30.5k voters

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

Updated March 18, 2020 377.6k votes 30.5k voters 1.5m views294 items

List RulesPop stars, artists, and groups popular during the 1980s

The 1980s was a huge decade in terms of breaking pop stars. 80s artists benefited from the rising popularity of cable television. MTV was a cultural phenomenon that became a kingmaker in terms of helping create larger than life 80s pop stars. Singers like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna, largely considered three of the biggest 80s pop stars, were greatly impacted by these new outlets. Their iconic music videos revolutionized the way people consumed music.

In a sense, the 80s turned run of the mill musicians into major pop stars. Artists like Billy Ocean, Huey Lewis & The News, Rick Springfield, and Richard Marx all had brushes with fame during this decade—even becoming the top artists of the 80s. While the merits of their respective widespread fame and acclaim can be debated, no one can doubt or diminish their achievements as some of the biggest stars of the 1980s and most widely known and remembered 80s groups. Some of the decade's biggest pop artists and pop artists have endured to the present day. Bon Jovi, Journey, and the late Whitney Houston are examples of 80s singers whose music was able to endure and are considered classics from that time period.

Here is your chance to pick the best 1980s pop stars. This ultimate list will determine who was the greatest pop star of the decade, and it's up to you decide who takes the honor.

  • 1

    More Whitney Houston 

    The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time#65 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 2

    More George Michael 

    #45 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely#46 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

  • 3

    More WHAM! 

    #206 of 298 The Best Duos of All Time#13 of 107 The Best Musical Duos

  • 4

    More ABBA 

    All Of The Drama And Heartache Behind ABBA’s Feel-Good Disco Hits#22 of 151 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

  • 5

    More Madonna 

    The Best Madonna Albums of All Time#6 of 56 Celebrities You're Sick Of In 2021

  • 6

    More Electric Light Orchestra 

    The Best Electric Light Orchestra Albums of All Time#20 of 139 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums

  • 7

    More Michael Jackson 

    The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All TimeThe Most Bizarre Things At Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch

  • 8

    More Boy George 

    #165 of 362 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time#71 of 154 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

  • 9

    More Rick Astley 

    #118 of 221 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album#41 of 103 The Greatest English Pop Singers

  • 10

    More Bee Gees 

    The Best Bee Gees Albums of All Time#51 of 216 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

  • 11

    More Culture Club 

    The Best Culture Club Albums of All Time#613 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • 12

    More Alice Cooper 

    The Best Alice Cooper Albums of All Time#4 of 66 The Strangest Opening Act Bookings Ever

  • 13

    More Styx 

    #4 of 359 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#127 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time

  • 14

    More Boston 

    #1 of 54 The Best Bands Named After Cities#24 of 66 The Greatest Rock Band Logos of All Time

  • 15

    More Steve Perry 

    #500 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#22 of 185 The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

  • 16

    More Linda Ronstadt 

    #8 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#8 of 158 The Best Female Rock Singers

  • 17

    More Don Henley 

    The Best Don Henley Albums of All Time#807 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 18

    More Frankie Goes to Hollywood 

    #77 of 320 The Best New Wave Bands#35 of 115 The Best New Romantic Bands/Artists

  • 19

    More Lindsey Buckingham 

    #10 of 227 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters#60 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 20

    More Paul Young 

    #244 of 489 The Best Rock Vocalists#119 of 197 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

  • 21

    More Joe Cocker 

    The Best Joe Cocker Albums of All Time#34 of 219 The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

  • 22

    More Adam and The Ants 

    #106 of 389 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time#26 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names

  • 23

    More Poison 

    #333 of 489 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are#22 of 58 All The Kirby Copy Abilities, Ranked

  • 24

    More ZZ Top 

    The Best ZZ Top Songs of All Time#5 of 109 The Best Musical Trios Of All-Time

  • 25

    More Survivor 

    #1403 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#232 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands