As one of the top Charleston Wedding DJs, I would have to say my forte is 80s. I love it all! The inspiration for this blog post came to me as I was listening to some old radio airchecks (shows) from an all request Totally 80s show that I did at various stations around Charleston. I remember it, it was actually an 80s Girl Power weekend way back when and the 80s were jam-packed with a huge amount of female talent, both from a solo artist standpoint, as well as all-girl bands. The ladies of the 80s that show up on this post are women of rock, women who showed up on the Top 40 and R&B charts, as well as new wave and alternative genres. Some of the women that appear on this list were some of the most influential ever and extended well past the 80s into the 90s and beyond.
If you are a bride and love the fun music from the 80s, I really invite you to take a closer look at this post. The female musicians from the 80s that I chose for this post were chosen just as much for their popularity and impact to music as they were for their tremendous talent. The 80s saw the "king of pop" (Michael Jackson and the eventual "queen of pop" (Madonna dominate the pop music scene throughout the entire decade of the 80s. If you are just hitting my website for the first time, one of the things you should know about me is a speciality of mine as a professional wedding DJ is 80s music. Every single wedding that I DJ has a healthy amount of 80s on the playlist and even in the year 2020, people are having just as much fun today dancing to it as they did 30 years ago. Be sure to crank up your headphone or turn up your speakers when you take this little time warp and listen to the incredible ladies of the 80s.
Download These Ladies Of 80s From Charleston Wedding DJ Mike Bills On Spotify
All of my playlists are being moved to Spotify so that modern brides and grooms can pick and choose all the songs that they would like to hear. You'll not get this fabulous playlist of songs from the greatest woman in 80s music, but you'll also get a ton of other playlists that will inspire you when creating the musical soundtrack for your wedding. Just head over to Spotify and search for DJ Mike Bills.
Madonna | "Holiday"
There is so much to say about Madonna from the 80s and beyond that we could do an entire post about her. Hey, maybe I'll do that! In the meantime, add this song to your playlist for you and your bridesmaid to dance to. This was her first hit in the US, reaching the Top 20.
Whitney Houston | " I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
If Madonna was the queen of pop during the 1980s, then Whitney Houston was the queen of R&B, but when she broke in 1985, her music crossed over to the Top 40 radio stations. It still is hard to believe that she is no longer with us, but her music lives on at weddings all around Charleston.
Cyndi Lauper | "Time After Time"
Her signature song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is a favorite for bouquet tosses but since that tradition is fading away, I thought I would add in a really awesome love song that was the follow-up single to her signature song. This follow-up would reach Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1984 and is also a part of my 80s First Dance For Weddings Playlist.
Taylor Dayne | "Tell It To My Heart"
This was title track to her self-titled album that was released in the fall of 1987. The song spent over 6 months on the Billboard charts hitting the Top 10 at the start of 1988.
Stevie Nicks | | "Stand Back"
In the early 80s, this integral part of Fleetwood Mac broke out on her own and had tremendous success. She's been called the Queen Of Rock & Roll, and for good reason. "Stand Back" was released in 1983 and would reach the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Heart | "Alone"
Ann & Nancy Wilson got their start back in the mid 70s with some hard rock tunes, but as the 80s approached, they played the part pretty well with big hair :) I remember traveling on a family vacation trip back in 1987 when this song broke on the radio. You couldn't go anywhere without hearing "Alone" as it would eventually hit #1 on the Hot 100.
Janet Jackson" | Miss You Much
Back in the summer of 1989, this lead track from her mega selling album "Rhythm Nation 1814" spent 4 straight weeks at Number 1 making it one of the biggest songs of that year. If you don't think it's a great dance song, just watch Janet in the music video below. After another look, I might just have to publish a post about 1989, as it might have been one of the best years of music in the 80s.
Pat Benatar | "Hit Me With Best Shot"
This is another song that brides around Charleston have used for their bouquet toss. Definitely her signature song, and in my opinion one of the best female rock voices ever. She's right up there with Ann Wilson of Heart as one of the best feamle vocalists of all time. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" would begin a string of 80s success reaching the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980 and 1981.
Paula Abdul | "Straight Up"
There was a time a long time ago that Paula Abdul was a Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader, and then we saw her all over MTV with "Straight Up". Look closely and you will see Arsenio Hall in this video. "Straight Up" was the first single from her Forever Your Girl album from 1988 and would shoot straight to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Bananarama | "Venus"
Don't get me wrong. I love this Bananarama cover song. It's one of the biggest hits of the 80s. But, you should also listen to the original by the band, Shocking Blue. The original version of "Venus" from 1969 is in my humble opinion one of the best songs of the 60s. This could be another one of those songs that a bride and her bridesmaids could let loose to on the dance floor to really kick the party into gear. If you don't play this at your wedding reception, then definitely throw it on during your bachelorette party weekend. Released in May 1986, the song would become one of the songs of the summer of 1986 and would reach Number 1 on the dance club, as well as Hot 100 charts.
The Go-Gos | "Vacation"
Lead singer Belinda Carlisle would go on to have a reaosnably successful solo career. The Go-Go's were another one of the great all-ladies bands of the 80s. The music video for the song was one of the many iconic music videos you saw in the early months of MTV. "Vacation" became one of the Go-Go's signature songs making it all the way to Number 8 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1982.
The Bangles | "Walk Like An Egyptian"
The Bangles were another great all-female band who made the 80s so fun. Trust me, it's OK to "walk like an Egyptian" at your wedding with all your friends and loved ones. "Walk Like An Egyptian" was released in September 1986 and would become #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 just before Christmas making it one of the most popular songs of 1986.
Laura Branigan | "Gloria"
She had an unbelievable voice and left us way too soon back 2004 due to a brain aneurysm. This song stayed on the charts for 36 weeks, which was a record for a female artist at the time. "Gloria" was released in 1982 and would become a signature song from Laura Branigan and would peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Sheena Easton | "Strut"
The perfect song to throw on during the bachelorette weekend with all your bridesmaids. Another lady of the 80s with an incredible voice. "The Strut" can be found on Sheena Easton's album "A Private Heaven". Released in the summer of 1984, the song would peak at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Roxette | "The Look"
Toyota has been using this song in their 2018 Camry TV commercial, and I love it. That's another example of the power of 80s music. A student traveling in Sweden brought a copy of this song back and gave it to a program director in Minneapolis, MN. He began to play and the song spread like wildfire across America which resulted in Roxette getting a Number 1 song in April 1989.
Cher | "If I Could Turn Back Time"
Cher's career got a kickstart in 1987 when she released "I Found Someone", and by 1989, she was making music videos aboard Navy ships when she released "If I Could Turn Back Time", which became one of the biggest songs of her career. Released on July 1, 1989, Cher would score a Top 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and a Number 1 hit on the adult contemporary charts.
Debbie Gibson | "Shake Your Love"
Back in the 80s when Debbie Gibson came onto the scene, she'd become the youngest to ever write, record, and release a Number 1 song. "Shake Your Love" peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 t #4 in 1987. Debbie recently went out on tour with New Kids On The Block.
Tiffany | "I Think We're Alone Now"
They called her the "shopping mall girl" because when she broke onto the scene in 1987 she was performing at a lot of shopping malls around the country. Since all the malls in America are closing, I'm not sure we could have "another" Tiffany today. Her cover of the 1967 song by Tommy James & The Shondells would go all the way to Number 1 on the Hot 100 in 1987 and 1988,
Blondie | "The Tide Is High"
Originally written in 1967 by John Holt, the song would become a worldwide hit by Blondie when she'd put a bit of a "reggae spin" on it. It's a perfect, chill song for your wedding cocktail hour.
The Pretenders | " Brass In Pocket"
Originally released at the very latter part of 1979, "Brass In Pocket" would become the first new number 1 on the UK charts in 1980, and peak at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Kim Wilde | "You Keep Me Hanging On"
Originally released and made famous by the Supremes in 1966, Kim Wilde would release her version in September of 1986 and would score a #1 hit with one of the biggest songs of 1986. The song would also top the Australia chart in 1987. It's the perfect song for a wedding playlist that you want infused with some of the best 80s music.
Patty Smyth | "The Warrior"
I can totally see it now. You are out with your girlfriends for your bachelorette weekend and this song comes on the radio and you all go bat crazy. For an amazing bachelorette weekend in Charleston, be sure you check out this link. Released in the summer of 1984, "The Warrior" would climb all the way to #7 on the Hot 100, but #1 in Canada.
Bonnie Tyler | "Holding Out For A Hero"
Speaking of great bachelorette weekend songs, here's another by the great Bonnie Tyler. You know that lady of the 80s that also gave you "Total Eclipse Of The Heart". "Holding Out For A Hero" was not of one the biggest charting songs by Bonnie Tyler, but remains a strong request for the ladies at a lot of my weddings.
Joan Jett | " I Love Rock & Roll"
Joan Jett is the perfect addition to anyone wanting an 80s Rock Cocktail at your wedding. Originally recorded by The Arrows in the mid 70s, Joan Jett would cover the song in 1982 and score a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100.
Eurythmics | "Missionary Man"
Who could forget the short, orange hair of Annie Lennox in the early 80s with the Eurythmics. She'd eventually go solo in the 90s. While "Sweet Dream (Are Made Of This" is probably her signature song, I added this lesser known song released in the summer of 1986. It would peak at #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts.
Belinda Carlisle | "Heaven Is A Place On Earth"
Belinda Carlisle went solo after the Go-Go's broke up in 1985. Right out of the gate, she'd score a Number 1 song with this title track from her debut album in 1987.
Tracy Chapman | "Fast Car"
You couldn't turn the radio on in 1988 without hearing "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. "Fast Car" was the first single to be released from her self titled album in the spring of 1988. The song would break into the Top 10 on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts.
Berlin | "No More Words"
Terri Nunn is the lead singer of Berlin and happens to be one of my favorite ladies of the 80s. Berlin was an integral part to the New Wave scene of Los Angeles in the early 80s and brought together some of the best musicians. "No More Words" would peak at #6 on the Dance Club chart.
Katrina And The Waves | "Walking On Sunshine"
Originally written by Kimberly Rew for Katrina & The Waves, "Walking On Sunshine" is the ultimate feel good song for your wedding playlist. The song would peak at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is still a heavy favorite at a lot of my weddings.
Tina Turner | "Better Be Good To Me"
"Better Be Good To Me" was the follow-up to "What's Love Got To Do With It" and was released in the summer of 1984. The comeback of Tina Turner would continue as "Better Be Good To Me" would become a Top 5 song on the Hot 100 chart.
Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine | "Conga"
There is a VERY cheesy You Tube floating around of a corny and tacky wedding DJ putting this song on and doing some silly dances. Don't let that discourage you from adding this 80s classic to your wedding playlist. "Conga" would become one of the signature songs of the Miami Sound Machine when it was released in the summer of 1985. The song would peak at #1 on the Hot Dance singles chart.
Denience Williams | "Let's Hear It For The Boy"
If you get a chance, pick up a copy of the Footloose soundtrack. I just realized how many songs from the soundtrack made it to radio and became massive hits, like this 80s classic from Deniece Williams. Released on Valentine's Day in 1984, "Let's Hear It for The Boy" would peak on the Hot 100, HotR&B, and Dance Club charts.
Samantha Fox | "I Wanna Have Some Fun"
We wrap up this blog post about the best women in music back in the 80s with Samantha Fox. "I Wanna Have Some Fun" was the first song of her 1988 self titled album and would peak at #8 on the Hot 100 chart in early 1989.
Care To Talk To Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?
Wow! Weren't all these ladies, like totally awesome? Oh my gosh! There was so much female talent back in the 80s. This should get you started down the 80s music path when it comes to planning the perfect mix of music for your upcoming Charleston wedding. The 80s had so much female talent that produced fun and upbeat songs that could easily be added into any wedding playlist. I hope you are enjoying this blog as much as I do creating these posts for you. Thank you for taking the time to explore my musical world and making it to the end of this post. Unlike other Charleston wedding blogs, this will be kept fresh and to up to date for the modern Charleston bride in mind. If you are ready to interview professional wedding DJs for your upcoming big day, click the link up above to tell me a little more about your big day.