Can You Name These ’80s Female Pop Stars From a Picture?

By: J.P. Naomi

Born and raised in Bay City, Michigan, Madonna now lives in Lisbon, Portugal. According to "Guinness World Records," she is the best-selling female recording artist of all time, and she's still going! Madonna's upcoming tour, Madame X, will run from September - November 2019.

"How Will I Know" was Whitney Houston's second number-one selling single. Want to know her first? It was "Saving All My Love for You" in 1985. These two hits were just the start. Houston went on to become one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Cyndi Lauper was born on June 22, 1953 in New York City. By the time she was 30, she had produced four top-five hits on the "Billboard Hot 100" list. These included "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Time After Time," "She Bop," and "All Through the Night."

Born Angela Trimble, Debbie Harry teamed up with Chris Stein and others in 1974 to form rock band Blondie. Much of their success came in the late '70s and early '80s, including their hits "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," and "Rapture."

Did you know that Tina Turner started her career with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm? She launched her solo career in the late '70s and by 1984, the world was wild over "Private Dancer." Other Turner hits that reached number one included, "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Better Be Good to Me."

Inspired by Liza Minnelli, Pat Benatar quit her job and began pursuing her singing career in 1971. Though she started out in lounges and night clubs, Benatar would have her first big hit later that decade with "Heartbreaker." By the mid-'80s, she had five platinum albums and four Grammy Awards.

Though Olivia Newton-John began her singing career in 1963, her fame and fortune continued well through the 1980s. Did you know that she has sold more than 100 million records worldwide? Her greatest hits include "I Honestly Love You," "You're The One That I Want" and "If You Love Me Let Me Know."

In the 1980s, Annie Lennox teamed up with David A. Stewart to form the Eurythmics. Their best-known hit Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) was released in 1983 and in 1984, the duo won MTV's Best New Artist award. Other big hits of the '80s included "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "Touch."

Stevie Nicks is not just a singer, she is also one of the greatest songwriters of all time. In fact, she wrote most of Fleetwood Mac's hits including "Gypsy" and "Edge of Seventeen." She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, with the band and as a solo artist.

Joan Jett is not only the lead vocalist of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, but she is also a guitarist and actress. Her most successful album, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Janet Jackson is the youngest sibling of the Jackson family. She began her career in the '70s with her family, and later launched her solo career in the '80s. Her first album, "Control," included five top five singles including "What Have You Done for Me Lately."

Diana Ross split from the Supremes in 1970 and launched her solo career. Her first album of the '80s was self-titled "Diana" which produced two hits, "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out." Ross received the Gammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Donna Summer was a five-time Grammy Award winner and one of the best-selling artists of all time. Her hits "Last Dance" and "Bad Girls" were just two of her 42 songs that appeared on the US Billboard Hot 100 throughout her career.

"Conga" was released in 1985 and became Gloria Estefan's biggest hit with the Miami Sound Machine. Today, Estefan is a proud member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has received a star on the Hollywood and Las Vegas Walk of Fame.

Though most of Alanis Morissette's success came in the 1990s, she recorded her first demo track "Fate Stay with Me" in 1987. Just four years later, she released her debut album "Alanis." But fans know her career really took off with "Jagged Little Pill" in 1995.

Though her true stardom did not come until the 1990s, Gwen Stefani became the lead singer of No Doubt in 1986. With the band, she recorded the number one hit "Don't Speak," while her solo career produced even more popular singles such as "Hollaback Girl" and "Rich Girl."

Did you know that Celine Dion's career began in the 1980s? In 1982, she won the Yamaha World Popular Song Festival in Japan for her performance of "Tellement J'ai D'amour Pour Toi." Her first English record was released in 1990 and included the top-five hit, "Where Does My Heart Beat Now."

Known as the "Princess of Pop," Kylie Minogue began a career in acting in 1985, but when it didn't pan out so well, she pursued music for the better. Her debut single "Locomotion," released in 1987, spent seven weeks at number one and was Australia's best-selling single of the 1980s.

Most people may not realize it, but Debbie Gibson wrote, produced and performed her own music. In fact, her hit song "Foolish Beat" made her the youngest artist to have ever done so. To commemorate this feat, she is listed in the 1988 Guinness Book of World Records.

After one year as the drummer for a punk band called the Germs, Belinda Carlisle became the lead singer of the all-female band the Go-Go's. Though the band dissolved in 1985, Carlisle's solo career took off with the release of "Mad About You" followed by "I Get Weak" and "Circle in the Sand."

Tiffany Renee Darwish was born in 1971 and is best known for her 1987 cover of "I Think We're Alone Now." Originally performed by Tommy James and the Shondells, Tiffany's release earned her notoriety as well as the number one spot on the charts both in the United States and United Kingdom.

Sinead O'Connor was born in Gelnageary, Ireland in 1966. Today, having converted to Islam, she goes by her new legal name Shuhada' Davitt. O'Connor is best known for her hit "Nothing Compares 2 U" as well as tearing a photo of Pope John Paul II on stage during a concert.

