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Legendary Male Singers of the 80s: Their Impact on Music Fashion and Culture

Famous 80s Male Singers

Ah, the 80s! It was the decade of spandex, big hair, and neon colors, but above all, it was the decade of great music. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most famous male singers of the 80s, their music genres, hits, and most prominent characteristics that have left a lasting imprint on the music industry.

Michael Jackson

First up, we have

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. The 80s were

Michael Jackson’s most prolific decade musically.

His album, “Thriller,” still holds the title of the best-selling album of all time. “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and the iconic “Thriller” hit, were the songs that defined the era.

Jackson was the first artist to use music videos to transform into visual performances with dance moves that are still mimicked today. His influence on subsequent generations of musicians cannot be overemphasized.

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was the lead vocalist of British rock band Queen. With his four-octave range and powerful voice, he performed with Queen at the Live Aid benefit concert, where he delivered an electrifying performance.

Mercury’s flamboyant stage presence and distinctive vocal style made him a cherished favorite among fans.

Boy George

Boy George was the lead singer of Culture Club, a British band known for their New Romantic and androgynous fashion. The band captured the hearts of the public with their catchy song “Karma Chameleon,” and was one of the most iconic bands of the decade.


Prince was a one-of-a-kind singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist whose music spanned multiple genres. His music-themed around his androgynous style defined the 80s, making him a beloved icon of the era.

With songs like “Purple Rain,” his sixth studio album,

Prince was a boundary-pusher who utilized his music for groundbreaking expression.

George Michael

George Michael was the lead vocalist of the duo Wham!, known for their pop-rock tunes. Michael dominated the airwaves with hits such as “Careless Whisper” and “Faith.” He effortlessly mixed different genres to create unforgettable hits.

Michael’s confident on-stage presence and gentle voice made him a sensational performer.

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel was one of the greatest musical activists of the 80s. His song “Sledgehammer” was not only a favorite hit, but it also won nine MTV awards.

His activism takes different forms, and he founded WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), an organization promoting global diversity through music.

Rick Astley

Rick Astley made music that never got old. His song “Never Gonna Give You Up” remains an iconic song that is still played today and used to prank unsuspecting listeners with Rickrolling! Astley’s dance beats and energetic rhythms made him a global sensation during the 80s.

John Cougar Mellencamp

John Cougar Mellencamp dominated the airwaves with his heartland rock, a term that described his small-town roots. “Scarecrow” was one of his popular albums, and his role in Farm Aid charity concerts solidified his importance in American music.


Sting started his music career as the lead vocalist for The Police. After the band broke up, he quickly established himself as a successful solo artist.

With hits like “Englishman in New York” and “Every Breath You Take,”

Sting’s music was categorized as pop-jazz, a fusion of jazz and pop music.

Paul Simon

Paul Simon was one half of the iconic duo Simon & Garfunkel. His solo career brought forth genre blendings that extended past what we’ve come to know.

“Graceland,” his seventh solo album, was a good example of this, as he incorporated African musical sounds and rhythms.

Don Henley

Don Henley was the drummer and vocalist of the band Eagles. His solo career included hits like “The End of the Innocence,” and his voice was described as smooth and raspy.

Henley was a significant force in the establishment of the Eagles as one of the most prominent bands of the era.

Phil Collins

Phil Collins was the drummer and vocalist for Genesis, but his solo career quickly took off with his hit song “In the Air Tonight.” Collins was known for his distinctive sound, achieved through his use of the gated reverb effect. He cemented his place in 80s music with his iconic music videos.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder may have had previous success, but he remained a notable figure during the 80s with a range of music and involvement in commercials. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” became one of his most famous works, which landed him an Academy Award.

Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler was the lead vocalist of the legendary rock band Aerosmith. In the 80s, he continued to push the band’s musical boundaries with hits like “Permanent Vacation” and “Janie’s Got a Gun.” Tyler was known for his high-pitched voice and energetic stage presence.

Kenny Loggins

Kenny Loggins gave us one of the most iconic movie hits of all time with “Footloose.” He was also a participant in the charity song “We Are the World,” making him now a significant part of musical history. His songs were beloved by fans, and his song in Top Gun, “Danger Zone,” became an iconic reference for the era.

Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams had a run of significant hits in the 80s, including “Run to You” and “Summer of ’69.” His soft rock combined with various genres earned him a place as one of the essential male singers of the era. His multi-album crafted tunes secured his place in music history.

Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield is known mostly for his hit song “Jessie’s Girl,” but his daytime role in General Hospital made him a household name. Springfield’s on-screen and on-stage presence was appreciated by all, making him an icon in both fields.

Billy Joel

Billy Joel had an impressive career with his doo-wop throwback style in the 80s. His hit “The Longest Time” became a hallmark of the decade.

Joel’s extensive history in music guaranteed he would be remembered for his contributions to music.

