female singers The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today  

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List Rules 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.
list ordered by

1
3,922 3,724
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Madonna Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

The Best Grammy-Nominated Comedy Albums of the 1980s The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds

2
2,597 2,841
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Whitney Houston The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love

3
2,612 2,761
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Tina Turner Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

4
3,083 3,355
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Mariah Carey Daydream, Music Box, Mariah Carey

5
1,773 2,289
Adele is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Adele 21, 19, Make You Feel My Love

6
2,115 1,999
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Celine Dion Falling into You, These Are Special Times, Miracle

7
1,604 1,914
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

8
1,886 3,008
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Janet Jackson Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, janet., Control

9
1,703 2,119
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

10
1,466 1,883
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Annie Lennox Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

11
1,257 1,525
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Debbie Harry KooKoo, Def Dumb & Blonde, Debravation

12
1,162 2,126
Alanis Morissette is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, Under Rug Swept

13
1,608 1,692
Cher is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Cher Closer to the Truth, The Ugly Duckling, Heart of Stone

14
1,138 1,017
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
TerryKeith added Aretha Franklin Lady Soul, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Young

15
1,974 2,602
Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time, Blackout, Oops!...I Did It Again

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s Songs That Were Total Ripoffs

16
1,573 1,894
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
P!nk M!ssundaztood, I'm Not Dead, Funhouse

17
1,555 2,775
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Beyoncé Knowles Dangerously in Love, 4, Beautiful Liar

18
1,872 2,124
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Christina Aguilera Back to Basics, My Kind of Christmas, Stripped

19
1,176 1,505
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Pat Benatar Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

20
1,227 1,212
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
lappa21 added Donna Summer Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits - Queen of disco

21
1,114 1,835
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Alicia Keys Remixed & Unplugged in A minor, As I Am, Unplugged

22
1,165 1,849
Shania Twain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Shania Twain Come On Over, Up!, The Woman in Me

23
1,260 1,781
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Amy Winehouse Back to Black, Frank, Lioness: Hidden Treasures

24
1,232 1,632
Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Gwen Stefani Love. Angel. Music. Baby., The Sweet Escape, The Sweet Escape

25
1,061 1,657
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

26
919 1,468
Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Joan Jett Bad Reputation, Evil Stig, 1979

27
1,072 1,856
Taylor Swift is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Taylor Swift Fearless, Speak Now, Red

28
821 1,462
Björk is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Björk Homogenic, Debut, Vespertine

29
411 480
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
ChrisAlexVillal added Barbra Streisand Guilty, A Christmas Album, The Way We Were

The Best Women's Tennis Doubles Teams of the 1980s 19 Everyday Things That Are Making You Dumber

30
758 1,285
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Kate Bush Hounds of Love, The Dreaming, The Kick Inside

31
791 1,591
Sheryl Crow is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow, The Globe Sessions, Tuesday Night Music Club

32
1,236 1,780
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Lady Gaga The Fame, Born This Way, Just Dance

33
381 382
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
cameoappearance added Janis Joplin Pearl, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Greatest Hits

34
393 261
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
ABBA Fernando, Arrival, Thank You for the Music

35
889 1,389
Kylie Minogue is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Kylie Minogue Fever, Light Years, Rhythm of Love

36
1,041 1,541
Katy Perry is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Katy Perry Teenage Dream, E.T., One of the Boys

37
736 672
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Dolly Parton Once Upon a Christmas, The Ultimate Collection, The Grass Is Blue

38
918 1,245
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Shakira Live & Off the Record, Laundry Service, Where Are the Thieves?

39
640 1,312
Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Chrissie Hynde Kid 2000, Straight Ahead, Love Can Build a Bridge

40
604 546
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Diana Ross

41
849 1,338
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Rihanna Loud, Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna 3CD Collector's Set

42
381 536
Enya is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Enya Watermark, Paint the Sky With Stars, The Christmas EP

43
683 1,276
Sinéad O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Sinéad O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, The Lion and the Cobra, Fire on Babylon

These Women Musicians Are Sharing Their Tales Of Sexism In The Music Industry The Best Italian Brands

44
695 1,076
TLC is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
malmrphy added TLC Crazy Sexy Cool, Ooooooohhh ... On the TLC Tip, 3D

45
822 1,246
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman, Crossroads, Fast Car

46
571 882
Sarah McLachlan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Sarah McLachlan Solace, Wintersong, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

47
783 1,424
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Mary J. Blige Mary, My Life, What's the 411?

48
624 998
Norah Jones is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Norah Jones Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, The Fall

49
854 1,446
Kelly Clarkson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Kelly Clarkson Breakaway, Stronger, My December

50
552 791
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Chaka Khan Ask Rufus, Come 2 My House, Rufus