The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s Bands/Musicians
Ultimate List
21  reranks 28,188 votes 1,409 voters 110,730 views more info

The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

List Criteria: Best musicians who were active in the 1980s, judged on the quality of their '80s projects.

The greatest and most prolific artist of music's most colorful decade are remembered on this list. As I did with the greatest albums and artists of the '90s, I decided to do the same for the artist that broke ground and expanded and influenced generations to come. Keep in mind, this list is based solely on the artists' work in the 1980s. Though, there may be better George [Michael], better RHCP, better Sade, or better...okay, maybe not better Sting, in previous or future decades, we will acknowledge each artists for the impact they made in the 80s. From synth pop, to hair metal, to the rise of punk rock, to the fall of disco, to the birth of hip-hop. All genres are recognized, and classic albums, equally classic singles should also play a hand in how people vote on the countdown of legends.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 21 ReRanks
    • Age
    • Region
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 417
    Down 315

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Michael Jackson

    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    94
  2. 2
    Up 304
    Down 284
    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    85
  3. 3
    Up 294
    Down 240
    Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music More
    84
  4. 4
    Up 227
    Down 188
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    82
  5. 5
    Up 262
    Down 273
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    82
  6. 6
    Up 230
    Down 264
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk More
    79
  7. 7
    Up 197
    Down 143

    ranked low on reranks
    Culture Club

    Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave More
    77
  8. 8
    Up 203
    Down 199
    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B More
    74
  9. 9
    Up 217
    Down 290

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Guns N' Roses

    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    73
  10. 10
    Up 230
    Down 233
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    71
  11. 11
    Up 195
    Down 285

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Duran Duran

    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    70
  12. 12
    Up 167
    Down 147
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    70
  13. 13
    Up 196
    Down 200

    ranked low on reranks
    David Bowie

    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    69
  14. 14
    Up 212
    Down 283

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    U2

    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    69
  15. 15
    Up 159
    Down 143
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    69
  16. 16
    Up 201
    Down 141

    ranked low on reranks
    Cyndi Lauper

    Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music More
    69
  17. 17
    Up 189
    Down 203

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Cure

    New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music More
    69
  18. 18
    Up 173
    Down 120

    ranked low on reranks
    Tears for Fears

    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    69
  19. 19
    Up 114
    Down 102
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk More
    68
  20. 20
    Up 197
    Down 244

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Van Halen

    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    68
  21. 21
    Up 146
    Down 114
    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop More
    68
  22. 22
    Up 166
    Down 160
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    67
  23. 23
    Up 154
    Down 148
    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues More
    67
  24. 24
    Up 182
    Down 208
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music More
    67
  25. 25
    Up 166
    Down 185
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    67
  26. 26
    Up 165
    Down 206
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    67
  27. 27
    Up 164
    Down 183
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    67
  28. 28
    Up 147
    Down 166
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    67
  29. 29
    Up 121
    Down 152
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock More
    67
  30. 30
    Up 154
    Down 178
    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    67
  31. 31
    Up 130
    Down 124
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    67
  32. 32
    Up 135
    Down 153
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    66
  33. 33
    Up 145
    Down 172
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    66
  34. 34
    Up 134
    Down 130
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    66
  35. 35
    Up 130
    Down 129
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    66
  36. 36
    Up 113
    Down 141

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Beastie Boys

    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop More
    66
  37. 37
    Up 157
    Down 95

    ranked low on reranks
    Phil Collins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    65
  38. 38
    Up 170
    Down 100

    ranked low on reranks
    A-ha

    Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave More
    65
  39. 39
    Up 101
    Down 85
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    65
  40. 40
    Up 108
    Down 84
    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Rock music More
    64
  41. 41
    Up 122
    Down 98
    Doo-wop, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul More
    64
  42. 42
    Up 105
    Down 96
    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock More
    64
  43. 43
    Up 136
    Down 108
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    64
  44. 44
    Up 103
    Down 93
    Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock More
    64
  45. 45
    Up 121
    Down 104
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    63
  46. 46
    Up 108
    Down 108

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Iron Maiden

    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock More
    62
  47. 47
    Up 90
    Down 62
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock More
    62
  48. 48
    Up 116
    Down 90
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    62
  49. 49
    Up 97
    Down 50

    ranked low on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    61
  50. 50
    Up 87
    Down 64
    Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave More
    60
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