80s The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
426.2k votes 27.1k voters 1.5M views 642 items

List Rules This list is all about amazing musical artists of the '80s, so vote up your favorites!

The greatest and most prolific artists of music's most colorful decade are remembered on this list. This list is based solely on the artists' work in the 1980s. Though, there may be better George Michael, better RHCP, better Sade, or better Sting (okay, maybe not better Sting), in previous or later decades, we will acknowledge each artists for the impact they made in the '80s. What was your favorite 1980s music? Who do you think were the greatest musical artists of the '80s? Remember, some of these artists were responsible for the worst songs of the 80s as well as the greatest 80s one hit wonders

From synth pop, to hair metal, to the rise of punk rock, to the fall of disco, to the birth of hip-hop, all genres are recognized, including classic albums, as long as they were the best of the best during this fabulous decade. Do you prefer 80s rock bands over top pop from the era? Vote up all of your favorite 80s bands and artists who transformed the music scene during the decade, and add anyone who isn't already on the list.

Just make sure they're were making some of the top 80s music we know and love.

1
5,804 4,530
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Madonna Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

2
5,493 5,702
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Michael Jackson Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

3
3,797 4,959
Prince is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Prince Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

4
5,281 4,823
Queen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Queen A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

5
4,838 2,525
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
George Michael Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

6
4,790 3,143
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Whitney Houston The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love

7
3,046 4,828
U2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
U2 The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

8
3,387 2,674
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

9
3,255 4,131
The Police is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Police Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

10
3,612 3,645
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

11
2,961 3,273
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Duran Duran Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

12
3,595 3,788
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

13
2,621 1,893
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Phil Collins Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

14
2,862 2,079
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Van Halen Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

15
3,315 2,365
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
AC/DC Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

16
2,522 1,864
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Aerosmith Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

17
3,256 1,358
Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Journey Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

18
3,020 2,117
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Tears for Fears Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

19
2,564 1,465
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

20
2,063 1,406
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Billy Joel The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

21
2,208 2,082
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Depeche Mode Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

22
2,170 935
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Pink Floyd The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

23
1,919 1,269
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

24
2,104 1,891
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Tina Turner Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

25
2,899 1,593
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

26
1,768 897
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Cars Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology

27
2,000 1,406
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Blondie Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

28
1,958 1,621
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Cure Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

29
1,918 1,015
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Foreigner 4, Complete Greatest Hits, Agent Provocateur

30
2,431 1,394
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Def Leppard Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

31
1,767 1,358
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

32
1,547 559
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Eagles Hotel California, Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2

33
1,886 1,514
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Dimos Dicoudis added R.E.M. Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

34
1,293 1,092
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Men at Work Business as Usual, Cargo, '81 - '85 / Business as Usual

35
1,657 1,114
INXS is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
INXS Kick, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

36
1,560 1,066
ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
ZZ Top Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud

37
1,702 1,005
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers The Last DJ, Damn the Torpedoes, Into the Great Wide Open

38
1,677 1,531
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

39
2,018 1,429
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Metallica Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

40
1,558 968
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Huey Lewis & the News Sports, Fore!, Picture This

41
1,449 1,210
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Talking Heads Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

42
1,512 769
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Pat Benatar Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

43
1,770 636
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

44
1,436 839
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

45
2,068 1,851
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Culture Club Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

46
1,408 725
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

47
1,659 1,033
Heart is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Heart Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Heart

48
1,303 1,256
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

49
1,180 812
Toto is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Toto Toto IV, Legend: The Best of Toto, Turn Back

50
1,001 824
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Simple Minds Neon Lights, Don't You (Forget About Me), Glittering Prize 81/92