Was Michael Jackson greatest entertainer ever?

July 7, 2009

michael2The music world, the Jackson family and thousands of fans bade farewell to Michael Jackson at a public memorial on Tuesday.

“The more I think about Michael, and talk about Michael, the more I think that ‘King of Pop’ is not good enough,” said Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, who signed The Jackson 5 in 1968.

“I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.”

Here’s your chance to pay your final tributes to Michael Jackson.


We love ya Jacko. You’re the best.

Posted by Ikea | Report as abusive

He was the greatest entertainer ever. Long live the King!!!

Posted by Sunny | Report as abusive

No way was Jacko the greatest ever? At least Frank and Elvis while they had there issues there were not child weirds! Being raised in a messed up family doesn’t excuse it either!

Posted by Jack Blade | Report as abusive

During his lifetime MJ’s genius was eclipsed by a strange lifestyle and personal demons he died battling to his last day. In his death he has finally achieved the larger than life aura he always sought. Goodbye MJ, hope you have at last found your Neverland.


ABSOLUTELY the GREATEST ever with the most widespread geographic and demographic impact across the GLOBE.
No other person comes close except perhaps the beetles but then they were primarily a singing band.MJ was a dancer (and what a dancer!), a song writer,singer AND entertainer.
Leave alone his slightly deviant behaviour in personal life-which anyways didnt ever affect his legion of fans-and what an awesome guy you have !!

Posted by vikas kukreja | Report as abusive

If not the greatest, easily the most impactful, most talked about, most viewed and most globally recognisable entertainer..

Posted by onkar | Report as abusive

What the media fails to realize is that Michael Jackson was not just a historic entertainer, he was THE greatest entertainer (be it singer, actor, etc) in modern/ recorded history.

When we discuss his impact and talent as an entertainer, we cannot taint it by talking about his personal life or eccentricities

Michael was far greater than previous legends like Elvis and Lennon because he was not just an AMERICAN STAR

He was famous and popular in MOST Of the countries of the world. The kind of universal and mass appeal he had, could only be dreamed of by people like Elvis Presley. Its so shallow for people to forget that Michael Jackson was an INTERNATIONAL star not just an American star.

Michael revolutionarized Music videos and the art of dancing

Micheal was not just the greatest singer, but also the greatest Dancer and live performer
and he often wrote his own music

His music paved the way for R and B , Hip Hop and soul music for the future

And he trancended color. Being black he still managed to get great acclaim
in the US at a time when it was very difficult
His appeal transcended color, international boundaries etc

HIs record of having the best selling album of all time stands intact.

Elvis, and beatles may have more sales in the developed world ONLY BECAUSE THEY KEPT SELLING AFTER THEIR DEATH TILL DATE
And they existed 20-40 years before Jackson so obviously they have more years of selling

Remember the developed world has the minority of the worlds population. In the THIRD world , like where im from
Michael was much bigger than presley or beatles

And finally he was still popular at his death

His ticket sales of over a million for his upcoming london concert were the fastest ticket sales for an event in history

So please dont even put Michael in the same league as Elvis Presley or Beatles or John Lennon.

Im in Pakistan which is a third world country, where even a street urchin knows who Michael Jackson is, he knows his dance, he knows his music

But hardly anyone here knows Presley or Beatles

That shows his reach, far beyond any entertainer ever could claim in recorded history.

So give credit where it is due

Tickets for the highly-anticipated event went on general sale this morning at 7am, priced at priced at £50, £65 and £75 plus fees.

The singer’s publicists claim that these are “the fastest ticket sales in history” and that one million tickets will be sold
in all, setting new records for “the biggest audience ever to see an artist in one city”.

Posted by Salman | Report as abusive

No matter what was said about his personal life their is no denying his talent.

He was the greatest entertainer for sure he did it all sing danced and started music video as an artform aot justa promotional tool for atists he created the moonwalk and the robot dance. He was like Elvis The beetles and James brown as one person.Guiness book as records names him the most successful entertainer ever. RIP You’re the greatest.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

What a joke … a black song and dance entertainer spending his whole life trying to be white! He hasn’t had a hit since the early 80′s … it’s all hype that the Jackson family is trying to push so they can get a piece of the little action the MJ name can generate for a few more weeks.

Posted by 02Z06Vette | Report as abusive

Is Michael Jackson the Greatest entertainer ever?

In order to judge an artist one needs to see the originality of his work. Michael Jackson never played a musical instrument in his performances. His dances are reflections of earlier artists in the 20th century, with the one exception: his act of grabbing his crotch.

