When you say "of all time" and I look at your list I would have to say Elvis (even though he is my least favorite of the options listed above). "Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me..." - P.E.
Now if you really want to go for all time icons, I have a vision of a former Austrian Corporal with one arm outstretched circa 1939.
What about that French fellow that J Cap lovingly calls "That short dead dude"? He might have a longer shelf life than Madonna.
My all time fave pop stars are the Beatles, but iconic status seems to be something that can be wrapped up in a gesture (Elvis wiggling his leg, Napolean sticking his hand in his cloak, that Austrian Corporal giving a certain special salute).
Even the lamest dancer can hit a move that screams to young and old, "The King Of Pop". I worship pre-Thriller Michael and would put him right behind Elvis of the choices available.
I am a huge Beatle fan and I can think of a gesture that says Beatles. I actually think of Ringo shaking his mop top behind the drum kit around 1964 (LENNON, mccartney and Harrison aren't even in the vision). I would say they were the most talented of the options but the least iconic (for the same reason I knock Madonna, too much change in the image over time means there is no cultural touchstone the masses have to grasp that say "The Beatles".
Marilyn really doesn't have the impact she had even when I was a kid (she was long dead then).
Madonna is a has been already. She actually didn't/doesn't stand for much more than a series of publicity stunts backed by fairly competent dancing and barely competent singing (for a professional pop star). I mean, I liked Borderline and Get Into the Groove as much as the next teen back in high school but she wasn't exactly voice of her generation (since she tended to stand for something different each album). Most of her images and positions were adopted/borrowed not created. Even her earliest incarnation was borrowed from the B-boys and Break dancers of early 80s NYC. She took lots of fringe conventions (the Vogue stuff, S&M, porn chic, etc.) and repackaged them for the suburbs. She was very entertaining but he cultural relevance is vastly over rated.
That "A Flock of Seagulls" guy's hair do is as culturally relevant as anything Madonna added to the lexicon.
Out of context I think most Madonna fans will feel pretty dopey admitting it 30 years from now. Sort of like modern day Monkee fans. Or me when the Bee Gees are on the radio.
"How Deep Is Your Love"
For the record the Bee Gees were bigger in the 70s than Madonna was in the 80s.
marilyn monroe is basically a talentless whore... i equate her with todays britney. madonna has some talent but she needs to stop now... and learn her time is over.
michael jackson is up there without a doubt. peopel still copy his style [ahem, justin timberlake]. if he didnt turn into such a freak in the past few years im sure hed be in close contention with elvis. now i think people are just scared of him and want to sort of forget him.
ive never been a fan of elvis, but doesnt look like hell be going away for a while, thanks to Vegas.
beatles are my favorite of the group, but i wont let my bias blind me... they seem to be fading a bit. so im gonna have to go with elvis, thou he is def not my personal pick, i am just being realistic.