100+ Best Female Singers of the 80s – Complete List


Since the 80s were a decade filled with iconic music, it’s no surprise that there are so many amazing female singers from that era.

Be it pop, rock, country, or R&B, these ladies knew how to belt out a tune and get the crowd going. Not to mention, they also had the looks to match their stellar voices.

So, in honor of these amazing women, we’ve put together a list of the 100+ best female singers of the 80s.

From the early days of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper to the height of Whitney Houston’s career, this list includes all the ladies who made the 80s such a great decade for music.

Top Best Female Singers of the 80s

This list is based on the highest album sales, influence over the fans, and overall impact on the music industry during the 1980s.

  1. Madonna
  2. Whitney Houston
  3. Tina Turner
  4. Diana Ross
  5. Dolly Parton
  6. Gloria Estefan
  7. Annie Lennox
  8. Sinéad O’Connor
  9. Pat Benatar
  10. Alanis Morissette
  11. Gwen Stefani

Female Country Singers of the 80s

Females in country music had been around since the genre’s inception, but they truly came into their own in the 80s.

This was a decade that saw the rise of some of country music’s most iconic female singers.

Some of the biggest names include Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, and Barbara Mandrell.

These singers released dozens of hit singles throughout the decade, and their albums consistently topped the charts. They also won numerous awards for their music, including Grammy Awards and Country Music Association Awards.

While each singer had their own unique style, they all shared one common trait: They were incredibly talented vocalists who could connect with fans both young and old.

And although some of these artists are now retired, they continue to be remembered as some of the most talented and successful country singers of all time.

  • Kathy Mattea
  • Juice Newton
  • Deborah Allen
  • Suzy Bogguss
  • Tanya Tucker
  • Trisha Yearwood
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Patty Loveless

80s Female Pop Singers

Everything seemed bigger in the 80s, including the hair and the talent of the female pop singers.

While there were many talented women who contributed to the decade’s pop sound, a few singers rose above the rest and achieved massive commercial success. Some of the biggest were Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, and Tina Turner.

Each of these artists brought something unique to the table, with Madonna leading the pack as one of the most innovative and controversial performers of her time. Her daring style and sexually-charged lyrics helped to redefine mainstream pop music, paving the way for later stars like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga.

Of course, Madonna wasn’t the only pop star making waves in the 80s. Cyndi Lauper burst onto the scene with her debut album She’s So Unusual, which featured the iconic singles “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time.” The album was a massive success, selling over 14 million copies worldwide and earning Lauper a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Now that’s what we call “girl power!”

  • Annie Lennox
  • Whitney Houston
  • Paula Abdul
  • Janet Jackson
  • Madonna
  • Debbie Gibson
  • Belinda Carlisle
  • Tina Turner
  • Pat Benatar
  • Joan Jett

Forgotten Female Singers of the 80s

There is a long list of forgotten female singers from the 80s. These are the women who had a few hits but never quite made it to the top of the charts.

Some of them have faded into obscurity, while others continue to perform and release new music. But one thing is for sure: They all made a significant impact on the music industry, and their contributions should not be forgotten.

After all, without these female singers, the 80s just wouldn’t be the same. Here are some of the best but forgotten 80s female singers who deserve to be remembered for their contributions to pop music.

  • Gloria Estefan
  • Dina Carroll
  • Betty Boo
  • Paula Abdul
  • Jennifer Rush
  • Gabrielle
  • Tina Arena
  • Cathy Dennis
  • Martika
  • Donna Lewis

80s Female R&B Singers

Imagine a world without Janet Jackson or Whitney Houston. It’s hard to imagine, right?

But if it weren’t for the contributions of these and other female R&B singers, the 80s just wouldn’t be the same. These women helped to shape the sound of R&B music, and their influence can still be heard in today’s music.

Whitney Houston was one of the first 80s female R&B singers to achieve mainstream success. She rose to prominence in 1985 with the release of her debut album, Whitney Houston.

The album spawned several hit singles, including “How Will I Know” and “Saving All My Love for You”.

Later Houston would go on to have a successful career, selling over 200 million records worldwide.

But Houston wasn’t the only R&B singer making waves in the 80s. Other notable female R&B singers of the decade include Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker, and Gladys Knight.

These women helped to define the sound of R&B music and paved the way for later stars like Beyonce and Rihanna.

So if you’re a fan of R&B music, then you owe a debt of gratitude to these female singers. They helped to create a sound that is still loved by millions of people all over the world.

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Whitney Houston
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Chaka Khan
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Diana Ross
  • Gladys Knight
  • Tina Turner
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Teena Marie

80s Female Punk Singers

The early 80s punk scene was dominated by men. However, there were a few groundbreaking female punk singers who managed to make a name for themselves in the male-dominated world of punk rock.

Some of these women include Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, and Siouxsie Sioux. These singers were not only talented musicians, but they also had a powerful presence on stage.

Their music was raw and edgy, and their lyrics were as expressive and provocative as any male punk singer.

Not to mention, they also had a killer sense of style. They popularized the punk look, which included tight leather jackets, ripped jeans, and spikes.

