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
4,069 3,963
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

2
2,803 2,951
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
2,736 2,889
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
3,222 3,526
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
1,946 2,428
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
2,276 2,108
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
1,732 2,023
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
1,985 3,140
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
1,808 2,220
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
1,546 1,977
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
1,326 1,613
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
1,221 2,222
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
1,710 1,770
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
1,237 1,086
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

Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide

15
1,690 1,987
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
P!nk M!ssundaztood, I'm Not Dead, Funhouse

16
1,677 2,883
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Beyoncé Knowles Dangerously in Love, 4, Beautiful Liar

17
2,077 2,726
Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time, Blackout, Oops!...I Did It Again

18
2,029 2,201
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
1,246 1,571
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
1,198 1,905
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Alicia Keys Remixed & Unplugged in A minor, As I Am, Unplugged

21
1,243 1,916
Shania Twain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Shania Twain Come On Over, Up!, The Woman in Me

The Best Women's Tennis Players of the 1980s

22
1,287 1,282
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
1,345 1,850
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
1,293 1,709
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
970 1,521
Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Joan Jett Bad Reputation, Evil Stig, 1979

26
1,116 1,720
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

27
1,141 1,993
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
862 1,540
Björk is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Björk Homogenic, Debut, Vespertine

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

29
471 542
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

30
807 1,351
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
1,337 1,839
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Lady Gaga The Fame, Born This Way, Just Dance

32
816 1,653
Sheryl Crow is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow, The Globe Sessions, Tuesday Night Music Club

33
427 431
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
456 305
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
920 1,450
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

The Best Popcorn Brands

36
1,097 1,625
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
800 708
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
672 1,355
Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Chrissie Hynde Kid 2000, Straight Ahead, Love Can Build a Bridge

39
971 1,300
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Shakira Live & Off the Record, Laundry Service, Where Are the Thieves?

40
648 585
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Diana Ross

41
907 1,400
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
724 1,322
Sinéad O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 42 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

Every Song in Little Shop of Horrors, Ranked by Singability

43
418 582
Enya is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Enya Watermark, Paint the Sky With Stars, The Christmas EP

44
732 1,121
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
861 1,285
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
920 1,481
Kelly Clarkson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Kelly Clarkson Breakaway, Stronger, My December

47
594 923
Sarah McLachlan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Sarah McLachlan Solace, Wintersong, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

48
814 1,467
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Mary J. Blige Mary, My Life, What's the 411?

49
644 1,036
Norah Jones is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Norah Jones Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, The Fall

50
577 827
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