I grew up admiring strong women. (and not just my mom, aunts and sisters) More than anywhere else in pop culture and any other time in music, the female recording artists of the 1980s were powerful.
’70s greats Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Debbie Harry and Donna Summers still kicked it on the radio, but a new breed were stealing the spotlight. With the advent of MTV, the prevalence of music videos birthed a slew of stars.
Annie Lennox led Eurythmics, Joan Jett fronted the Blackhearts, Chrissie Hynde kickstarted The Pretenders and there was The Go-Go’s for groups. Add soloists like Sade, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Sheila E, Taylor Dayne and Chaka Khan to the list or powerhouses.
When I decided to draw the better-half counterpart to my series of “Men Who Shaped Me,” there were eight greats who came to mind first. Each so different from the next, but each incredible talented. And all more strong, in voice and beyond, than most of the men from their decade.
All went on to further success in the ’90s, but I’ll limit sharing my favorite songs from their ’80s hits. Even then, it’s hard not to include them all.
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “Greatest Love of All,” “So Emotional”
“Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Get On Your Feet,” “1, 2, 3”
“Into the Groove,” “Express Yourself,” “Material Girl”
“Control,” “Love Will Never Do,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Escapade”
“Time After Time,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “True Colors,” “She Bop”
“Straight Up,” “Opposites Attract,” “Forever Your Girl”
“9 to 5,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Strut,” “U Got The Look”
“Love Is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “We Belong,” “Invincible ”
Thank you, ladies.