Music is one of the most powerful things in the world. It can be used for so many purposes – to make people happy, to express oneself, and even to educate. Music has been around for centuries, but there are some songs that have stood out more than others over time. The 80s were a decade full of iconic music that still resonates with people today!
There are many artists who made their mark during this era from pop stars like Madonna and Michael Jackson to rock bands like Guns N Roses. So if you want a trip down memory lane or simply want something new to listen to, check out our list of the top 10 best 80s music artists below!
This 80s hit artist is an icon worldwide! Her songs, music videos, dance moves, and outfits are so popular that even people who weren’t alive during her peak can recognize her. She’s sold more than 300 million albums worldwide and is the best-selling female recording artist of all time. It’s no wonder she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Her success has spanned decades because her music is so catchy. Her songs like “Like a Prayer,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” and “Like a Virgin” were perfect for their time and whenever they come on, we still get hooked! It’s no surprise that she’s widely considered to be one of the best 80s music artists.
Like a Prayer
Like a Prayer is Madonna’s most popular 80s song. The video features the singer in passionate scenes with a black man, who’s accused of killing her on-screen boyfriend. It stirred some controversy because of its themes but for some reason, people couldn’t get enough of it!
#2: Michael Jackson
This icon was a huge star in the 80s and even decades after. Michael Jackson is an 80s musical artist known for his dance moves (and talent), sleek look, and tough image. He was such a popular icon during this era he has been called the King of Pop.
He has sold more than 750 million records worldwide and is the bestselling solo artist of all time. His 1982 album “Thriller” alone made him a household name – it was the first album to have 5 number one singles! His music is still popular today – just look at how many times his songs have been played on the radio.
This funky song was a hit all over the world and came at a time when Michael’s career needed a boost. It featured his signature dance moves and instantly became an iconic music video. There are a lot of rumors about this song, but whatever the case may be, it’s a great song to dance to!
#3: Guns N Roses
This rock band started gaining popularity during the late 80s. They are considered to be one of the most influential bands in history and they’re known for their hit songs, wild music videos, and dangerous yet alluring image.
The 80s lead singer Axl Rose is also a big name – he’s been called “one of the greatest singers” by Time and was ranked 8th on Hit Parader’s list of the 100 Greatest Metal Singers.
Guns N Roses’s top songs include Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Paradise City. Their music is still highly regarded today and their influence can be seen in popular singers like Kanye West. They put out a number of albums starting from 1987 until they broke up in the 90s. We can’t forget about them when we’re talking about some of the best 80s music artists!
Sweet Child O’ Mine
This song was an instant hit and to this day, people still enjoy it. The video featured Axl and the guys playing in a warehouse and then dancing with some ladies by a bar. It was so popular that MTV played it more than once an hour! This is Guns N Roses’s most popular song in the 80s.
#4: Pat Benatar
This rock star is known for her tough persona and powerful voice. Pat Benatar, an 80s hit artist, defied traditional expectations of women rock stars by performing rock songs that had a strong beat, which was different than popular music during the time.
Pat’s songs were powerful and inspired women to take control of their lives and express themselves! She has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, ranked in “The Top 10 Greatest Female Rock Voices” by VH1, and was included in Rolling Stone’s “50 Greatest Women of Rock.”
Love Is a Battlefield
This song was people’s favorite in the 80s because it spoke to them. It was all about fighting for what you love and staying true to yourself, no matter what others say. Although this song is cheesy at times, the beat is catchy and her voice makes it powerful.
#5: Bruce Springsteen
This rock star is one of those acts that can make any concert unforgettable. He started his career in the mid-70s and doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon. His songs like Born in the U.S.A, Hungry Heart, and Glory Days are some of his best-known works.
Bruce Springsteen is known for his voice and his energetic performances! He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. His songs speak to people and never go out of style – just look at how many covers he has!
Born in the U.S.A
This song is one of Springsteen’s biggest hits and people can still relate to it today! It tells a story about an American worker who feels frustrated by the lack of opportunities after losing his job. The tune may sound patriotic, but lyrics-wise this song is very critical of society.
Although this song is more than 30 years old, people are still listening to it! It talks about being young and having so much potential, only to have life throw too many obstacles your way for you to become successful.
#6: Whitney Houston
This iconic songstress started her career in the 80s. She took the music world by storm and was known as “The Voice” because of her incredible vocals. She’s one of those stars that people will always remember no matter how many years would pass!
Whitney Houston’s songs are timeless and she is a household name who has been recognized as one of the best-selling artists of all time. This pop hit is an essential part of the 80s, and it will always be remembered as Whitney’s signature song.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody
This song from the 80s musical artist is still played today and was recently remixed for the film, The Bodyguard (starring Whitney Houston). It tells the story of a lonely man who wants to dance with somebody – but he doesn’t want to dance with any old lady! He wants to dance with somebody special.
#7: Peter Gabriel
This musician is well-known for his artwork, costumes, and unique stage performances. He uses props to put on different shows every night, which makes him stand out from the crowd. Gabriel’s music is powerful and raises awareness about social injustice, poverty, and other important topics.
In the 80s, Peter Gabriel’s song was all about bringing people together. It’s an anthem for those who feel different and encourages everyone to come together as one human race, despite our differences.
This timeless tune has been remixed a few times, but the original is still just as popular. The video is just as iconic and proves that Peter Gabriel knows how to put on a great show.
This Irish rock band is known for its political activism and socially conscious lyrics, which have shaped our culture over the past three decades. Their music is powerful and always makes you think – this is why they are so well-respected.
U2’s songs were always full of hope at a time when there was so much turmoil in the world. Their songs are well-known for talking about their personal struggles and life lessons, making them relatable to fans all over the globe.
Sunday Bloody Sunday
This song from this 80s hit artist is one such song that still resonates with people today. It talks about the struggles of growing up in Northern Ireland amidst violence and hate.
#9: Cyndi Lauper
This 80s pop singer has made a career out of singing about all kinds of topics – from love to party! Not only are her songs catchy, but they are also relatable to many different people. This is part of the reason why she is such a well-loved artist.
Cyndi Lauper’s songs are bubbly, optimistic, and always have that fun factor to them. Her songs are perfect for dance parties and singing along with your friends!
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
This hit song and Cyndi’s most famous song definitely puts you in the mood to dance! It’s about following your dreams and not taking life too seriously – which is exactly what you should do if you want to be happy!
#10: Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi, another 80s hit artist, has been creating music for over 30 years. The band’s lyrics are about real-life issues, including faith and hope. They are known for their catchy lyrics and rock ballads (which always have that heartfelt element to them).
Bon Jovi’s songs about love are always well-received because everyone has experienced that feeling before. His songs about hope are just as important to listen to because they remind us all that things will get better if we just believe in ourselves.
Livin’ On A Prayer
This is undoubtedly the most famous Bon Jovi song on the list. It has become an anthem for those who feel like they are stuck in a hopeless situation, and it’s about believing that things will get better. These songs are timeless!
As you can see, there were so many great musicians in the 80s who should never be forgotten! These 10 artists were the most popular of the decade, and while they have all branched out into different genres throughout their careers, these songs will stay with us for a long time.