The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today Bands/Musicians
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The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

List Criteria: Female artist who have had major impact in the 1980s, 1990s, and/or, the 2000s.

The greatest female artist since the 1980s are ranked and voted on through this countdown. In 1998, VH1 ranked the greatest women in rock, from the beginning of music all the way to the 1990s as voted on by fellow female artists. On this list, we ask music fans to rank the greatest female singers and artists who have made music and were active for the last thirty years. These women were chosen not only for their talent, but for their popularity and cultural impact on music. Among these women are Madonna, who changed the landscape and format of pop music forever, as well as  Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Cher, Tina Turner, Joan Jett, and Stevie Nicks, who were recognized for their amazing contributions to their respective genres.

See also: the best current female singers and female singers you wish you could sing like

Fans, remember to only view each artist for their work made since the 1980s. Anything before that is completely irrelevant. The music scene began to shift in the '80s, and since then, video and imagery played a part in how people viewed or recognized music. Some have had major impact because of their videos. Others because of their vocal ability. Many for their everlasting popularity. Either way, these famous artists will never be forgotten for the lasting impression they made on the music world. And this list salutes these particular women, so feel free to vote, music fans, to see which female artist left the biggest mark in music history.

  • 42 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2151
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    the people's #1 Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1356
    - 1645

    most listed Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1843
    - 1844

    Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1435
    - 1722

    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1208
    - 1833

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 1137
    - 1334

    Urban contemporary, Bubblegum pop, Synthpop

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1173
    - 1000

    ranked low on reranks Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1051
    - 1174

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Rock music

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 896
    - 1677

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 791
    - 1206

    Southern soul, Neo soul, Rock music

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 888
    - 1220

    Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 744
    - 1089

    Hip hop music, Synthpunk, Pop punk

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 810
    - 1010

    Hip hop music, Rock music, Dance-pop

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 549
    - 799

    Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 614
    - 1180

    Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 656
    - 1226

    Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 745
    - 1226

    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 614
    - 811

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 624
    - 1339

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 645
    - 600

    ranked low on reranks & added by lappa21 New Wave, Disco, Pop music Queen of disco

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 654
    - 1055

    Sophisti-pop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 763
    - 1287

    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 631
    - 1138

    Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 540
    - 770

    Christian music, Synthpop, Rock music

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 574
    - 991

    Hip Pop R&B, Synthpop, New Wave

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 484
    - 1046

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 590
    - 983

    New Wave, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 486
    - 903

    Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 439
    - 488

    ranked low on reranks & added by TerryKeith Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 522
    - 1006

    Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 490
    - 998

    Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 425
    - 687

    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 473
    - 821

    Adult contemporary music, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 456
    - 870

    Synthpop, Rock music, Electronic music

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 421
    - 665

    Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Synthpop

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 438
    - 731

    Country pop, Pop music, Contemporary Christian music

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 431
    - 288

    ranked low on reranks & added by ChrisAlexVillal Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, Pop music

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 433
    - 896

    Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 371
    - 619

    added by malmrphy Hip hop music, Girl group, Alternative hip hop

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 377
    - 844

    often listed & ranked high on reranks New Wave, Rock music, Punk rock

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 481
    - 719

    ranked low on reranks Urban contemporary, Merengue music, Synthpop

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 368
    - 797

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Piano rock, Dark cabaret, Electronic dance music

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 409
    - 569

    ranked low on reranks Girl group, Rock music, Dance-pop

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 396
    - 727

    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 385
    - 764

    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 328
    - 526

    Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 513
    - 745

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 339
    - 537

    Vocal jazz, Jazz blues, Jazz fusion

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 304
    - 533

    Hip hop music, Pop music, Latin pop

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 297
    - 472

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Piano rock

    ) open
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