Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite who was often ridiculed and mocked for her poor singing ability, which in turn made her popular. Known as the world's worst opera singer, Jenkins became a musical cult-figure in New York City due to her technical incompetence as an amateur soprano. Her life inspired several plays and films, including Florence Foster Jenkins.
Bessie Smith was an American singer who gained popularity during the Jazz Age. Dubbed the Empress of the Blues, Smith was one of the most famous blues singers of the 1920s and 1930s. Counted among the greatest singers of her generation, Bessie Smith was a major influence on several other singers. Her life and work inspired the TV film Bessie.
Singer and actor, Paul Robeson, was as much known for his music and films as he was for his political activism. As a black man who had to endure great difficulties to establish himself, he was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. As a performer, he was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
Singer, comedian, and actor Al Jolson was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer" at the peak of his career. Known for his brash and extroverted performances, he is credited to have played a major role in defining the modern musical. He was the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II and was posthumously awarded the Medal for Merit.
Nellie Melba was an Australian singer. One of the most popular singers of the early 20th century, Melba was the first Australian classical musician to achieve international recognition. Also known for her charity work during the First World War, Nellie Melba was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.
Enrico Caruso was an operatic tenor who performed at prominent opera houses in the Americas and Europe. His commercially released recordings made him an international star in the early-1900s. Thanks to his illustrious career that spanned 25 years, Caruso became one of the most popular entertainers of his generation. In 1987, he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
14 Lily Pons
18 Ethel Waters
29 Sara Carter
32 Agustín Lara
33 Anna Held
Anna Held was a Polish singer and stage performer. Although her personal life and relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld overshadowed her professional career, Anna Held's uninhibited style inspired the popular theatrical revue productions on Broadway, The Ziegfeld Follies. Her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld also inspired films like The Great Ziegfeld and Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women.
Gertrude Lawrence was an English actress, singer, and dancer. She also performed musical comedy in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York. She was introduced to the entertainment world as a child and grew up to become a famous multi-faceted performer. She won several awards. In her later years, she taught acting.
37 E.Y. Harburg
42 Eva Mylott
43 Grace Moore
45 Marie Lloyd
Richard Tauber was an Austrian tenor and film actor. The son of an actress, he often toured with his mother and developed a love for the theater. He also enjoyed singing and studied at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. He went on to become a tenor and an actor and also conducted at the Theater an der Wien.