030315: The Urban Tracker (In Manila) Top 10 Successful Transition From Group To Solo Act In The 80s

80's artist who joined the solo smorgasboard

uccess is imminent at least if you are an artist emerging from an established group or famous band. In the 80’s, scores of artists have gone to solo path but as they say, few only made it with flying colors.


Here are the 10 top artists who achieved quite a success after a stint or string of hits with the former group or band and it all happened within the decade that was...80's.

10. Robert Palmer (RIP) – Power Station

The late Robert Palmer already broke the scene in 70’s and early 80’s with notable hits Looking For Clues and Johnny & Mary. It was until in 1985 he was recruited and recorded an album under the group Power Station, composed of Duran Duran members. An erstwhile project with Robert Palmer in front vocals hit produced 2 top 10 singles. Robert returned to his solo venture after that impacting success via Addicted To Love that his fame found a flame in him. His iconic videos featuring instrument-wielding chicks did the trick. He departed in 2003 due to heart attack.


9. Glenn Frey (RIP) - Eagles

Glenn Frey was a significant part and a member of group Eagles until the band called it quits by 1980. In 1982, he alighted into solo outing with a hit ballad The One You Love. 2 years later, his string of hits came after one with Sexy Girl, Lover’s Moon, and the soundtrack songs from Beverly Hills Cop which became his biggest hits. His succeeding recordings were a minor hit, He wallowed into composing until The Eagles reunited in the middle of 90’s with a big comeback via Hell Freezes Over..



Like Glenn Frey, Don Henley was another respected member of Eagles. By 1982 he  scored his first Top 10 hit with Dirty Laundry. It was his solo album in 1984 that solidified his solo career with hits like Boys Of Summer, All She Wants To Do Is Dance until he collaborated with Bruce Hornsby in 1989 with The End Of The Innocence which earned him a Grammy.  In 1992, finally Don Henley scored a No. #1 hit collaboration with Patty Smyth with Sometimes Love Just Aint Enough.


7. Belinda CarlisleThe Go Go’s

There’s no doubt that Ex Go-Go’s Belinda Carlisle was inclined to follow another member Jane Wiedlin launching a solo career earlier. And true, she turned up high in 1988 with #1 Heaven Is A Place On Earth along with other barrage of hits. She resurfaced in the 90’s with a lone hit, and eversince she’s unheard of nevertheless Belinda proved she’s indeed a pop figure that swept our feet in the 80’s thanks to her "mad about go-go" drive.




For the remainder of the 80’s, one New Edition breakaway member defied odds and electrified the pop scene – his name is Bobby Brown. He was best known for his jerky ways in My Prerogative that paved way for his success with splash of hits  until early 90’s.  He would marry the late 80’s contemporary Whitney Houston, and New Edition came back in mid 90’s for a hit reunion album.



The Miami based group who started out as Latin singing group and shifted to mainstream broke out in 1984. In 1986, the group defined the Miami beat with the worldwide success of Conga. Inevitably, clamors were clear for Gloria Estefan's solo transition finally scoring a no. 1 as herself in 1988 with Don’t Wanna Lose You. In 1990 she survived an accident and came back to recording since then Gloria became a flag bearer of Latin crossover to the pop mainstream.


From the heels of success of Chicago’s 1984 album when Peter Cetera led vocals to Hard Habit To Break, You’re The Inspiration, his pending solo transition was imminent. He was lending vocals for Paul Anka and 2 years later, a solo break came when Glory Of Love shot at #1 a soundtrack hit from Karate Kid II  The succeeding recordings were also superb in collaboration with Cher, Amy Grant, all invading the top 10 at the time Chicago have already found a new lead vocal of his match.


3. George Michael (RIP) – Wham!

In 1985 at the peak of Wham’s career, it’s obvious that front man George Michael was defying his own line of “not planning on going solo”. The success of Careless Whisper was a prelude to the potential solo breakout that eventually topped up by solo outing in 1988 via Faith, the year’s most successful album and single. This British phenom indeed captured and fascinated worldwide followers with his songwriting prowess, pop charisma and versatility consistently that lasted until late 90’s when he went into forlorn. He resurfaced via American Idol and a farewell concert in 2008.



2. Lionel Richie - The Commodores

Versatility as a singer, composer, songwriter became Lionel Richie's ticket to a well-deserved solo success that started with his stint from The Commodores in 70's. It’s only by 1982 that he took a solo path with the album after a successful duet with Diana Ross. In the process he scored a country hit, a lot of Grammy’s and penning We Are The World that he became 80’s musical force. His Can’t Slow Down album was a resounding success and defined his place. He eventually settled to inactivity in the 90’s but still remains one of 80’s celebrated musical figure.


1. Phil CollinsGenesis

Phil Collins never really left Genesis at all since the band formed in 70’s. He just trailed on a solo career by 1982 and hit it off by the time he came out with No Jacket Required. In 1986, he reunited with Genesis and took the group back in limelight. He switched in another solo outing in late 80’s with Another Day in Paradise and a couple of movie soundtrack hits that he ended as one of the best selling artist of the decade.

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