Eddie Money

Eddie Money was a working-class rocker that found success in the 80s with hits like “Take Me Home Tonight.” His contributions to American music reflected his lived experience, making him an excellent addition to the bold and varied landscape of 80s music.

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen was a staple in American music for decades, and his 80s mainstream waves cemented him as a legendary act. His hit album, “Born in the U.S.A.,” was an ode to his experiences, and his concert in East Germany became a significant moment for the era.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic’s hilarious party songs solidified his role as a parody singer who never failed to bring a laugh. His other hit song “Eat It” was a humorous play on the classic song “Beat It,” displaying his fun-loving character.

Yankovic’s contributions to music cannot go without note, as he took over the airwaves with his clever wordplay and unique humor.


In summary, these famous male singers of the 80s brought unique styles and genres to the music scene, showcasing memorable hits that remain beloved by fans around the world. Their influence cannot be overstated, as they have without a doubt left an indelible imprint on the world of music.

The 80s was a groundbreaking decade for music. It was the era of the king of pop and heartland rockers, of androgynous fashion and big hair bands.

The male singers of the 80s brought on new sounds and musical movements, reshaped fashion and culture and expanded the reach and fan base of the music industry. Decades later, their legacy and impact on music still resonate with younger artists and fans worldwide.

Expansion of Genre and Subgenre

Male singers of the 80s contributed significantly to the evolution of music genres and subgenres. Hair bands, New Romantic music, and American-African fusions were just a few of the many musical styles that gained prominence during this decade.

Hair bands were a significant force in the 80s hard rock scene. With bands like Bon Jovi and Poison climbing the charts, the genre’s popularity soared.

Their songs were notable for their catchy guitar riffs, power ballads, and all-around confident swagger. New Romantics was another genre that grew in popularity in the 80s.

Boy George and his band Culture Club, with their androgynous fashion, helped to bring this genre to the mainstream. New Romantic was characterized by sharpness in dressing, eye-catching arrangements, and unusual vocal synthesizers and textures.

American-African fusion was another genre that was popularized in the 80s. By blending African musical sounds like drums and guitars with pop, rock, and R&B, the genre highlighted diversity in music and culture.

Paul Simon’s album “Graceland,” which integrated African music and rhythms, was regarded as a significant contribution to this genre.

Influence on Music Fashion and Culture

The iconic male singers of the 80s created a profound impact on the fashion and culture of the decade. Androgynous fashion, wherein male performers wore makeup, flashy costumes, and had long hair, became an essential expression of the time.

It was not uncommon to see the likes of

Boy George,

Prince, and David Bowie rocking feminine-inspired clothes alongside their original songs. Innovative fashion movements emerged as a direct result of the 80s music scene.

Many of the male singers of the decade showcased unique fashion that influenced their fans. The explosion of music videos allowed them to showcase their inspiring fashion styles, which further reinforced the trend in the 80s fashion scene.

Use of Technology in Music Production

The 80s was a time of innovation in music production, and male singers of the era were at the forefront of this trend. The use of technology, such as the gated reverb effect, which created a percussive and distinctive drum sound, marked a new era in sound design.

This innovation opened up new frontiers in musical production, placing emphasis on fresh styles, unconventional plays on vocal textures, and intriguing arrangements.

Broadening of Music Fan Base

The 80s was a time when male singers of the era appealed to fans worldwide. Their music transcended national borders and became global sensations.

Many artists achieved multi-country number one hits, and their music was popular in different countries. These male singers’ popularity emanated from their unique musical styles, fashion, and video performances.

Their iconic music videos, for instance, made them more accessible to fans worldwide, thus broadening their music career audiences.

Legacy and Impact of 80s Male Singers

The legacy and impact of the male singers of the 80s are undeniable. They redefined music into a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to thrive today.

Years later, their music is still relevant, with radio stations continuously featuring their hits and numerous cover versions of their songs. Their legacy has inspired many young artists to follow in their footsteps.

Young musicians today credit the likes of

Michael Jackson,

Prince, and others as significant influences on their musical careers. The male singers of the 80s also revolutionized the music industry by dominating the charts and influencing future generations of musicians.

Their contribution to the music industry has secured a place for them in music history, and their continued relevance and influence solidify their legacy as timeless icons. In conclusion, the male singers of the 80s created an impact on music unbridled by their time.

Their music, fashion, and fashion trends, technology, and worldwide popularity continue to inspire young artists and shape the landscape of music. Many remain beloved by fans and relevant pop culture icons of the era.

It is safe to say that the echoes of the male singers of the 80s will continue to resonate for years to come. In summary, the male singers of the 80s expanded music genres, reshaped culture and fashion, and broadened the fan base of the music industry through their iconic hits, innovative use of technology, and timeless music.

Their legacy, relevance, and impact on music continue to resonate with younger artists, as their music remains popular and beloved by fans worldwide. The 80s remains a significant era in music history, and the male singers of the decade served as integral contributors to its success.

Their influence on music and pop culture is a testament to the power of music to change the world, and they will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations of artists and music lovers around the world.

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