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Wednesday, April 14, 1999 Published at 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK


Lennon named greatest singer

Giving peace a chance: Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969

John Lennon has beaten the likes of Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra to be named the greatest singer of all time by a British music magazine.

The former Beatle comes top of the list compiled by Mojo magazine, leaving his former bandmate Sir Paul McCartney at seventh.

Half of the stars in the Top Ten are dead, including second-placed Elvis Presley and fourth-placed Frank Sinatra.

[ image: Respect: Aretha Frankin is ranked third]
Respect: Aretha Frankin is ranked third
Lennon had his first solo hit with Give Peace A Chance 30 years ago, as the Beatles were coming to the end of their career together. He was shot dead outside his New York apartment in 1980, which propelled (Just Like) Starting Over to become his first solo UK number one.

Soul legend Aretha Franklin is the magazine's greatest living singer at third, with Bob Dylan coming in at fifth.

Van Morrison is just outside the all-time Top Ten at number 11, while David Bowie is at 13 and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger is at 16.

The list shows evidence of being chosen by serious music lovers rather than casual listeners, with acts like Nick Drake, Captain Beefheart and Peter Green appearing in place of the likes of Michael Jackson and George Michael.

But there is still room for current artists. Oasis singer Liam Gallagher, Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Michael Stipe of REM figure in the full list.

Mojo's top ten is:

1. John Lennon

2. Elvis Presley

3. Aretha Franklin

4. Frank Sinatra

5. Bob Dylan

6. Roy Orbison

7. Paul McCartney

8. Otis Redding

9. Robert Plant

10. Ray Charles

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