80s The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
338.5k votes 25.7k voters 1.3M views 389 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.

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
3,832 4,325
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
6,651 5,704
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

3
4,063 5,346
Prince is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

4
6,269 4,603
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
jsnungaray added Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

5
5,922 4,003
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

6
4,915 3,345
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
3,764 2,147
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
3,063 3,710
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
2,017 3,193
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
1,364 1,817
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

11
1,252 1,435
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

12
1,140 1,499
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Crabbs added The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

13
1,217 1,828
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
921 987
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
1,207 1,810
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sports, Fore!, Picture This

16
2,152 2,565
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
1,424 1,959
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

18
2,259 2,557
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

19
1,317 1,616
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
2,519 2,788
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
647 958
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

22
1,878 2,405
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
2,137 2,858
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

24
899 610
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
1,761 2,087
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road