Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. was an American singer and actor. His career stretched more than half a century from 1926 until his death in 1977. Crosby's unique bass-baritone voice made him the best-selling recording artist until well into the rock era, with over half a billion records in circulation.
One of the first multimedia stars, from 1934 to 1954 Bing Crosby was very successful across record sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses. Crosby and his musical acts influenced male singers of the era that followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine recognized Crosby as the person who had done the most for American G.I. morale during World War II and, during his peak years, around 1948, polls declared him the "most admired man alive," ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also during 1948, the Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
Through the aegis of recording, Crosby developed the techniques of constructing his broadcast radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship (editing, retaking, rehearsal, time shifting) that occurred in a theatrical motion picture production. This feat directly led the way to applying the same techniques to creating all radio broadcast programming as well as later television programming. The quality of the recorded programs gave them commercial value for re-broadcast. This led the way to the syndicated market for all short feature media such as TV series episodes.
In 1962, Crosby was the first person to be recognized with the Grammy Global Achievement award. He won an Academy award for best Actor for his role as Father Chuck O'Malley in the 1944 motion picture Going My Way. Crosby is one of the few people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On the night of October 14, 1977, Crosby suffered a severe heart attack and died on the spot. He was 74 years old. Amusingly, his grave erroneously displays his year of birth as 1904 instead of 1903.
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