Do you want to know what are the best 80s female pop singers?
The 1980s witnessed a remarkable era in the realm of pop music, where female artists emerged as prominent figures, shaping the soundscape of the decade. From Madonna’s groundbreaking performances to Whitney Houston’s unparalleled vocal prowess, these women left an indelible mark on the music industry.
In this article, we delve into the lives and careers of some of the most iconic female pop singers of the 1980s, celebrating their contributions and enduring legacies.
If you’re looking for some nostalgic listening, then be sure to check out these amazing artists!
- List of 80s Female Pop Singers
- 1. Mel & Kim Appleby
- 2. Pat Benatar
- 3. Laura Branigan
- 4. Kate Bush
- 5. Irene Cara
- 6. Belinda Carlisle
- 7. Kim Carnes
- 8. Tracy Chapman
- 9. Cher
- 10. Neneh Cherry
- 11. Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey & Keren Woodward (Bananarama)
- 12. Taylor Dayne
- 13. Sheena Easton
- 14. Gloria Estefan
- 15. Agnetha Fältskog (ABBA)
- 16. Samantha Fox
- 17. Marie Fredriksson (Roxette)
- 18. Frida (ABBA)
- 19. Debbie Gibson
- 20. Debbie Harry (Blondie)
- 21. Susanna Hoffs (Bangles)
- 22. Whitney Houston
- 23. Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders)
- 24. Janet Jackson
- 25. Joan Jett
- 26. Chaka Khan
- 27. Cyndi Lauper
- 28. Madonna
- 29. Bette Midler
- 30. Juice Newton
- 31. Stevie Nicks
- 32. Dolly Parton
- 33. Jennifer Rush
- Conclusion: 80s Female Pop Singers
- Frequently Ask Questions
List of 80s Female Pop Singers
1. Mel & Kim Appleby
Mel and Kim Appleby, sisters from London, captured the hearts of audiences with their infectious energy and catchy tunes. Best known for their chart-topping hit “Respectable” in 1987, the duo quickly rose to fame with their high-energy dance music and vibrant personalities.
Despite facing challenges and setbacks, including Mel’s tragic passing and Kim’s battle with cancer, their music continues to resonate with fans worldwide, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of 1980s pop music.
2. Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar, with her fierce attitude and powerhouse vocals, became a trailblazer for female rock singers in the 1980s. Breaking through the male-dominated rock scene, Benatar’s anthems like “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” empowered listeners and challenged societal norms.
Her impact on music extended beyond the charts, inspiring generations of women to pursue their dreams fearlessly and unapologetically.
3. Laura Branigan
Laura Branigan, with her powerful voice and emotive performances, captivated audiences throughout the 1980s. Best known for hits like “Gloria” and “Self Control,” Branigan’s music transcended genres, blending elements of pop, rock, and dance.
Her untimely passing in 2004 left a void in the music industry, but her legacy lives on through her timeless songs and unforgettable performances, reminding us of the magic of 1980s pop music.
4. Kate Bush
Kate Bush, with her ethereal voice and avant-garde style, pushed the boundaries of pop music in the 1980s. With hits like “Wuthering Heights” and “Running Up That Hill,” Bush captivated audiences with her unique sound and thought-provoking lyrics.
Her influence extended beyond music, inspiring artists across various disciplines and solidifying her status as a true visionary in the world of 1980s pop culture.
5. Irene Cara
Irene Cara, a multi-talented performer, made waves in the 1980s with her powerhouse vocals and electrifying stage presence. Rising to fame with her roles in films like “Fame” and “Flashdance,” Cara’s songs like “Flashdance… What a Feeling” and “Fame” became anthems of a generation, capturing the essence of the 1980s with their infectious energy and irresistible hooks.
Her contributions to music and film continue to resonate with audiences, reminding us of the magic of 1980s pop culture.
6. Belinda Carlisle
Belinda Carlisle, the lead vocalist of the Go-Go’s, emerged as a pop sensation in the 1980s. Following the disbandment of the Go-Go’s, Carlisle embarked on a successful solo career, releasing hit singles like “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Circle in the Sand.”
