Singers The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
305.9k votes 23.9k voters 1.3M views 391 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
5,997 4,169
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
5,616 3,680
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

3
6,150 5,348
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

4
3,784 4,933
Prince is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

5
3,408 3,928
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
4,667 3,073
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
3,552 1,842
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
2,910 3,413
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
1,263 1,507
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Diva, Why, Songs of Mass Destruction

10
1,840 2,897
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

11
1,092 1,116
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
1,002 1,191
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
1,124 1,516
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
782 715
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
1,123 1,534
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sports, Fore!, Picture This

16
585 670
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

17
2,160 2,298
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

18
2,014 2,320
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

19
1,307 1,707
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

20
1,206 1,358
Bryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Reckless, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 11

21
2,357 2,553
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
1,760 2,153
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
2,025 2,604
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

24
1,743 1,776
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

25
666 655
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
IanHarvey added Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

26
1,624 1,849
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

27
1,263 1,427
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Can't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home

28
1,416 1,872
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

29
407 287
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Donald Luttman added Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

30
1,293 1,241
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Coolza added Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

31
1,536 1,500
Journey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

32
1,623 1,826
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
653 991
Bonnie Tyler is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
ElizabethKistner added Total Eclipse of the Heart, Heart Strings, It's a Heartache

34
1,357 1,499
U2 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

35
1,321 1,475
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

36
691 506
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
looksharp added Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What

37
1,216 1,497
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

38
1,850 2,110
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Xanadu, Grease, The Christmas Collection

39
1,587 1,755
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

40
558 638
Randy Savage is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Heracle added Be a Man, Be a Man... Ooh Yeah

41
1,030 1,237
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
KevinBeyon added Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

42
1,010 1,297
Hall & Oates is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

43
527 389
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Fernando, Arrival, Thank You for the Music

44
527 505
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

45
918 1,088
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
dan808 added Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

46
1,401 1,636
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
sandy01 added Hunting High and Low, Minor Earth | Major Sky, Take On Me

47
1,001 1,134
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

48
1,431 1,517
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
frantix16 added Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits

49
956 1,189
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

50
918 1,204
Sting is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s
...Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling