The 90s were a special time in music, and while male bands get talked about the most, there were multiple female groups that were innovative and changed the music scene. Below, you’ll find out who made our list of the 25 best 90s girl bands and groups!
First on our list is TLC, which is one of the most well-known girl bands from the 90s and the best-selling girl group in America. They had a very distinctive style that set them apart and that is why they have sold more than 95 million records globally. They consisted of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins.
Energetic and known for having real-life themes in their music, they were on top of the world. They had a very unique look and fashion sense with songs that told people to embrace who they are and be original. The group had hit tracks like Waterfall, No Scrubs, Unpretty, Red Light Special, Creep, and more. Sadly, Lopes died in a plane crash in 2002, and while the two remaining women kept touring and releasing music, they had said they’d never replace Lopes in the group.
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2. Destiny’s Child
Next on our list is the female group Destiny’s Child, which obviously is on this list because they were one of the biggest girl bands of all time. It was because of this that Beyoncé Knowles would have a solo career later on, and her powerful vocals stood out in the group to help bring them massive success.
Some of their hit songs included Say My Name, No No No, Bills Bills Bills, Survivor, Bootylicious, and Dangerously In Love. By 2013, they sold more than 60 million records, had been nominated for 9 Grammys, and is rated as one of the best groups of all time. Even though they are no longer together, we still have Knowles, who has had an incredibly successful solo career and is married to rap legend Jay-Z.
3. Spice Girls
The Spice Girls were one of the biggest girl groups of the 90s and by far were one of the most successful when they first appeared in 1996. Wannabe was the debut single, and it led to them taking over globally. They were a pop group from England who managed to top the charts leading to them becoming the girl band with the best-selling album of all time. Their debut album Spice managed to sell 31 million copies!
Some of their most famous songs include Wannabe, 2 Become 1, Spice Up Your Life, Say You’ll Be There, and Goodbye. They even made a movie called Spice World, which was released in late 1997. They sold more than 80 million records and have broken several records including being the biggest group since The Beatles to come out of England.
4. En Vogue
En Vogue released their debut album in 1990 called Born To Sing with a hit single Hold On ending up on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the number two position. They formed in California, and thanks to their powerful voices, had several songs that were massive commercial hits over the years. Some of their biggest hits include My Lovin’, Giving Him Something He Can Feel, and Free Your Mind.
Worldwide, they have sold more than 30 million records and won several awards. Billboard put them at number 19 among the most successful artists of the 90s. They ranked ninth in the most successful girl group category put together by Billboard and have remained in conversation as one of the best girl groups of all time.
Up next is the powerful and often controversial girl group Salt-N-Pepa, which was one of the biggest girl groups of the 90s. They sang about topics women didn’t talk about including sex and sexual health, often calling out guys or talking about how great men were in bed. Some of their most iconic songs were Push It, Let’s Talk About Sex, and Whatta Man.
They were nominated for several awards and won a Grammy, so they clearly were singing about topics that people were excited about. They changed the music scene very early on, and they received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2022 because of their success and long-lasting legacy.
6. The Chicks (The Dixie Chicks)
Next on our list is the country group The Chicks, who started out as The Dixie Chicks back in 1995. By 1997, they signed with Monument Records and quickly became one of the biggest girl bands of all time. They released two albums in the 90s including Wide Open Spaces, which was released in 1998, and their 1999 album Fly. They had several hits over the years including Wide Open Spaces, There’s Your Trouble, Without You, You Were Mine, Cowboy Take Me Away, and Travelin’ Soldier.
In the 90s, they had four songs that were number one on the country charts, but when they made comments about then-President George W. Bush in 2003, it led to them being blacklisted. They reemerged in 2016 and changed their name to The Chicks in 2020 and are still together making music today.
Hole isn’t an all-female group, but they deserve a spot on our list because they are thought of by most people as a girl band with lead singer Courtney Love being the face of the band. We all know her since she was everywhere in the 90s due to her attachment to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
She has raw vocals and the songs they wrote were dark and edgy for their time, and they were very much the essential grunge sound. They had several hits through the years including Malibu, Violet, Celebrity Skin, Miss World, Doll Parts, and Live Through This.
Next is a group you may not remember since they are known for C’est La Vie and not much else, but B*Witched is one of those 90s girl bands we have to mention. They had a unique fashion style since they wore denim on top of denim and had interesting dance moves. There isn’t too much we can say about this girl group except that they sold more than three million records worldwide and were a bigger success in the U.K. than in America.
Garbage is one of those rock metal groups that you wouldn’t think could be as successful as they were because they were fronted by Shirley Manson, but they have stood the test of time. Legendary producer Bruce Vig might be partially responsible for their success, but in the early 90s, they were some of the hottest alternative rockers out there. They are still recording even today, and some of the biggest hits that they have put out include Stupid Girl, Only Happy When It Rains, and Androgyny.
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10. The Cranberries
Up next is the Irish rock band The Cranberries who were incredibly popular in the 90s and were likely one of the most successful bands to come out of Ireland. In the 90s, you couldn’t get away from the soulful and rich vocals of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan, and she made The Cranberries the edgy band that they were. Linger and Zombie are their biggest hits and are still iconic and played by radio stations today.
