Female Singers The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today  

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Originally by Ranker Community
283.6k votes 17.8k voters 330k views 213 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
4,371 4,352
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

2
3,156 3,151
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love

3
2,949 3,117
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

4
3,477 3,804
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Daydream, Music Box, Mariah Carey

5
2,200 2,705
Adele is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
21, 19, Make You Feel My Love

6
2,528 2,318
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Falling into You, These Are Special Times, Miracle

7
1,961 2,216
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

8
1,985 2,433
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

9
2,191 3,371
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, janet., Control

10
1,455 1,211
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
TerryKeith added Lady Soul, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Young

11
1,692 2,160
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

12
1,879 1,949
Cher is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Closer to the Truth, The Ugly Duckling, Heart of Stone

13
1,443 1,806
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
KooKoo, Def Dumb & Blonde, Debravation

14
1,901 2,177
P!nk is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
M!ssundaztood, I'm Not Dead, Funhouse

15
2,355 2,938
Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
...Baby One More Time, Blackout, Oops!...I Did It Again

16
2,201 2,421
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Back to Basics, My Kind of Christmas, Stripped

17
1,324 2,408
Alanis Morissette is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, Under Rug Swept

18
1,843 3,122
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Dangerously in Love, 4, Beautiful Liar

19
1,381 1,698
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

20
1,505 1,993
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Back to Black, Frank, Lioness: Hidden Treasures

21
1,403 1,407
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
lappa21 added Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits - Queen of disco

22
1,346 2,046
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Remixed & Unplugged in A minor, As I Am, Unplugged

23
1,359 2,057
Shania Twain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Come On Over, Up!, The Woman in Me

24
1,396 1,850
Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Love. Angel. Music. Baby., The Sweet Escape, The Sweet Escape

25
1,081 1,632
Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Bad Reputation, Evil Stig, 1979

26
1,208 1,848
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

27
1,270 2,210
Taylor Swift is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Fearless, Speak Now, Red

28
589 411
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Fernando, Arrival, Thank You for the Music

29
1,513 1,986
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
The Fame, Born This Way, Just Dance

30
579 668
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
ChrisAlexVillal added Guilty, A Christmas Album, The Way We Were

31
537 554
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
cameoappearance added Pearl, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Greatest Hits

32
940 1,684
Björk is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Homogenic, Debut, Vespertine

33
890 1,476
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Hounds of Love, The Dreaming, The Kick Inside

34
930 794
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Once Upon a Christmas, The Ultimate Collection, The Grass Is Blue

35
1,078 1,426
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Live & Off the Record, Laundry Service, Where Are the Thieves?

36
731 671
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added

37
1,200 1,795
Katy Perry is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Teenage Dream, E.T., One of the Boys

38
1,008 1,565
Kylie Minogue is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Fever, Light Years, Rhythm of Love

39
885 1,768
Sheryl Crow is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Sheryl Crow, The Globe Sessions, Tuesday Night Music Club

40
732 1,449
Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Kid 2000, Straight Ahead, Love Can Build a Bridge

41
1,034 1,514
Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Loud, Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna 3CD Collector's Set

42
524 683
Enya is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Coolza added Watermark, Paint the Sky With Stars, The Christmas EP

43
787 1,421
Sinéad O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, The Lion and the Cobra, Fire on Babylon

44
935 1,370
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Tracy Chapman, Crossroads, Fast Car

45
809 1,209
TLC is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
malmrphy added Crazy Sexy Cool, Ooooooohhh ... On the TLC Tip, 3D

46
718 964
Gloria Estefan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Christmas Through Your Eyes, Anything for You, Gloria!

47
1,023 1,608
Kelly Clarkson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Breakaway, Stronger, My December

48
702 1,131
Norah Jones is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, The Fall

49
658 1,005
Sarah McLachlan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Solace, Wintersong, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

50
882 1,555
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
Mary, My Life, What's the 411?