Top 10 80s Pop Stars – The True Superstars

Everything seemed bigger in the 80s like hair and shoulder pads, as did these 80s Pop Stars who enjoyed equally astronomical levels of fame.

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80s pop stars
Illustration by Kelsee Thomas

The decade when hair stuck up to the skies and shoulder pads weren’t far behind, everything seemed bigger in the 1980s. In keeping with the times, so were the biggest-selling artists of the decade and as uDiscover’s Top 10 80s Pop Stars proves, these stellar names enjoyed equally astronomical levels of fame and fortune.

While you’re reading, listen to our 80s Pop Stars playlist here.

uDiscover Music Store - Classic Pop
uDiscover Music Store - Classic Pop
uDiscover Music Store - Classic Pop

Whitney Houston

Sumptuous power ballad ‘The Greatest Love Of All’ was arguably Whitney’s signature hit, but during the 80s, Ms. Houston had 12 US smash hits and no less than seven topped the US Billboard charts.

Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen’s landmark Born In The USA album yielded seven US hits. The album also stuck at No 2 behind Prince’s monolithic Purple Rain on the Billboard 200 for a whopping 18 weeks.

Stevie Wonder

Not as seismic as he was in the 60s and 70s, you say?  Maybe, but the hits kept on coming. Stevie had 19 US hits during the 80s, while ‘Ebony And Ivory’ and ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ remain global standards.

Phil Collins

Whether with Genesis or solo, Phil Collins was seemingly omnipresent in the charts during the 80s. On their own, the singles from his No Jacket Required album spent over a year lodged in the Top 40.

Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie had all bases covered during the 80s. Five US No 1 hits, plus credits such as penning Kenny Rogers’ 1980 smash ‘Lady’ and co-writing ‘We Are The World’ for Michael Jackson.

Elton John

Elton racked up 21 UK and North American hits, including ageless radio staples such as ‘Candle In The Wind’, ‘Nikita’ and ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’.

Michael Jackson

Just for the estimated 65 million-selling, multiple Grammy Award-winning Thriller alone, Michael Jackson deserves to be near the top of any self-respecting music-related listings concerned with the 80s.

Billy Joel

Billy Joel’s in here on consistency alone. He racked up a massive 22 US hits in the 80s and the likes of ‘Uptown Girl’ and ‘It’s Still Rock’n’Roll To Me’ are still radio staples worldwide.


Virtually synonymous with the 80s, Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ topped the Billboard singles chart for 6 weeks in 1984 and she was unstoppable after that. The most successful female pop star of the decade bar none.


Truly a colossus during the 80s, Prince spent more weeks on North America’s Billboard Hot 100 than any other artist of the era – 378 in all. The key songs? ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Kiss’, ‘Raspberry Beret’ and ‘Sign O’ The Times’ barely scratch the surface of Prince’s titanic 1980s.

Which are your favourite 80s pop stars? Let us know below and start the debate!

George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
Format: Union Jack flagUK English


  1. Waweru

    May 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I still rate Madonna the best female artist of all time.

    • Wanda Smith

      April 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      nope Billie Eilish

      • Supmus

        May 27, 2020 at 4:25 pm

        Take your words back.

  2. John

    May 24, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Witney Houston The Voice

  3. Makis

    May 24, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Phil collins

  4. John Bangert

    May 26, 2017 at 8:38 am

    George Michael?

  5. Darren

    May 31, 2017 at 10:19 am

    David Bowie?

  6. Guilherme

    September 3, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Kim Carnes

  7. Shakur

    June 13, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Jackson my number 1

    • Hayden

      September 5, 2020 at 1:33 am

      Yes Michael Jackson is the best

      • Charlie

        September 5, 2020 at 1:35 am


  8. Nathaniel SESSION Jr

    June 23, 2018 at 5:14 am

    I love the 70’s 80’s 90’s and some 2000’s it’s not all Bad but the 80’s is what we are talking about Hey they were the days I’m telling u to be living those days of music were The Bomb bcuz it seem like they just fed off of each other’s good tunes and singing plus the music was real Real music playing people and the best ever ones too 70’s & 80’s classic the others are cool but another day another topic lol yelp !!! Peace love and soul

  9. weronika

    December 23, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Michael Jackson the biggest pop star in history, should be number 1.
    Higher than madonna and prince

  10. Dennis

    January 9, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Houston did not have 12 smash hits in the US. She had 10 top 10 hits and 2 songs that didn’t make the top 40 (which means they were not hit records). Kool and the Gang, Duran Duran, George Micheal, Huey Lewis & the News, Hall and Oates all had more top 10 hits than Houston. Along with Elton John, Billy Joel, John Cougar & Kenny Rogers all charted better than Houston in the American Top 40 singles artist of the 1980s.

  11. Randy

    April 11, 2019 at 9:01 am

    I really feel like Lionel Richie and Elton John are kind of… ewee left over 70s stars, gag me. The kind of 80s stars only your parents owned albums from. I would much rather see Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, of even Billy Idol make this list. Hell, I would pick Boy George before then closet case Elton John. This is the 80s we are talking about, could hardly turn on the radio without hearing Huey Lewis.

  12. Ralph Morodor

    June 14, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Cyndi Lauper has transcended more than any of her peers and had all the awards and platinum and gold records in the ’80s.

  13. Lynn

    December 25, 2019 at 12:52 pm


    • Arun

      June 16, 2020 at 5:52 am

      Yes. I second you. Queen/

  14. Luca

    July 18, 2020 at 11:42 pm


  15. Hayden

    September 5, 2020 at 1:40 am

    No Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson Michael Jackson

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