Thursday Sep 21

The 150 Greatest Pop Culture Icons

The 150 most essential people in the history of popular culture.
  1. Michael Jackson- They don't call him the King of Pop for nothing.  Michael is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for three different acts spanning three generations.  Also, he made Thriller.  Thriller.
  2. Elvis Presley- Mike might be the King of Pop, but Elvis is just the straight up King.  If rock and roll has a birthdate, it probably has a something to do with this guy's hips.
  3. Babe Ruth- The man, the myth, the legend.  Even all these years later, no one even comes close to the Sultan of Swat.
  4. John Lennon-Tough to pick between Paul and John for the higher spot, but Lennon's activism and early death earn enough icon points to be the difference.
  5. Muhammad Ali-So much more than just a boxer, Ali just epitomizes the word icon.
  6. Bob Dylan- The voice of a generation and perhaps the greatest songwriter to ever pick up a guitar.
  7. Marilyn Monroe-Maybe the most beloved movie star ever, Monroe bedded the top athlete, playwright and politicians of her era.  Not too shabby.
  8. Michael Jordan-His Airness, the undisputed greatest sports marketing icon of all time.
  9. Paul McCartney-May be too low on this list.  Paul McCartney is pop music.
  10. Charlie Chaplin-For a solid twenty-year stretch, there was no more famous person on the entire planet than Charlie Chaplin.  Film classics like City Lights and The Gold Rush still hold up today.
  11. Marlon Brando-Brando basically invented acting as we know it today.
  12. Frank Sinatra-The dopest crooner that ever lived.
  13. Alfred Hitchcock-Arguably the greatest director of all time, Hitchcock was also a larger than life figure that brought the cameo to new heights.
  14. Johnny Carson-The guy for thirty years of late night television.
  15. Jackie Robinson-A true sports icon and a damn good second baseman to boot.
  16. David Bowie-If every one of Bowie's personas could have it's own vote, he'd probably be up here five times.
  17. Martin Scorsese-Hitchcock and Kubrick may be the two most important directors ever, but when it comes to modern film, no one's made more classics than Scorsese.
  18. Mickey Mantle-If you were a seven-year-old boy during the fifties and sixties, there was no one you dreamed about being more than The Mick.
  19. Bing Crosby-No recording artist more sold more than Bing in the 20th Century.
  20. Joe Dimaggio-The Yankee Clipper, his 56-game hit streak is one of the most iconic records in any sport.
  21. Steven Spielberg-He invented the blockbuster with Jaws, perfected it with E.T. and Jurassic Park, and ascended to new heights with Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.
  22. James Brown-The ultimate frontman and the all-time hardest working dude in show biz.
  23. Robert DeNiro-The Godfather.  Goodfellas.  Raging Bull. Taxi Driver.  A movie resume to rival any in history.
  24. Mary Pickford-The OG of pop culture icons, Pickford was the original movie star and possibly the first true celebrity.
  25. Mick Jagger-The most prolific frontman to ever rock an arena.
  26. Al Pacino-Before he started drifting into caricature mode in the late 90's, Pacino played some of the most iconic roles in history.  Michael Corleone and Tony Montana are the quintessential gangster roles of modern day.
  27. Harrison Ford-Han Solo and Indiana Jones.  Does it get any more iconic?
  28. Prince-When you can change your name to a symbol and the world just goes along with it, you know you've reached a whole other level of celebrity.
  29. Paul Newman-From playing Fast Eddie Felson to Cool Hand Luke to Butch Cassidy, there was no cooler star in sixies America than Paul Newman.
