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You Go Girl! The Best 1980s bands with Female Lead Singers

The 1980s was a great time for music, giving rise to many of the greatest rock groups to ever take the stage. And many of the very best bands of the era featured women on lead vocals. To wit, this list of the best 1980s bands with female lead singers is sure to have you “Walking Like an Egyptian” and clutching at that brass in your pocket.

The Bangles

The band was formed in 1981 by Susanna Hoffs and sisters Debbi Peterson and Vicki Peterson. They had a series of hits from 1982 to 1988 including “Walk Like an Egyptian,” “Manic Monday” (with the Mondays), and “Hazy Shade of Winter.”

The Go-Go’s

Jane Wiedlin (lead guitar), Belinda Carlisle (lead vocals), Kathy Valentine (rhythm guitar), Margot Olavarria (bass) and Charlotte Caffey (keyboard). This 1980s band had a string of hits from 1981 to 1986 including “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Head Over Heels.”

Pat Benatar

In 1978 Pat married Neil Giraldo who joined her as guitarist. Together they set out on tour for two years before coming back home to settle down together and have four children. This American rock singer is best known for her live performances that led many people to call her the “Queen of Rock.” From 1980 to 1989 Pat Benatar had a string of hits including “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love Is A Battlefield” and “Heartbreaker.”

The Pretenders

Formed in 1978 by Chrissie Hynde, this British group had a string of hits throughout the 1980s. They were best known for their song “Brass In Pocket” which became one of the most popular songs played on FM radio stations during that time period. The Pretenders hit singles also included “Precious,” “Lost Boys and Golden Girls,” and ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong.”

Heart

Formed in 1976, this American group was led by Ann Wilson. They had a string of hit singles including “Crazy On You,” “Magic Man” and “Barracuda.”

Blondie

Founded by Debbie Harry (lead vocals), Chris Stein (guitar), and Johnny Rotten (bass) in 1974, this American-British band had a string of hit singles including “Heart Of Glass,” “Call Me” and “The Tide Is High.”

Fleetwood Mac

This British-American band was led by Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac had a string of hit singles including “Rhiannon,” “Landslide” and “You Make Loving Fun.”

Jefferson Starship

Formed in 1974, this American rock band was led by Grace Slick. They had a string of hit singles including “Miracles,” “Count On Me” and “Sara.”

Bananarama

One of the most popular 1980s bands, this British female-fronted band had a string of hit singles including “Venus,” “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” and “Love In The First Degree.”

Salt-n-Pepa

One of the most popular 1980s bands, this female-fronted American hip-hop group had a string of hit singles including “Push It,” “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Shake Your Thang.”

The Pointer Sisters

This American female vocal trio had a string of hit singles including “Fire,” “Slow Hand” and “Automatic.”

Klymaxx

This American female vocal trio had a string of hit singles including “Ain’t Nobody,” “Meeting In The Ladies Room” and “I Miss You.”

The Cover Girls

This American female vocal trio had a string of hit singles including “Now That We Found Love,” “One Night With You” and “It’s Alright.”

(If you like 80s bands then you might like our Canadian rock bands article click here to read it.)

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