TV special and CD list public's choices of top pop artists of all time
"Music Of The Millennium", a three-hour TV special airing Saturday in Britain, will feature the results of a poll of the same name undertaken throughout this year by the HMV retail chain and TV broadcaster Channel 4.
Votes were cast over the last 12 months via forms at HMV stores, dedicated telephone lines, and at the Channel 4 and Classic FM Web sites. The survey, which garnered over 600,000 responses, is being described as the most comprehensive poll of its kind ever staged according to Billboard Magazine.
The Beatles were chosen as best band of the millennium, followed by Queen and the Rolling Stones; John Lennon was voted best songwriter and most influential musician. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was the best song.
Madonna was the best female artist of all time, ahead of Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion; Mozart was selected as best classical composer. Louis Armstrong beat Miles Davis as best jazz artist, while Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" outdid Holst's "Planet Suite" as best classical record.
There were also some surprises. Former Take That! member Robbie Williams was runner-up for best male artist, behind Elvis Presley. Elvis also sprung a major coup in the best album category by placing "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite" at No. 4. The disc was beaten only by the more familiar poll favorites: the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (No. 1), Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (No. 2), and the Beatles' "Revolver" (No. 3).
According to Billboard magazine, the show features Simone singing her own "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and PJ Harvey performing Bob Dylan's "Shot Of Love." Spice Girl Mel C sings Madonna's "Like A Prayer," while band mate Mel G joins R&B vocalists Beverley Knight and Jocelyn Brown for Aretha Franklin's "Think."
In addition, the rock band Travis and R&B diva Macy Gray pay tribute to the Beatles, covering, respectively, "I Feel Fine" and "With A Little Help From My Friends." Also in the program is rare footage of Lennon performing "Jealous Guy," plus a message from Yoko Ono recorded in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, New York.
The "Music Of The Millennium" TV program will air in the U.K. from 9 p.m. to midnight on Channel 4, with foreign screening yet to be determined. Universal Music U.K. has now released a three-CD compilation "Music Of The Millennium" in Britain.
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