80s The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s  

Ranker Community
Originally by
244.3k votes 18.6k voters 1.1M views 381 items Embed

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. 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
5,002 3,743
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Michael Jackson Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time The Best Drummers of All Time

2
4,290 3,239
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
jsnungaray added Madonna Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

3
4,233 2,997
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
George Michael Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

4
2,534 2,235
Queen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added Queen A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

5
3,073 3,326
Prince is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Prince Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

6
3,172 2,624
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Whitney Houston The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love

7
2,523 2,585
Ranker Video
Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

8
1,522 2,039
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Phil Collins Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

9
1,998 1,285
WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added WHAM! Make It Big, The Best of Wham!: If You Were There..., The Final

10
2,009 1,968
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

11
1,593 1,900
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

12
1,714 1,968
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Tina Turner Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

13
1,485 1,780
The Police is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Police Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

14
971 1,034
Bryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bryan Adams Reckless, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 11

15
757 921
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

Pop Stars With And Without Makeup Catchiest Viral Internet Songs of All Time

16
1,505 1,356
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Blondie Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

17
1,757 2,191
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Duran Duran Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

18
606 558
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added AC/DC Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

19
613 705
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Crabbs added Pink Floyd The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

20
862 1,203
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Huey Lewis & the News Sports, Fore!, Picture This

21
758 1,099
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Annie Lennox Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

22
1,328 1,557
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

23
1,082 973
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

24
1,434 1,551
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Tears for Fears Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

25
1,297 1,231
Journey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Journey Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

26
382 374
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Danny Marks added Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever, Main Course, Spirits Having Flown

27
951 1,414
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

28
1,423 1,487
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Culture Club Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

29
880 986
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
KevinBeyon added Depeche Mode Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide Fictional Languages You Can Actually Learn

30
491 297
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Paul Simon Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What

31
1,703 1,874
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Olivia Newton-John Xanadu, Grease, The Christmas Collection

32
1,180 1,654
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

33
1,141 1,275
U2 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
U2 The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

34
1,101 1,264
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Billy Joel The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

35
405 400
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
IanHarvey added Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

36
277 302
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Scorpions Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

37
999 1,185
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Lionel Richie Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

38
1,030 1,263
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

39
1,330 1,285
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
frantix16 added Donna Summer Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits

40
862 1,084
Hall & Oates is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Hall & Oates H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

41
1,243 1,397
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
sandy01 added A-ha Hunting High and Low, Minor Earth | Major Sky, Take On Me

42
516 751
Bonnie Tyler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse of the Heart, Heart Strings, It's a Heartache

43
761 879
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added Van Halen Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

30 Famous People Who Once Were in Marching Bands The Best Netflix Original Stand-Up Comedy Specials

44
333 300
Randy Savage is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Heracle added Randy Savage Be a Man, Be a Man... Ooh Yeah

45
841 929
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

46
807 997
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Pat Benatar Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

47
877 1,226
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Pet Shop Boys Actually, Very, Behaviour

48
779 846
Toto is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
hbg1968 added Toto Toto IV, Legend: The Best of Toto, Turn Back

49
791 1,008
Sting is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sting ...Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling

50
781 820
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added Def Leppard Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night