Although today’s punk scene is not as male-dominated as it was in the 80s, these female singers continue to be an inspiration to punk rockers all over the world.

  • Lene Lovich
  • Kim Gordon
  • Lydia Lunch
  • Wendy O. Williams
  • Debora Iyall
  • Shonen Knife
  • Tina Bell
  • Beki Bondage
  • Donita Sparks
  • Suzi Gardner

80s Female Singers One Hit Wonders

Every decade has its share of one-hit wonders, and the 80s is no exception.

Some of these singers include Debby Boone, Toni Basil, and Tiffany. All these women had successful careers in the 80s, but none of them were able to replicate their one-hit-wonder success.

But despite their limited success, these women made a significant impact on the music industry.

And in many ways, they were ahead of their time. For example, Tiffany was one of the first teen pop stars, and her debut album was a huge success.

It featured the hit single “I Think We’re Alone Now”, which was a huge hit with teens all over the world.

Similarly, Toni Basil’s “Mickey” was a massive hit in the UK and helped to popularize new wave music.

So even though these women may have only had one hit, their contributions should not be overlooked.

  • Sylvia ( Nobody )
  • Deborah Allen ( Baby I Lied )
  • Twisted Sister ( We’re Not Gonna Take It )
  • Animotion ( Obsession )
  • Charlene ( I’ve Never Been to Me )
  • Alannah Myles ( Black Velvet )
  • Rosanne Cash ( Seven Year Ache )
  • The Weather Girls ( It’s Raining Men )
  • Karla Bonoff ( Personally )
  • Nena ( 99 Luftballoons )

Female Metal Singers of the 80s

Perhaps one of the most diverse genres of the 80s was metal. And while it was obviously dominated by male bands, there were a few groundbreaking female metal singers who made their mark on the genre.

One of the most successful female metal singers of the 80s was Lita Ford. She rose to prominence as the lead guitarist of The Runaways, one of the first all-female rock bands.

She later embarked on a solo career and released several successful albums, including Out for Blood and Dancin’ on the Edge.

Other notable female metal singers include Doro Pesch, Bonnie Tyler, and Lee Aaron.

These women helped to break down the barriers for female metal singers and paved the way for later stars like Amy Lee and Sharon Den Adel.

  • Doro Pesch
  • Janet Gardner
  • Anette Olzon
  • Donita Sparks
  • Lita Ford
  • Jinx Dawson
  • Wendy O. Williams
  • Lee Aaron
  • Cherie Currie
  • Suzi Quatro

80s Female Soul Singers

Soul music is a genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the late 1950s. The genre has its roots in gospel and blues music. Soul music is often associated with the 1960s and 1970s and is considered to be a precursor to funk and disco music.

However, there were a number of successful female soul singers in the 1980s. Some of these women include Carrie Lucas, Chaka Khan, and Anita Baker.

These women are known for their powerful vocal performances and their ability to connect with audiences.

As soul music demands a lot of emotion from its performers, these women were able to convey a wide range of emotions through their music.

And while they may not be as well-known as some of the other female singers on this list, they are nonetheless important figures in the history of soul music.

  • Anita Baker
  • Angie Stone
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Chaka Khan
  • Roberta Flack
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Natalie Cole
  • Bettye LaVette
  • Aaliyah

80s Female Alternative Singers

In the early days of MTV, when music videos were becoming popular, a new genre of music began to surface. This genre was called “Alternative.”

Alternative music was a departure from the mainstream pop and rock that had been popular for years. It featured bands with unique sounds and unusual instruments. The lyrics were often dark and introspective, dealing with topics like love, loss, and betrayal.

And while most of the bands that emerged in the early days of Alternative were male, there were a few notable female singers.

Some of the most famous included Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush, Patti Smith, and Cyndi Lauper. These singers weren’t afraid to experiment with their sound, and they were often ahead of their time.

Lauper, in particular, was a pioneer in the world of Alternative music. She was one of the first women to find success in the genre and her unique style helped to pave the way for other female Alternative singers.

  • Tori Amos
  • Björk
  • PJ Harvey
  • Kate Bush
  • Kim Gordon
  • Kim Gordon
  • Shirley Manson
  • Siouxsie Sioux
  • Joan Jett
  • Jenny Lewis

80s Female Singers with Short Hair

It’s not a hidden secret that the 80s were all about big hair. Big hair was everywhere, on men and women. But while big hair may have been the style of the time, there were a few brave women who decided to buck the trend and go for a shorter hairstyle.

And while short hair may not seem like a big deal now, it was pretty radical in the 80s. These women were brave enough to go against the norms of society and they inspired other women to do the same.

Some of the most famous short-haired female singers of the 80s include Annie Lennox, Madonna, and Deborah Harry. These women were trendsetters in the world of music and fashion, and they inspired other women to be bold and experiment with their looks.

  • sheena easton
  • Pat Benatar
  • Joan Jett
  • Annie Lennox
  • Siouxsie Sioux
  • Tina Turner
  • Sinead O’Connor
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Chrissie Hynde
  • Patty Smyth

Female Disco Singers of the 80s

The disco era of the 1970s was all about glitter, glamour, and big hair. And while the disco era may have come to an end in the early 1980s, there were still a few disco singers who found success in the decade.

