80s Music 200 Greatest Icons in Pop Music of the MTV Generation  

malmrphy
20.2k views 200 items

List Rules Only artists who were huge in the era of MTV, vh1, and music videos. Image, style, influence, and icon status

The music world will never be the same, ever since "video killed the radio star". In honor of this we are listing the best artists of the video era. All of these artists included on this list had a major impact on pop music in the last thirty years. This list begins in no particular order. Of course, this countdown isn't limited to pop artist--iconic artists that have had major impact in the video era of rock, hip-hop, and R&B are also included. Music fans, remember to look at each artist for their iconic status--looks, image, style, uniqueness, stage presence, as well as their videos. This list is also re-rankable, in case you don't see your favorite artist. But please only artists who have made music videos. At first, MTV started off as a place to see your favorite white rock bands like Van Halen and Bon Jovi jam out. Since Michael Jackson's breakthrough, however, MTV has became a diverse musical haven, making bonafide stars out of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eminem, the Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, The Notorious B.I.G, George Michael, Lady Gaga, and many more on this list. Of course, one of the era's biggest breakthroughs was Madonna, who has been making music as long as the time frame of this list, and has introduced a new format for women in the last thirty years of music, influencing Britney Spears, Beyonce, and others. David Bowie and Boy George are also recognized on this list for experimenting with androgyny and human sexuality. And in addition to Jackson opening doors for black artists to be bonafide superstars, Prince, Whitney Houston, and others broke through easily. Since the '80s, and '90s have died down, many fresh faced pop stars are carving their place in music history for the 21st century. So where would artists like Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus, or One Direction rank? With your votes, it's your call.
Also: There is a limited time to vote, so hurry up and vote while you have the opportunity, just in case you might not like your favorite artists' rating.

1
Ranker Video
Gary, Indiana, United States of America - Influences: James Brown, The Beatles, Elvis Presley
Peers: Stevie Wonder, Prince, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Madonna
Followers: Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown

2
Ranker Video
New York City, New York, United States of America - Influences: Marilyn Monroe, Cher
Peers: Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael
Followers: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Beyonce

3
Ranker Video
Brixton, London, United Kingdom - David Bowie is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the ...more

4
Ranker Video
Detroit, Michigan, United States of America - Influences: Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 2pac
Peers: Busta Rhymes, Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z
Followers: 50 Cent, Asher Roth, The-Game, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar  

5
Ranker Video
Abingdon, United Kingdom - Influences: David Bowie, U2, Bjork, Dinosaur Jr.
Peers: Oasis, Blur, Beck
Followers: Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, Snow Patrol, Matt Kearney 

6
Ranker Video
Kentwood, Louisiana, United States of America - Influences: Madonna, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey
Peers: Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson
Followers: Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Hilary Duff

7
Ranker Video
Aberdeen, Washington, United States of America - Influences: The Pixies, R.E.M., Sonic Youth,The Beatles
Peers: Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Hole
Followers: Foo Fighters, Breaking Benjamin, Silverchair 

8
Ranker Video
Wallsend, United Kingdom - Influences: Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello
Peers: Annie Lennox, George Michael, Rod Stewart, Peter Gabriel
Followers: Maroon 5, John Mayer, Rob Thomas

9
Ranker Video
Dublin, Republic of Ireland - Influences: David Bowie, The Ramones, The Clash
Peers: The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure
Followers: Radiohead, Oasis, Coldplay, The Killers, MUSE

10
Ranker Video
Marin City, California, United States of America - Influences: NWA, Ice-T, Too $hort
Peers: Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, The Notorious B.I.G.
Followers: Canibus, Game, Lil' Wayne, Kurupt

11
Ranker Video
Encino, California, United States of America - Influences: Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Tina Turner
Peers: Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul
Followers: Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Aaliyah

12
Ranker Video
Los Angeles, California, United States of America - Influences: Chuck Berry, Parliament Funkadelic
Peers: REM, Guns N' Roses
Followers: Sublime, 311, No Doubt, Pepper, Incubus

13
Ranker Video
Berkeley, California, United States of America - Influences: The Sex Pistols, Black Flag, The Who
Peers: Nirvana, Bad Religion, Weezer, blink-182
Followers: Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, sum-41, Fall Out Boy 
   

14
Ranker Video
Influences: Gladys Knight, Teena Marie, Minnie Riperton
Peers: Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige
Followers: Brandy, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé 

15
Ranker Video
London, United Kingdom - Influences: Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson
Peers: Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Prince, Madonna, Duran Duran
Followers: Robbie Williams, Ricky Martin, Maxwell, Justin Timberlake  

16
Ranker Video
Athens, Georgia, United States of America - Influences: Iggy Pop, The Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan
Peers: Talking Heads, Morrissey, David Bowie, The Police  
Followers: Nirvana, Radiohead, Tori Amos

17
Ranker Video
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America - Influences: UGK
Peers: Three 6 Mafia, Goodie Mobb
Followers: T.I., Ludacris, Lil' Scrappy, the Yin Yang Twins

18
Ranker Video
Los Angeles, California, United States of America - Influences: Bob Dylan, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Sonic Youth
Peers: Radiohead, Bjork, Luscious Jackson, The Flaming Lips, Garbage, Cake
Followers: Gorrilaz, Ben Kweller, LCD Soundsystem, MIA, Air, Ke$ha

19
Ranker Video
Houston, Texas, United States of America - Influences: Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson
Peers: Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Britney Spears, Pink, Justin Timberlake
Followers: Rihanna, Ciara, Nicole Scherzinger, Frank Ocean  

20
Ranker Video
Los Angeles, California, United States of America - Influences: Led Zeppelin, Lynard Skynard, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath
Peers: Megadeath, Anthrax, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Black Label Society
Followers: Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Godsmack

21
Ranker Video
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America - Influences: Al Green, Santana, Jimi Hendrix
Peers: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, George Michael, Madonna, David Bowie
Followers: Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz  
 

22
Ranker Video
New York City, New York, United States of America - Influences: Bad Brains
Peers: LL Cool J, Biz Markie, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Run-DMC
Followers: Kid Rock, Eminem, 311, Cypress Hill

23
Ranker Video
Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America - Influences: The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Deep Purple
Peers: Queen, Motley Crue, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake
Followers: Metallica, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Soundgarden, The Black Crowes 

24
Ranker Video
London, United Kingdom - Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. Queen's earliest works were influenced by progressive ...more

25
Ranker Video
East Orange, New Jersey, United States of America - Influences: Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan
Peers: Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Madonna, Janet Jackson
Followers: Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Brandy  

26
Ranker Video
London, United Kingdom - Influences: Bob Marley, David Bowie,the Sex Pistols
Peers: Duran Duran, the Eurhythmics, Genesis, Peter Gabriel
Followers: Maroon 5, Bruno Mars  

27
Ranker Video
Reykjavik, Iceland - Influences: Siouxie and the Banshees, Kate Bush
Peers: Portishead, Sinead O'Connor, PJ Harvey, Beck, Radiohead 
Followers: Sia, Morcheeba, Sigur Ros, Evanescence 

28
Ranker Video
Shelby Forest, Memphis, Tennessee - Influences: Michael Jackson, George Michael, Al Green
Peers: Robin Thicke, Britney Spears, Usher, Enrique Iglesias
Followers: Bruno Mars, Justin Beiber, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston 

29
Ranker Video
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America - Influences: Janet Jackson, The Pointer Sisters, Salt-N-Pepa, New Edition
Peers: En Vogue, SWV, Jodeci, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige
Followers: Destiny's Child, Pink, Aaliyah, Brandy   

30
Ranker Video
New York City, New York, United States of America - Influences: Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee
Peers: LL Cool J, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Diddy, Busta Rhymes
Followers: Kanye West, Drake, Joe Budden, 50 Cent, Fabolous

