Quiz on famous performers in popular music

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on August 28, 2020

King of pop Michael Jackson performs during his "HIStory World Tour" concert in Vienna, 1997   -  REUTERS/ LEONHARD FOEGER

It’s Michael Jackson’s birth anniversary, and we’ve featured a quiz on some of the most well-known performers in popular music.

Remember the time

1 We start with a question about the king of pop. For which song video did Michael Jackson cast members of the dreaded LA gangs, Crips and Bloods, for authenticity?

2 This international star first became known when she collaborated with her then husband Ike on his band, Kings of Rhythm. Born Annie Mae Bullock, she has sold more than 200 million records using a different name. By what name is Annie better known?

3 This band’s 21-minute performance in Live Aid in 1985 was voted the greatest live performance in the history of rock in a 2005 industry poll and the lead singer’s sustained note during the performance became known as the “The Note Heard Round the World”. Name the band, and the musician, also the subject of an award-winning biopic.

4 Born with the first names Władziu Valentino, he was an American pianist and singer who was the highest paid entertainer in the world in the ’50s and ’60s known for his flamboyant stage presence. What was the surname of this performer, which is how the world knew him?

5 Which legendary American stage performer, who campaigned for US Presidents FDR, Kennedy and Reagan, was also a well-known actor who won an Oscar for his performance in the film From Here To Eternity?

6 One of this performer’s most famous songs is named Paparazzi and the music video portrays her as a starlet hounded by the press who is almost killed by her boyfriend and her subsequent revenge and ascent to fame. The live performance of the video in the 2009 MTV Music Awards caused a sensation. Name this singer who was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

7 An electrifying stage performer, which singer also acted in the likes of Desperately Seeking Susan,A League of their Own and Evita. She also owns the record label Maverick?

8 Which singer and songwriter first caught the public eye in the early ’80s, when his albums Fantastic and Make It Big with Andrew Ridgeley reached No 1 in the UK charts?

9 The original song was released in 1973, but on September 6, 1997, it was performed with slightly modified lyrics in Westminster Abbey and became the fastest and biggest-selling album of all time. Name the song and the performer.

10 David Bowie was one of the greatest performers on stage, where he used the alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. In which Christopher Nolan film did he play a real-life character?


1 Beat It. Jackson paid for the music video himself after CBS, his record company, refused to finance it.

2 Tina Turner.

3 Queen and Freddie Mercury.

4 Liberace.

5 Frank Sinatra; he also starred in the original Ocean’s XI.

6 Lady Gaga

7 Madonna, born Madonna Louise Ciccone.

8 George Michael; the two formed a group known as Wham! before Michael left to pursue his solo ambitions.

9 Candle in the Wind by Elton John, performed at Lady Diana’s funeral. The original song was about Marilyn Monroe.

10 The Prestige, where he played the role of scientist Nikola Tesla.


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on August 28, 2020

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