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
4,061 2,951
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
jsnungaray added Madonna Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time The Best Rock Vocalists

2
4,753 3,423
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Michael Jackson Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

3
3,990 2,691
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
George Michael Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

4
2,363 1,966
Queen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added Queen A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

5
2,937 3,046
Prince is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Prince Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

6
2,461 2,313
Ranker Video
Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

7
3,081 2,348
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
1,437 1,764
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Phil Collins Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

9
1,816 1,090
WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added WHAM! Make It Big, The Best of Wham!: If You Were There..., The Final

10
1,918 1,694
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

11
1,429 1,607
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
1,517 1,717
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

13
1,672 1,779
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
688 750
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

15
1,452 1,194
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Blondie Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

The Greatest English Pop Singers The Greatest Rap Songs by One-Hit Wonders

16
1,699 2,021
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Duran Duran Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

17
929 885
Bryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bryan Adams Reckless, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 11

18
559 560
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Crabbs added Pink Floyd The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

19
523 413
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added AC/DC Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

20
725 953
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Annie Lennox Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

21
1,033 838
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

22
825 1,058
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Huey Lewis & the News Sports, Fore!, Picture This

23
1,386 1,405
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Tears for Fears Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

24
1,276 1,416
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

25
838 849
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
KevinBeyon added Depeche Mode Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

26
1,244 1,093
Journey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Journey Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

27
1,395 1,344
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
920 1,278
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

29
1,066 1,129
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
1,677 1,729
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Olivia Newton-John Xanadu, Grease, The Christmas Collection

31
971 1,050
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Lionel Richie Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

32
1,001 1,123
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

33
1,146 1,515
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
1,095 1,135
U2 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
U2 The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

35
1,308 1,142
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
frantix16 added Donna Summer Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits

36
1,208 1,244
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
sandy01 added A-ha Hunting High and Low, Minor Earth | Major Sky, Take On Me

37
826 940
Hall & Oates is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Hall & Oates H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

38
746 695
Toto is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added Toto Toto IV, Legend: The Best of Toto, Turn Back

39
484 611
Bonnie Tyler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse of the Heart, Heart Strings, It's a Heartache

40
812 779
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
850 1,067
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Pet Shop Boys Actually, Very, Behaviour

42
769 860
Sting is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sting ...Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling

43
777 847
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Pat Benatar Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

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44
729 730
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added Van Halen Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

45
314 295
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Danny Marks added Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever, Main Course, Spirits Having Flown

46
362 342
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
IanHarvey added Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

47
619 712
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added The Cure Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

48
748 679
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added Def Leppard Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

49
676 671
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
monty46 added Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

50
662 742
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added R.E.M. Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People