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80s music stars and the hits they had will be a decade never forgotten in the music world.
The 80s were way more than just a decade of cinema pop-culture references and cabbage patch kids fever. It was a time of crucial musical innovation as mellow synth beats were fused with upbeat pop to form a marriage that lasts until this very day. The 80s gave birth to some of the most well-loved songs and artists of all time, from Madonna to Michael Jackson.
Here are some of the greatest 80s artists alongside the hits that cemented them in the hearts and minds of the world:
There’s no 80s music stars list on earth that doesn’t at least feature, if not begin with, the pop princess herself. Starting her early career as part of a band called ‘The Breakfast Club’, Madonna soon left the comfort of performing with others to take on the world as a solo act and, quite probably, change the music scene as we know it. Her greatest hits are primed to transport anyone right back 40 years ago. These include songs such as:
Like a Virgin
Crazy for you
Her intense repertoire of cutting edge sound alongside her unique attitude and personality made Madonna, arguably, the greatest female artists of the decade.
Whether you love him or hate him, any 80s music stars list would be doing itself a sore disservice if it didn’t at least mention the ‘King of Pop’, Michael Jackson. Perhaps one of the most polarising and strangest figures on this list, Jackson began his music career with the Jackson 5 but created his most iconic songs and performances as a solo act in the mid-1980s. There is scarcely a human alive who doesn’t at least know of Michael Jackson or instantly recognise the distinct tune of ‘Thriller’ or ‘Billie Jean’. Some of the greatest Michael Jackson hits include:
Rock With You
Michael Jackson’s career extended long after his 80s hits and he continued writing and performing music until his tragic death in 2009.
David Bowie was an artist who inspired a generation of individuals to not be afraid of showing the world who they really were. His impeccable style and infectious flippancy as well as his operatic music catapulted Bowie beyond mere stardom and into the realm of legends. Bowie was of those rare artists who transcended their peak decade and changed their sound to be more in tune with the times. People who were alive in the 80s didn’t just grow up on Bowie’s sound, they lived with his music. This is because Bowie started producing records in the late 1960s, transitioned to his Ziggy Stardust era in the ’70s, became a new romantic icon in the 80s and didn’t stop producing music until after his death in 2017. Bowie didn’t just follow musical trends to stay relevant, he single-handedly and fundamentally shaped the past 50 years of music. His greatest 80s hits include:
Ashes to Ashes
Although possibly not as popular as David Bowie or Madonna, Duran Duran was a band that carved its way through an era dominated by solo acts. Their first ever single rocketed to the top 20 singles in the UK, with their third single bringing them international recognition. Their album ‘Rio’ was a hit in the UK and proved to be incredibly popular amongst the New Romantics. However, their specific style didn’t translate well over to the US and so the band struggled at first to cultivate an international audience. However, this was soon overcome, and Duran Duran became a household name beyond the UK. Their greatest hits include:
Girls on Film
Hungry Like the Wolf
Pet Shop Boys
Perhaps the least well known on this list, although still comparatively famous, the Pet Shop Boys were a duo who created some of the most iconic sounds of the 80s. Their obsession with disco and electronic music gave them a unique sound that permeates throughout their discography. Although not as internationally known as Michael Jackson or David Bowie, the Pet Shop Boys were a smash hit in the UK and continue to produce music to this day. Some of their greatest 80s hits include:
West End Girls
Always on My Mind
Despite their 80s fame, many of these bands are still around today or at least continued producing music well into their 90s and 00s. This isn’t just a testament to their musical prowess, but a more general indication of just how much 80s music culture still influences modern music.
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