31
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 200 Greatest Icons in Pop Music of the MTV Generation
Florida, United States of America - Influences: KISS, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns N' Roses, Metallica
Peers: Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Godsmack
Followers: Insane Clown Posse, Slipknot, Disturbed 

32
Ranker Video
Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America - Influences: Pink Floyd, New Order, Depeche Mode
Peers: Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Filter
Followers: Linkin Park, Korn, Mudvayne, Evanescence

33
Ranker Video
Portsmouth, Virginia, United States of America - Influences: Queen Latifah, Roxanne Chante, MC Lyte
Peers: Da Brat, Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill, Lil' Kim
Followers: Eve, MIA, Lady Sovereign, Robyn, Santigold  

34
Ranker Video
Detroit, Michigan, United States of America - Influences: Velvet Underground, AC/DC, New York Dolls
Peers: Kings of Leon, The Strokes
Followers: Black Keys, The Gossip, The Lumineers, The Kills  
  

35
Ranker Video
Yonkers, New York, United States of America - Influences: David Bowie, Grace Jones, Madonna, Freddie Mercury
Peers: Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Rihanna 
Followers: Cher Lloyd, Little Mix, Jessie J 

36
Ranker Video
Seattle, Washington, United States of America - Influences: Nirvana, Fugazi, The Jam, The Clash
Peers: Weezer, Hole, Third Eye Blind
Followers: All-American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, OK Go, Paramore 

37
Ranker Video
Eastside, Long Beach, California - Influences: Ice-T, NWA, Too $hort, Rick James, Parliament Funkadelic
Peers: Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, 2pac, Eazy-E
Followers: Eminem, Xzibit, The Game, Ludacris 

38
Ranker Video
Chobham, United Kingdom - Peter Brian Gabriel is an English singer-songwriter, musician and humanitarian activist who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving ...more

39
Ranker Video
Chicago, Illinois, United States of America - Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, director, painter, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. West first gained prominence as a producer for Roc-A-Fella ...more

40
Ranker Video
Orlando, Florida, United States of America - Influences: New Kids on the Block, New Edition, Michael Jackson
Peers: Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Usher, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera
Followers: One Direction, The Wanted, Big Time Rush, Justin Beiber  

41
Ranker Video
London, United Kingdom - Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy ...more

42
Ranker Video
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States of America - Influences: Michael Jackson, New Edition
Peers: Justin Timberlake, Tyrese, Sisqo
Followers: Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Justin Beiber, Jacob Latimore

43
Ranker Video
Anaheim, California, United States of America - No Doubt is an American rock band from Anaheim, California, that formed in 1986. Since 1995, the group has consisted of vocalist Gwen Stefani, guitarist and keyboardist Tom Dumont, bassist and ...more

44
Ranker Video
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Enrique Martín Morales, commonly known as Ricky Martin, is a Puerto Rican singer, actor, and author. Martin began his career at age twelve with the all-boy pop group Menudo. After five ...more

45
Ranker Video
New York City, New York, United States of America - Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr., better known by his stage name Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, producer, and actor from Brooklyn. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the moniker Busta Rhymes, after ...more

46
Ranker Video
Ottawa, Canada - Influences: Ani DiFranco, Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman
Peers: Liz Phair, Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow, Jewel 
Followers: Natalie Imbruglia, Shakira, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch 

47
Ranker Video
Saint Michael Parish, Barbados - Influences: Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez
Peers: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ciara, Keri Hilson
Followers: Katy B, Cheryl Cole, Shontelle, RichGirl 

48
Ranker Video
Crawley, United Kingdom - The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being ...more

49
Ranker Video
Colchester, United Kingdom - Blur are an English rock band, formed in London in 1988. The group consists of singer/keyboardist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. ...more

50
Ranker Video
Los Angeles, California, United States of America - Influences: The Ramones, The Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy, KISS
Peers: Iggy Pop, Motley Crue, Motorhead, Pantera
Followers: Avenged Sevenfold, Andrew WK, Skid Row, Pearl Jam