80s The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
412.3k votes 26.2k voters 1.5M views 656 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
5,603 4,345
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
5,340 5,493
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
3,666 4,764
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
5,122 4,644
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
4,642 2,438
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
4,602 3,055
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
2,939 4,669
U2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
U2 The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

8
3,240 2,595
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
3,504 3,588
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
3,156 4,094
The Police is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Police Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

11
2,881 3,226
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Duran Duran Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

12
3,484 3,747
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
2,547 1,848
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
2,758 2,037
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Van Halen Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

The Absolute Best '80s Dance Moves (in GIF Form)

15
3,205 2,325
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
2,437 1,824
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
3,137 1,327
Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Journey Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

18
2,942 2,080
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
2,476 1,424
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
1,994 1,365
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
2,079 897
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Pink Floyd The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

The Best Dubstep Artists

22
1,854 1,233
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

23
2,134 2,039
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Depeche Mode Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

24
2,049 1,848
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
2,829 1,563
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
1,691 872
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
1,854 986
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Foreigner 4, Complete Greatest Hits, Agent Provocateur

28
1,936 1,380
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Blondie Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

29
1,888 1,582
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
The Cure Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

30
2,349 1,362
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
1,470 535
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Eagles Hotel California, Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2

32
1,709 1,320
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

33
1,829 1,471
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
1,248 1,055
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
1,607 1,082
INXS is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
INXS Kick, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

The 37 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

36
1,509 1,038
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
1,626 987
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
1,628 1,492
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
1,954 1,398
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
1,464 740
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Pat Benatar Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

41
1,501 948
Huey Lewis & the News is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Huey Lewis & the News Sports, Fore!, Picture This

42
1,694 617
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

These Celebrities Have Been Caught Being More Than Just A Little Racist

43
1,388 1,180
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Talking Heads Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

44
2,027 1,809
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Culture Club Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

45
1,378 812
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
1,357 700
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
1,599 1,015
Heart is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Heart Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Heart

48
1,257 1,228
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
1,316 665
Bryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s
Bryan Adams Reckless, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 11

50
961 792
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