Best 80s Girl Bands and Groups (They Were the Best)

Several girl bands and ensembles rose to fame in the 1980s and contributed to the global empowerment of women.

Girl bands played a significant role in shaping the music industry and pop culture. They brought fresh and empowering energy to the music scene and broke down barriers, challenging the predominantly male-dominated music industry.

If you’re interested in finding out which girl bands and groups from the 1980s made the cut, keep reading to find out who made the list!

The Bangles

As one of the most popular female groups of the 1980s, they must be mentioned while discussing girl groups from that era.

Walk Like An Egyptian is one of their most well-known songs. They also had several additional Top 10 singles in the 1980s, including Manic Monday, In Your Room, Eternal Flame, and Hazy Shade of Winter.

Through the 1980s, they were recognized with and received a number of honors, including Best International Group at the Brit Awards and Best Group Performance at the 1987 American Video Awards for the song Walk Like An Egyptian.

The band split up in 1989, but they got back together in 1998. In 2003, they put out an album called Doll Revolution.

2011 saw the release of their additional album, Sweetheart Of The Sun. At the She Rocks Awards in 2015, they were given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Go-Go’s

One of the biggest female groups in the 1980s was The Go-Go’s. They emerged from the Los Angeles, California, rock scene at the time.

They stood out because they played every instrument they had and even composed all of their own music. In 1981, they released Beauty And The Beat, which is regarded as the record that officially launched the alternative music genre.

We Got The Beat and Our Lips Are Sealed, two songs from the band’s album Beauty And The Beat could be familiar to you.

They still perform these two songs, which were among their biggest-ever hits. Before they disbanded, they also put out the albums Vacation and Talk Show.

They have split up and reconnected several times throughout the years. They have amassed record sales of nearly seven million globally and nominations for several accolades, including Best New Artist in 1982. They were admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

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Heart is the following act, and although they do not consist entirely of women, they are regarded as one of the biggest girl bands from the 1980s.

The band’s two most well-known members are Ann and Nancy Wilson, and they founded close to Seattle. The sisters have always been a part of the group, despite lineup changes throughout time.

Their unique blend of heavy metal, folk, and hard rock music set them apart, and they are renowned for the sisters’ incredibly powerful vocals.

They are well-known for songs like All I Want To Do Is Make Love To You, Crazy On You, What About Love, Magic Man, Never, and Barracuda.

They had global sales of over 35 million records, six Top 10 albums reaching the Billboard 200, and numerous Top 10 hits. They were placed 49 on the Ultimate Classic Rock Top 100 list and 57 on the VH1 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

They were recognized as one of the best hard rock bands of all time in 2013 when they were elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They had a significant effect on many other bands, including Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and more.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

joan jett

If you enjoy rock and roll, you’ve definitely heard of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, who made history in 1982 by memorably covering the classic song I Love Rock ‘N Roll.

The song was released and held the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list for seven weeks. I Hate Myself For Loving You, Bad Reputation and Light Of Day were other popular songs by the group.

They published five albums in the ’80s, including I Love Rock ‘N Roll, Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth, Good Music, and Up Your Alley. After that, the band put out six more albums, the most recent of which was in 2022.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Joan Jett’s band in 2015, earning her the title of “Queen of Rock and Roll.”

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Bananarama is the next girl group we’d like to discuss. They are a girl group that was founded in 1980 in London, England.

They began with two high school friends who decided to form a band, and they enjoyed a number of UK singles throughout the course of their careers. Shy Boy, Really Saying Something, Love in the First Degree, Robert De Niro’s Waiting, Cruel Summer, Help, and I Want You Back are a few of their popular tracks.

Between 1982 and 2009, Bananarama achieved 30 Top 50 hit songs on the UK Songs Chart, demonstrating their enormous popularity.

The trio was a part of the Second British Invasion in the US and had 11 singles enter the Billboard Hot 100 list.

They received several nominations throughout the course of their career, but it wasn’t until 2018 that they took home their first prize from the Classic Pop Readers’ Awards in the Group of the Year category.

The Pointer Sisters

One of the top female bands of the 1980s, The Pointer Sisters, originated in Oakland, California. It’s always been a family event, even if the roster has slightly altered throughout the years.

Three sisters originally made up the ensemble, but after one of them passed away, her daughter and then her granddaughter joined to keep the family theme alive.

They combine a variety of musical styles, which have contributed to their success, including blues, soul, R&B, jazz, country, rock, jazz, and more.

The hit tracks Jump (For My Love), Automatic, He’s So Shy, Fire, I’m So Excited, and Slow Hand may be familiar to you.

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Next is Exposé, a female ensemble that specialized in Latin freestyle music. It was founded in 1984, however, there have been a number of lineup changes over the years.

They hit both the Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Top 40 charts with music that was well-liked in dance clubs.

Seasons Change from 1988 was one of their most well-known songs. In 2015, Billboard ranked them as the sixth most successful group.

In the 1980s, they put out two albums: Exposure in 1988 and What You Don’t Know in 1989. They had four songs that peaked in the Top 10 of the Billboard 100 when their debut album was released, which was unprecedented.

The Carpenters

The Carpenters started their career in the 1970s and were successful, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that they became well-known.

If I Had You, Touch Me When We’re Dancing, Something In Your Eyes, If We Try, and Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night are just a few of their popular songs from the 1980s.

Wilson Phillips

Wilson Phillips is an all-female pop group that we must highlight. They were created in Los Angeles in 1989, and they had a number of successful songs throughout the years.

The songs Hold On, Release Me, You’re In Love, and The Dream Is Still Alive may be familiar to you. In 1990, they put out their debut album, which went on to sell more than 10 million copies.

They were nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, had four hits from their debut album in the Top 10, and won Billboard Music Awards.