His songs were extremely popular among a certain age group and sold million. But again to pass the test a song should outlive the performer, not in electronics, but the ability of a person to hum or sing it’s melody. Yes melody a key component of a song that gives it a life of its own. My question is of all of Michael Jackson’ songs sung when he was an adult, how many can sing his songs and lyrics without any aid?

Finally the question whether he was the greatest entertainer “ever” is too broad to analyse as it implies entertainers since the dawn of civilization.

To these statements and questions I have placed my conclusion is that though Michael Jackson’s fame is great and matches his wealth, he barely comes close to the great entertainer, let alon being “The greatest entertainer ever”

Posted by Mr. Chrysantha Wijeyasingha | Report as abusive

mickael jackson was very interesting soul.his lucid poetry and melodious voise is unforgeteble.he was great magician in music magician


He is among the greats: Sinatra, Elvis, John Lennon & MJ.

Posted by jp | Report as abusive

Well, he certainly had the most plastic surgery and child molestation charges, hands down. And I guess a lot of sheeple like silly pop songs.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Michael, WHO! I’ve already forgot him.

Posted by Don Bison | Report as abusive

Michael Jackson IS the greatest entertainer that ever lived. Nobody will be able to compare to him, at least during our lifetime. This kind of talent and genius is unique.
I refuse to talk about Michael at past tense, because he is simply larger than life.
I will love, respect and admire him always.

Posted by letitia | Report as abusive

While its true that Micheal Jackson did write,sing and dance, he was only ever an exceptional dancer, His singing and writing were average if we are being honest. To compare his sales (750 million vs 2 billion) and musical creativity and influence to The Beatles is something of a joke. The Beatles completed all their work in seven years and turned the musical world on its head with their range and versitility. Virtually all rock bands and many many other artists across the genres cite them as an influence. Micheal Jackson was essentially motown with electronic beats and synthesizes for 25 years.

Posted by rob | Report as abusive

Let’s add Luciano Pavarotti to this list of great entertainers. True, he was an opera singer but what an opera singer and he also ventured into the pop singer category with his many friends concerts. Adding his fantastic voice to the grammy winners who came to entertain at these pop concerts given for the poor in war zones.
Well known and loved all over the world, he was the greatest singer in the 20th century.

Posted by joan | Report as abusive

The phrase world greatest entertainer has no quantative meaning.Elvis fans will say Elvis. Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Jackson fans will say their guys. All can make legitimate claims.
What can be said without doubt is that the historical, social,culterial and musical impact of Elvis in 1956 and The Beatles in 1963 dwarfed anthing achieved by any artist thereafter or before. Looking at some live clips of Elvis in Tupelo in 1956/7 one can clearly see the direct or indirect influence he had on every rock star and group since. It’s been said before and needs to be repeated, Elvis opened the doors for everyone that followed. It’s also worth nothing that Elvis sales of over a billion are three times more than anything that could be attributed to MJ. That MJ was very talanted is in no doubt, but let’s peel away some of the hype attached to him.

Posted by Judah | Report as abusive

Michael Jackson is certainly the best. His appeal knows no bounds. Travel the world and see for yourself whose music is played and danced to in every nook and cranny of the world – it’s Michael Jackson. Not the Beatles or Elvis Presley. They don’t have the sort of appeal Michael has.

The world is not only Europe and America; it is also the villages in South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These are the places to go to when it comes to rhythm and dance, and they don’t dance to Elvis or Beatles.

His eccentricities? His fans behaved like the proverbial wise swan who given a mixture of milk and water could extract only the milk leaving the water behind.

“mediocrity is in the eye of the mediocre”.

Michael Jackson was simply awesome and deserves his due as the greatest. Check the stats. at CNN through link below:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/06/2 6/michael.jackson.spotlight/index.html#c nnSTCOther1

Posted by marsh | Report as abusive

MJ composed his own songs which elvis did not. He danced but the beatles and frank sinatra did not. So definitely MJ is the biggest ever with the most cultural impact across the world, not just in America. If there is any western artist people know in my country, it’s Michael Jackson.
elvis, beatles, no one has any idea about who they were!

Posted by susie | Report as abusive

micheal i love you . your every much missed by all over us. we cant stop talking about you because of your greatest kindness, beautiful heart , your tough of music and a supportor of all. we love you MJ you will never be forgetten. your music will live on. RIP sweet micheal i love you.
note: it would be nice if i woke up one moring and read how much MJ gave out from his fortune to charity than them critising him.

