The Kings of World Music

The following singers are very successful and influential. They have contributed to music and dance, becoming global figures in popular culture for centuries. Their singles, albums, performances, contribution, and personal lives have caught the public and media’s great attention.


Luciano Pavarotti, an Italian operatic tenor, crossed over into popular music. He was one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time and famous for his televised concerts and media appearances. He started his tenor career in Italy in 1961 with first international appearance in La Traviata in Belgrade. He earned the title “King of the high Cs” at the Met in 1972. He possessed beautiful and brilliant tone which helped him gain fame worldwide. His significant appearances in the world’s foremost opera houses were in the 1970s and 1980s. Pavarotti was inducted into NIAF’s Italian American Hall of Fame. The King of the high Cs died of pancreatic cancer at home in Modena on Thursday September 2, 2007.


Pavarotti was best-known for his charity work on behalf of the Red Cross and refugees.



Michael Jackson was considered as the King of Pop. Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time for his contribution to music, dance, and fashion, which made him a global figure in popular culture for more than 40 years.


Jackson began his solo career in 1971. Nine years later, he became a dominant figure in popular music. The popularity of his videos including “Thriller”, “Beat It”, and “Billie Jean” helped to bring the relatively new television channel MTV to fame. Many hip hop, contemporary R&B and pop artists were influenced by his distinctive vocal style and musical sound. The singer of album “Thriller”, “Off the Wall”, “History” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He won hundred of awards including Grammy Lifetime Achievement Ward, Grammy Awards, and American Music Awards.


Jackson died on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. His death triggered a outpouring of grief worldwide.


Jackson paved the way for modern pop music.



Roy Acuff was known as the King of Country Music. His music career debuted in the 1930s. He was one of the Grand Ole Opry’s key figures and promoters for around 40 years. He became the first living person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at the age of 59.


Roy Acuff is credited with moving early string band and “hoedown” format to the star singer-based format.



Elvis Presley was regarded as one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. He is referred to as the King of Rock and Roll. His first RCA single “Heartbreak Hotel” helped him become the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll and earning chart-topping records and a series of network television appearances. He was well-known for his energized interpretations of songs and uninhibited performance style. He took a role in the film “Love Me Tender”. Presley was nominated for 14 competitive Grammys and inducted into four music hall of fame. He was discovered unresponsive on his bathroom floor and was pronounced dead at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital.


Presley is an important figure of 20th century popular culture.



Related links:

Successful and influential female singers

Influential singers and bands in music history

Top Great Singers of All Times

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