96.7 The River is living in the '80s this holiday weekend. It kicked off Friday at 2 pm and runs until 7 pm on Memorial Day.

I decided to have some fun and break the decade down into groups and feature a different one for the next couple of days. It will be my top 10 based on radio hits, influence, popularity, and 'that's just my opinion, man.' The first group up is --

 

The Ladies Of The '80s

The '80s were great for women in music, and some of the most popular and successful female artists came from that decade. Here's my Top 10:

#10 Gloria Estefan

It started as Miami Sound Machine. Then it was Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Then it was just Gloria Estefan. Gloria put Spanish influenced pop music on the map with seven Top 10 singles in the second half of the 1980s.

 

#9 Belinda Carlisle

The Go Go's lead singer went on to have a pretty successful solo career, which included three Top 5 singles (4 Top 10's). You might have seen her perform those hits at the Minnesota State Fair last year. We'll see if her band makes another list.

 

#8 Paula Abdul

I think people forget how successful she was. She had four #1 singles in a row to close out the 80s. She followed those with two more #1's to start the 90s. If she had those six consecutive #1's in the 80s, she would be higher on the list.

 

#7 Cyndi Lauper

You make the argument that Cyndi was the most quirky and 'unique' singers of the '80s. She had that distinctive, recognizable voice. And that voice and talent led to her landing six Top 5 songs, with two of them being #1.

 

#6  Joan Jett

When you think 80's female rock, Joan is at the top of the list. No, she did not have a lot of hits, but she had one of the biggest ever. And she was and has always been Joan just being Joan.

 

#5 Tina Turner

Tina was the Queen. And in 1984  and 1985, she let everyone know it with a string of hits. And knowing her history, how can you not love her story? I think that even though she is in the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame as a duo, she should be in all by herself.

 

#4 Pat Benatar

With mega-hits that have stood the test of time and are still on the radio today, Pat Benatar finally got inducted into Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame (long overdue). And then the COVID had to come and ruin the induction ceremony. Talk about an artist getting the shaft.

 

#3 Janet Jackson 

Hit after hit. Seven Top 5 singles, two #1's. You can make an argument for adding five more Top 5's and three #1's because Janet's album Ryhtmn Nation was released in 1989, but many of those other hits came after 1990.

Ms. Jackson recorded her five most successful albums in Minneapolis. When it came to performing, there were none better. And she did all of that while in the shadow of her super-famous, and super-talented older brother. You could see that she got a lot of influence and talent from him.

 

#2 Whitney Houston

Whitney is the ultimate tale of talent and tragedy. One of the best voices to ever heard, her drug addiction, unfortunately, led to a far too early death. She was massive in the 80s. She had nine Top 5 songs. and get this, seven songs IN A ROW, that went #1.

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#1 Madonna

I was never a big Madonna fan. That doesn't stop me from making her the #1 female artist of the 80s. Sixteen Top 5 songs, and SEVEN #1's! She is the biggest selling female artist of all time, and it's not even close.

Did she have a great voice? No. Was she a great dancer? No. Did she have the best songs? Again, no (subjectively). But it wasn't any of those things that made her one of the most popular entertainers of the 1980s  She simply was an entertainer -- and one hell of a marketer.

Up next: We take a look at 'The Boys' of the 80s. Coming soon.

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