The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

205k votes 12k voters 233k views 339 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.
Collection Photo:  NBC
  • 73 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 3,367
    - 3,129

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

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  2. 2
    + 2,151
    - 2,408

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

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  3. 3
    + 2,663
    - 2,843


    Daydream, Music Box, Mariah Carey

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  4. 4
    + 2,196
    - 2,433


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

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  5. 5
    + 1,411
    - 1,833


    21, 19, Make You Feel My Love

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  6. 6
    + 1,752
    - 1,663


    Falling into You, These Are Special Times, Miracle

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  7. 7
    + 1,648
    - 2,631

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

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  8. 8
    + 1,445
    - 1,786


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

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  9. 9
    + 1,735
    - 2,204


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

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  10. 10
    + 1,287
    - 1,672


    Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

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  11. 11
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    - 1,823


    Back to Basics, My Kind of Christmas, Stripped

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  12. 12
    + 1,330
    - 1,457


    Closer to the Truth, The Ugly Duckling, Heart of Stone

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  13. 13
    + 995
    - 1,819

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

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  14. 14
    + 1,218
    - 1,640


    Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

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  15. 15
    + 1,296
    - 1,627


    M!ssundaztood, I'm Not Dead, Funhouse

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  16. 16
    + 1,062
    - 1,292


    KooKoo, Def Dumb & Blonde, Debravation

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  17. 17
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    - 2,422

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

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  18. 18
    + 964
    - 1,324


    Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

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  19. 19
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    - 1,039

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

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  20. 20
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    - 820

    ranked low on reranks & added by TerryKeith
    Lady Soul, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Young

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  21. 21
    + 984
    - 1,645


    Come On Over, Up!, The Woman in Me

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  22. 22
    + 881
    - 1,496


    Fearless, Speak Now, Red

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  23. 23
    + 915
    - 1,604


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

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  24. 24
    + 1,053
    - 1,423


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

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  25. 25
    + 1,017
    - 1,554


    Back to Black, Frank, Lioness: Hidden Treasures

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  26. 26
    + 930
    - 1,427


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  27. 27
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    - 1,302


    Bad Reputation, Evil Stig, 1979

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  28. 28
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    - 1,401

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sheryl Crow, The Globe Sessions, Tuesday Night Music Club

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  29. 29
    + 632
    - 1,089


    Hounds of Love, The Dreaming, The Kick Inside

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  30. 30
    + 866
    - 1,281


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

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  31. 31
    + 770
    - 1,070


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

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  32. 32
    + 755
    - 1,200


    Fever, Light Years, Rhythm of Love

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  33. 33
    + 918
    - 1,492


    The Fame, Born This Way, Just Dance

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  34. 34
    + 694
    - 1,254

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Homogenic, Debut, Vespertine

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  35. 35
    + 250
    - 286

    added by ChrisAlexVillal
    Guilty, A Christmas Album, The Way We Were

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  36. 36
    + 234
    - 247

    ranked low on reranks & added by cameoappearance
    Pearl, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Greatest Hits

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  37. 37
    + 567
    - 1,162

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

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  38. 38
    + 586
    - 569

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

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  39. 39
    + 729
    - 1,194


    Breakaway, Stronger, My December

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  40. 40
    + 694
    - 1,139


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

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  41. 41
    + 591
    - 1,107


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

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  42. 42
    + 633
    - 1,093


    Blown Away, Carnival Ride, Some Hearts

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  43. 43
    + 555
    - 927

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

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  44. 44
    + 449
    - 757


    Solace, Wintersong, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

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  45. 45
    + 510
    - 870


    Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, The Fall

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  46. 46
    + 660
    - 1,288

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mary, My Life, What's the 411?

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  47. 47
    + 590
    - 931


    Spice, Forever, Goodbye

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  48. 48
    + 1,008
    - 713

    ranked low on reranks
    Dream with Me, O Holy Night, Songs from the Silver Screen

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  49. 49
    + 699
    - 1,098


    Tracy Chapman, Crossroads, Fast Car

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  50. 50
    + 434
    - 459

    ranked low on reranks & added by Coolza

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