There is no denying that something special happened in the 80s regarding the music industry. There were major breakthroughs by some well-known bands and it was in this decade that many new styles of music made their way into mainstream media. As you take a close look at the music legends of the 80s, you will quickly see that many of them are still making waves today. If you think you are acquainted with the music scene in the 80s, make sure to take this quiz to see just how much you really know.
Considered as the “King of Pop”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. He popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk.
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century.
She has influenced various other artists and has often been referred to as the “Queen of Pop”.
Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She has influenced various other artists and has often been referred to as the “Queen of Pop”. Madonna is noted for her continual reinvention and versatility in music production, songwriting, and visual presentation.
His sixth album, Purple Rain (1984), continued critical success for him and was a major commercial success, spending six consecutive months atop the Billboard 200.
Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation, he was known for his flamboyant, androgynous persona and wide vocal range, which included a far-reaching falsetto and high-pitched screams.
During a career that has spanned six decades, he has become known for his poetic, socially conscious lyrics and energetic stage performances. He has been nicknamed “the Boss”.
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He has released 20 studio albums, many of which feature his backing band the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he is one of the originators of the heartland rock style of music, combining mainstream rock musical style with narrative songs about working class American life.
They are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture and one of the most famous hip hop acts of the 1980s.
Run-DMC (also spelled Run-D.M.C.) was an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York City, founded in 1983 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell. Run-DMC is regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture and one of the most famous hip hop acts of the 1980s.
Their album “1984” was a commercial success with U.S. sales of 10 million copies and four hit singles; its lead single, “Jump”, was the band’s only U.S. number one single.
Van Halen was an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. Credited with “restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene”, Van Halen was known for its energetic live shows and for the virtuosity of its lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen.
He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the seventh-best-selling recording artist and the fourth-best-selling solo artist in the United States, with over 160 million records sold worldwide.
William Martin Joel is an American singer, pianist, composer and songwriter. Joel released his seventh studio album, Glass Houses, in 1980 in an attempt to further establish himself as a rock artist; this release featured “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, “You May Be Right”, “Don’t Ask Me Why”, and “Sometimes a Fantasy”.
Their final studio album, Synchronicity (1983), was No. 1 in the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy and the US, selling over 8 million copies in the US.
The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of primary songwriter Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion).
He is best known for his tenure as the drummer and lead singer of the rock band Genesis and for his solo career which began in 1981.
Philip David Charles Collins is an English drummer, singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is best known for his tenure as the drummer and lead singer of the rock band Genesis and for his solo career which began in 1981.
Her 1984 multi-platinum album Private Dancer contained the hit song “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became her first and only No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
He achieved massive commercial success in the 1980s starting with his album Let’s Dance (1983).
David Bowie was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
Their debut album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release.
Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. When they signed to Geffen Records in 1986, the band comprised vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler.
Their studio album, Pyromania, was released in January 1983, with “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” both topping the US Rock Tracks chart and reaching the top 20 of the Hot 100.
Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitars, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitars, backing vocals).
After signing a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third and fourth studio albums Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989).
Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. She is noted for her innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows.
His first solo single, “Careless Whisper”, reached number one in over 20 countries, including the UK and US.
George Michael was an English singer and songwriter. Known as a leading creative force in music production, songwriting, vocal performance and visual presentation, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the MTV generation.
She is the only artist to have had seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, from “Saving All My Love for You” in 1985 to “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” in 1988.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. Nicknamed “The Voice”, she is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with sales of over 200 million records worldwide.
They first found commercial success with the release of its third album, Master of Puppets (1986), cited as one of the heaviest metal albums and the band’s best work.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and has been based in San Francisco for most of its career.
The band’s eighth studio album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981), was their first album to reach number one in the United States.
AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal, but the band themselves call it simply “rock and roll”.
His second album, Can’t Slow Down (1983), reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and television judge. His second album, Can’t Slow Down (1983), reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time; and spawned the number one singles “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Hello”.
In 1986, the band achieved widespread success and global recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet, which sold over 20 million copies and included three Top 10 singles.
Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald.
They hit their commercial peak in 1983 with the U.S. Top 10 hit “Burning Down the House” from the album Speaking in Tongues and released the concert film Stop Making Sense.
Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band was composed of Scottish-born David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar), drummer Chris Frantz, bassist Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar).
The band’s first major hit was “Girls on Film” (1981), from their self-titled debut album, the popularity of which was enhanced by a controversial music video.
Duran Duran are a British new wave band formed in Birmingham in 1978 by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor. With the addition of drummer Roger Taylor the following year the band went through numerous personnel changes before settling on the line-up including guitarist Andy Taylor and lead singer Simon Le Bon in May 1980.
Escape, the band’s seventh and most successful album, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and yielded another of their most popular singles, “Open Arms.”
Journey is an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1973 by former members of Santana, Steve Miller Band, and Frumious Bandersnatch. The band currently consists of guitarist/vocalist Neal Schon (the only constant original member), keyboardists/vocalists Jonathan Cain and Jason Derlatka, drummer/vocalist Deen Castronovo, and lead vocalist Arnel Pineda.
“Another One Bites the Dust” from The Game (1980) became their best-selling single, while their 1981 compilation album Greatest Hits is the best-selling album in the UK and is certified nine times platinum in the US.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. The band comprised Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals) and John Deacon (bass). Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.
Her single “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” reached the top 10 in the US and Canada and is considered to be her best-known song.
Pat Benatar is an American rock singer and songwriter. In the United States, she has had two multi-platinum albums, five platinum albums, and 15 Billboard top 40 singles, while in Canada she had eight straight platinum albums, and she has sold over 35 million albums worldwide.
In 1984, he released Breaking Hearts, which featured the song “Sad Songs (Say So Much)”, number five in the US and number seven in the UK.
Sir Elton Hercules John is an English singer, pianist and composer. In 1984, he released Breaking Hearts, which featured the song “Sad Songs (Say So Much)”, number five in the US and number seven in the UK. John also recorded material with Millie Jackson in 1985. In 1986, he played the piano on two tracks on the heavy metal band Saxon’s album Rock the Nations.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The band continued to release successful albums, including their two largest sellers: Some Girls (1978), featuring “Miss You”; and Tattoo You (1981), featuring “Start Me Up”. Steel Wheels (1989) was widely considered a comeback album and was followed by Voodoo Lounge (1994), a worldwide number one album.
He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with sales of over 100 million records worldwide. He has won 25 Grammy Awards (the most by a solo artist) and one Academy Award (Best Original Song, for the 1984 film The Woman in Red).
Stevie Wonder is an American singer and musician, who is credited as a pioneer and influence by musicians across a range of genres that includes rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk and jazz. Wonder is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with sales of over 100 million records worldwide. He has won 25 Grammy Awards (the most by a solo artist) and one Academy Award (Best Original Song, for the 1984 film The Woman in Red).
They became a leading band of the progressive rock genre, cited by some as the greatest progressive rock band of all time.
Pink Floyd are an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic groups, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows. They became a leading band of the progressive rock genre, cited by some as the greatest progressive rock band of all time.
This band is one of the world’s best-selling bands, having sold more than 200 million records, including 100 million sold in US alone.
The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971. With five number-one singles and six number-one albums, six Grammy Awards and five American Music Awards, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s in North America.
With his distinctive raspy singing voice, he is among the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide.
Sir Roderick David Stewart is a British rock and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart is among the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide.
This band has sold more than 120 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands.
Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. Fleetwood Mac were founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer, before bassist John McVie joined the line-up for their self-titled debut album. Danny Kirwan joined as a third guitarist in 1968.
With between 100 million and 150 million albums sold worldwide, this band is one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The band’s most commercially successful line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins.
This band released its first single, “Radio Free Europe”, in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone.
R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe, who were students at the University of Georgia. Liner notes from some of the band’s albums list attorney Bertis Downs and manager Jefferson Holt as non-musical members.
This band has released 13 studio albums, two EPs, over 30 singles, and have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
The Cure are an English rock band formed in 1978 in Crawley, West Sussex. Throughout numerous lineup changes since the band’s formation, guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter Robert Smith has remained the only constant member.
Their most successful album of this period includes Celebrate! (1980), and Emergency (1984), their highest selling album with two million copies sold in the US.
Kool and the Gang
Kool & the Gang is an American R&B/funk band formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964 by brothers Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell, with Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown, and Ricky West.
They toured with Madonna in 1985 and a year later released their debut album, Licensed to Ill (1986), the first rap record to top the Billboard 200 chart.
Beastie Boys were an American rap group from New York City, formed in 1981. The group was composed of Michael “Mike D” Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam “MCA” Yauch (vocals, bass), and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (vocals, guitar, programming).
He rose to fame in North America with the 1983 top ten album Cuts Like a Knife, featuring its title track and the ballad “Straight From the Heart”, his first US top ten hit.
Bryan Guy Adams is a Canadian guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and photographer. Sources state Adams has sold either more than 75 million or more than 100 million records and singles worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
They achieved their greatest fame from the mid-1970s to the late-1980s with a fusion of rock and roll and rhythm and blues.
Hall & Oates
Daryl Hall and John Oates (commonly known as Hall & Oates) are an American pop rock duo formed in Philadelphia in 1970. They achieved their greatest fame from the mid-1970s to the late-1980s with a fusion of rock and roll and rhythm and blues.
With a career spanning six decades, he has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.
Robert Clark Seger is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. With a career spanning six decades, Seger has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.
Oooppssss. YOU FAILED!
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Do you still find yourself singing along to the old song of Britney Spears,…
Rap music, which started in the African American neighborhoods of New York City…
For as long as there has been music, all of its listeners have found…
Gosh. ALMOST THERE!
I know you can do better…
WOW, YOU SMASHED IT!
You’re a Music Genius!