What makes someone a great entertainer? There’s no one easy answer to that question. In fact, there may be no fully accurate answer at all that everyone would agree with. But it’s still worth a try, and the consensus seems to be that, at a minimum, these five traits are required:
- Natural enthusiasm
- Confidence without arrogance
- Adaptability to new trends
- A sense of creativity. And of course, one more. You guessed it:
Young People Went Nuts.
Older People, Not so Much.
American University Professor Leonard Steinhorn contrasts the reaction of young people and their parents to newcomer Elvis Presley.
His Retirement Project was Creating a Circus
When people think of P.T. Barnum, they tend to think of modern entertainment. Actually, Barnum was born in 1810 (most Founding Fathers were still alive) and he didn’t start a circus until age 61. As Kathy Maher, the Executive Director of The Barnum Museum, explains — it was his retirement project!
40 Years of Hits, with a Trumpet
The career of Louis Armstrong was remarkably lengthy. It began in the 1920’s and stretched to the 1960’s. USC professor Nate Sloan points out that his “Hello Dolly” duet with Barbra Streisand in 1964 took over the #1 spot from the Beatles on the hit record charts.
How and Why did Marilyn Attain “It” Status?
According to professor Amanda Hallay, Marilyn Monroe existed at a so-called cultural nexus, when pop culture was considered a topic of high culture. And she died at a very specific moment during a time that many consider a cultural revolution.
What Made Walt Do it?
Walt Disney did not always run his own company, and he created a popular animated character before Mickey Mouse. It was one specific event that convinced Disney to venture out on his own, as historian (and author of the three-volume A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World) Andrew Kiste explains.
They Were Always Impressive
Even in their earliest hits, the Beatles’ music was unusual, complex, surprising and sophisticated. Professor Jeremy Yudkin, who teaches a class all about the Fab Four at Boston University, demonstrates.
His Father Called Him “The Chosen One”
Are professional athletes entertainers? UNC sports professor Matthew Andrews says “yes,” which means that Tiger Woods may have been the most popular entertainer in the world in the 1990’s. His influence was so enormous that it was almost impossible to overestimate.
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