100+ Best Girl (Female) Bands of the 80s – Complete List

The 80s was a great time for music with tons of amazing bands and artists emerging onto the scene.

While there were many great girl bands from that era, we’ve narrowed it down to 100 of the best.

These women not only dominated the charts with their hit songs but also shattered the glass ceiling with their groundbreaking performances and boundary-breaking image choices.

They showed that women could be just as successful – and just as controversial – as men in the music industry.

From the rockin’ The Go-Go’s to the pop princesses The Bangles, these bands will take you back to a time when hair was big, clothes were bright, and music was everything.

Best Girl Bands of the 80s

This list is purely based on the highest album sales, musical Influence on other artists, and the group’s overall impact on music history.

  1. Bananarama
  2. The Bangles
  3. Go-Go’s
  4. Vixen
  5. Salt-N-Pepa
  6. En Vogue
  7. Vanity 6
  8. The Chicks
  9. L7
  10. Sister Sledge

Punk Girl Bands of the 80s

In the early days of punk rock, women were often relegated to the sidelines, playing supporting roles in bands or serving as groupies.

But by the 1980s, a number of punk girl bands emerged and took charge of the center stage.

Known for their fierce feminist lyrics and stripped-down DIY aesthetic these bands helped pave the way for a new generation of female musicians who would go on to shape punk rock in the 1990s and 2000s.

  • The Slits
  • X-Ray Spex
  • Lunachicks
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • L7
  • Babes in Toyland
  • The Runaways
  • Hole
  • Shonen Knife
  • The Raincoats

80s Girl (Female) Duos

Female duos are groups of two women who work together to create music or art. There are a number of different female duos in the world, and each one has their own unique sound or style.

The important thing that ties all-female duos together is their unique sisterly bond. Many people say that there’s just something special about two girls singing together that can’t be replicated with male duos.

There’s a certain chemistry that comes with working closely with someone you’re close to. This chemistry often translates into great music and fans who feel like they’re a part of something special.

Here are some of the best female duos of the 80s.

  • Althea & Donna (Reggae)
  • Azúcar Moreno (Latin pop, pop, flamenco)
  • Baccara (Pop, Eurodisco, disco)
  • Bobbysocks! (Pop, Europop, schlager)
  • The Judds (Country)
  • Snoopy (Pop, Disco)
  • Sophie & Magaly (Pop)
  • Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer (Folk, Bluegrass)
  • Lili & Susie (Pop)
  • Crush (British duo)

80s Girl Rock Bands

Female musicians played a major role in the rock music scene of the 80s. Girl rock bands like The Go-Go’s, Bananarama, and The Bangles became household names and helped to break down the barriers that had been preventing girls from making it in the rock world.

There were a number of factors that contributed to the scene’s success. For one, MTV was starting to become a big force in the music industry and they were more willing to play videos by girl-bands.

Additionally, the 80s were also a time when feminism was becoming more mainstream.

Girls were starting to embrace their femininity and use it as a strength. This helped to empower female musicians and give them a platform to express themselves creatively.

  • Vixen
  • The Pretenders
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  • The Cranberries
  • The Ronettes
  • Heart
  • Femme Fatale
  • The Bangles
  • The Chicks
  • The Bangles
  • L7
  • Hole

Indie Girl Bands of 80s

The indie scene of the 80s was a time when all-female bands were hitting it big, and proving that they could hold their own against the boys.

These bands were often formed by friends who just wanted to make music together, and didn’t care about following the trends.

They created their own unique sound, and fans fell in love with them.

Some of the most well-known indie girl bands of the 80s include The Go-Go’s, The Bangles, and Metric. All three of these bands had major hits, and are still remembered today for their catchy tunes and powerful performances.

  • Metric
  • Strawberry Switchblade
  • The Charlottes
  • Shonen Knife
  • The Bodysnatchers
  • Stef Petticoat
  • Lunachicks
  • Girl Monstar
  • The Breeders
  • No Doubt

Girl Pop Bands of the 80s

Female pop stars dominated the airwaves of the 80s with their catchy tunes and upbeat lyrics.

Some of the biggest names in pop music during the 80s were Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, and Janet Jackson.

These women not only had successful careers as singers but also starred in movies and became fashion icons.

Their songs were played on radios and MTVs across the world, and they continue to be popular decades after they released their hit songs.

