They’ve all got the looks, the moves and the vocal chops to cut it in the music world, but it takes that extra special pizzazz to be one of the best pop acts. You voted, and now we can reveal the final top 20 of our Greatest Pop Acts Of All Time poll. Just slotting in at Number 20 is Blondie, which featured the vocals of punk rock icon Debbie Harry.
19. Rihanna. Well, she definitely isn’t shy. She sings about chains and whips, and her videos are so raunchy that they’ve been banned from morning telly. With more than 15 million albums and 45 million singles sold, it’s no surprise she’s one of your favourite pop acts.
18. No Doubt/Gwen Stefani. No Doubt ruled the 90s with hits like ‘Don’t Speak’ , ‘Just a Girl’ and ‘Spiderwebs’. And amidst a rock steady solo career , the band returned in 2008 with a comeback tour. On top of all that, Gwen’s started a fashion line named L.A.M.B. and has taken up acting, appearing in Martin Scorsese’s 2004 film ‘The Aviator’.
17. Christina Aguilera. She might not know the lyrics to her own national anthem, but the x-rated howler has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, four Grammy Awards and a Latin Grammy Award. On top of all that, she’s vocally supported PETA, the LBGT community and the fight against AIDS.
16. Abba.Cheesy as hell but no late night drunkard would deny the tunes. As of 2009, ‘Dancing Queen’ from the Swedish four-piece ranked Number Eight out of the 75 most played songs on the radio, in clubs and on jukeboxes in Great Britain. Not a feat The Twang got round to.
15. Elton John. Not many pop acts have been knighted – but Elton John received the honour from Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998.
14. The Spice Girls. They’ve done sweet FA for most of the 21st century, but on the back of their first couple of albums the five were voted it at Number 14.
13. Janet Jackson. The breast-baring less wacko Jacko makes it to unlucky 13.
12. Prince. The Purple One could’t settle on his own name, but he racked up a load of Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award and sold more than 100 million records worldwide – in his long and bizarre career.
11. Kylie Minogue. Her very first single (‘Locomotion’) spent seven weeks at the top of the Australian Singles Chart, becoming the highest-selling single of the decade. To date, she’s sold more than 68 million records worldwide, and she’s won several awards, including the Order of the British Empire “for services to music”.
10. Jessie J. She can do it like a dude, and she does it well. The openly bisexual singer is a role model to all. Jessie wrote the Miley Cyrus hit ‘Party in the U.S.A.’, she won BBC’s Sound of 2011 and her debut album charted at Number Two on the UK Albums Chart – and she’s only 23 years old.
9. Shakira. The highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, Shakira has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ was the most-played pop song in one single week in American radio history, being played 9,637 times throughout the week.
8. Britney Spears. All jokes aside, she made the schoolgirl look hot again, she dated a boy band hottie, she was a member of the Mickey Mouse Club and she danced with massive python on stage (a feat most pop stars would never dream of tackling). A few children and a whole lot of scandal later, and she’s still going.
7. Lady Gaga. Love her or hate her, Gaga’s the only one on this list that wears brisket bikinis and plays kryptonite guitars (or whatever the hell that thing is).
6. Pink. Fake punk and trapeze enthusiast Pink was included in Forbes Magazine’s top celebrity rish list, ranking Number 27 (having earned $44 million between June 2009 and June 2010). She’s also been listed among CEOWORLD Magazine’s Top Accomplished Women Entertainers.
5. Cyndi Lauper. With the release of her 1983 album ‘She’s So Unusual’, she became the first female singer to have four top-five singles released from one album. Lauper’s released 11 albums and over 40 singles, but she’s also proven to be quite the businesswoman, coming in sixth place on ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’. We’d rather watch her on stage than Vincent Disneur.
4. Madonna. Madonna’s achieved multiple Guinness World Records entries (such as the world’s top-selling female recording artist and the most successful female recording artist of all time), as well as the fifth spot in Time’s 25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century.
3. Michael Jackson. From afro-haired cute one in The Jackson Five to Jarvis-bothering quasi-messiah via countless other guises, Jacko entertained the world for myriad different reasons. When all the lawsuits and accusations are filed away, he’s still the guy that wrote ‘Billie Jean’.
2. Cher. One half of the beloved husband-wife duo, Cher went on to become a fashion icon, a sex symbol, an actress and a humanitarian. In the States, she’s the only artist in pop history to have a Number One on a Billboard chart in each of the last six decades.
1. Katy Perry. Top of the NME.COM poll for Best Pop Act is this one, for her massive and provocative pop hits, her gigs that smell of candy floss, and for putting up with shaggy-faced sex addict and ex-junkie Russell Brand.