Pop artists have taken over the world during the 80s. They have broken merchandise sales and won over many hearts. Below I listed my Top 10 Pop Artists that have set the blueprint for future ones.
Madonna was very much ahead of her time. She spoke for gay, black, and women’s rights early in her career. She has even explored these progressive views of point in her music. For example, “Express Yourself” is all about female empowerment. The lyrics talk about honesty and transparency in a romantic relationship. It should be a relationship where the female feels safe, secure, and powerful.
Madonna’s career has remained strong throughout the decades. It is incredible how successful she has remained from the 80s to the 2000s. She always finds ways to keep the market in the grip of her hands. She is the master of performance, songwriting, and overall diva-ness!
2. The Police
I would like to label the Police as the kings of the discotheque. They have had so many songs playing on the radio for us to groove.
The band follows a pop and rock fusion of music. They use electric guitars, synthesizers, and electric pianos together. These elements give rock and pop aesthetics to their songs.
The Police are owners of so many iconic songs. A big one is “Roxanne,” a song many people sing along to today. Although the band has split in the 90s, their frontman Sting released music as an individual artist. He continues to make music today!
3. Earth, Wind, and Fire
Earth, Wind, and Fire have released some of the most culturally relevant songs ever. Their song, “September”, tops the charts every time the ninth month of the year arrives. “Let’s Groove”, is currently a massive Tik Tok trend where people perform a choreographed dance to the chorus. It is incredible how today’s generations are eating this content up.
I will never forget moments when my mom would turn their music up in the car. She owned so many CDs of theirs. So many parents groove to this music. Meanwhile, their kids will make a choreographed move to post on the internet.
4. George Michael
George Michael is one of those pop artists that made romantic anthems. He has made multiple iconic songs that appear in Rom-Coms and Lifetimes movies. For example, “Last Christmas” is definitely one that hits the charts every time the holidays arrive. From the 80s to the 2000s, this Christmas song has stayed relevant.
George Michael has also been known to be a Gay icon. He was one of the few open LGBT artists during these times. He has set the blueprint for future artists in terms of free expression, transparency, and authenticity.
5. Kate Bush
I would find this artist to be one of the most bizarre. Her catalog mostly contains music that may not be the most accessible. If you listen to most of her work, you might not detect any sounds that make the 80s iconic. I even heard people say they transported to Narnia instead of a retro discotheque. That is what her music is like.
One iconic song of hers is “Running Up that Hill,” a song that topped the charts when it was released in 1985. It can even be argued that this is the most 80s sounding song in her catalog.
Nevertheless, this artist remains relevant today. She has even garnered fans from younger generations. I also think she set the blueprint for the next generation of artists, especially 90s alternative performers.
6. Elton John
I find it mandatory to talk about this iconic singer. He is another Gay icon that inspired so many LGBTQ youths around the world. He has defied so many odds against the music industry. I will never forget watching his biopic “Rocketman” and thinking how much he had to deal with back then.
Although he reached his peak during the 70s, he still made 80s hits such as “I guess that’s what they call the blues,” and “I’m still standing.”
Today, he has collaborated with so many modern pop artists. It comes to show how much of an honor it is to work with him.
7. Fleetwood Mac
This British-American fusion of a Band is a treat. This band combines folk music with the classic pop songs we know and love. The resulting songs give us perfect road trip companions. I personally pull up their music anytime I am driving around the countryside.
This band is iconic in every way. Front singer, Stevie Nicks, continues to make music today. Like Elton John, she has collaborated with many modern artists.
I would like to crown this band as the Queen of versatility. During the 70s, Queen has produced the greatest rock anthems. And in the 80s, the band has succumbed to the sound of what makes the 80s so iconic.
They have released amazing songs such as “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Under Pressure.” Both massive hits that topped the charts!
9. Whitney Houston
Whitney has definitely released some of the biggest songs ever. Her rendition of “I Will Always Love You” has become the biggest ballad ever. It has topped the charts for record amounts of time and culturally reset the public eye.
She’s also released other breaking hits such as “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “I Have Nothing.” She has become one of the biggest icons of this era!
10. Michael Jackson
Last, but certainly not least, the King of Pop himself. No one has broken album sales and song listens like him. It has been widely accepted that he is the biggest star of this era. He is an icon, legend, and has stayed relevant over a decade after his passing. I don’t even have to list his catalog of songs because everybody knows them. He is a household name for a reason!