2013

[all posts by tedious troll removed.]

by Anonymousreply 22210/31/2013

[all posts by tedious troll removed.]

by Anonymousreply 22310/31/2013

Not a "pop star" per se, but....Bo Diddly

by Anonymousreply 22410/31/2013

Tough question. To me this isn't about great musicians or influential musicians, but people who changed culture somehow. Very few fit the mold.

To me, in no particular order, and just off the top of my head, which is how it should be, as cultural icons should just come right to your mind, it's:

Crosby, Sinatra, Garland, Elvis, Dylan, Cash, Ross, Jackson 5, Streisand, Beatles, Jagger, Jackson, Madonna, Whitney, Cobain, Britney (ugh, but true), and maybe Gaga, though that remains to be seen.

I'm sure I missed some...

by Anonymousreply 22510/31/2013

Louis Armstrong

Bessie Smith

Bing Crosby

Billie Holiday

Frank Sinatra

Elvis Presley

Hank Williams

The Beatles

Diana Ross and the Supremes

The Stones

Bob Dylan

Dionne Warwick

Johnny Cash

Aretha Franklin


Janis Joplin

Tammy Wynette

David Bowie

Patti Smith

Joni Mitchell

Stevie Wonder

Luther Vandross

Emmylou Harris

Marvin Gaye

Donna Summer


Bruce Springsteen

Michael Jackson

Freddie Mercury


Whitney Houston

George Michael

Mariah Carey


Kurt Cobain

Lauryn Hill

Mary J Blige

Kelly Clarkson


Bruno Mars

by Anonymousreply 22610/31/2013

R227: Glad to see some jazz singers listed. Good list, but perhaps too few rock performers. And it may be too soon to include, Clarkson, Adele and Mars.

by Anonymousreply 22711/01/2013

Wow, it only took 200 replies for Stevie Wonder to pop up. He's penned some of the greatest hit songs sung by other artists. I guess he is more of a musical icon than a cultural one.

by Anonymousreply 22811/01/2013

Bing Crosby started out big in the '30s. He already performed an oscar winning song. In the '40s, he was the act who had the most #1 hits on the pop charts. He started his reign as the king of Christmas holiday music. He was #1 at the movie boxoffice for 5 consecutive years. He introduced a couple more oscar-winning songs, (Swinging on a Star; White Christmas). And in the beginning of the '50s, he had his last oscar-winning song, "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening". Furthermore, he continued his hitmaking streak well into the mid-'50s, when he teamed with Grace Kelly on a Top 10 seller, "True Love". Incidentally, "White Christmas" was the all-time selling pop single, until Elton John remade his tribute to Marilyn Monroe song into a tribute to Princess Diana, and the grief-stricken world bought enough copies to overtake Crosby's "White Christmas". At least up to the present.

by Anonymousreply 22911/01/2013

Nobody mentioned Sam Cooke?

by Anonymousreply 23011/01/2013

For longevity: Tony Bennett. He called Johnnie Ray, "the grandfather of rock and roll". Ray upset the pop world of his time like no other before him. Up to his time, it was the crooners who ruled. They didn't know what to label him. He was called various unflattering monikers. His last big hit was at the beginning of 1957.

For longstanding influence, as well: Scott Joplin and Duke Ellington.

In modern times: Stevie Wonder.

by Anonymousreply 23111/01/2013

[all posts by tedious troll removed.]

by Anonymousreply 23211/01/2013

R164, you're kidding right? I'm 26 and surrounded by musicians and artists. The Beatles are still incredibly important to many people under 30. Discovering the vastness of their catalog and delving into what they accomplished over the course of their eight year recording career is still a common rite of passage and not just for people who want to play rock and roll. Everyone I know likes the Beatles. Old people, my frau sister-in-law, absolute queens who usually prefer Madonna, the 10 year old Mexican children at my work.

Yesterday, for example, is the most covered song of all time. I've even seen cheesy Beatles tribute bands and you cannot believe how many younger people are there. I'm more likely to meet a hipster trying to look like a folk incarnation of a Beatle than someone who appears drastically influenced by anything more recent like... Robert Smith or Jack White. Or Thom Yorke or whoever the fuck is big right now. Only Nirvana has come close to replacing them- and they didn't.

It can't be underestimated how groundbreaking the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership was when it comes to establishing the sort of publishing rights every artist expects nowadays. They actually wrote their own music which they performed and actually owned the rights to. Creating an entire corporation, Apple, to funnel all their projects through was also revolutionary and further increased their ownership over their own work. They also pioneered the synthesizer, backwards looping, and amplifier feedback. That barely covers it.

To everyone using saying "steal" when they actually mean "influenced by," the Beatles never stopped talking about the black artists who impacted them more than all others, even more than Buddy Holly. Aside from close friend Eric Clapton, the only other musician to record or perform with the Beatles was Billy Preston, Little Richard's ex. Listen to their repertoire from Live At The BBC and their appreciation of black American music will be become abundantly clear. But it did not help their popularity during the Civil Rights era with the album-burning Southern white Christians who thought they were a plague upon the culture. So did Elvis, by the way. He was a huge hypocrite in that regard and even tried to keep them from entering the country. He saw their impact and did not want to be usurped. Elvis is still enjoyed but he's not considered so relevant anymore, not the way the Beatles are.

by Anonymousreply 23311/01/2013

I think third tier would be things like: Beach Boys, Britney Spears, Meatloaf, Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Prince, Whitney Houston. The majority of people couldn't name many of their songs, but they had a strong impact on pop culture.

Fourth tier: Cyndi Lauper, Amy Grant, Barbra Streisand, Katy Perry, Melissa Ethreidge, U2, the Police/Sting

Fifth tier: Green Day, Sarah McLaughlin (S?), Rihanna, Metallica

Sixth tier: Ozzy Osbourne, Kesha, Adam Ant, Janet Jackson, Rene and Angela

I would rate Cher as some sort of Los Angeles oddity, kind of like Angelyne with a better publicist.

by Anonymousreply 23411/01/2013

[quote]Sixth tier: Ozzy Osbourne, Kesha, Adam Ant, Janet Jackson, Rene and Angela

That you would include Janet Jackson in sixth tier--lower than Britney Spears, Amy Grant and Sarah MacLachlan, shows just how fucking stupid you are. Why are you even on a computer? You should be laying down somewhere letting your swiss cheese brain heal.

by Anonymousreply 23511/01/2013

R235, if that's a real list, it's the worst in the entire thread. Bravo!

by Anonymousreply 23611/02/2013
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