Her infectious energy and melodic tunes captured the spirit of the era, making her a beloved figure in 1980s pop culture.
7. Kim Carnes
Kim Carnes achieved global recognition with her iconic hit “Bette Davis Eyes,” which topped charts worldwide in 1981. Known for her distinctive raspy voice and emotive performances, Carnes carved out a niche for herself in the 1980s music scene.
Her contribution to pop music extended beyond her solo career, as she collaborated with renowned artists and continued to captivate audiences with her soulful renditions.
8. Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman emerged as a voice of authenticity and social consciousness in the 1980s music landscape. With her soulful voice and introspective lyrics, Chapman tackled themes of love, politics, and social justice in songs like “Fast Car” and “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution.”
Her raw talent and poignant storytelling earned her critical acclaim and a devoted fan base, establishing her as one of the most influential singer-songwriters of her generation.
Cher, with her distinctive voice and fearless persona, redefined the boundaries of pop music in the 1980s. Known for her unique style and her songs such as “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Believe,” Cher captivated audiences with her larger-than-life performances and daring fashion choices.
Beyond her music career, Cher became a cultural icon, transcending generations and leaving an indelible mark on popular culture.
10. Neneh Cherry
Neneh Cherry burst onto the music scene in the late 1980s with her unique blend of hip-hop, pop, and R&B. Her debut album, “Raw Like Sushi,” featured the groundbreaking single “Buffalo Stance,” which showcased Cherry’s bold attitude and genre-defying sound.
With her fearless approach to music and fearless lyrics, Cherry challenged conventions and paved the way for future generations of female artists to express themselves authentically. Her songs are instantly recognizable and beloved by many, and she’s, without doubt, one of the most iconic women of the 80s.
11. Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey & Keren Woodward (Bananarama)
Bananarama, comprised of Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, and Keren Woodward, achieved phenomenal success in the 1980s with their infectious pop anthems and distinctive style. Hits like “Cruel Summer” and “Venus” dominated the charts, making them one of the most successful girl groups of the decade.
With their catchy melodies and playful energy, Bananarama captured the essence of 1980s pop music and continues to be celebrated for their enduring appeal.
12. Taylor Dayne
Taylor Dayne emerged as a powerhouse vocalist in the 1980s, captivating audiences with her soulful voice and electrifying performances. She had several hit songs, including “Tell It to My Heart” and “Love Will Lead You Back” showcased Dayne’s vocal prowess and propelled her to stardom.
With her dynamic stage presence and undeniable talent, Dayne solidified her status as one of the leading female pop singers of the decade, leaving an indelible mark on 1980s music.
13. Sheena Easton
Sheena Easton rose to fame in the 1980s with her distinctive voice and versatility as an artist. From pop ballads like “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” to sultry hits like “For Your Eyes Only,”
Easton captivated audiences with her emotive performances and undeniable charm. Her contributions to both music and film, including her role in the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only,” cemented her status as an icon of 1980s pop culture.
14. Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan, with her infectious rhythms and heartfelt lyrics, became a symbol of Latin pop music in the 1980s. As the lead singer of Miami Sound Machine, Estefan achieved international success with several hit songs including “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and “Turn the Beat Around.”
Her fusion of Latin influences with pop sensibilities resonated with audiences worldwide, earning her widespread acclaim and establishing her as one of the most successful female pop singers of the decade.
15. Agnetha Fältskog (ABBA)
Agnetha Fältskog, renowned as one of the members of the iconic pop group ABBA, continued to captivate audiences as a solo artist in the 1980s. With her distinctive voice and emotive performances, Fältskog released successful solo albums like “Eyes of a Woman,” featuring hits like “I Won’t Let You Go.”
Her enduring influence on pop music, both as a member of ABBA and as a solo artist, solidified her status as a true icon of the 1980s music scene.
16. Samantha Fox
Samantha Fox burst onto the music scene in the 1980s with her sultry voice and undeniable charisma. Known for hits like “Touch Me (I Want Your Body)” and “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too),” Fox captivated audiences with her provocative lyrics and infectious energy.
