Music

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated January 2, 2020 378.1k votes 28.7k voters 1.4M views 380 items

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
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
jsnungaray added Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music
2
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall
3
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1
4
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love
5
Queen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo
6
WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie
9
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun
10
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight
11
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night
12
Journey is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Escape, Frontiers, Evolution
13
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers
14
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road
15
U2 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby
16
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Danny Marks added Saturday Night Fever, Main Course, Spirits Having Flown
17
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Fernando, Arrival, Thank You for the Music
18
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La
19
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What
20
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best
21
Electric Light Orchestra... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Out of the Blue, Time, A New World Record
22
Tom Petty and the Heartb... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Last DJ, Damn the Torpedoes, Into the Great Wide Open
23
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street
24
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock