Top 10 Greatest Artists and Bands of the 80s

The Top Ten
1 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson (Michael Joseph Jackson; August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter. He passed away from cardiac arrest caused by a propofol and benzodiazepine overdose on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under the initials MJ. Dubbed the King of Pop, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. more.

Now to be honest he's one of the greatest artists of all time and one of the top vocalist but isn't the top he is the top of the 80s and top 10 of the 90s but isn't the greatest of all time. He would be remembered as one of the greatest entertainers of all time but once agian isn't the best. Don't get me wrong I hated on how the media was spreading fake rumours about him, and when he died drugs "alone". But the very best artist would be The Beatles, and the top vocalist would be the lead singer of Queen Freddie Mercury, even Aretha Franklin has a better voice than MJ proving that even legends like him are overrated

I don't know in the states but in Europe bands like Simple Minds, U2, Human League, Duran Duran etc... were more popular in the 80's than Michael Jackson. He only had the " Thriller " LP that was big for a while and the follow up was already less impresive ( the " Bad " LP ). Don't forget that Michael Jackson was concidered as Disco in the 80's wich was in a downfall in that period. Upcoming sounds in popularity were New-Wave, House ( late 80's ) and Rap. In fact so big that in the 90's everything popular was Techno, Rap and Grunge. From Michael Jackson everything seems forgotten at that time. I know he got a lot of fans but when you lived trough the eighties ( I was 16 years old in 1980 ) you'll know that it went like I tried to explain in my comment. I don't give critics on Michael Jackson ( I bought his " Thriller " LP in the 80's ) but don't forget the eighties are 10 years and a lot can happen in 10 years. He was big ( very big ) for one and a half year but that's it.

No single individual has had the impact that Michael Jackson has had on singers, dancers, producers, arrangers and directors of live events. He set the benchmark - and then exceeded himself.

Michael is the greatest in any era. His music and stage craft transcended the 80s and kept setting benchmarks in the 90s. Despite his death, This Is It did the same for the 21st century. Now that's longevity. That's greatness.

2 Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley certainly had a better voice than Michael Jackson (how on earth is he number one? His fans have been sharing this page on their forum again, no doubt).

Most amazing band of the 80's AND of all time! Music that continues to touch audiences through each decade since!

Awesome band. Too many people have forgotten how great they are. Front singer Tony Hadley's voice is better than ever!

100% agree their music is as fresh today as it's always been. Best vocalist in the business! Great overall sound live.

3 A-ha A-ha is a Norwegian band formed in Oslo in 1982. The band was founded by Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy.

One of the greatest groups of all time not just the 80's, Morten Harket's voice is absolutely amazing in it's range and style. Songs like Out of Blue Comes Green, while never made singles, could've cemented Pal Waaktaars reputation as a great song writer. Unfortunately being labelled a boy band and pigeonholed by the music industry damaged a-ha's chances to have their music heard and rated by a wider audience. Their reformation in the early 2000's gave the band new life and their later music definitely rates as some of their best work.

One of the greatest bands of all time. Unfortunately they are often written off as a boyband but they've written some truly amazing songs like "Manhattan Skyline", "I've been Losing You" and "Minor Earth, Major Sky". If you've only heard "Take on Me" go and check some of their other stuff out! They fully deserve their No.2 spot, should probably be at number 1 but I suppose their is no-one quite like Michael Jackson (who, by the way, loved A-ha and invited them to his Neverland ranch). And yes, they're better than Bon Jovi.

Brilliant band. As many have said, probably one of the most underrated bands of all time. In the USA considered a one hit wonder and the rest of the world a girly band.

The reality is brilliant early stuff, Scoundrel Days is a truly great album. The largest paid stadium concert of all time. An amazing comeback in the late 90s with Minor Earth, Major Sky and Analogue in 2005. Ended on a high note in 2010 with Foot of the Mountain and a brilliant fairwell tour. Plaudits from so many of their peers: from U2 to Coldplay.

I have never been nor do I think I ever will be an admirer of popular music or popular artists, however I find the music of A-ha to be meaningful, moving and downright transcendental.The members of the group are some of the most high-class and graceful public figures I have seen; they are diplomatic, really, as they are able to balance their artistic mystique with approachable, down-to-earth personas.

4 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock/pop rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band's most famous album is Slippery When Wet, released in 1986, and had multiple hit singles such as "You give love a bad name", "Livin' On A Prayer", and "Wanted Dead Or Alive". The band's success continued well into the 1990s and 2000s, and the group still makes music to this day. They have sold around around 83 million albums worldwide.The band's first four albums blended the glam metal more.

Along with the Queen they rule stadium anthems.

It's incredible to listen to thousands at the same singing living on a prayer or you give love a bad name.

Bon Jovi may not be number 1, but he should be under Michael Jackson. A-ha only has 1 song that people actually remember- Take on Me. I admit it's a pretty good song, but Bon Jovi had way more hits than A-ha. Livin' On A Prayer, You Give Love A Bad Name, Wanted Dead or Alive, Bad Medicine, and that's only their 80s hits!

His music is not just like 1 theme. Even know I'm 10 years old I love him, music and band and songs! And I love 80's music.

They belong in number 1. They have done it all and kept smiles on the people's faces while doin it.

5 Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Apart from hard rock they are also associated with heavy metal. more.

They are an iconic band that was set apart from all the others. They are one of the most popular bands ever and have repeatedly created great songs. I've seen them and they were astonishing!

Most of these bands either made it big in the 70s and weren't as great in the 80s or are just plain overrated. Guns N' Roses might have had the UYI albums in the 90s which were pretty great also (in fact UYI2 is probably my favorite album by them) but they were an 80s band through and through.

Slash is an awesome guitarist. Definitely my favorite. My favorite band ever.

They're great and have produced iconic songs.

6 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), and John Deacon (bass guitar, vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band more.

I have always loved Queen and I have been listening to them my whole life. I don't think Under Pressure is the song that everyone knows by Queen, I think the songs that they are most known for is We Will Rock You, We are the champions, and Bohemian Rhapsody. I even got to go to a concert this past summer in LA. I LOVE how they wrote their songs and they just make me so happy and want to get up and dance!

Queen deserves this spot. They just never stopped making great songs (they have three greatest hits albums), not to mention they're practically a household name at this point.

But Under Pressure kills me. It's a great song, but for some reason it's the only reason most people know Queen. "Hammer to Fall" is much better.

Queen has an amazing voice and unique songs. It should be most definitely ranked higher.

Many songs by Queen are not recognized, like "We Will Rock You", and "We Are The Champions".

7 Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone, known professionally as Madonna, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically in 2012 "Madge" or MDNA. She has 14 studio albums (Madonna, Like a Virgin, True Blue, Like a Prayer, Erotica, Bedtime Stories, Ray of Light, Music, American Life, Confessions on a Dance Floor, Hard Candy, MDNA, Rebel Heart, and Madame X), 3 soundtrack albums (Who's That Girl, I'm Breathless, and Evita), 4 compilation albums (The Immaculate Collection, Something to Remember, GHV2, and Celebration), more.

Any list that doesn't have Madonna as the number one artist is suspect. She was dominant from the beginning of the decade to the end. Unlike Michael, she progressed as an artist, surprising us at every turn. For me, it's 1. Madonna. 2. Prince (think of all the songs he wrote for others like Sinead O'Connor, The Bangles and Sheena Easton), 3. Michael Jackson, 4. The Police.

The 80s without Madonna would have been like a hamburger without the meat!

No one makes music for the ages like her.She is the sound of the generations she has performed for and will be.

Loved her song, Take a Bow. That was a great tune!

8 Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy/Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". more.

They're in a class by themselves well metal yeah of course, but we're talking' 80's - not so much 80's but they are loved.

They are the best. But this list is obviously biased towards metal.

9 The Police The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For the majority of their history, the band consisted of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. They are most known for their songs "Message In A Bottle", "Don't Stand So Close To Me", "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", "Roxanne", more.

Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers fused sounds that took the music industry by storm. Even in the short time they were together they created classics.

They made great music and were on top for a bit. It really sucks that they broke up.

Best band EVER! And sting is great too. Listen to King of pain, people!

Who doesn't love the Police! Great music!

10 Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .

What made Prince such a big deal and huge influence was that he was pretty much the right artist in the right time. He was basically the backlash to what was going on during the 80s, in which everything was overly produced, especially with the pop music that was mostly just super flashy, big dance numbers, and pretty much else that was mostly for cash-grabbing commercialism. Prince was the people's person trying to be genuine. He was trying to be about the music,not about the traditional music scene thing like,"Oh,look at this guy. He's got spotlights on him. This guy is like a god."

Prince was top charting artist of the 80s in the US (with 378 weeks in the Hot 100 chart). He was there first week and the last week of the decade. He was the top charting artist world wide with 5 #1 albums, and 28 top 20 singles. He was the most prolific artist of that decade as well. Writing songs for and introducing artists such as Vanity 6, Sheila E, Morris Day and the Time, Wendy & Lisa, and Apollonia. Writing songs for Chaka Khan, Sheena Easton, the Bangles.Being cover by Tom Jones,Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Morgan and The Pointer Sisters. A musician and songwriter extraordinaire.

Prince has the greatest songs ever. The one and only. He has showed the world how great his music truly was. From Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Rasberry Beret, Let's Go Crazy, Little Red Corvette, to Kiss he has spread the music worldwide truly touching each and everyone of our hearts. Thank you Prince.

How is it that this man Prince, is admired and respected and acclaimed by musicians and songwriters all around the world, writes his own songs, plays every instrument, sings, produces, dances... For one man to have this much talent is obscene!

The Contenders
11 Van Halen Van Halen was an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.

Van Halen has to be one of the greatest bands of all time. Eddy rocked on the guitar, Alex was awesome, Diamond Dave was one of the most entertaining lead singers ever, and they didn't start as a boy band, put together by executives to make money. They just rocked it out.

This has to be one of my very favorite bands. If you just listen to their songs, you will be blown away by the talent in this band!

The talentless pop artists in the top ten will never be better than van halen.

The greatest guitar player ever. Should be number one.

12 Heart Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.

Heart was very underrated coming into a world dominated by male rockers where women were disco queens or dance artists. They blazed through the 70's 80's and 90's leaving some great songs and guitar riffs.

Heart is awesome duh

13 Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath more.

Appeared in the soundtrack to "It's a Boy Girl Thing" (2006).

He is a nut case

14 AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson more.

What? Acdc is one of the best bands ever. Not to mention the 80's. These guys should be first with Rush second and Van Halen third.

The best band ever

15 Motley Crue Mötley Crüe is an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California on January 17, 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, lead vocalist Vince Neil and lead guitarist Mick Mars.

These guys partied hard and knew how to rock and roll. Sex drugs and rock and roll is and was a lifestyle only few people can survive.

Motley Crue should be in the top five bands is the 80's. Their music and style was unique inspiring other bands to follow their steps.

Best rock band to survive the 80's. Could have been much bigger but they were their own worst enemies.

16 Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band".

I do believe there were better artists in the 80s, but Aerosmith isn't getting enough credit, especially for hanging on when they flopped in the music industry, because they ended up making one of the hugest comebacks of the 20th century, topped only by Elvis. Most artists gave up when their music took a turn for the worse, and I respect Aerosmith because not only did they refuse to give up, they also made some of the most classic rock songs of the 20th century in doing so.

They ruled in the 70's but wait a minute! Aerosmith made a fantastic music in the 80's too. Don't you like hits "Janie's Got a Gun", "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Angel", "Rag Doll", "Love in an Elevator", "Hangman Jury"? Come on, this band must be in the Top 10

Steven Tyler's daughter, Liv Tyler, appeared in Armageddon (1998). If it weren't for Aerosmith, The Polar Express (2004) is just another horrible Children's Christmas movie.

The 80's really were up for grabs amongst everyone. I will however give my vote to Aerosmith for the longevity of how much love we can have for their music.

17 Bryan Adams Bryan Guy Adams is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, photographer, philanthropist and activist.

Extremely talented and a personal favourite of mine. Bryan Adams manages to pull off some lively, rocky songs E.G. "She's only happy when she's dancing", "Summer of 69" and "Can't stop this thing we started" and he can pull off some very relaxed, slower songs such as "Star", "Heaven" and "Everything I do, I do it for you" so whatever mood I'm in, I can turn on some Bryan Adams and I won't be disappointed. With such a repartee of fine rock music and slow, romantic music. Bryan Adams has stuck out for me as the greatest musician of the 80s and of all time. Honorable mentions go to definitely Leppard, Whitesnake and Bon Jovi

Bryan Adams also contributed to the soundtrack to Don Juan DeMarco (1995).

He is one of my all time favorites! Sings a great variety of music! 1

Best of the best Bryan

18 Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and humanitarian. He is known for his work with the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss", Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana, working class and sometimes political more.

He's called "The Boss" for a reason. He released numerous hits in the 80s and was always on the radio because he was as much a part of the 80s as Prince or Madonna.

The first time I saw him in concert in Barcelona I was 14... now at 42 I never get tired of going to a concert of him whenever I can!

After the 60's (Beatles, Stones etc) Springsteen is the next biggest influence in rock music. In the 80's he should rank number 1

Bruce Springsteen defined rock music of the 80's with albums like The River, Nebraska, Born In The U.S. A and Tunnel Of Love. Should definitely be in the top 10.

19 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm guitarist Adrian more.
20 U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have more.

U2 made the biggest impact in the 80's and still going strong. You know this list is a joke when Bono isn't ranked higher then Heart. He is one of the greatest song writers of all time.

U2 deserve number 1. Forget Michael Jackson, his contribution to music was nothing compared to U2's.

Presence and passion. This is not even close! Time magazines band
Of the decade.

U2 is awesome and they keep on going! Bono is amazing!

21 Duran Duran Duran Duran are an English new wave/synthpop band formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were a successful band of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the US.

I think one of the reasons why Duran Duran deserves a high spot is because they were the right band at the right time. They were a part of the New Romantic movement, which was a backlash to the UK's Punk scene during the late 70s, in which everything was about being aggressive, looking torn up, and "play as fast as you can! " The New Romantic movement was society's way of trying to be more innovative, elegant, and flamboyant, like,"Hey it's a couple of straight guys trying to look all glamorous and be more reinventive(like back in the early 70's Glam scene)." It was literally a backlash against Punk. The only different is that Duran Duran were the tops dogs of the movement. They brought that scene to the mainstream and adapted it to the MTV generation. People wanted it, people loved it, they fell in love with it, it changed a lot of people's hearts and minds, and that was partly the sound of the 80s,

How are these guys not higher? Best band in the 80's, cracked America and were the One Direction of the day, but much better. Hungry Like the Wolf, The Reflex, Rio, Is There Something I Should Know, Save a Prayer, Wild Boys, View to a Kill, Girls on Film, Ordinary World, Notorious, Planet Earth, etc, etc. All classics! DD forever guys

I'm a big Duran Duran fan. They have their own sound. They carved that sound for themselves and owned it. They are also still touring today and drawing huge audiences. It just shows that their songs completely go pass their genre

Duran Duran pretty much created New Wave. The original 5 members had the perfect amount of Punk and Disco to create the perfect sound. Andy is one of the greatest guitarists.

22 The Cure The Cure are an English post-punk/gothic rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1978. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member.

Love the cure!

23 Def Leppard Def Leppard are an English hard rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.

How is definitely leppard not in the top 10? They're undisputedly my favorite band of all time, and they've had tons of hits. And yet, aha is second place, even though the only song they have that could even compare to any definitely leppard song is take on me!

What the freak! You place one hit wonders, Spandau Ballet and A-ha high on this list, while Def. Leppard sits down here. Maybe, their both big overseas but here, not so much.

Definitely Leppard is one of the greatest bands to rule the 80s. Everyone has heard of a lot of their songs. Pyromania was one of the greatest albums of that decade!

I think people forget the impact that Def Leppard had. They were gigantic.

24 K.S. Chithra Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music.

In 80's Chithra is New face. But she capture the music world in a single song

25 Whitney Houston Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 more.

The most beautiful and amazing woman to live on this planet!

Queen of Voice! Look at her amazing list of 80s singles: "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Greatest Love of All", "Saving All My Love for You", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "Where Do Broken Hearts Go", "One Moment in Time", "How Will I Know", "You Give Good Love", "All at Once", "So Emotional"

She is the business. The best voice ever

Queen of the eighties if not pop!

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