vote on everything
Music
29.9k voters

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

Updated March 18, 2020 398.6k votes 29.9k 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 26
    Bananarama is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Bananarama 

    #79 of 110 The Best Musical Trios Of All-Time#218 of 296 The Best Duos of All Time

  • 27
    Joe Cocker is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 28
    Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Marvin Gaye 

    The Best Marvin Gaye Songs of All TimeThe Best Marvin Gaye Albums of All Time

  • 29
    John Foxx is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 30
    Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Echo & the Bunnymen 

    The Best Echo & The Bunnymen Albums of All Time#162 of 363 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • 31
    Wet Wet Wet is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 32
    Little River Band is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Little River Band 

    The Best Little River Band Albums of All Time#23 of 892 List of Famous Bands from Australia

  • 33
    The J. Geils Band is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 34
    Night Ranger is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Night Ranger 

    The Best Night Ranger Albums of All Time#31 of 156 The Best Hair Metal Bands Of All Time

  • 35
    Cheap Trick is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 36
    Toni Basil is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Toni Basil 

    #54 of 179 The Best Bands That Are Named After Foods#239 of 595 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures

  • 37
    The Alan Parsons Project is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 38
    Yello is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    137
    57
    amazon buy button

    More Yello 

    #123 of 374 The Best New Wave Bands#94 of 115 The Best Bands with Colors in Their Names

  • 39
    ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    436
    280
    amazon buy button

    More ZZ Top 

    The Best ZZ Top Songs of All TimeThe Best ZZ Top Albums of All Time

  • 40
    Feargal Sharkey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 41
    Aaron Neville is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Aaron Neville 

    The Best Aaron Neville Albums of All Time#163 of 189 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

  • 42
    Neil Diamond is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Neil Diamond 

    The Best Neil Diamond Albums of All Time#58 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 43
    Paul Hardcastle is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Paul Hardcastle 

    #82 of 110 The Greatest Keytarists of All Time#60 of 135 The Best Synthpop Bands & Artists

  • 44
    Kansas is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    303
    256
    amazon buy button
  • 45
    Altered Images is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button
  • 46
    Black is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    126
    52
    amazon buy button
  • 47
    Bertie Higgins  is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

    Bertie Higgins is an international multi-platinum recording artist.  "Key Largo" is the song that made his career soar to the top of the Billboard charts in 1982 followed by his next platinum hit song "Just Another Day In Paradise."  His multi-platinum hit song "Casablanca" has made Bertie Higgins one of the most requested American performers in the Pacific Rim countries. Bertie Higgins is also an award-winning movie director, producer, and actor.  In 2017 he was honored by the Imperial Order of Culture and Peace and the title of Sir Bertie Higgins was bestowed on him in an official knighting ceremony. He has been honored by the Mozart School of Music with the Mozart Award and honored with a doctorate of music award.  Higgins has 27 albums to his credit and new music and movies are in the works.

    amazon buy button
  • 48
    Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    1,957
    2,101
    amazon buy button

    More Bon Jovi 

    The Best Bon Jovi Songs of All TimeThe Best Bon Jovi Albums of All Time

  • 49
    Steve Miller Band is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    amazon buy button

    More Steve Miller Band 

    The Best Steve Miller Band Albums of All TimeThe Best Steve Miller Band Songs of All Time

  • 50
    Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
    278
    237
    amazon buy button

    More Yazoo 

    #1566 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#202 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

Bands/MusiciansMusicPeopleAll PeopleSingers1980s80s MusicPop Musicpolltop 10