Beatles are act of the century

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The Independent Culture

To mark the US magazine's 100th anniversary it has ranked the most important entertainers of its lifetime, with the Fab Four ahead of showbiz greats such as Elvis Presley and Mickey Mouse. Figures were rewarded for commercial and creative impact, longevity, and whether they appear on T-shirts or spawn imitators. The list is to be published today.

Variety's executive editor, Steven Gaydos, said: "We're excited to honour The Beatles in our special centenary issue, giving special recognition to the sole group that has most shaped the face of modern-day showbusiness."

If the Mop Tops coming top is not exactly startling, the runner-up in the list is probably more surprising: it's the peerless jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong. And in third place? Lucille I Love Lucy Ball...