When I was growing up, pianist Van Cliburn was the most famous classical musician in the United States. He had an album sell a million copies, unheard of in the genre. It was a function, in part, of the fact that when he won a prestigious competition in the Soviet Union, he was considered a Cold Warrior.
Only problem, as Dustbury noted, is that Cliburn never saw himself that way; he just loved playing the music. Listen to the link Jaquandor provided, and read the sweet story, while you’re at it.
I was a HUGE fan of the singing group The Temptations from roughly 1964 to 1984; I could even tell you roughly when members came and went. Continue reading Van Cliburn, and the Temptations