bring back some good or bad memories

February 13, 2019

'80s Pop Stars: Then and Now

See how your favorite 80s pop stars have changed over the last 30 years.

1. Kim Wilde

English pop singer, author, DJ and TV presenter Kim Wilde’s first break was in 1981 with “Kids in America”. The song made it to number two in the UK. Her singing career did not end then, as she released six albums throughout the ’80s, with 25 singles in the Top 50 of the UK singles charts. In 1983, she was honored with the Brit Award for Best British Female. In 1988 she strayed to a different path and became a landscape gardener, but eventually came back to music in 2003 and is still touring.



2. Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson, American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress, and the youngest Jackson child, began her career in 1976 with her role in The Jacksons television series. She truly rose to fame with her hit single “When I think Of You”, as well as her desire to follow in her brother, Michael Jackson’s path. She is known for her sexually provocative records and elaborate performances. She continues to perform today, and stand strong. And has announced her pregnancy at the age of 50!



3. Cyndi Lauper

Singer Cyndi Lauper was incredibly successful with her addictive lady anthem “Girl’s Just Want To Have Fun” and ballad “Time After Time”. Over 50 million of her albums have been purchased since the ’80s. In addition to this she was given a Tony Award for her composition of the Broadway hit Kinky Boots. She is an avid LBGT activist, and has founded the True Colors Fund. She has always had a very colorful look in both her attire and hair.



4. Kylie Minogue

Although she is still on top today, Australian Kylie Minogue’s career was just beginning in the ’80s. Her first album included hit singles “I Should Be So Lucky” and “The Locomotion” which brought her to fame. She is also a songwriter and actress, starring by in the Australian soap opera Neighbors as one of her first gigs. She has released several more albums and gone on many tours since then, despite fighting breast cancer. She is known to be the highest-selling Australian artist.



5. Madonna

Madonna’s claim to fame came with her album entitled with her very own name. Among her ’80s hits are “Like a Prayer”, “Material Girl” and “Holiday”. She has gained her popularity through breaking barriers in popular music and music videos, and has become an MTV legend. Today, she is not only one of the most well known successful musicians with sold out arenas worldwide, but is also an actress, writer and businesswoman. And of course has brought lots of attention to Malawi, Africa.



6. Debbie Gibson

Debbie Gibson is another star that became big very young. Her hit single “Only in My Dreams” was fourth in the U.S charts, and it did not take her long at all to reach the top, with “Foolish Beat” in 1988. Even following this success, she was a Broadway hit in several shows, such as Grease, Les Miserables and Beauty and the Beast, and has also been on SyFy TV movies such as Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, and like her fellow pop star Tiffany – has posed for Playboy.



7. Belinda Carlisle

American singer Belinda Carlisle became known through her role in the Go-Go girls, one of the most successful all-female bands in history. The band sold 8 million albums within a mere 3 years. However her fame and success continued even following the group’s split in 1985, becoming an award winning solo artist, with hits including “Leave a Light On” and “Mad About You”. She received a grammy award for her hit song “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”. She has not stopped pursuing her career as a singer, as well as publishing her memoirs, entitled Lips Unsealed.



8. Paula Abdul

Although she is not known today as a singer, she began her career in music in the ’80s with her popular album “Forever Young”, including a grammy award winning song “Opposites Attract”. She was also a choreographer for George Michael and Duran Duran, and was a former cheerleader and dancer. Today she is famous for her role as a judge, starting on American Idol and then followed her fellow judge Simon Cowell to the X-Factor series. She has had some drugs abuse issues in the past, but today is clean and plans to stay in the show business.



9. Kate Bush

She began her life as a star with her first single “Wuthering Heights” and continued to flourish from there. Throughout the ’80s she released four albums, include popular songs “Babooksha” and “Don’t Give Up”. After she gave birth she kept a low profile, however her singing career is still alive.



10. Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox gained her fame in the ’80s through her work with Dave Stewart in the Eurythmics. Her voice made “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This” the unique song that it is, and The Eurythmics continued to succeed with 20 smash hits throughout the world. Lennox also works as a solo artist today and is known for her philanthropy as well.



11. Olivia Newtown John

Olivia Newton John’s role as Sandy in Grease in 1978 brought her to where she is today. The singer and actress released 14 hit singles during the ’80s, including the well known “Physical”. Her career certainly did not end in the ’80s and she is still a resident performer in Las Vegas.



12. Joan Jett

Joan Jett began to rock and roll in the ’70s with an all girl band called The Runaways. However she left them in the ’80s for her new band, Jett and The Blackhearts, and became famous through their hit album I Love Rock n’ Roll, along with the legendary song holding the same name, making it to the top of the charts. She eventually shifted her focus to acting, however was not quite as successful and returned to music composition. This rockstar is still touring today with her band, doing opening acts for bands such as Def Leppard and Green Day.



13. Gloria Estafan

Gloria Estafan and Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga” was one of the songs that made the ’80s what it was. Gloria herself released several songs in the ’80s, such as “Bad Boys” and “Words Get In The Way”. Estefan, along with her band were the victims of a collision in 1990, leaving her with a fractured vertebrae. She was able to continue her career however, and continues to release songs.



14. Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler is responsible for “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Holding Out For A Hero” becoming part of every girl’s teen-hood. Her top rated songs were awarded with three Grammy nominations and continues to record music successfully. She has announced a plan to travel to Nashville, Tennessee in order to work with John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash’s son.



15. Sade

Sade is most famous for her work on “Smooth Operator” as well as her voice work for the band Sade. Her album Diamond Life became one of the biggest albums of the ’80s. Since 2011, she has kept a low profile and stopped touring.



16. Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar has no shortage of ’80s hits, including “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “We Belong” and “Invincible”. Even more impressively, she was the very first woman to perform on MTV. She also has been awarded four Grammys with 12 albums of her own. She is still touring today, mostly in New Zealand with her husband Neil Geraldo by her side, and has announced that she is working on a greatest hits album, as well as a novel about the second coming of christ.



17. Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan with her song “I Feel For You” took the top of the ’80s. This hit song was awarded a Grammy, and was the very first R&B song to include rap. She has also appeared in some Broadway on the West End, and also does charity work for women and children at risk.



18. Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry was both feminine and punk at the same time. She led the band Blondie, which took both genres and made into one, with songs such as “Rapture”, “One Way or Another” and “The Tide is High”. Harry with her band Blondie toured and released albums up until 2011. She also had lead roles in several films throughout the 1980s and ’90s, such as Videodrome and the musical comedy Hairspray in 1988, as well as My Life Without Me, a heartfelt drama with Sarah Polley.



19. Marta Marrero

Marta Marrero, also known as Martika, is a both a singer, songwriter and actress who produced two very popular albums in the late ’80s. She sold over four million copies. Toy Soldiers was her most successful album, making it to the top of the charts for two weeks straight in mid 1989. Her hit singles “More Than You Know”, “I Feel The Earth Move”, a remake of Carole King’s Tapestry also made it to the top of the U.S dance charts. She also had a role on the children’s musical show, Kids Incorporated, as Gloria.



20. Donna Summer

Donna Summer had a good run in the 1980s, bringing her beyond the disco diva she had previously been in the ’70s. She has always been a step above her fellow stars with a different approach than the others, and is a five time Grammy Award winner and is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, with 32 hit singles on the U.S Billboard top 100 chart. Although this declined throughout the years, she stayed high on the charts on the U.S Dance/Club Play Songs charts during the entirety of her career.



21. Lita Ford

Rock guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Lita Ford was the lead guitarist for The Runaways in the late 1970s before she began her solo career in 1980s. Her first solo album Out for Blood came out in 1983 and was not so successful. In 1984, her release of Dancin’ on the Edge was slightly more successful, and she became more known. Her most successful album, Lita was released in 1988, followed by Stiletto and Dangerous Curves. She has continued to release albums and perform until today.



22. Shannon

Shannon Greene, known mostly just by her first name is both a recording artist, singer and dance-pop music and songwriter, known as the ‘Queen of High Energy’ for her hit single “Let the Music Play”. She continued to release albums throughout the ’80s, such as Do You Wanna Get Away and Love Goes All the Way, with success, and even today continues to release songs and perform.



23. Stacey Q

Stacey Lynn Swain, known as Stacey Q on stage, is both a pop singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. She released her most popular single after signing a recording contract with “On the Spots Records” in 1985. Her single “Two of Hearts” in 1986, became number three on the Billboard Hot 100. This success also led her to appear on television talk shows, guest panels and game shows. She continues to produce music and perform.



24. Diana Ross

Singer, songwriter, actress and record producer Diana Ross obtained her fame through her role in the vocal group The Supremes. After she left the band in 1970, she released her first solo album with the memorable Aint No Mountain High Enough. She continued to produce music and in 1980 her album Diana made it to number 2 on the Billboard chart. She has been called the ‘Female Entertainer of the Century’ by Billboard magazine and is is the most successful female music artist in history, according to the Guinness Book Of World Records. She been nominated 12 times for Grammy awards, and although never won, she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.



25. Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks, an award winning singer-songwriter was referred to as the ‘Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll’. She is most famous for her collaboration with Fleetwood Mac, as well as for her solo career, which she began in 1981 alongside her work with the band. Her first and most well known album Bella Donna reached the Billboard album charts within months of its release. She has also closely worked with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. She has released 8 solo songs until, with her most recent in 2014.



26. Cher

The 73-year-old singer and actress who was part of the successful musical husband-wife duo, Sonny & Cher, made her Broadway debut in 1982 and later went on to star in different films including Moonstruck. The 1980s were also the time that Cher revived her music career with two of her most successful albums, Cher and Heart of Stone. Today, she is still invited to all the music awards and spends a lot of her time with philanthropic work.



27. Marie Fredriksson

The Swedish singer was the front woman and vocalist of the singing pop duo, Roxette back in the ’80s. Her other musical half was Per Gessle who was in charge of guitar and vocals. Their album from the late ’80s, Look Sharp! was extremely successful. The duo had some of the greatest top chart hits including “Listen to your Heart” and “It Must Have Been Love”. The duo reunited in 2009 and went on a worldwide successful tour.



28. Dolly Parton

She might be mostly recognized for her country singing, but Dolly Parton was so good at what she was doing that she could sing any type of genre. Parton, who is 73 years old today, was around the clock, or more like “9 to 5”, literally in the ’80s. 1980 was when her successful hit song was released. In 1984 she was presented with a Hollywood star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame for her musical contribution.



29. Tina Turner

Although Tina Turner’s musical career began in the late 1950s, she became a worldwide phenomenon during the ’80s for her hit singles such as “Proud Mary”, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “Private Dancer”. No one could help but dance along to her energetic performances and be in awe of her eclectic hairdo. Today, Tina is still performing around the world and is even in the process of creating a new musical based on her own life and career.



30. Samantha Fox

Although Samantha Fox is today known to be a model, her singing career in the ’80s shows that this girl has got it all down. Since her hit song “Touch Me” in in 1986, over 30 million of her records have been sold. She has also appeared in many films and reality TV shows, and is still touring with her band today.


(via Kiwi Report)



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