Pop Music The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Pop 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.

list ordered by

1
3,664 4,147
Queen is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

2
6,473 5,554
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

3
6,144 4,464
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
jsnungaray added Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

4
3,951 5,177
Prince is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

5
5,801 3,902
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

6
4,797 3,249
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love

7
3,664 2,042
WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added Make It Big, The Best of Wham!: If You Were There..., The Final

8
3,006 3,593
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

9
1,948 3,071
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

10
1,188 1,292
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

11
1,089 1,373
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Crabbs added The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

12
1,306 1,706
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

13
1,184 1,698
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

14
872 885
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Danny Marks added Saturday Night Fever, Main Course, Spirits Having Flown

15
1,172 1,711
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sports, Fore!, Picture This

16
2,101 2,477
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

17
2,219 2,467
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

18
1,365 1,872
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

19
1,273 1,519
Bryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Reckless, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 11

20
624 853
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

21
2,450 2,706
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

22
1,830 2,314
The Police is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

23
2,095 2,766
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

24
836 563
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What

25
1,716 1,998
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

26
1,809 1,932
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

27
742 809
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
IanHarvey added Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

28
1,487 2,024
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

29
1,319 1,578
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

30
697 1,104
Bonnie Tyler is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Total Eclipse of the Heart, Heart Strings, It's a Heartache

31
1,360 1,388
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

32
1,604 1,647
Journey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

33
1,683 1,979
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

34
1,423 1,652
U2 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

35
1,375 1,626
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

36
1,269 1,646
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

37
1,883 2,270
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Xanadu, Grease, The Christmas Collection

38
1,627 1,915
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

39
578 733
Randy Savage is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Heracle added Be a Man, Be a Man... Ooh Yeah

40
457 424
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

41
1,061 1,438
Hall & Oates is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

42
1,077 1,383
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
KevinBeyon added Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

43
568 571
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

44
609 502
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Fernando, Arrival, Thank You for the Music

45
1,456 1,780
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
sandy01 added Hunting High and Low, Minor Earth | Major Sky, Take On Me

46
1,459 1,659
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
frantix16 added Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits

47
966 1,223
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

48
1,048 1,267
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

49
1,004 1,324
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

50
950 1,339
Sting is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
...Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling