80s The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
436.3k votes 27.8k voters 1.5M views 638 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.

list ordered by

1
5,925 4,689
Madonna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

2
5,647 5,837
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

3
3,918 5,086
Prince is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

4
5,445 4,922
Queen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

5
4,963 2,596
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

6
4,908 3,214
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love

7
3,119 4,942
U2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

8
3,485 2,738
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

9
3,709 3,684
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

10
3,331 4,186
The Police is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

11
3,030 3,322
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

12
3,706 3,824
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

13
2,690 1,940
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

14
2,944 2,105
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

15
3,411 2,392
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

16
2,607 1,900
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

17
3,356 1,386
Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

18
2,653 1,503
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

19
3,081 2,163
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

20
2,129 1,441
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

21
2,256 955
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

22
2,266 2,127
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

23
1,968 1,301
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

24
2,138 1,929
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

25
2,947 1,627
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

26
1,816 926
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology

27
2,014 1,661
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

28
2,045 1,443
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

29
1,974 1,039
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
4, Complete Greatest Hits, Agent Provocateur

30
2,504 1,417
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

31
1,612 578
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Hotel California, Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2

32
1,806 1,393
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

33
1,930 1,548
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Dimos Dicoudis added Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

34
1,609 1,088
ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud

35
1,318 1,131
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Business as Usual, Cargo, '81 - '85 / Business as Usual

36
1,693 1,145
INXS is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Kick, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

37
1,751 1,026
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Last DJ, Damn the Torpedoes, Into the Great Wide Open

38
1,708 1,561
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

39
2,072 1,453
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

40
1,599 997
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Sports, Fore!, Picture This

41
1,491 1,239
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

42
1,550 787
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

43
1,824 652
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

44
1,480 862
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

45
2,104 1,875
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

46
1,449 737
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

47
1,700 1,048
Heart is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Heart

48
1,334 1,278
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

49
1,220 831
Toto is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Toto IV, Legend: The Best of Toto, Turn Back

50
1,031 849
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Neon Lights, Don't You (Forget About Me), Glittering Prize 81/92