Who were "The Beatles" of their day?

Who commanded masses of wildly adoring fans and were cultural icons of their time? Here are a few whom I think would qualify. Who else?

Martin & Lewis


Rudy Valley was probably the first one in popular music although the “wildly adoring” teenage fan thing didn’t really get started until Sinatra.

But someone like the Bay City Rollers would fit the definition, as long as you consider their time to be three weeks or so.

Charlie Chaplin was the biggest star the world had ever seen.

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt. At concerts, his performances would apparently cause a “mysterious ecstacy” that was termed Lisztomania, where women would fight over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves to shred and keep as souvenirs. Sound familiar? :smiley:

Jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker.

Marilyn Monroe
Liz Taylor
James Dean

Shirley Temple

Duke Ellington
Ella Fitzgerald
Anita Baker
Etta James
Louis Armstrong
Barak Obama
Teddy Roosevelt

I don’t see anyone on this list who reached world-wide Beatlesque fame. :rolleyes:

Samuel Richardson, author of Pamela, had quite intense fanclubs called “Pamelists”. This was in the 1740’s and 50’s.

I’m assuming this is a whoosh. These people were mega-stars in their day and drew enormous crowds, although it’s not Anita Baker, but Josephine Baker that I was thinking of. :rolleyes: yourself.

Charles Lindberg

Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali

Al Jolson. At the peak of his career, he was called “The World’s Greatest Entertainer.” In the 1930s, he was most famous and highest-paid entertainer in the world. He released more than 80 hit records, and made 16 national and international tours.

Michael Jackson in the 80’s.


It’s also Barack Obama. How famous could he be if you can’t spell his name correctly? :dubious:

Him? How big was his largest crowd, huh? Any gladiator had a bigger following. :stuck_out_tongue:

Nirvana in the early 90’s

Harry Potter
Leo DiCaprio
Justin He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named
Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha

Please please can I include Duran Duran, in honour of my teenage self.