It’s a tough world out there, kids. And this is especially true in the world of pop music. You need to stand out in order to be noticed. Some use sex, others use a lot of sex. Then there are the few who manage to bring together the right mixture of sex, style and a passing acquaintance with sanity. These are the ten popstars who’ve done a better job than anyone else at looking completely insane. And…amazing.

1. Leigh Bowery

The Top 10 Craziest PopstarsMore performance artist than popstar, Leigh Bowery did have a brief musical career with his band, Minty, in the hedonistic days of the early 90s. Then they brought out the scatological routine and that went down the drain, more or less.  However, his influence extends from British designer Gareth Pugh to the Lady herself.

2. Grace Jones

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars

Androgynous, tough, sexy and scary, Grace Jones has probably piled up her share of dead bodies across the ages. And along the way she also made some awesome music. For proof, just listen to her 80s masterworks, Warm Leatherette (featuring an amazing 8-minute cover of Roxy Music’s  “Love is the Drug”) and Nightclubbing (5 words: “Pull Up to the Bumper”).

3. P-Funk

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars

Originally a doo wop group, George Clinton took some acid and the rest is funk history. The most badass group of the 70s, Parliament and Funkadelic helped lay the roots of hip-hop and brought us the genius of guitarist Eddie Hazel.

4. Lady Elton John

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars Remember when Elton John was a heterosexual? Yeah, me neither.

5. David Bowie

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars Ziggy Dust-era Bowie, in particular, was what glam rock was about.  Somewhere perfectly in the middle of punk and disco, it was too gay to last that long, but Bowie emerged as its mascara-wearing Messiah. Then fucked Lou Reed (though I would suspect it was the other way around).

6. Lady GaGa

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars Madonna with more irony, this Material Girl has made impressive headway in the past two years thanks to a series of increasingly brilliant visual concepts, climaxing in the magnum opus that is “Bad Romance.” It’s fine that she’ll never do anything quite as amazing — better to peak early than never peak at all. Just ask the dozens of pale imitators that have crawled out of Gag’s shadow since she “Just Dance”d all over the world.

7. LaBelle

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars More than just the funk/disco classic turned Moulin Rouge anthem, “Lady Marmalade,” LaBelle were three politically aware, big-voiced soul sistas not afraid to scream in your face about having sex in the morning.

8. Freddy Mercury

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars Remember when Freddie Mercury was a heterosexual? Yeah, me neither.

9. Cher

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars No, that’s not Amy Winehouse, that’s Cher in a 1974 issue of Vogue. Doubtless, she’s wearing Bob Mackie, the Pygmalion to her Galatea, the Henry Higgins to her Eliza Dolittle, the Rachel Zoe to her Anne Hathaway. Though I doubt any of those ladies would ever wear a lace bodysuit while straddling a canon aboard a ship of horny, straight (?) sailors. And that’s the stuff Oscars are made of.

10. Rihanna

The Top 10 Craziest Popstars In the summer of 2005, Rihanna was just another bright-eyed, marginally (putting it kindly) talented popstar wannabe, in her jeans and tank top. She looked like she stepped out of Kohl’s. Fast forward a few years, and she’s the bastard love child of Grace Jones and…well, I believe Grace Jones to be capable of immaculate conception, so just Grace.  Not that I don’t enjoy looking at her, I just don’t believe it. I also don’t believe that zebra.