As Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman 1984 seems to be everywhere at the moment we thought we’d take a look back at the wonder women of music back in 1984. DC Comics inspirational character is strong, independent and driven, a quality possessed by our top ten female artists from 1984. Back then the UK had a woman PM (Let’s not get into whether she was ever wonderful), the women of Tenko were still plotting their escape, Juliet Bravo was keeping the streets of Hartley safe and Miss Ellie, Sue Ellen and Pam were still keeping the men folk of Dallas in check. 1984 was also the year of Band Aid, Footloose, Ghostbusters and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. All girl groups were more popular than ever with Sister Sledge, The Pointer Sisters, The Weather Girls and Bananarama all making a significant contribution to the music of 1984. Other acts to feature a female lead also made their mark; Annie Lennox as part of Eurythmics, Alannah Currie as part of The Thompson Twins and Elizabeth Fraser (arguably the voice of a generation) with The Cocteau Twins. Today though we are focusing on the individual and wow what an incredible cast we’ve assembled.
Madonna in 1984. Picture by James Colburn.
1984 was a stellar year for Madge. She was already a force to be reckoned with going into 1984 but she certainly consolidated her position and more during the year. Madonna had hits with Lucky Star, Borderline and then Like A Virgin. The latter single was an instant, although somewhat controversial, success and fuelled sales of her second album that shared it’s name. Madonna also found time in the summer of ’84 to film Desperately Seeking Susan with Rosanna Arquette in New York. From 1984 onwards Madonna never looked back, becoming the biggest selling solo female artist of all time.
Tina Turner went from very well respected and highly regarded to global megastar in 1984 following the release of her iconic album, Private Dancer. Turner’s fifth studio album was a World wide success story going multi-platinum all over the globe. In total Private Dancer gave rise to seven singles, four of which were released in 1984. They were, in order, Help, What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Better Be Good To Me and finally in October of that year the title track, Private Dancer. The album not only sold well, it was critically acclaimed and it also won four Grammy’s.
Back in 1984 Sade practically had a genre all to herself, she was the very essence of soulful chic. Sade defined an era, soundtracked a moment in time and stood out as an individual artist unconcerned with conforming to the norms of the day. Sade’s sultry, sexy, soft and soulful style were like nothing else around, certainly not in the commercial arena. You couldn’t have a soiree or dinner party without Sade on in the background. Sade’s 1984 debut album Diamond Life remains one of the best debut albums by a solo artist, practically every song, including the four singles, Smooth Operator, Your Love Is King, Hang On To Your Love and When Am I Going To Make A Living is superb.
Cyndi was all over 1984 mainly due to single releases from her breakthrough 1983 album, She’s So Unusual. The album’s best known track, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, a song first written and recorded in 1979 by Robert Hazard, enjoyed huge international success in 1984, prompting follow up singles Time After Time, She Bop, All Through The Night and Money Changes Everything. Cyndi won the inaugural MTV award for best ‘Best Female Video’ and the album went on to win two Grammy’s.
Prince played a big part in Chaka Khan’s success in 1984, having written the song she would make her own back in 1979 when he wrote I Feel For You. Khan’s huge hit was transformed from Prince’s original but still retained some of his hallmark touches. Chaka’s single, and album of the same name, were one of many 1984 highlights that had an R&B disco flavour to them. I Feel For You was also enhanced by rapping from Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five as well as some very slick production from Arif Mardin but it was Chaka Khan’s vocal that stole the show.
Alison, formally one half of influential pop-synth duo Yazoo made a greater impact, at least commercially, when she went solo. In 1984 Moyet released her debut solo album Alf which went to number one in the UK and New Zealand as well as charting highly in many other countries. Of it’s four singles, three charted in 1984 including the two, Love Resurrection and All Cried Out, that made the top ten. Moyet’s distinctive, deep and rangy vocal helped define her sound, whether it was with Yazoo or as a solo artist, and it is that voice that continues to captivate to this day.
Gloria Gaynor released her 11th studio album, I Am Gloria Gaynor, back in 1984 spawning the ever affirming single I Am What I am. The Jerry Herman penned song was the biggest hit from the album turning Gloria Gaynor into something of a gay icon following the success of the song in clubs and on dance floors. Whilst Gloria’s gay anthem never quite hit the highs of 1974’s Never Can Say Goodbye or 1979’s I Will Survive it remains a 1984 highlight and a Karaoke classic.
Laura Anne Branigan was an 80’s sensation, she made her name with her single Gloria in 1982 and continued on from there. In 1984 Branigan contributed to the soundtrack of Ghostbusters having previously worked on 1983’s Flashdance. 1984 though would see Laura release her biggest, platinum selling, album, Self Control. The title track was the album’s first of five singles that also included Ti Amo.
Nena, and in particular her 99 Luftballons, or 99 Red Balloons, were something of a surprise in 1984. She, and they were a breathe of fresh air, bringing back a sense of fun to the charts. Nena, German singer-songwriter Gabriele Susanne Kerner, hit the UK charts in 1983 but reached number one in the UK in February of 1984 and number two in the US. Having formed her band in 1982 Nena went on to have more success in her native Germany but failed to repeat the enormous success of her chart topping single. No matter, 99 Red Balloons alone makes Nena a worthy entry.
