Duran Duran is making new music. Which other rad stars have gotten a second wind?
1980s musician comebacks
Fame is fickle, but these musical stars of the 1980s have reinvented themselves — and their careers — to step back into the limelight with some of the biggest comeback stories. See who’s still touring, looking for love and starring in movies.
Before Paula Abdul moved “Straight Up” the pop music charts in the 1980s, she was a famous cheerleader.After a few dormant years, she burst onto the scene again in the 2000s as a judge on the hit show “American Idol”. Abdul left the show after eight years (find out why) but is back on TV and is giving music another shot.
Former Australian child actress and pop star Kylie Minogue topped the charts in 1987, but soon declining record sales led to declining popularity.
The pop diva rose to prominence again in 2000 with a hit single. Despite a serious health setback in 2005, Minogue is touring again and released her 11th album last year. (What did critics think?)
Bret Michaels sang his way into 1980s glam rock superstardom. (What band was he in?)
After the group broke up, he wrangled his way back into the spotlight as the star of a reality TV showwatch clips). In the midst of major health woes, Michaels was “hired” in another reality competition and just released a new album.
LL Cool J
Hunky hip-hop star-turned-actor LL Cool J (what does that stand for?) once made a coveted list for artists. LL released his final Def Jam album in 2008.
With their combination of new wave, funk and rock, Duran Duran became a sensation in the 1980s with a ditty about a woman with a strange appetite for love. The band has never disbanded and recently released its 13th studio album. How did it do on the charts?
Guns N’ Roses
The lead singer of Guns N’ Roses (what survey did he just top?) has been the only consistent member of the 1980s hard rock group, which boasts the highest-selling debut album of all time. After a nine-year hiatus in the 1990s and several tumultuous lineup changes, the band shocked the public with a surprise appearance.Guns N’ Roses’ comeback — minus one famous former member — has been marred by several incidents at live concerts. Find out what happened.
This quirky band from Akron, Ohio, gained a cult following in the early 1980s. Devo’s kitschy mix of science-fiction themes and synchronized instrumentation has influenced other new wave bands. They debuted a new album — and music video (watch it) — in 2009. Devo is still touring to large audiences.
Steven Tyler made music history in the 1970s and 1980s with the rise of some self-proclaimed bad boys. The band hit a low in the early 1980s after drug abuse caused friction among members. (What were Steven Tyler and Joe Perry referred to as?) But in the late 1980s the bluesy, hard-rock group scored a number of hits with a comeback that has been called one of the most spectacular in music history.Tyler says his new high-profile job won’t break up the band, which continues to perform and record music after 41 years.
New York City native Cyndi Lauper became one of the biggest pop stars in the 1980s with a string of party hits. Lauper has clung to her star power (Mattel recently immortalized her) and last year released her 11th album. (What did critics think?) But she failed to pass the ultimate test on a high-powered reality show.
Whitney Houston was queen of the 1980s and 1990s but crashed and burned after public battles with drugs and her ex-husband.The diva bounded back in 2009 — sporting a new look and a new album — with a highly publicized comeback. But the star hasn’t been able to escape harsh critiques, and some fans were a bit disappointed. (How did they react?)
Jon Bon Jovi
Despite professional setbacks, 1980s rocker and heartthrob Jon Bon Jovi has transformed his glam rock fame into political activism, a successful solo career and even acting. Still performing, Bon Jovi just collected a record payday (find out how much) in concert sales.
After becoming the King of Pop thanks to the mega-success of 1982’s “Thriller” (what record did it break?), Michael Jackson increasingly became synonymous with headlines alleging drug abuse and child molestation rather than his music.The pop star recently had a posthumous comeback. (Watch his latest video.) After his death in 2009, Jackson sold more than 8.2 million albums, making him the best-selling artist of 2009.
Cher rose to fame in the 1970s as one-half of a famous duo, but it was her solo career in the 1980s that launched her into musical superstardom as well as earning her top acting accolades.After taking some time off in the 1990s (find out why), the legendary diva has been coming back strong ever since, most recently singing and acting her way back into the spotlight with a new musical, “Burlesque”
After spending four years in the Army, rapper-turned-actor Ice-T made a name for himself writing raps and later releasing an album in 1987. His music career has since faded, but he stepped back into the limelight starring in his own VH1 reality show in 2006.Today, Ice-T is best known for his role on the NBC police drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”