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Top 20 Musicians of All Time, in Any Genre: #5-1

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Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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See also:

*Top 20 Musicians of All Time, In Any Genre: #20-16

*Top 20 Musicians of All Time, In Any Genre: #15-11

*Top 20 Musicians of All Time, In Any Genre: #10-6

5. Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was jazz's first superstar. Satchmo's explosive creativity defied conventions of early New Orleans jazz; he was a charismatic showman and dazzling trumpet player who was, literally, too good for his band. His performances were largely responsible for shifting the focus from the group to the soloist, and he was also quite an innovator when it came to scat. Perhaps most importantly, his acceptance by the social elite helped popularize jazz across racial and social boundaries. -Chris Walker

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4. Michael Jackson

People made a lot of jokes about Michael Jackson before he died; about the way he spoke, the color of his skin, his fondness for zoo animals and children, the clothes he wore, the women he married, the names he chose for his kids, his penchant for grabbing his nuts, his sentimental streak, his plastic surgeries, and his acting talents, or lack thereof. But when he died people made fewer of those jokes. -Ben Westhoff

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