Posted by jade | Report as abusive

Michael Jackson, in my opinion, would not have had such a great impact without his dance routines and videoclips – an unfair advantage over such great artists as Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Even though there was no internet, no MTV or anything of the sort in the 1950s, Elvis became the best-selling solo artist of all time. He broke down racial and cultural barriers and touched billions of hearts. Although he never went on a world tour, he was known and loved the world over – and still is. What’s more Elvis ALWAYS SANG LIVE. He had the looks, he had the voice and he had the charisma to make him the greatest entertainer ever. Michael Jackson was an excellent dancer. Elvis was one of the greatest singers in the history of recorded music. Nuff said.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Some might say not, some because family issues, and all the unprooven trials against him. Some might say Elvis or whoever. Some forget that he was married with the daughter of Elvis. And also some forgot all the shit Elvis created, which his wife may solve.

But now only talk in Music, cause thats whats MJ was about.

Nobody will top his records.
Nobody will revolutionize musical industry like he did.
No artist will almost crash twitter, CNN or Youtube like he did.
No artist (and royality) will have more publicity on his furnery like he did

He must be!!!

Posted by Valentino | Report as abusive

Yes. The world is still talking about MJ, everyday. google search for MJ is at 184 million. fans anticipate the release of a new album due out in November. I would just say the difference in MJ and other entertainers is the love and admiration for MJ from around the world is unprecedented. I’m talking 3rd world countries included. This was proven on the first anniversay of his death. The outpour of love for MJ around the world was truly amazing. His legacy will live for ever.

Posted by shell517nj | Report as abusive

Ok, let’s base it on the decision of the award-giving bodies(which went through a careful process of selection, not through on-line polls) and through fan’s biased opinions.

MJ is the MOST awarded musical artist. He has a total of 392 awards won (Beatles’ has a total of 16 awards won.)

MJ is the most awarded artist of all time and has more Guinness World Records than any other artist.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awa rds_r…

These awards will close all arguments:

Who received the “ARTIST OF THE CENTURY” award? MJ
(by the Annual American Music Awards, LA Jan 2002)

Who received the “ARTIST of THE MILLENNIUM” award? MJ (World Music Awards,2000)
about the Millennium Awards:
“Apart from the world’s best-selling artists in the various categories and the national best-selling artists, special millennium awards were presented in 2000, for the very first time to the world’s best-selling recording-artist of all time.”http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/World_Music_Awar…

MJ was also awarded by the Grammy’s in 1993 the “LEGEND AWARD”
about the Grammy “Legend Award”:
other winners in given in different years categories were: Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones,…….( no Elvis nor Beatles on the list).

“The Grammy Legend Award, or the Grammy Living Legend Award,is a special award of merit given to recording artists by the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammy_Lege nd_Aw

As the haters claim, it is not true that Michael self-named the title “King of Pop”, he was in fact awarded the:

“Triple Crown Award – King of Pop, Rock & Soul”(1989, BRE Awards).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awa rds_r…

Guinness World Records (p187, 2011 ed)
1- most successful entertainer of all time (certificate given to MJ in 1996)
2- the 1st to have reached more than 100million albums sold outside the USA
3 – the biggest selling-album of all time (Thriller); Thriller remained in the Billboard200 Top 20 for 80 consecutive weeks

other notable Guiness Records:
13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); (Elvis only got 3 Grammy awards won)
26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the “Artist of the Century”);
13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era);
13 number one singles in the US (more than any solo male artist)

MJ wouldn’t be awarded “Artist of the Century”, “Artist of the Millennium” and “Legend Award” for nothing!

Posted by MJForever | Report as abusive

FACT: In my country which is third world, elvis and the beatles are strangers because nobody knows who they are here in Southeast Asia! People here have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA who elvis is or beatles are! Who the hell are they? Seriously? I cannot imagine anyone playing elvis or the beatles music in public! But if it’s MJ music, anyone starts grooving to the beat or dancing! When my friends and I go to the public wearing MJ costumes, a lot of beggars/street children/poor people in slums would yell “Michael Jackson idol!” Play MJ music in the public and anyone starts to groove and dance to the beat. I bet if you showed a picture of elvis or beatles to any random person in the public in my country, no one knows them. But if it’s MJ’s picture you show to people in my country, they instantly recognize it’s the dancer MJ and they might even request you to do some MJ dance moves!

