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The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

Updated March 18, 2020 251.1k votes 21.0k voters 415.6k views188 items

List RulesFemale 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.

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  • 1
    Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 2
    Madonna is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 3
    Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 4
    Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 5
    Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 6
    Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 7
    Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 8
    Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 9
    P!nk is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 10
    Adele is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 11
    Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 12
    Cher is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 13
    Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 14
    Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 15
    Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 16
    Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 17
    Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 18
    Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 19
    Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 20
    Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 21
    Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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    1,409
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  • 22
    Shakira is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 23
    Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 24
    Natasha Bedingfield is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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  • 25
    JoJo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today
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