Some of the most famous disco singers of the 80s include Irene Cara, Gloria Gaynor, and Diana Ross. These women were able to adapt their sound to the changing times and they found success with a new generation of disco fans.

Today, these women are still remembered for their contributions to the disco era. They are also remembered for their style, which was a big part of disco culture.

  • Donna Summer
  • Anita Ward
  • Cheryl Lynn
  • Agnetha Fältskog
  • Gloria Gaynor
  • Diana Ross
  • Thelma Houston
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Vicki Sue Robinson
  • Linda Clifford

Female Folk Singers of the 80s

Many of the 80s female folk singers started out by performing at small coffeehouses and other intimate venues. But they soon began to gain wider recognition, thanks in part to their appearances on various television shows. Their music was also featured in films and commercials.

Throughout the 1980s, these women continued to produce new albums and tour extensively. As a result, they attracted large audiences with their soulful music and engaging personalities.

And by the end of the decade, they had become some of the most popular female folk singers in the world.

Some of the most famous include Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt. These women were able to cross over into the mainstream and find success with a wide range of audiences.

  • Joni Mitchell
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Suzanne Vega
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • Jewel
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Rebecca Pidgeon
  • Jill Gibson
  • Catie Curtis

Hottest Female Singers of the 80s

How do you define “hot”? Is it someone who is physically attractive? Or is it someone who is talented and successful?

In the case of the 80s, it’s probably a combination of both. After all, the 80s were all about big hair and bigger personalities. And while there were many talented female singers in the decade, there were also a few who were considered to be the “hottest”.

Madonna in particular, was considered to be one of the hottest female singers of the 80s. She was a trendsetter in the world of fashion and her unique style helped to define the decade.

Other hot female singers of the 80s include Cindy Lauper, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston. These women were not only talented, but they were also physically attractive. They were the total package and as a result they became some of the biggest stars of the decade.

  • Madonna
  • Tina Turner
  • Pat Benatar
  • Celine Dion
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Joan Jett
  • Bonnie Tyler
  • Shannon
  • Lydia Lunch
  • Janet Jackson

80s African American Female Singers

As you have read above, the 80s were a time of big hair, acid wash jeans, and synthesizers. However, it was also a time when African American singers were topping the charts with their soulful sounds.

Their songs spoke to the heart of people from all walks of life and showed that African American artists could make it big in mainstream America.

Despite the obstacles they faced, these singers managed to break down barriers and achieve commercial success. They brought soul and R&B music to the forefront and paved the way for future generations of black artists.

Without a doubt, the 80s were a turning point for African American music and these singers played a major role in its evolution.

  • Diana Ross
  • Tina Turner
  • Gladys Knight
  • Chaka Khan
  • Whitney Houston
  • Donna Summer
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Aaliyah
  • Toni Braxton
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Anita Baker

80s Bands with Female Lead Singer

Apart from solo artists, there were also a number of successful bands in the 80s that featured female lead singers. These women have massive voices that helped to propel their respective bands to the top of the charts.

And certainly, without these talented women, the 80s would not have been the same. Here we present you with a list of some of the most popular bands of the 80s that featured female lead singers.

  • Janet Gardner (Vixen)
  • Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders)
  • Joan Jett (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts)
  • Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries)
  • Estelle Bennett (The Ronettes)
  • Ann Wilson (Heart)
  • Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles)
  • Robin Lynn Macy (The Chicks)
  • Donita Sparks (L7)
  • Courtney Michelle Love (Hole)

80s Blonde Female Singers

What comes to your mind when you think of a blonde female singer from the 80s? If you’re thinking of Madonna, then you’re on the right track.

But Madonna was not the only blonde female singer in the 80s. In fact, there were many blonde women who found success in the music industry during the decade.

Some of the popular were Cindy Lauper, Cyndi Thomson, and Debbie Gibson. These women were not only successful but they were also considered to be very attractive.

Not to mention, they were also able to transcend the boundaries of music and find success in other areas such as film and television.

  • Agnetha Fältskog
  • Cherie Currie
  • Michelle Phillips
  • Sass Jordan
  • Lita Ford
  • Suzi Quatro
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Bonnie Tyler
  • Nancy Wilson
  • Sandy West

80s British Female Singers

The fact that many of the biggest stars of the 80s came from the UK is no surprise. After all, the UK has always been a hotbed for musical talent.

And in the 80s, there were a number of British female singers who found success in America. These women were able to take their talents to the next level and find commercial success in the States.

Besides being highly talented they also had a great deal of charisma which helped them to win over American audiences.

Some of the British female singers who found success in the 80s include Annie Lennox, Bonnie Tyler, and Sade.

Here are some more of the bests.

  • Amy Winehouse
  • Sade Adu
  • Bonnie Tyler
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Alison Goldfrapp
  • Hazel O’Connor
  • Keren Woodward
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Christine McVie
  • Kim Wilde
  • Alison Moyet


So, there you have it folks, a complete list of the hottest female singers of the 80s. These women were not only incredibly talented, but they were also very beautiful. They were the total package and as a result, they became some of the biggest stars of the decade.

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