Deniece benefited hugely from the popularity of the film Footloose with her massive hit, Let’s Hear It For The Boy, a song that featured both on the soundtrack album and her album of the same name. The film, starring a youthful Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, was huge in 1984 and Let’s Hear It For The Boy hit number one in the US and number two in the UK. Williams also recorded with Johnny Mathis on the 1984 album A Special Part of Me as well as releasing two further singles that year, Love Won’t Let Me Wait and Next Love.
Hunter Schafer | Hunter Schafer loves seeing Euphoria fans recreating make-up looks from the show
Hunter Schafer says it’s “really sweet” to see kids recreating make-up looks from ‘Euphoria’.
The 21-year-old actress – who made her acting debut portraying Jules in the hit HBO series in 2019 – had a hand in her alter ego’s whole look for the show and loves to see fans relating to the characters and expressing themselves through make-up.
She said: “It was my first time acting, like coming into Jules. So thankfully the team on ‘Euphoria’, from Sam [Levinson], the writer and creator of the show, to Donni [Davy], it’s been a massively collaborative experience. So I had a lot of hand in helping bring Jules to life. And, particularly with the make-up with Donni, we had so much fun just kind of brainstorming these abstract, colourful looks that reflect a certain scene or emotional energy. I think we try to be pretty mindful of how make-up can accentuate or contrast something that we’re trying to portray in a scene. So it’s a lot of fun to think about. We had a lot of fun just constantly trying to outdo ourselves with the design.”
The model and LGBTQ+ activist added that the make-up team for ‘Euphoria’ – which stars Zendaya as troubled teenager Rue – didn’t abide by any rules when creating the looks and wanted to inspire the young viewers to “have fun” and “do whatever they want”.
She told Vogue: “I still can’t believe it’s reached as far as it has. I mean, it’s really sweet to see kids seeing themselves in these characters and being able to try that on. I also just think, as a whole, ‘Euphoria’ approaches make-up with a creativity that I hope is encouraging of its audience to just do whatever they want, because that’s kind of all we did for the show. We were like, ‘Let’s do whatever, let’s have fun with it!'”
Olivia Rodrigo | Drivers License hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo has made friends with Niall Horan
Olivia Rodrigo is glad she’s made friends with fellow pop star Niall Horan, after her “crazy” success with her record-breaking debut single, ‘Drivers License’.
The 17-year-old US sensation currently has the hottest single in the world, which has topped the charts in the US and UK, and smashed multiple records, including gaining 10.9 million streams in a single week on Spotify.
Olivia – who recently revealed she used to write One Direction fan fiction – said: “I’ve been talking to Niall Horan from One Direction, who’s such an icon, and he said really loved the song. He was like, ‘This is crazy, if you ever need any advice just let me know’. So yeah I’ve been chatting with him, but it’s been such a crazy rollercoaster ride and I’m definitely excited to have artist friends that know the ins and outs of the music industry.”
The ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ star admitted it’s “absolutely surreal” to have the artists she grew up listening to pay her compliments.
She added to NME.com: “I mean, that is just everything. All the recognition the song has got is beyond my wildest dreams. Taylor Swift – is my songwriting idol and I wouldn’t be half of the woman and a songwriter I am today without her – reached out and was so supportive of the song. I just found out the other day that Lorde likes it, Halsey likes it, all of these people that I have grown up listening to are saying they’re liking the song. It’s absolutely surreal to me – as I put little bits and pieces of their songwriting into the songs I’ve written.”
Alana Haim | Alana Haim always steals her sister’s vintage Levi’s
Alana Haim steals her sister’s vintage Levi jeans.
The 29-year-old singer has confessed she always sneaks into bandmate and sibling Danielle Haim’s wardrobe to swipe her best fashion finds, as she’s the “Queen” of finding vintage Levi’s.
Speaking in a joint video interview with her sisters, Danielle, 31, and Este, 34 – who make up the band Haim – for Vogue, Alana confessed: “I have to be honest with you, these are Danielle’s jeans that I stole and she asked me earlier. She was like, ‘Oh, where are those jeans from?’ I was like, ‘They’re yours!’ These are vintage Levi’s. Danielle is the Queen of finding vintage Levi’s. She really is the Queen.”
Their older sister, Este, also admitted she takes Danielle’s clothes after she finds great bargains in stores.
She added: “There’s gonna be a lot of that in this video. Danielle gets the things and we steal the things.”
As well as having an eye for finding Levi’s, Danielle has an “obsession” with Prada Sport and spends most of her time on the internet trying to track down clothing from the brand.
She explained: “I have an unhealthy obsession with Prada Sport. I’m always on the internet searching, finding.”
Meanwhile, Alana previously shared how she refused to dress in an overtly sexy way after she was asked to dress in a schoolgirl outfit by an unnamed music executive in the early days of her career.
She said: “When we were first starting out, someone said I should dress like a schoolgirl.
“And I was like: ‘That’s not going to happen.’ We’ve always had a very strong sense of self.”
The ‘Forever’ group creatively direct all of their own shows, including the tours, the set lists, songs and lighting, and are proud to take control of everything they do.
She added: “We’re the CEOs of our own company … And it bothers me to even have to say that because so many people think that’s not the case.”
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