music The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s  

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List Rules Pop stars, artists, and groups popular during the 1980s

The 1980s was a huge decade in terms of breaking pop stars. '80s artists benefited from the rising popularity of cable television. MTV was a cultural phenomenon that became a kingmaker in terms of helping create larger than life '80s pop stars. Singers like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna, largely considered three of the biggest '80s pop stars, were greatly impacted by these new outlets. Their iconic music videos revolutionized the way people consumed music.

In a sense, the '80s turned run of the mill musicians into major pop stars. Artists like Billy Ocean, Huey Lewis & The News, Rick Springfield, and Richard Marx all had brushes with fame during this decade. While the merits of their respective widespread fame and acclaim can be debated, no one can doubt or diminish their achievements as some of the biggest stars of the 1980s and most widely known and remembered '80s groups. Some of the decade's biggest pop artists and pop artists have endured to the present day. Bon Jovi, Journey, and the late Whitney Houston are examples of '80s singers whose music was able to endure and are considered classics from that time period.

Here is your chance to pick the best 1980s pop stars. This Ultimate List will determine who was the greatest pop star of the decade, and it's up to you decide who takes the honor.
list ordered by

1
+ - 4,614 3,038
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Michael Jackson Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

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2
+ - 3,892 2,349
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
George Michael Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

3
+ - 3,773 2,720
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Madonna Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

4
+ - 2,844 2,682
Prince is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Prince Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

5
+ - 2,276 1,610
Queen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Queen A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

6
+ - 2,403 1,984
Ranker Video v
Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

7
+ - 2,967 2,080
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Whitney Houston The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love

8
+ - 1,385 1,442
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Phil Collins Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

9
+ - 1,617 920
WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
WHAM! Make It Big, The Best of Wham!: If You Were There..., The Final

10
+ - 1,862 1,412
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

11
+ - 1,389 1,386
The Police is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Police Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, ZenyattĂ  Mondatta

12
+ - 1,639 1,593
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Tina Turner Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

13
+ - 1,479 1,563
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

14
+ - 908 741
Bryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bryan Adams Reckless, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 11

15
+ - 1,418 1,036
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Blondie Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

The Greatest English Pop Singers 16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

16
+ - 1,668 1,858
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Duran Duran Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

17
+ - 518 423
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Pink Floyd The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

18
+ - 705 814
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Annie Lennox Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

19
+ - 1,001 690
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

20
+ - 624 605
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

21
+ - 804 711
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Depeche Mode Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

22
+ - 1,248 1,278
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

23
+ - 1,357 1,261
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Tears for Fears Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

24
+ - 793 915
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Huey Lewis & the News Sports, Fore!, Picture This

25
+ - 892 1,139
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

26
+ - 946 913
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Lionel Richie Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

27
+ - 1,369 1,200
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Culture Club Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

28
+ - 446 281
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
AC/DC Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

29
+ - 1,042 996
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Billy Joel The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

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30
+ - 975 986
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

31
+ - 1,213 961
Journey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Journey Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

32
+ - 1,121 1,382
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

33
+ - 1,660 1,589
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Olivia Newton-John Xanadu, Grease, The Christmas Collection

34
+ - 803 806
Hall & Oates is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Hall & Oates H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

35
+ - 1,289 1,006
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donna Summer Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits

36
+ - 1,066 997
U2 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
U2 The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

37
+ - 1,188 1,113
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
A-ha Hunting High and Low, Minor Earth | Major Sky, Take On Me

38
+ - 828 932
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Pet Shop Boys Actually, Very, Behaviour

39
+ - 756 716
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Pat Benatar Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

40
+ - 790 649
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

41
+ - 728 561
Toto is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Toto Toto IV, Legend: The Best of Toto, Turn Back

42
+ - 459 480
Bonnie Tyler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse of the Heart, Heart Strings, It's a Heartache

43
+ - 755 725
Sting is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sting ...Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling

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44
+ - 596 578
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Cure Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

45
+ - 709 595
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Van Halen Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

46
+ - 325 212
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

47
+ - 667 531
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

48
+ - 640 605
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
R.E.M. Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

49
+ - 731 545
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Def Leppard Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

50
+ - 275 174
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever, Main Course, Spirits Having Flown