10 Best Music Artists From New Jersey During the '80s Era

10 Best Music Artists From New Jersey 

During the '80s Era

Regarding the music scene, few decades stand out quite like the 1980s. The 80s were an era of iconic music, vibrant fashion, and unforgettable pop culture moments. And when we think of New Jersey, we can't help but associate it with a rich musical heritage. From rock to pop, soul to hip-hop, New Jersey has produced an impressive roster of talented singers who left an indelible mark on the world of music. This article will explore ten of the best 80s singers from the Garden State, their incredible contributions to the music industry, and their lasting legacies.

Bruce Springsteen

No list of New Jersey's finest stars of the 80s would be complete without "The Boss" himself, Bruce Springsteen. Born in Freehold, New Jersey, in 1949, Springsteen achieved immense success in the 1980s with his E Street Band. His album Born in the U.S.A. (1984) catapulted him to global stardom, featuring hits like the title track and "Dancing in the Dark." His distinctive voice and heartland rock style resonated with millions, making him an enduring American music icon.

Whitney Houston

A true vocal powerhouse, Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1963. The '80s saw her rise to unparalleled fame with her self-titled debut album (1985), which included chart-toppers like "Saving All My Love for You" and "How Will I Know." Houston's soulful voice and extraordinary range made her one of the greatest singers ever.

Bon Jovi

Hailing from Sayreville, New Jersey, Bon Jovi stormed the rock scene in the '80s with their infectious anthems and charismatic frontman, Jon Bon Jovi. The band's third album, Slippery When Wet (1986), produced massive hits like "Livin' on a Prayer" and "You Give Love a Bad Name." Bon Jovi's blend of rock and glam metal secured their place as one of the best-selling rock bands of the decade. Not to mention they are still touring today.

George Clinton

George Clinton, born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1941, is a musical pioneer and the driving force behind the funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic. With a unique blend of funk, soul, and psychedelia, Clinton and his bands delivered groundbreaking albums including his solo effort Computer Games (1982) which produced the R&B hits "Atomic Dog" and Loopzilla."

Dionne Warwick

Born in East Orange, New Jersey in 1940, Dionne Warwick has one of the most successful music careers between 1955 and 1999 according to Billboard magazine. Her 1985 single "That's What Friends Are For" under her Warwick and Friends title was an international hit that won two Grammy awards. The collaborative effort with Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder was a charitable single, raising over $3 million for AIDS research.

Kool & the Gang

Originally formed in Jersey City, New Jersey in the 1960s, Kool & the Gang rose to popularity in the '70s with hits like "Jungle Boogie", "Hollywood Swinging", and "Ladies Night." Their biggest success came in 1980 with their only #1 hit "Celebration". They would follow it with a string of top ten hits like "Joanna", "Fresh", and "Cherish" during the 1980s.

Skid Row

Skid Row entered the hard rock scene in Toms River, New Jersey in 1986. Their self-titled debut album in 1989 produced two top ten hits, "18 and Life" and "I Will Remember You." Despite a successful follow up album in 1991 Slave to the Grind and selling over 20 million total albums worldwide to date, the band has never been able to eclipse the success of their initial album.

Southside Johnny

Southside Johnny, also known as John Lyon, emerged from Neptune, New Jersey, and gained popularity with his band Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. Combining rock, blues, and soul elements, Southside Johnny's charismatic stage presence and soulful voice garnered a dedicated following from the mid '70s through the '80s.

Paul Simon

Paul Simon, who was born in Newark, New Jersey, came to musical prominence in the 1960s with childhood friend Art Garfunkel. The duo produced a string of hits in the '60s and '70s including the #1 hits "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Simon's solo career peaked in 1986 with his album Graceland which has sold 16 million copies worldwide. The memorable single "You Can Call Me Al" featured actor Chevy Chase in the music video.

Debbie Harry

The lead vocalist of the band Blondie, Debbie Harry was actually born in Miami, Florida but spent her early years in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Blondie's blend of new wave, punk, and pop music led to numerous chart-topping hits during the 80s, such as "Call Me," "Heart of Glass," and "Rapture." Debbie Harry's distinctive voice, punk rock attitude, and striking looks made her a prominent figure in the music and fashion scene of the 1980s. She became an influential female artist, breaking barriers and setting trends resonating with audiences worldwide. Blondie's music and Debbie Harry's charisma have continued to inspire generations of musicians and fans, solidifying her position as one of the most memorable and beloved singers of the 80s.

New Jersey has undoubtedly gifted the world with an exceptional array of talented singers who left an indelible mark on the '80s music scene. From rock legends like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi to soulful divas like Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick, Garden State's contribution to the music industry is incomparable. These singers' remarkable achievements and lasting legacies inspire artists and music lovers worldwide. As we celebrate their artistry and impact, let us remember the magic of the '80s music era and how New Jersey played a pivotal role in shaping its iconic sounds.

Headline image courtesy Depositphotos

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