Music

The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated March 18, 2020 319.5k votes 20.2k voters 394.9k views 198 items

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 80s women and those to come after, so feel free to vote, music fans, to see which female artist left the biggest mark in music history.

list ordered by
1
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Pop music, Dance-pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America
2
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Pop and Electronica; Nationality: United States of America
3
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Adult contemporary music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: Canada
4
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Rock music, Dance-pop & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: Switzerland
5
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Classic rock, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
6
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
7
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
TerryKeith added Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America
8
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Pop and Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America
9
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Pop punk and R&B; Nationality: United States of America
10
Cher is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Hip hop music, Rock music & Dance-pop; Nationality: United States of America
11
Adele is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Pop, R&B & Soul; Nationality: England
12
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: New Wave, Rock music & Heavy metal; Nationality: United States of America
13
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Adult contemporary music, New Wave & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
14
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Blue-eyed soul, New Wave & Pop music; Nationality: Scotland
15
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop & New Wave; Nationality: United States of America
16
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Genre: Disco, Pop music & Dance music; Nationality: United States of America
17
Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Pop, Contemporary R&B & Electronica; Nationality: United States of America
18
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
lappa21 added Genre: New Wave, Disco & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
Queen of disco
19
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Genre: Ballad, Country pop & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
20
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Doo-wop, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: England
21
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Pop, Dance & Electronic; Nationality: United States of America
22
Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Hip Pop R&B, Synthpop & New Wave; Nationality: United States of America
23
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Genre: Urban contemporary, Merengue music & Synthpop; Nationality: Colombia
24
Bonnie Tyler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
CarlosFigueroa1 added Genre: Ballad, Wagnerian rock & Pop music; Nationality: United Kingdom
25
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
ChrisAlexVillal added Genre: Adult contemporary music, Show tune & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America