  30. Madonna
  31. Tom Hanks-Is there anyone more beloved in Hollywood right now than Tom Hanks?
  32. Stevie Wonder-Stevie signed with Motown at the age of 11 and has been killing it ever since.
  33. Joe Namath-The first true face of football, Namath's marketability was instrumental to the early success of the NFL.
  34. Humphrey Bogart-The ultimate leading man during Hollywood's golden age.
  35. Lucille Ball
  36. Louis Armstrong
  37. John Wayne
  38. Oprah Winfrey-Oprah isn't just a talk show host.  She's a media empire.
  39. Shirley Temple
  40. Eddie Murphy-Arguably the most important star in SNL history, Eddie single-handedly saved the show from extinction following the original cast exodus.
  41. Miles Davis-Miles birthed the cool in more ways than one.  No modern jazz artist looms larger.
  42. Richard Pryor-The father of modern stand-up, Pryor transformed his tragic upbringing into comedy gold.
  43. Bob Marley-10 million dorm room posters can't be wrong.
  44. David Letterman-A titan of late night, Letterman reinvented what was possible in comedy.
  45. Meryl Streep-Meryl Streep is to all other actresses what Tiger Woods is to all other black golfers.
  46. Mel Brooks-The rare five-tool comedian, Mel's writing, directing, and acting talents have earned him the grand slam of entertainment awards (Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony).
  47. Walt Disney
  48. Bruce Lee-As synonymous with the Kung-Fu flick as any one man could be with a genre of movies.
  49. Bill Murray
  50. Elton John
  51. Denzel Washington
  52. Liz Taylor
  53. Bruce Springsteen
  54. Lorne Michaels
  55. Tony Bennett
  56. James Stewart
  57. Buddy Holly
  58. Hugh Hefner
  59. Andy Warhol
  60. Jayne Mansfield
  61. Tom Cruise
  62. Sammy Davis Jr
  63. Audrey Hepburn
  64. O.J. Simpson
  65. Groucho Marx
  66. Jack Nicklaus
  67. Jim Brown
  68. Kathryn Hepburn
  69. Jon Stewart
  70. Leonardo DiCaprio
  71. Tiger Woods
  72. Jerry Seinfeld
  73. Ray Charles
  74. Beyonce
  75. Bill Cosby
  76. Eric Clapton
  77. LeBron James
  78. Woody Allen
  79. Robert Redford
  80. Magic Johnson
  81. Jack Nicholson
  82. Joe Louis
  83. James Dean
  84. Sean Connery
  85. Ernest Hemingway
  86. Jerry Garcia
  87. Clark Gable
  88. Jimi Hendrix
  89. Johnny Cash
  90. Clint Eastwood
  91. Jim Morisson
  92. Whitney Houston
  93. Christopher Walken
  94. Will Ferrell
  95. Dr. Dre
  96. Joan Rivers
  97. Will Smith
  98. Wilt Chamberlain
  99. Justin Timberlake
  100. John Belushi
  101. Dick Clark
  102. William Shatner
  103. Jerry Lewis
  104. Michael J. Fox
  105. Jay-Z
  106. 2Pac
  107. Notorious BIG
  108. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  109. Rudolph Valentino
  110. Bo Jackson
  111. Christopher Reeve
  112. Kurt Cobain
  113. Taylor Swift
  114. Derek Jeter
  115. Arnold Palmer
  116. Larry David
  117. Jay Leno
  118. Stephen King
  119. Pamela Anderson
  120. Grace Kelly
  121. Evil Kinevil
  122. Bob Hope
  123. Hulk Hogan
  124. Carol Burnett
  125. Ted Danson
  126. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  127. Cindy Crawford
  128. Mike Tyson
  129. Liberace
  130. Morgan Freeman
  131. Louis C.K.
  132. Samuel L. Jackson
  133. Brad Pitt
  134. George Clooney
  135. Dean Martin
  136. Judy Garland
  137. Wayne Gretzky
  138. Julia Roberts
  139. Stanley Kubrick
  140. Steve Martin
  141. Orson Welles
  142. Diana Ross
  143. Kanye West
  144. Sylvester Stallone
  145. Britney Spears
  146. Joe Montana
  147. Bono
  148. Shaquille O'Neal
  149. Alex Trebek
  150. George Carlin

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