Maybe elvis or beatles were popular in your western/european country and people from these countries appreciated them so much for them to think that they are greater than MJ. But what about the rest of the world? No one plays elvis or beatles songs here! It would be embarassing because they have no idea who these singers are! MJ is popular WORLDWIDE, no matter what race, religion, color, age, nationality, ethinicity you are or location you are from. They don’t give MJ the “artist of the century”, “artist of the millenium” and “legend” award for nothing!

And also why has it been discovered that he is the most famous man on earth if he wasn’t the greatest entertainer who ever lived?
MJ made the most geographical and demographical impact ever!

Posted by MJJBillieJean | Report as abusive

Micheal Jackson was a great entertainer but his historical and cultural importance to popular music pales in comparison to Elvis Presley. Because a lot of MJ fans are young and extremely conditioned by the media hype, they just don’t realize that a lot of what they say is opinion dressed up as facts. I liked MJ a lot and believe the child abuse stuff was greatly exaggerated, but saying he was a bigger star than ELVIS just doesn’t stack up. Also you have to put their comparisons in their correct context. MJ fans say he has more fans. Elvis fans per percentage of people on earth in the 50s 60s and 70s is far greater than MJ fans per percentage of people on earth in the 80s 90s up until 2009. Do you think a geek in 50 years time who creates an online superstar with 20 billion followers selling 80 billion downloads has created a bigger star than MJ? Of course not! so it is with MJ not being bigger than Elvis because their are more people on earth to be fans than when eElvis was alive. In the first week after their deaths MJ sold over half million albums yet due to incredible foresight by RCA in making Elvis material in the weeks before his death, Elvis actually sold ten million. MJ fans accuse Elvis of stealing the black music yet MJ copied the moonwalk from the 1920s 30s and 40s black artists from the deep south. Yes that’s the deep south where Elvis came from. And many black stars of the 50s admit that it was Elvis that opened the door for them to become stars. The fact remains that Elvis was bigger in the 50s than MJ in the 80s. We always hear the words “They were bigger than Elvis” because he is the yardstick by which greatness is measured. MJ fans say Elvis couldn’t sing without realizing that his diction and timing were well known and were second to none. MJ called himself the king of pop. Others called Elvis the king of rock. Elvis was beautiful, sexy and fun. MJ was sweet, lonely and sad. when MJ died a couple hundred turned up at the hospital ( i know someone who was there) When Elvis died thousands flocked to his home. Within an hour there were near hysteria as fans needed to be controlled by police. When Elvis died it was bigger news than when MJ died. Record sales per % of the time in the spotlight also makes Elvis a clear winner. Do you really think mj will emulate the incredible fan worship displayed every year at graceland decades after his death like elvis. we all the know the answer to that question.I have a lot of respect for MJ as a person as well as an artist but come on MJ fans, give up this embarrassing attempt to prove those words that elvis fans have all heard a thousand times before that they were bigger than elvis. yeah bla bla bla

Posted by svg1967 | Report as abusive

Elvis was a great singer, one of the greatest, Michael also. But Michael was a songwriter, composer, coreographer and a dancer, total showman , pioneer, visionary, full package, while Elvis was just a great Singer and thats it. Michael didnt broke records just by braking numbers of sales, but he also broke records in artistic way. He revolutionized the use of dance on the stage, there is no one before nor after that dances and moves like he does. He brought “coordinated group dancing” on the stage that everyone use today. And most important, he showed us that pure art can be mainstream, because he created pure art. Elvis never composed , never wrote any of his hit songs, while Michael wrote and composed mainly all of his songs, Billie Jean, Smooth criminal… He didnt produce till the 2001, then he decided to produce his Invincible album, do I need to say that Elvis never produced anything? Elvis is one dimensional singer with limited talent while Michael Jackson is multidimensional pure artist that pushed limits of creation even more further… No one was big as MJ in Thriller era. Not even Elvis. Mine grandfather was a sailor, he sailed to USA also and he saw Elvis live, he said Elvis had amazing voice, he loves him to this day… One day he watched with me concert of MJ in Munich, History tour, I wanted to show him what MJ does. And he said that MJ is a total new level of entertainment, he liked whole show and said that anything he saw through his life cant be compared to that. Im about to show him Rammstein concert also, they know how to put good show :) . Also, speaking of concerts, Michael had Bad tour (4.4 million people attended), Dangerous tour (3.5 million people attended) , History tour (4.5 million people attended), This is it( 1.1 million tickets sold in one week) , + all the tours he did with Jackson 5 ? Michael cant be touched by Elvis in no artistic form…. Period. MJ is the gratest like it or not.

Posted by ArtPop | Report as abusive

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