Beyond her music career, Fox’s bold persona and boundary-pushing image made her a pop culture icon of the 1980s, challenging conventions and redefining notions of female sexuality.
17. Marie Fredriksson (Roxette)
Marie Fredriksson, the lead singer of the iconic duo Roxette, enchanted audiences with her soulful voice and captivating stage presence. She is a unique voice and her songs are a mix of pop and rock.
Alongside Per Gessle, Fredriksson delivered chart-topping hits like “The Look” and “Listen to Your Heart,” solidifying Roxette’s status as one of the most successful pop acts of the decade. Fredriksson’s talent and artistry continue to be celebrated, leaving an enduring legacy in the world of 1980s pop music.
18. Frida (ABBA)
Frida Lyngstad, one of the two female members of the legendary pop group ABBA, continued to shine as a solo artist in the 1980s. With her soulful vocals and emotive performances, Frida released solo albums like “Something’s Going On,” featuring hits like “I Know There’s Something Going On.”
Her distinct voice and timeless songs cemented her status as a pop icon, both as a member of ABBA and as a solo artist, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry.
19. Debbie Gibson
Debbie Gibson, often referred to as the “Teen Queen of Pop,” rose to prominence in the 1980s with her infectious pop melodies and relatable lyrics. She released a number of platinum-selling albums and singles, and achieved international fame with songs like “Electric Youth” and “Only in My Dreams” propelled Gibson to stardom, making her one of the youngest artists to write, produce, and perform a number-one single.
Gibson’s talent and youthful energy captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, solidifying her status as one of the quintessential pop stars of the 1980s.
20. Debbie Harry (Blondie)
Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the new wave band Blondie, captivated audiences with her sultry vocals and edgy persona. With songs like “Heart of Glass” and “Call Me,” Blondie dominated the charts and became synonymous with the sound of the 1980s.
Harry’s iconic style and fearless attitude made her a fashion icon and a trailblazer for female artists, paving the way for future generations of women in music.
21. Susanna Hoffs (Bangles)
Susanna Hoffs, a founding member of the Bangles, emerged as a leading figure in the 1980s pop scene. Known for hits like “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame,” the Bangles achieved widespread success with their infectious melodies and harmonic vocals.
Hoffs’ distinctive voice and effortless charm made her a beloved figure in 1980s pop culture, solidifying the Bangles’ status as one of the decade’s most iconic bands.
22. Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston, with her unparalleled vocal talent and magnetic stage presence, became one of the defining voices of the 1980s. Hits like “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Greatest Love of All” showcased Houston’s incredible range and emotional depth, earning her numerous awards and accolades.
Beyond her chart-topping success, Houston’s impact on music and culture transcended genres, solidifying her status as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.
23. Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders)
Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of the Pretenders, captivated audiences with her raw vocals and rebellious spirit. Hits like “Brass in Pocket” and “Back on the Chain Gang” propelled the Pretenders to international fame, showcasing Hynde’s unique blend of punk rock edge and heartfelt lyricism.
With her unmistakable voice and fearless attitude, Hynde became a symbol of female empowerment in the male-dominated music industry of the 1980s.
24. Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson, with her innovative sound and groundbreaking performances, redefined the boundaries of pop music in the 1980s. Hits like “Nasty” and “When I Think of You” showcased Jackson’s infectious energy and dynamic stage presence, earning her the title of “Queen of Pop.”
Beyond her chart-topping success, Jackson’s influence extended beyond music, inspiring generations of artists and solidifying her status as a cultural icon.
25. Joan Jett
Joan Jett, with her rebellious attitude and gritty rock sound, became a trailblazer for women in rock music in the 1980s. Hits like “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” and “Bad Reputation” established Jett as a rock icon, challenging gender norms and paving the way for future female rockers.
With her fierce determination and unapologetic style, Jett inspired a generation of fans to embrace their individuality and rock out with abandon.
26. Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan, with her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, became one of the most influential R&B singers of the 1980s. Hits like “I Feel for You” and “Ain’t Nobody” showcased Khan’s soulful vocals and undeniable charisma, earning her critical acclaim and commercial success.
Beyond her solo career, Khan’s collaborations with artists across genres solidified her status as a music legend, leaving an indelible mark on the 1980s music scene.
Khan is also a well-known actress and has starred in films such as “The Color Purple” and “Sparkle.”
27. Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper, with her quirky style and infectious personality, became a pop sensation in the 1980s. Hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time” showcased Lauper’s unique voice and relatable lyrics, earning her numerous awards and accolades.
Beyond her chart-topping success, Lauper’s advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights and her fearless expression of individuality made her an icon of inclusivity and empowerment in the 1980s and beyond.
Madonna, the undisputed Queen of Pop, revolutionized the music industry in the 1980s with her provocative lyrics, boundary-pushing performances, and fearless attitude. Hits like “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl” catapulted Madonna to superstardom, making her one of the most influential artists of the decade.
Beyond her chart-topping success, Madonna’s reinventions and fearless exploration of taboo subjects challenged societal norms and solidified her status as an icon of pop culture.
29. Bette Midler
Bette Midler, with her powerhouse vocals and irreverent persona, captivated audiences in the 1980s with her unique blend of music, comedy, and theatricality. Hits like “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Rose” showcased Midler’s emotive performances and earned her critical acclaim and commercial success.
Beyond her music career, Midler’s versatility as an actress and philanthropist made her a beloved figure in the entertainment industry, leaving an indelible mark on the 1980s cultural landscape.
30. Juice Newton
Juice Newton, with her distinctive voice and country-pop sound, achieved chart-topping success in the 1980s with hits like “Angel of the Morning” and “Queen of Hearts.” Newton’s crossover appeal and melodic tunes captured the spirit of the decade, earning her a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim.
With her timeless songs and heartfelt performances, Newton continues to be celebrated as one of the most beloved female artists of the 1980s.
31. Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks, the enchanting voice behind Fleetwood Mac, embarked on a successful solo career in the 1980s, captivating audiences with her ethereal vocals and poetic lyrics. Hits like “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stand Back” showcased Nicks’ signature style and established her as a powerhouse performer in her own right.
Beyond her chart-topping success, Nicks’ mystique and magnetic stage presence made her a cultural icon, inspiring generations of artists and fans alike.
32. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton, the beloved country music icon, continued to shine in the 1980s with her timeless songs and infectious charm. Hits like “9 to 5” and “Islands in the Stream” showcased Parton’s storytelling prowess and earned her widespread acclaim and commercial success.
Beyond her music career, Parton’s philanthropy and advocacy for causes like literacy and LGBTQ+ rights made her a beloved figure in popular culture, leaving an enduring legacy that transcends generations.
33. Jennifer Rush
Jennifer Rush, with her powerful voice and emotive ballads, Rush burst onto the music scene in 1985 with her smash hit like “The Power of Love” and “Destiny.” Rush’s soulful performances and heartfelt lyrics resonated with audiences worldwide, earning her chart-topping success and critical acclaim.
With her timeless songs and undeniable talent, Rush continues to be celebrated as one of the most iconic female artists of the 1980s.
Conclusion: 80s Female Pop Singers
We hope you enjoyed this list of the most iconic female pop singers of the 80s. These talented women have achieved massive success and continue to inspire musicians around the world.
Frequently Ask Questions
Who was a popular singer in the 1980s?
Some of the most popular female singers in the 80s include Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, and Dolly Parton.
What were some of the biggest hits from female singers in the 80s?
Some of the biggest hits from female singers in the 80s include “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” by Joan Jett, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper, “The Power of Love” by Jennifer Rush and “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton.
What was the decade of 80s female pop singers?
The decade of 80s female pop singers was the 1980s.
What are some of the most iconic female pop singers?
Some of the most iconic female pop singers include Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, and Dolly Parton.
Who are some of the most successful female pop singers?
Some of the most successful female pop singers include Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, and Dolly Parton.