We'll start in the 80's, as at this point, electronic music had made quite a name for itself and was becoming more and more popular. An example of a piece of music from the synthpop genre would be Soft Cell (shown left). The synthpop / new wave genre started in the late 70's and continued on into the early 80's and the songs were usually upbeat and catchy.
The New Romantic movement involved much more emotional music, and although there were often still synthpop elements, a lot of the track were much less upbeat. New Romantics often wore black and heavy mascara, and it is quite obvious that this paved the way for the emo genre years later, with them wearing almost exactly the same clothing.
90's Dance Music
90's dance music was a huge step towards the kind of electronic music heard today, but still back then being very closely related to rave culture, with electronic house music still only really emerging at the warehouse parties that they lend their name to. Artists such as The Prodigy were extremely popular, especially during the early and mid 90's, with their roots firmly in rave culture, they brought the culture very firmly into the eyes of the general public and into the charts.
The 90's was also the time in which ambient electronic music started being more common with and slower paced music being played throughout chillout rooms—the relaxation sections of the club. This eventually gave way to artists such as moby, which were still firmly in the dance genre, just a very chilled out version of it.
Modern Electronic Music (including EDM)
One of the biggest runaway successes in the EDM genre pool is Skrillex (Shown above), he single handedly managed to alter the sound of Dubstep forever, being one of the first Dubstep artists to get a few songs in the charts. Here is skrillex talking about his influences in 2012. It was a pivotal point which shifted the charts from mostly R&B to now mostly Deep House and Pop House music with David Guetta and Calvin Harris being prime examples of huge successes in the genre over the past few years.
Nowadays, there are so many sub - genres of sub - genres, that an individual can find pretty much exactly what they are looking for in a piece of electronic music. Now is this a good thing because now there is so much electronic music out there that an individual can find exactly what they like, or has it just unified and generalized all of the artists within said genre to the point where you can listen to any of them and they all sound the same?