  • The Pointer Sisters
  • The Cover Girls
  • Klymaxx
  • Seduction
  • Shakespears Sister
  • Pandora
  • The Shirelles
  • Swing Out Sister
  • Cocteau Twins
  • Transvision Vamp

Country Girl Bands of the 80s

In the early 1980s, a new crop of country girl bands emerged, led by acts like The Judds and The Dixie Chicks.

These bands brought a fresh sound to country music, mixing traditional elements with a more contemporary edge.

They were also unafraid to showcase their femininity, singing about love and relationships in a way that was both relatable and inspiring.

  • The Judds
  • The Chicks
  • Calamity Jane
  • The Pointer Sisters
  • The Carpenters
  • Barbara Ann Mandrell
  • Deborah Allen
  • Crystal Gayle
  • Juice Newton
  • Kathy Mattea

Grunge Girl Bands of the 80s

In the early 1990s, grunge music from Seattle took over the airwaves. But long before Nirvana and Pearl Jam, there were a handful of female-led grunge bands from the 80s that deserve recognition.

One of the earliest was The Gits, formed in Seattle in 1986. With raw lyrics and an aggressive sound, they were one of the most influential grunge bands of their time. They released two albums before lead singer Mia Zapata was raped and killed in 1993.

Another early band was L7, which formed in Los Angeles in 1985. With their heavy guitar riffs and feminist lyrics, they were one of the most popular grunge bands of the late 80s and early 90s.

  • L7
  • Hole
  • Babes in Toyland
  • 7 Year Bitch
  • The Cranberries
  • No Doubt
  • The Gits
  • Sonic Youth
  • 4 Non Blondes
  • Lunachicks

Australian Girl Bands of 80s

Australia has a long history of producing internationally successful female pop groups, starting with the all-girl group The Flower Pot Men in 1967.

However, it was in the 1980s that Australian girl bands really hit their stride, thanks to the advent of MTV and the global success of acts like Bananarama, The Human League, and Culture Club.

  • Girl Monstar
  • Peaches
  • Divinyls
  • Girlfriend
  • Marcie and The Cookies
  • Rhapsody
  • The Vamps

British Girl Bands of 80s

The 80s were a great time for British girl-bands.

There were so many talented groups that emerged from the UK during that decade, and they all had unique sounds that set them apart from the rest.

Each of these bands brought something special to the table, and they all enjoyed immense success during their time together.

They helped define the sound of 80s pop music, and they continue to be a source of inspiration for new artists today.

  • Culture Club
  • Bananarama
  • Shakespears Sister
  • The Pretenders
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • Eurythmics
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Transvision Vamp
  • The Human League
  • Androids of Mu

Other Notable Girl Bands of 80s

Wilson Phillips (1989 – Present)Pop, pop-rock, soft rock
Wendy & Lisa (1986 – Present)Funk, Pop Rock
The Weather Girls (1976 – Present)Disco, Pop, Soul
Tú (1980s)Pop
Sweet Honey in the Rock (1973 – Present)Gospel, blues, spoken word
The Roches (1973 – 2017)Folk Rock
The Reynolds Girls (1989)Dance Pop
Quarteto em Cy (1959 – Present)Bossa nova, tropicalia, pop, MPB
Pink Lady (1976 – Present)J-pop, kayōkyoku, disco
Pepsi & Shirlie (1985 – Present)Pop, Dance-Pop
The Nolans (1974 – Present)Pop
Mel and Kim (1986 -1990)Dance-Pop


There you have it, folks – a list of 100+ girl and female bands from the 80s that should be remembered for their contributions to music. We hope you enjoyed this list as much as we enjoyed compiling it. Thanks for reading!


What was so special about the music scene in the 80s?

There were a few things that made it unique. For starters, the biggest bands of the era were all rock groups.

The 80s was also the decade when MTV became a mainstream phenomenon, and this helped to promote bands like Duran Duran, Bon Jovi, and Poison.

In terms of fashion, the 80s were all about bright colors and big hair, and this helped to create a very visual style of music. Lastly, many of the classic songs from the 80s have stood the test of time and continue to be popular decades later.

What girl bands were popular during the 80s?

During the 80s, there were a number of popular girl-bands. Some of the most well-known groups were The Bangles, The Go-Go’s, and Bananarama.

These groups all played catchy, upbeat music that appealed to young women. They also helped to define the sound of the era and inspired other young women to form their own bands.

In an era when MTV was becoming increasingly popular, these female artists used video to help shape our idea of what pop music could be.