Born Leslie Wunderman, Taylor Dane's breakout hit "Tell It to My Heart" was released in 1987. Throughout her career, she earned three Grammy Award nominations and sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

She began her career with the band Rufus in 1973, but by the early 1980s, Chaka Khan's solo career was in full swing. Her hits "I'm Every Woman" and "I Feel for You" are just two examples of decades' worth of success culminating in ten Grammy Awards.

Tracy Chapman is best known for her tracks "Fast Car," "Give Me One Reason" and "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution." Her debut album released in 1988 won her six Grammy Awards including Album of the Year. Since then she has produced seven more albums including her most recent, "Our Bright Future."

Did you know that Sade was a fashion designer and model before her music career took off? In 1983, she formed her self-titled band Sade and released the "Diamond Life" album that same year. Sade is best known for her tracks "Smooth Operator" and "The Sweetest Taboo."

Do you remember Sheena Easton's first single "Modern Girl?" Perhaps it was her second single "9 to 5" that better jogs your memory. "9 to 5" made its way to number three on the UK Singles Chart in 1980, the same year Easton was voted Best British Female Singer at the Pop & Rock Awards.

Cher's original name was Cherilyn Sarkisian. In 1965, she and husband Sonny Bono released their hit "I Got You Babe" which led the charts both in the United States and Great Britain. By the 1980s, she was on her own with a concert residency in Las Vegas and record sales of more than 100 million.

A huge solo pop star in Sweden, Marie Fredricksson is better known in the United States as a member of the pop rock duo Roxette. Together with Per Gessle, Fredricksson had six top 10 hit songs in the United States including "It Must Have Been Love" and "Listen to Your Heart."

Did you know that Paula Abdul set the record for most number one singles from a debut album? "Forever Your Girl," the album, in 1988 did just that. These singles included "Straight Up," "Cold Hearted" and "Opposites Attract."

Though she began her career in 1960, Barbra Streisand's fame and success continued well through the '80s. Some of her hits from the '80s include "Woman in Love," "One Voice" and the entirety of "The Broadway Album" for which she won a Grammy Award. She received the Grammy Legend Award in 1992.

Did you know that Patty Smyth recorded her own version of "Downtown Train" three years before Rod Stewart made it a hit of his own? This track was included on her first solo album "Never Enough" in 1987. Also on this album was her famed hit with Don Henley, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough."

Kim Wilde's debut single "Kids in America" reached number two in the United Kingdom in 1981. Two years later, she was named Best British Female solo artist at the Brit Awards. Wilde, born Kim Smith, holds the record for having the most charted songs for a British female solo act in the '80s.

Shannon's full name is Shannon Brenda Greene. In 1983, her hit "Let the Music Play" made it to the top of the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. Other singles on her debut album, though not quite as popular, included "My Heart's Divided," "Give Me Tonight," and "Sweet Somebody."

Neneh Cherry was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1964 as Neneh Mariann Karlsson. She is best known for her 1988 single "Buffalo Stance" which peaked at number three both in the United States and United Kingdom. She later won two Grammys for her 2013 work The Cherry Thing and 2019's Broken Politics.

"Black Velvet" was recorded in 1988 and released in 1989. By 1991, Alannah Myles had won the Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and the Juno Award for Single of the Year. Myles is also well known in Canada for her first single "Song Instead of a Kiss."

Did you know that the chorus for Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Nots" was used in Will Smith's 1997 hit "Men in Black?" "Forget Me Nots" was her second single on the U.S. Hot 100 list. Her first single to climb the list was "Haven't You Heard."

Chrissie Hynde helped found The Pretenders in 1978 with Martin Chambers. Their hits from the 1980s include "Brass in Pocket," "Talk of the Town" and "Precious." Though the band has been through ups, downs and reorganizations, they recently resurfaced with a new album and tour in 2016.

Kim Gordon and Sonic Youth rose to fame in the 1980s. Between 1983 and 1988, they released five studio albums. If you ask fans for their opinion, they will overwhelmingly tell you that the "Daydream Nation" album of 1988 was their favorite.

Born Gabriele Susanne Kerner, Nena was the lead singer of her self-titled band from 1982 - 1987. Their hit single "99 Luftballoons" was so popular in West Germany that the band recorded an English version later that year. The translated "99 Red Balloons" was just as popular in the U.K.

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Image: Wiki Commons by Private Stock Records

About This Quiz

Do you get overly excited when your Throwback Thursday playlist features female pop stars from the 1980s? If so, this quiz has your name all over it! And let it be known, you are in good company. You see, we LOVE the '80s and we can't wait to see just how much you do too. From a single photo and a fun fact or two, we want to know if you have what it takes to name identify these iconic '80s artists. Think so? It's time to put your excitement to the test. 

From Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston to Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks, the '80s were simply packed with both new and developing talent. While artists like Cher and Barbra Streisand may have gotten their start in the '60s or '70s, the '80s embraced their solo careers and launched them further into stardom. For others like Mariah Carey and Madonna Louis Ciccone, AKA Madonna, the 1980s welcomed them and helped introduce them to the world. So now we want to know, can you recognize these pop stars who wowed us in the '80s and still do today? 

We promise you'll be singing along by the time you finish good luck and be sure to have fun, just like Cyndi Lauper!

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