Do you ever wonder?

Do you ever wonder why some artists (individuals or groups) attain success through critical acclaim and/or record (cd) sales?

Here is my list of those who have made it in the recording/entertainment industries and is completely puzzling to me.

Please list your own; it's irrelevant what you think of mine.

OK, here you go (in no particular order):

Sheryl Crow
Norah Jones
Michael Bolton
Celine Dion
Joe Cocker
Manhattan Transfer
Rickie Lee Jones
Phil Collins

That's enough to get started; show me what you got.
"Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts" - Paul Simon. Mr. Simon has said that he has had the pleasure to have worked with hundreds of stellar musicians that nobody has ever heard of.
Great fame, more than anything else, is just sheer luck. The spotlight finds them, not the other way around.

That said, my short list:

Joe Cocker

Norah Jones is simply "angelic." She is articulate, smooth, beautiful and simply one of the best female artists around. One can get "lost" in her music and her talent is "top tier." But, your question simply shows the "magic" of music in that we all have different perspectives.
I agree with Mapman. Well said.

Some people win the music lottery, some don't. Sometimes it's talent; sometimes it's luck; sometimes it's marketing or the people around you. I don't know. How did George W. become President?

I'm not a big Celine Dion fan but I have to say that she has a magnificent voice. That's what got her out of Quebec in the first place. It gets lost in everything that is around her presentation and shows though.

No opera singers on your list? It was Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine who said: "If opera is entertainment, then falling off a roof is transportation." LOL Look it up. I wouldn't make something like that up.
Good one, Bill. You are the provocateur el suprimo.
I don't agree with all on your list but that isn't your point. The band I don't get is "Cowboy Junkies". I have tried and tried to catch the buzz on them. Great arrangements - yes. Great recordings - yes. Good songs? Good performances? I guess, but mainly I just fall asleep.
It does make me wonder how a group like ELP ever became so popular in their heyday, and I like ELP a lot.