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The Judds

The Judds were one of the biggest female groups of the 1980s, and between 1983 and 1991, they recorded six albums. Fans of country music may recall them.

Mama, He’s Crazy, Why Not Me, Girl’s Night Out, Have Mercy and Cry Myself To Sleep were some of their top singles.

Since they won five Grammy honors, had over 20 singles on the Hot Country Singles Billboard list, received nine honors from the Country Music Association, and are still one of the most successful country music artists of all time, they made history in the genre.


Have you heard of Vixen, all you fans of glam rock? They were one of the most well-known female bands of the 1980s, a member of the Los Angeles glam metal movement, and were compared to the female Bon Jovi.

They have popular songs including Love Made Me, Cryin, and Edge Of A Broken Heart.

Their debut album, which peaked at number 41 on the Billboard 200 in 1988, was followed by an album that peaked at number 52.

Even though they weren’t quite as popular as some of the other female bands, they consistently released albums that were well-regarded by rock, glam, and even grunge enthusiasts.


The next song is We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use, which was later abbreviated to Fuzzbox around the time of the 1986 release of their debut album Bostin’ Steve Austin.

Despite only releasing one more album, Big Bang in 1989, they were one of the female groups from Birmingham, England, that managed to achieve global recognition.

Rules And Regulations, Rockin’ With Rita, Love Is The Slug, Console Me, Spirit In The Sky, International Rescue, What’s The Point, Self, and Pink Sunshine were a few of their hit songs.


The next group on our list is Klymaxx, a 1980s female group that didn’t truly break out until about 1984.

I Miss You and The Men All Pause were the two songs that truly propelled this group to the top and helped them become an international hit in 1984. This group was noted for blending R&B and pop.

Between 1981 and 1994, they put out six albums, including their first, Never Underestimate The Power Of A Woman, which was followed by Girls Will Be Girls in 1982.

They also released Meeting In The Ladies Room, Klymaxx, The Maxx Is Back, and One Day before calling it quits permanently in the 1990s.

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The following group is Seduction, a C+C Music Factory early effort that struggled in Britain but swiftly gained popularity in the US.

The group, known for their dance and pop music, had major singles including Seduction, (Your My One And Only) True Love, Two To Make It Right, Could This Be Love, Heartbeat, and Free Your Body. Nothing Matters Without Love was released by the group in 1989.

Mary Jane Girls

Mary Jane Girls, a female band that was active in the 1980s and was founded in 1983, must be mentioned.

They gained popularity by fusing soul, funk, and R&B and were Rick James’ proteges. Candy Man, Walk Like A Man, In My House, and All Night Long are a few of their top hits.

After releasing the albums Mary Jane Girls and Only Four You, they split up in 1987. were admitted to the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2019.

4 Non-Blondes

The band 4 Non-Blondes, who are best known for the song What’s Up from their sole album, comes up next on our list.

The fact that this band was entirely female and played alternative rock added to its uniqueness.

They were only active from 1989 to 1994, yet in that time, Bigger, Better, Faster, More, their sole album, sold over 1.5 million copies and spent more than 59 weeks on the Billboard 200.

Best 80s Girl Bands and Groups (They Were the Best)

Vanity 6

The following female group didn’t stick around for long, yet they were nevertheless quite influential throughout their little time together.

We’re referring to Vanity 6, a female trio that Prince considered one of his proteges and is best known for the smash song Nasty Girl.

Vanity 6 was founded because Prince thought that ladies performing in lingerie and being content with displaying a lot of skin would sell. Other songs they were known for were He’s So Dull, Make-Up, and Drive Me Wild.


We must discuss Pandora since they were a well-liked female group in the 1980s who were recognized for their Latin music.

How Have You Been My Love, one of their most popular songs, was voted as one of the finest singles of the 1980s and came in at number 16.

After signing with EMI Records in 1984, they put out a number of albums throughout the years, including Pandora, Otra Vez, Huellas, Buenaventura, and 999 Razones.

Shakespears Sisters

The Shakespeares Sisters, who were very successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s, are the last group on the list. They were created after Bananarama split up.

They played rock, pop, and alternative music, and two of their albums debuted in the Top 10. Several of their singles also made it to the Top 40 charts.

Stay, Goodbye Cruel World, Themselves, Hormonally Yours, and Hello (Turn Your Radio On) were some of their best songs.

Over the years, the group has been nominated for and won a number of prizes, including the 1989 Most Promising New Group award for the song Themselves.

For their 1993 song Stay, they finally took home the British Video Of The Year trophy.

The Bangles Estimated 25-30 million albums sold
Bananarama Estimated 40 million albums sold
The Go-Go’s Estimated 8 million albums sold
The Pointer Sisters Estimated 10-15 million albums sold
Salt-N-Pepa Estimated 15-20 million albums sold
Exposé Estimated 10 million albums sold
Vixen Estimated 2 million albums sold
Seduction Estimated 1-2 million albums sold
Cover Girls Estimated 1-2 million albums sold

Who was the female pop duo in the 80s?

One of the most iconic female pop duos of the 1980s was “Heart.” The band consisted of sisters Ann Wilson (lead vocals) and Nancy Wilson (guitar and backing vocals).

Heart achieved significant commercial success and became one of the leading rock bands of the decade with their blend of rock, pop, and power ballads.

Some of their popular hits from the 1980s include:

“These Dreams” (1986)

“Alone” (1987)”What About Love” (1985)

“Never” (1985)

“Nothin’ At All” (1985)

Who is the biggest girl group ever?

The biggest girl group ever is the Spice Girls. They achieved global fame and massive success during the late 1990s, becoming a pop culture phenomenon.

The group consists of members Mel B (Scary Spice), Mel C (Sporty Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), and Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice).

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