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

The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

183k votes 10k voters 213k views 356 items tags f p @

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 80s female singers like Madonna, who changed the landscape and format of pop music forever, as well as pop stars like 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. The impact of 80s girl singers on pop culture was not only musical, but aesthetic as well. 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.
List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
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  1. 1
    + 3,108
    - 2,902
    Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    the people's #1
    Madonna Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

  2. 2
    + 1,973
    - 2,220
    Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    most listed
    Whitney Houston The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your ...

  3. 3
    + 2,499
    - 2,603
    Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Mariah Carey Daydream, Music Box, Mariah Carey

  4. 4
    + 2,023
    - 2,285
    Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Tina Turner Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

  5. 5
    + 1,541
    - 2,426

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, janet., Control

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,229
    - 1,651
    Adele is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Adele 21, 19, Make You Feel My Love

  7. 7
    + 1,590
    - 1,994
    Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time, Blackout, Oops!...I Did It Again

  8. 8
    + 1,297
    - 1,629
    Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

  9. 9
    + 1,600
    - 1,504
    Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    ranked low on reranks
    Celine Dion Falling into You, These Are Special Times, Miracle

  10. 10
    + 928
    - 1,169


    KooKoo, Def Dumb & Blonde, Debravation

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1,149
    - 1,510
    P!nk is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    P!nk M!ssundaztood, I'm Not Dead, Funhouse

  12. 12
    + 1,127
    - 1,559
    Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Stevie Nicks Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

  13. 13
    + 1,169
    - 2,234
    Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Beyoncé Knowles Dangerously in Love, 4, Beautiful Liar

  14. 14
    + 882
    - 1,669
    Alanis Morissette is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, Under Rug Swept ...

  15. 15
    + 1,469
    - 1,669
    Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    ranked low on reranks
    Christina Aguilera Back to Basics, My Kind of Christmas, Stripped

  16. 16
    + 1,079
    - 1,529

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,206
    - 1,330
    Cher is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    ranked low on reranks
    Cher Closer to the Truth, The Ugly Duckling, Heart of Stone

  18. 18
    + 845
    - 1,210
    Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

  19. 19
    + 904
    - 934
    Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    ranked low on reranks & added by lappa21
    Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits Queen of disco

  20. 20
    + 883
    - 1,530
    Shania Twain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Come On Over, Up!, The Woman in Me

  21. 21
    + 820
    - 1,488
    Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Alicia Keys Remixed & Unplugged in A minor, As I Am, Unplugged

  22. 22
    + 737
    - 716

    added by TerryKeith
    Lady Soul, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Young

    ;
  23. 23
    + 907
    - 1,426


    Back to Black, Frank, Lioness: Hidden Treasures

    ;
  24. 24
    + 784
    - 1,290
    Taylor Swift is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Taylor Swift Fearless, Speak Now, Red

  25. 25
    + 843
    - 1,308
    Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Sade Adu

  26. 26
    + 813
    - 1,260
    Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Love. Angel. Music. Baby., The Sweet Escape, The Sweet Escape

  27. 27
    + 699
    - 1,220
    Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Joan Jett Bad Reputation, Evil Stig, 1979

  28. 28
    + 642
    - 1,299


    Sheryl Crow, The Globe Sessions, Tuesday Night Music Club

    ;
  29. 29
    + 682
    - 1,102
    Kylie Minogue is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Kylie Minogue Fever, Light Years, Rhythm of Love

  30. 30
    + 579
    - 982


    Hounds of Love, The Dreaming, The Kick Inside

    ;
  31. 31
    + 684
    - 970
    Shakira is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Shakira Live & Off the Record, Laundry Service, Where Are the Thieves?

  32. 32
    + 522
    - 1,063

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kid 2000, Straight Ahead, Love Can Build a Bridge

    ;
  33. 33
    + 616
    - 1,142
    Björk is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Björk Homogenic, Debut, Vespertine

  34. 34
    + 798
    - 1,372
    Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Lady Gaga The Fame, Born This Way, Just Dance

  35. 35
    + 774
    - 1,171
    Katy Perry is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Katy Perry Teenage Dream, E.T., One of the Boys

  36. 36
    + 271
    - 55

    ranked low on reranks & added by LisaSwinburn
    The Power of Love, Skyscraper

    ;
  37. 37
    + 629
    - 1,037
    Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Rihanna Loud, Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna 3CD Collector's Set

  38. 38
    + 539
    - 1,011


    I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, The Lion and the Cobra, Fire on Babylon ...

    ;
  39. 39
    + 658
    - 1,108


    Breakaway, Stronger, My December

    ;
  40. 40
    + 571
    - 1,020
    Carrie Underwood is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Carrie Underwood Blown Away, Carnival Ride, Some Hearts

  41. 41
    + 495
    - 516

    ranked low on reranks & added by Coolza
    Once Upon a Christmas, The Ultimate Collection, The Grass Is Blue

    ;
  42. 42
    + 504
    - 856
    TLC is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    added by malmrphy
    TLC Crazy Sexy Cool, Ooooooohhh ... On the TLC Tip, 3D

  43. 43
    + 619
    - 1,158


    Mary, My Life, What's the 411?

    ;
  44. 44
    + 467
    - 770
    Norah Jones is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, The Fall

  45. 45
    + 551
    - 918
    Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Toni Braxton Snowflakes, Secrets, Un-Break My Heart

  46. 46
    + 544
    - 815
    Spice Girls is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Spice, Forever, Goodbye

  47. 47
    + 404
    - 671


    Solace, Wintersong, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

    ;
  48. 48
    + 657
    - 962
    Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman, Crossroads, Fast Car

  49. 49
    + 430
    - 827
    Avril Lavigne is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Avril Lavigne Let Go, My Happy Ending, Don't Tell Me

  50. 50
    + 466
    - 697
    Gloria Estefan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today


    Gloria Estefan Christmas Through Your Eyes, Anything for You, Gloria!

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