The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

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List Criteria: 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.
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  1. 1
    + 3,541
    - 2,183
    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    the people's #1
    Michael Jackson Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

  2. 2
    + 2,946
    - 1,865
    Madonna is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by jsnungaray
    Madonna Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

  3. 3
    + 2,106
    - 1,855
    Prince is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    most listed & ranked high on reranks
    Prince Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

  4. 4
    + 1,979
    - 1,187
    Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


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

  5. 5
    + 1,472
    - 993
    Queen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by hbg1968
    Queen A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

  6. 6
    + 2,353
    - 1,509
    Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


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

  7. 7
    + 901
    - 761
    Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by looksharp
    Phil Collins Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

  8. 8
    + 2,204
    - 1,539
    George Michael is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    George Michael Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

  9. 9
    + 1,018
    - 897
    The Police is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    The Police Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

  10. 10
    + 1,265
    - 889
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by hbg1968
    David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, ...

  11. 11
    + 1,179
    - 1,269
    Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

  12. 12
    + 1,325
    - 1,586
    Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Duran Duran Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

  13. 13
    + 467
    - 393
    Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    often listed & added by ElizabethKistner
    Annie Lennox Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

  14. 14
    + 1,366
    - 1,233
    Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Tina Turner Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

  15. 15
    + 603
    - 366
    Bryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    ranked low on reranks
    Bryan Adams Reckless, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 11

  16. 16
    + 830
    - 505
    WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    ranked low on reranks & added by dan808
    WHAM! Make It Big, The Best of Wham!: If You Were There..., The Final

  17. 17
    + 1,148
    - 767
    Blondie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by Coolza
    Blondie Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

  18. 18
    + 1,153
    - 861
    Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Culture Club Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

  19. 19
    + 967
    - 988
    Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

  20. 20
    + 1,093
    - 963
    Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by ElizabethKistner
    Tears for Fears Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World ...

  21. 21
    + 354
    - 260
    Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

  22. 22
    + 568
    - 477
    Sting is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Sting ...Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling

  23. 23
    + 967
    - 913
    A-ha is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by sandy01
    A-ha Hunting High and Low, Minor Earth | Major Sky, Take On Me

  24. 24
    + 939
    - 781
    Journey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Journey Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

  25. 25
    + 176
    - 89
    Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by Crabbs
    Pink Floyd The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

  26. 26
    + 1,153
    - 795
    Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    ranked low on reranks & added by frantix16
    Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits

  27. 27
    + 1,430
    - 1,362
    Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Olivia Newton-John Xanadu, Grease, The Christmas Collection

  28. 28
    + 585
    - 476
    Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by KevinBeyon
    Depeche Mode Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

  29. 29
    + 742
    - 693
    Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

  30. 30
    + 795
    - 790
    Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Billy Joel The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

  31. 31
    + 657
    - 460
    Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    ranked low on reranks & added by Coolza
    Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

  32. 32
    + 929
    - 1,209
    Elton John is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain ...

  33. 33
    + 741
    - 702
    Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Lionel Richie Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

  34. 34
    + 621
    - 505
    Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

  35. 35
    + 528
    - 601
    Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    often listed
    Sports, Fore!, Picture This

  36. 36
    + 533
    - 425
    Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by dan808
    Van Halen Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

  37. 37
    + 515
    - 376
    Genesis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by monty46
    Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

  38. 38
    + 653
    - 716
    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. 39
    + 434
    - 363
    The Cure is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by Coolza
    The Cure Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

  40. 40
    + 574
    - 553
    Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

  41. 41
    + 819
    - 826
    U2 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

  42. 42
    + 620
    - 631
    Hall & Oates is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Hall & Oates H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

  43. 43
    + 318
    - 252
    Bonnie Tyler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by ElizabethKistner
    Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse of the Heart, Heart Strings, It's a Heartache

  44. 44
    + 505
    - 420
    R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by ElizabethKistner
    R.E.M. Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

  45. 45
    + 399
    - 325
    Toto is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by hbg1968
    Toto Toto IV, Legend: The Best of Toto, Turn Back

  46. 46
    + 675
    - 879
    Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bruce Springsteen Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

  47. 47
    + 528
    - 398
    Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by dan808
    Def Leppard Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

  48. 48
    + 596
    - 649
    INXS is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    added by thecollo67
    INXS Kick, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

  49. 49
    + 566
    - 556
    Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Foreigner 4, Complete Greatest Hits, Agent Provocateur

  50. 50
    + 579
    - 500
    Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s


    Janet Jackson Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, janet., Control

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