Music

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated March 18, 2020 388.9k votes 28.9k voters 1.4M views 367 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 Genre: Pop and Electronica; Nationality: United States of America
2
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genre: Motown Sound, Rock music & Electronic music; Nationality: United States of America
3
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genre: Synthpop, New Wave & Dance-pop; Nationality: United Kingdom
4
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genre: Pop music, Dance-pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America
5
WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added
6
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added
7
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
8
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added Genre: Rock music, Psychedelic pop & Electronic music; Nationality: United Kingdom
9
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genre: Adult contemporary music, New Wave & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
10
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added
11
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Danny Marks added
12
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
13
Journey is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
14
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added
15
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
16
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genre: Rock music, Dance-pop & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: Switzerland
17
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
18
U2 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
19
Electric Light Orchestra... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
20
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Genre: Rock music, Folk music & Folk rock; Nationality: United States of America
21
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
sandy01 added
22
Bananarama is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added
23
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genre: Blue-eyed soul, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
24
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added
25
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Genre: Classic rock, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America