Pianists

Pianists are the musicians who play the piano. The piano is a versatile musical instrument that can be played across several genres of Western music, and thus pianists prominently figure among the favourite musicians of not only the western countries, but also around the globe. Since piano is a keyboard instrument, many pianists are also skilled at playing other similar instruments such as harpsichord, synthesizers and organ. Pianists play a wide variety of music, ranging from classical to jazz and all types of popular music. Beethoven and Clementi were renowned pianists form the classical era while another much acclaimed musician, Mozart is considered to the world’ first “concert pianist”. Chopin and Liszt of the romantic era were accomplished pianists whose techniques continue to inspire the modern musician. Coming to the modern world, the Russian Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, counted among the top composers of the 20th century created several masterpieces across numerous musical genres. Contemporary American pianist Philip Aaberg though trained in classical music can effortlessly incorporate elements of jazz, rock and blues into his compositions while the German pianist Markus Burger has created a name for himself in New Age music. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous pianists from all over the world.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin
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Famous As: Singer & Activist
Birthdate: March 25, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 16, 2018

Widely regarded as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin was a singer-songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Aretha was ranked number one on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list in 2010. Having sold over 75 million records, she is also one of the best-selling musicians ever.

 2 Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys has been active in the music industry since the mid-1990s. Her debut album was a super hit and earned her five Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling artists in the United States and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. She is also known for her humanitarian work, philanthropy, and activism.

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 3 Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris
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Famous As: Disc Jockey, Record Producer, Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: January 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dumfries, Scotland
Grammy-winning DJ Calvin Harris soared to fame with his album I Created Disco. His track We Found Love, a collaboration with Rihanna, charted on the US Billboard Hot 100. He owns a record label and topped Forbes's list of the highest-paid DJs of the world for 6 years.

 4 Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 29, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ferriday, Louisiana, United States
Four-time Grammy-winner Jerry Lee Lewis, nicknamed “The Killer,” is best known for his track Great Balls of Fire. A controversy surrounding his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin Myra destroyed his career. Named to Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, he was also part of the Million Dollar Quartet.
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 5 Tyler Joseph

Tyler Joseph
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Tyler Joseph is an American musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is credited with forming the popular musical duo Twenty One Pilots, for which he serves as the frontman. He has several awards under his belt, including a Grammy Award, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards.

 6 Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole
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Famous As: Vocalist, Pianist
Birthdate: March 17, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: February 15, 1965
Jazz pianist/singer Nat King Cole, father of singer Natalie Cole, is best remembered for tracks such as Too Young and Mona Lisa. His last album, L-O-V-E, was recorded while he battled lung cancer. With The Nat King Cole Show, he became the first African-American to host his own show.
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 7 Ross Lynch

Ross Lynch
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 29, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Littleton, Colorado, United States
Ross Lynch made his debut as Austin Moon in the Disney series Austin & Ally. He also appeared as Brady in the Teen Beach TV films and as Harvey Kinkle in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. He has also delivered a Billboard-topping album with the band R5.
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 8 Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington
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Famous As: Composer, Pianist and Bandleader
Birthdate: April 29, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Died: May 24, 1974
Jazz legend Duke Ellington managed his orchestra till his death, and over a 6-decade-long career. He is known for his collaborations with legends such as pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn. He termed his music “American music” and refused to attach any category to it. He received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.
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 9 Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr.
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: September 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 10 Phil Collins

Phil Collins
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Famous As: Drummer, Singer
Birthdate: January 30, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chiswick, Middlesex, London, United Kingdom

Phil Collins is best known for his work with the popular rock band Genesis. Having sold more than 150 million copies worldwide, he is one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Phil is one of three recording artists who have sold more than 100 million records both as principal members of a band and as solo artists.

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 11 Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff
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Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: April 1, 1873
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Velikiy Novgorod
Died: March 28, 1943

Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, conductor, and virtuoso pianist of the late Romantic period. Credited with exploring the expressive possibilities of the piano, Rachmaninoff's music continues to be featured in films. His four-year struggle with depression, which was followed by the critical failure of his Symphony No. 1, was depicted in the 2015 musical Preludes.

 12 Aleksandr Scriabin

Aleksandr Scriabin
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Famous As: Russian Symbolist Composer
Birthdate: January 6, 1872
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: April 14, 1915

Russian composer and pianist Aleksandr Scriabin is considered one of the most innovative and controversial of early modern composers. Interested in music from an early age, he built pianos as a young man and didn’t take long to establish himself as a brilliant composer. Unfortunately, he died at the height of his career, at the age of just 43. 

 13 Koji Kondo

Koji Kondo
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

 14 Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: September 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stone Town, Tanzania
Died: November 24, 1991

Legendary singer, songwriter and lead vocalist of the British rock band, Queen, Frederick Bulsara adopted the name Freddie Mercury which aptly suits his on-stage vibrant and exuberant persona. A four-octave vocal range musician, Mercury owned every stage he set foot on as much with his vivid performance as with his superhuman voice modulation.  

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 15 Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Popular singer and songwriter, Lady Gaga has been active in the music industry since her teens. One of the world's best-selling music artists, she is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. A versatile performer, she is known for her consistent image reinventions in music. She is actively involved in philanthropy and social activism.

 16 John Lennon

John Lennon
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: October 9, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: December 8, 1980

John Lennon was part of the hugely successful and popular music band, Beatles. It became the first British band to break out big in the US. However, they eventually broke up. Subsequently, Lennon went solo, with 1971 album, Imagine, being his most successful and acclaimed post-Beatles efforts. Sadly he was shot dead by a deranged fan in New York.

 17 Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven
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Famous As: Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: December 16, 1770
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
Died: March 26, 1827

German composer and pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven, remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music even two centuries after his death. Born into a musical family, he was initially tutored by his father. He found success early as a pianist and went on to become an admired composer despite suffering from hearing-impairment.

 18 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Famous As: Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: January 27, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: December 5, 1791

A child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is regarded as one of the greatest classical composers ever. A prolific composer, he had a profound influence on Western music. Many of his works are considered pinnacles of choral, symphonic, operatic, chamber, and concertante music. Before his death, at the age of 35, he had composed over 600 works.

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 19 Ray Charles

Ray Charles
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: September 23, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Albany, Georgia, United States
Died: June 10, 2004

Ray Charles went on to become a great singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist, despite suffering blindness due to glaucoma early in his life. One of the most respected and decorated musicians of all time, Ray Charles has been named in lists, such as 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. He pioneered the soul music genre, which remains his greatest contribution.

 20 John Williams

John Williams
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 8, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Floral Park

John Williams is an American composer, pianist, trombonist, and conductor. Widely considered the greatest film composer ever, John Williams has played a significant role in the American film industry by composing music for films, such as the Jurassic Park films, Star Wars saga, the Indiana Jones films, and Schindler's List. He has also influenced several other composers like Marcus Paus.

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 21 Bjork

Bjork
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Famous As: Icelandic singer-songwriter
Birthdate: November 21, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reykjavik

Bjork is an Icelandic singer, record producer, songwriter, DJ, and actress. She is best known for her association with the now-defunct yet popular band, The Sugarcubes. The bestselling Icelandic singer-songwriter of all time, Bjork was named in Time magazine's most influential people in the world list in 2015. Over the course of her illustrious career, Bjork has received several awards.

 22 Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: November 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wichita

 23 Norah Jones

Norah Jones
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 30, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, United States

 24 Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings
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Famous As: Singers
Birthdate: June 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Littlefield
Died: February 13, 2002
Waylon Jennings was one of the pioneers of outlaw country music. He began performing on KVOW radio, at age 12, and then performed with several bands, such as The Texas Longhorns, The Waylors, and The Highwaymen. He also contributed to Wanted! The Outlaws, the first platinum country album. 
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 25 Don Henley

Don Henley
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Famous As: Singer, Composer, Musician, Drummer, Pianist, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States

 26 Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton
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Famous As: American R&B Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: October 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Severn
Soul and R&B sensation Toni Braxton initially performed with her sisters in The Braxtons. She won three of her seven Grammys with her debut album. Known for her Billboard-charters such as Un-break My Heart, she also collaborated with Babyface, competed in Dancing with the Stars, and produced Braxton Family Values.

 27 Roger Waters

Roger Waters
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Famous As: Composer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Screenwriter, Singer, Pianist, Record producer
Birthdate: September 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Surrey

 28 Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins
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Famous As: Socialite
Birthdate: July 19, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 26, 1944

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.

 29 Liberace

Liberace
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Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: May 16, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 4, 1987
Known as “Mr. Showmanship,” pianist, singer, and actor Liberace shot to fame with The Liberace Show, which he ended regularly with his theme song I'll Be Seeing You. The highest-paid entertainer from the 1950s-1970s, he performed in concerts and tours frequently. He also released several autobiographies and cookbooks.

 30 Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric Chopin
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 1, 1810
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Żelazowa Wola
Died: October 17, 1849

Romantic Era virtuoso pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin, nicknamed The Poet of the Piano, is remembered as the inventor of the instrumental ballade. The legendary composer mostly created solo piano masterpieces but also experimented with piano concertos and chamber pieces. He was influenced by Bach, Mozart, and Polish folk music.

 31 Steven Van Zandt

Steven Van Zandt
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Famous As: Actor, Musician, Screenwriter, Record producer, Disc jockey, Singer, Television actor, Guitarist, Pianist, Composer
Birthdate: November 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston

 32 Joanna Newsom

Joanna Newsom
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Famous As: Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: January 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nevada City, California

Joanna Newsom is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actress. Noted for her unique musical style, Newsom's early work was influenced by polyrhythms. She is one of the most important members of the modern freak folk and psychedelic folk movement. Newsom is also noted for her songwriting, which incorporates elements of avant-garde modernism and Appalachian music.

 33 Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor
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Famous As: Singer, Composer, Pianist, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Record producer
Birthdate: May 17, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mercer

 34 Don Shirley

Don Shirley
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: January 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Died: April 6, 2013

 35 Nick Cave

Nick Cave
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 22, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Warracknabeal
Nick Cave is best known as the lead singer of the rock band Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. The ARIA Hall of Fame inductee is known for the intense themes of his songs, such as death. He has also written several books, including novels and anthologies of his poetry. 

 36 Alicia Witt

Alicia Witt
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 21, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

 37 Keren Peles

Keren Peles
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yavne'el, Israel

 38 Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer, Pianist, Writer, Songwriter, Jazz musician
Birthdate: September 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manhattan

 39 Ike Turner

Ike Turner
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Famous As: Guitarist, Pianist, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Singer, Record producer
Birthdate: November 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Clarksdale
Died: December 12, 2007

 40 Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bergenfield, New Jersey, USA

 41 Johnny McDaid

Johnny McDaid
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Londonderry
Indie rock/pop singer, songwriter, and producer John McDaid has been part of bands such as Snow Patrol and Vega4. He is also known for his collaborations with popular artists, mostly with Ed Sheeran. He co-wrote Sheeran’s chartbusting track Shape of You and co-produced his platinum album X.

 42 Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: November 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: July 6, 2020

Regarded as one of the world’s greatest film composers, Ennio Morricone was an Italian composer, orchestrator and conductor who scored music for over 500 films in his career spanning seven decades. Morricone covered a wide range of music styles and is best known for scores in the Dollar Trilogy and Once Upon a Time in the West.

 43 Bob Seger

Bob Seger
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: May 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lincoln Park, Michigan, United States

Singer, songwriter, and musician, Bob Seger, first gained fame in the 1960s as a heartland rock artist. Known for his classic raspy and powerful voice, he recorded many songs that dealt with themes like love and women. With worldwide sales of more than 75 million records, he is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

 44 Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
Six-time Grammy-nominated rock singer Jackson Browne has sold more than 18 million albums in the U.S. Best known for his hits These Days, Running on Empty, and Doctor My Eyes, he was featured on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. The MUSE founder is an avid environmentalist, too.

 45 Helen Reddy

Helen Reddy
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 46 Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: June 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Henderson

 47 Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer, Oboist, Banjoist, Record producer, Guitarist, Pianist
Birthdate: July 1, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit

 48 Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Plainview, Texas, United States
Died: June 13, 2010

 49 Edward Heath

Edward Heath
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Famous As: Former British Prime Minister
Birthdate: July 9, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Broadstairs, England, United Kingdom
Died: July 17, 2005
Edward Heath served as the British prime minister from 1970 to 1974. He reformed the local governments and introduced many metropolitan counties. He supported the European Communities and attempted to curb trade unions, with a view to deregulate the economy. He was the Father of the House for 9 years.

 50 Paul Reiser

Paul Reiser
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
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