200 Greatest Icons in Pop Music of the MTV Generation

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.
Ranked by
  • Michael Jackson
    1
    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music
    Influences: James Brown, The Beatles, Elvis Presley
    Peers: Stevie Wonder, Prince, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Madonna
    Followers: Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown
  • Madonna
    2
    Pop, Electronica
    Influences: Marilyn Monroe, Cher
    Peers: Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael
    Followers: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Beyonce
  • David Bowie
    3
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music
    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is considered ...more
  • Eminem
    4
    Hip hop
    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