30.3k voters

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

Updated March 18, 2020 382.7k votes 30.3k 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.

  • Whitney Houston1
    Amazon buy button

    More Whitney Houston 

    The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time#1 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • George Michael2
    Amazon buy button

    More George Michael 

    #45 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely#27 of 271 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time

  • WHAM!3
    Amazon buy button

    More WHAM! 

    #212 of 297 The Best Duos of All Time#12 of 106 The Best Musical Duos

  • ABBA4
    Amazon buy button

    More ABBA 

    The Best ABBA Albums of All Time#28 of 151 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

  • Madonna5
    Amazon buy button

    More Madonna 

    The Best Madonna Albums of All Time#257 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

  • Electric Light Orchestra6
    Amazon buy button

    More Electric Light Orchestra 

    The Best Electric Light Orchestra Albums of All Time#21 of 139 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums

  • Michael Jackson7
    Amazon buy button

    More Michael Jackson 

    The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All TimeThis May Have Been The Strangest Road Trip Ever – If It Indeed Happened Like They Say It Did

  • Boy George8
    Amazon buy button

    More Boy George 

    #129 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time#1 of 15 You’d Never Know That These Musicians Are Intensely Religious

  • Rick Astley9
    Amazon buy button

    More Rick Astley 

    #119 of 221 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album#680 of 1,019 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

  • Alice Cooper10
    Amazon buy button

    More Alice Cooper 

    The Best Alice Cooper Albums of All Time#6 of 66 The Strangest Opening Act Bookings Ever

  • Bee Gees11
    Amazon buy button

    More Bee Gees 

    The Best Bee Gees Albums of All Time#377 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Culture Club12
    Amazon buy button

    More Culture Club 

    The Best Culture Club Albums of All Time#627 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • Styx13
    Amazon buy button

    More Styx 

    #4 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#50 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

  • Boston14
    Amazon buy button

    More Boston 

    #30 of 541 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time#24 of 66 The Greatest Rock Band Logos of All Time

  • Steve Perry15
    Amazon buy button

    More Steve Perry 

    #34 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years#23 of 185 The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

  • Linda Ronstadt16
    Amazon buy button

    More Linda Ronstadt 

    #26 of 160 The Top Female Country Singers#8 of 158 The Best Female Rock Singers

  • Paul Young17
    Amazon buy button

    More Paul Young 

    #279 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists#113 of 196 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

  • Joe Cocker18
    Amazon buy button

    More Joe Cocker 

    The Best Joe Cocker Albums of All Time#36 of 219 The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

  • UB4019
    Amazon buy button

    More UB40 

    #209 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s#119 of 124 The Best Funk Bands/Artists

  • Don Henley20
    Amazon buy button

    More Don Henley 

    The Best Don Henley Albums of All Time#840 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • Ric Ocaseck21
    Amazon buy button

    More Ric Ocasek 

    #101 of 213 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time#75 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood22
    Amazon buy button

    More Frankie Goes to Hollywood 

    #34 of 115 The Best New Romantic Bands/Artists#76 of 321 The Best New Wave Bands

  • Poison23
    Amazon buy button

    More Poison 

    #23 of 58 All The Kirby Copy Abilities, Ranked#355 of 489 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are

  • Adam and The Ants24
    Amazon buy button

    More Adam and The Ants 

    #104 of 389 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time#27 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names

  • Lindsey Buckingham25
    Amazon buy button

    More Lindsey Buckingham 

    #9 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters#482 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021