Who were the major pop icons of the 70s and 80s?

major pop icons of the 70s and 80s

There were major changes that occurred in the 70s and the 80s. The 80s especially saw a massive technological change, due to which there was a huge shift in the socio-economic conditions. There were good times and bad times, but it was a great time for pop culture.

Pop culture was flourishing, and it was a time when some of the best television shows, music, movies, and toys were around. These were so popular that the 70s and the 80s are often associated with nostalgia as people fondly remember the time when they had the most fun. Even in the present time, the memories of those times live on.

As music, shows, and movies were insanely popular during the 70s and 80s, there are a few pop icons from that time that almost everyone knows of. Some of them are still well-known today, but they were at their peak during the 70s and the 80s. It was their peak time. Here are major pop icons from the 70s and 80s,

Major Pop Icons of the 70s

Music was a huge part of the 70s, and many pop singers gained popularity during that time and became major pop icons. Some musical acts were so famous that they were even given their own network television shows.

Progressive rock also dominated the industry, and there were many bands and solo artists who rocked this genre. Many different artists can be considered pop icons from various genres. Here are some of them.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder was a huge name in the 1970s. Although he turned 20 in 1970, he had been in the industry for nine years and was, thus, a veteran. He released eight whole albums in the 70s, and they were extremely popular. Almost 5 of his tracks reached number 1, and the others were a part of the US Top 40. Therefore, he was a big name in the industry,

Some of his singles that reached number 1 include Sir Duke, I Wish, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Superstition, and You Haven’t Done Nothin. He was also heavily awarded during this era, as he took home 12 Grammy Awards in this decade. In the course of his career, he won 22 Grammys. Therefore, he won half of them in a single decade.

His songs were played everywhere, and he was a household name. There was no one who did not know of Stevie Wonder in the 70s.

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin was a four-piece band whose music revolved around hard rock, folk-rock, heavy metal, and blues rock. They made music together for about 12 years, from 1968 to 1980, after which they broke up. The break up of the band was due to John Bonham, the drummer, who sadly passed away in October 1980.

In their 12-year-long run, Led Zeppelin released a total of eight albums. Out of these eight albums, they released six during the 1970s. Even though they were nominated for five Grammy Awards, they never won any. However, later on, they were awarded 5 Grammys between 1999 and 2014, among which was the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Best Rock Album 2014.

Elton John

Sir Elton John is one of the best-selling musicians in the world as he has sold a record-breaking 300 million records. In the 1970s, he was at his peak. Sir Elton Jon released twelve studio albums, which do not include compilations, soundtracks, and other projects. Of these twelve albums, six of them were number 1 on the Billboard 200 Album charts.

Six of his singles also made it to number one in the US Top 40 in the decade. Therefore, his songs were extremely popular, and he had many fans internationally.

He was nominated for a total of nine Grammys in the 1970s, but he never won one. In 994, Sir Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also recognized by Buckingham Palace, as he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are a British rock band whose music genre revolves around rock, rock and roll, and blues. The band was formed in 1963, and since then, there have been several changes in the lineup as members have come and gone. Only two members have remained, which include Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Mick Jagger is the lead vocalist of the group, and Keith Richards is the lead guitarist.

Other current members include the drummer, Charlie Watts, who joined the band in 1963, and the guitarist Ronnie Woods, who joined in 1975.

In the 1970s, the Rolling Stones were huge. Everyone knew their name because they released a total of 6 studio albums. Two of these albums were ranked number 1 on the US Billboard 200 album charts. They also managed to get three of their tracks to number 1 in the US Top 40.

The Rolling Stones were nominated for only one Grammy Award in the 1970s, but they did not win. Later on, in 1989, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which shows the extent of their popularity and impact. There are many artists today that see the Rolling Stones as their idols.

Major Pop Icons of the 80s

The 80s was the last decade before technology completely took over the world in the 90s. During this time, social media and the internet were non-existent, and the only way you could see your favorite stars was through the television screen. There were many movies and tv shows that had a great impact, such as the TV Show Dallas.

There were many pop icons in the 80s, ranging from singers to actors and actresses, and more. All these popular icons, such as Jane Fonda, had a huge impact on the masses. Here are a few of the major pop icons from the 1980s

Bill Cosby

William Cosby, better known as Bill Cosby, was a pop icon ever since he started work in the television industry in the 1960s. He had a clean sense of humor, which appealed to many and helped break through the racial barriers of the 1980s.

In the 80s, he became extremely popular due to his sitcom The Cosby Show. On the show, he was a doctor and a father of five children. This show was extremely popular and remained in the number 1 position for five straight years.

The main pull of the show was that it showed a loving family, which consisted of two educated parents, who were great. Bill Cosby also wrote books, which became huge best sellers, and he also performed in various comedy concert films. Therefore, he was the biggest television star of the 80s.


Madonna was the most influential female artist of the 80s. The music she created was the perfect fit for the era, as it was upbeat, danceable, and fun. Her music was popular and performed well on various charts, such as pop and r&b.

She released an album in 1984 named Like a Virgin, which was so popular that it went on to sell 13 million copies all over the world. Therefore, she was not just a national star, but an international one.

Madonna had a great pop sense, and she knew what the public liked. Thus, she was able to produce hit after hit. Madonna was also super influential among the young girls, as everything she did was instantly popular, and everyone was doing it. She was popular, fearless, and extremely successful

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a popular movie star, who was originally from Austria. He is considered one of the greatest bodybuilders, and later on, in his career, he shifted to acting. His movies were mainly action films and there were only a few who could match his fame in that genre.

Some of his popular movies include Commando, Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, Predatory, etc. One of his biggest films was The Terminator, in which he plays a cyborg killing machine. In this decade, he was a major box office attraction, and many people came to see him act in his films. Therefore, he is considered a legend and an icon of the 1980s.

Eddie Murphy

In the comedy genre, there is arguably anyone more successful than Eddie Murphy. He was the biggest comedic actor of the 1980s. At the box office, he rivaled many big names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, etc.

He started his career on Saturday Night Live, but then he went on to star in movies such as Beverly Hill Cop, 48 Hours, Trading Places, Coming to America, etc. The film that bought him the most success is probably Beverly Hill Cop. People adored that movie, and it made him a mega star.

It remained one of the highest-grossing R films for a long time. Taking advantage of his success, Eddie Murphy also released songs, one of which was a top 10 pop song. He was incredibly gifted at comedy and impressionism, and he used to become a star.

Eddie Murphy was incredibly influential, especially among the black community. Every black comedic that came after him named him to be their idol. He made many people laugh, and that is how most people remember him, as his legacy lives on.


The 70s and 80s were a big time for pop culture. As TV was the only source of entertainment, many TV stars gained popularity and became influential people in the sphere of Hollywood. Major pop icons of the 70s and 80s include musicians, actors, comedians, and more. Anyone who was likable and had talent could become the next big thing.

Petrus Tanase
My name is Petrus Tanase. I am the founder and writer of this website. I really like to write about the latest news and share it with others through my site.

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