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We was their debut album, which was followed by No Need To Argue, To The Faithful Departed, and Bury The Hatchet. The group had eight singles in the Top 20 Modern Rock Tracks chart and five albums that were on the Billboard 200 chart in the top 20. Sadly, in 2018, O’Riordan died in England suddenly, right before she was to perform vocals for a cover of Zombie that the rock group Bad Wolves was recording.
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11. Indigo Girls
The Indigo Girls are on our list because they are different from a lot of other female groups of the 90s since they were more folk. They have won several awards over the years including for Best Contemporary Album in 1990. Some of their biggest albums include Nomads Indians Saints, Rites Of Passage, Swamp Ophelia, and Shaming Of The Sun. Welcome Me, Romeo & Juliet, Ghost, Hammer and Nail, and Least Complicated are some of their notable songs.
12. Veruca Salt
We can’t have a list of the best female groups of the 90s without mentioning Veruca Salt, which was very popular in the 90s. Sadly, they have since faded a bit out of the mainstream although their songs are still popular among older music fans. Their biggest hits are As Sick As Your Secrets, Volcano Girls, All Hail Me, and Number One Blind. They released the album American Thighs in 1994 and then Eight Arms To Hold You in 1997, with a few other albums coming out in the 2000s.
Formed in 1991, Xscape quickly became one of the hottest R&B girl groups of the 90s because they had very soulful voices that were still edgy and rock-like but with a sweeter touch. You may know them from their songs such as Just Kickin’ It and Who Can I Run To? They released three albums in the 90s including the 1993 debut album Hummin’ Comin’ At ‘Cha, the 1995 album Off The Hook, and their 1998 release Traces Of My Lipstick.
Attention female rock fans, we are going to talk about L7, which is one of the biggest rock bands featuring an all-female lineup that received commercial success with their hit song Pretend We’re Dead from 1992. This track reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and is what made them such a big deal in the early 90s. They have seven albums and have toured all over the world over the years, including in Japan, Australia, and Europe.
What sets them apart too is that the band lineup has been pretty much the same since the early days, so they have been able to continue to release music that is consistent with their early hits. Shove, Everglade, Diet Pill, and Wargasm are some of their biggest hits to date, along with Pretend We’re Dead.
15. Babes In Toyland
Babes In Toyland was an alternative rock female group that was similar to Hole and even has a history with Courtney Love and Hole. Both groups sounded similar, and they also have that same gritty style that Hole was known for.
Interestingly, both Hole and Babes In Toyland had public battles when it came to music, which kept both female bands in the spotlight in the 90s. Some of their most famous songs include Bruise Violet, Quiet Room, Won’t Tell, Blood, Mother, and Handsome & Gretel.
If you like R&B, you’ll love our next female group, which is SWV—this stands for Sisters With Voices. They formed in 1988 but were a gospel group back then, and they quickly rose to fame in the early 90s as an R&B trio. Some of their most famous hits include Weak, I’m So Into You, You’re The One, and Right Here.
They are thought to be one of the biggest and most successful female R&B groups of the decade, selling more than 25 million records around the world. Weak was their most successful song, and they received a Grammy nomination because of it.
17. All Saints
Next is All Saints, which was one of the best female groups in the 90s. They are British like the Spice Girls, formed in London back in 1993. While similar to the Spice Girls, they didn’t have the same success. They did have commercial success with songs such as Bootie Call, Never Ever, and Under The Bridge. They were nominated and won many awards in Britain and have reunited to create new music after splitting up in 2001.
18. The Breeders
The Breeders deserve to be on this list because Kim Deal was an incredibly good bass player that helped bring this band mainstream in the 90s. The group was centered on her and her sister Kelley Deal, and when Cannonball was released in 1993, they instantly became commercially successful. They also had hits with Safari, Divine Hammer, and Saints, among many others.
They are indie rock, and at that time, had some of the heaviest and coolest songs on the charts. Their first album debuted in 1990 called Pod, with Last Splash coming out in 1993, and then they didn’t release any albums again until 2002, which was Title TK. What’s even better is that they are still releasing music and touring.
19. The Pussycat Dolls
Next on the list is the all-girl group The Pussycat Dolls. They were originally formed in 1995 as a burlesque group. These ladies were some of the sexiest and sultriest in the 90s and part of that is due to lead vocalist Nicole Scherzinger. You may know some of their hit songs which included Buttons and Don’t Cha. They haven’t been around since 2009 when they broke up, but we felt they were such a staple to the culture of the times that we had to include them on the list.
20. No Doubt
No Doubt is on our list even though the band consists of only Gwen Stefani as the only female member, but it was her group and she was the main influence, so we feel they deserve a spot on our list. They are a ska and punk group that was made famous by the powerful punk vocals of Stefani and has remained a huge success through the years. Some of their biggest hits include Don’t Speak, Just a Girl, Hey Baby, and Underneath It All.
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21. Yo La Tengo
A New Jersey band you’ve probably never heard of that was a great girl group for the 90s was Yo La Tengo. While they first formed in the 80s, it wasn’t until around the mid-90s that they became famous and really found success commercially with songs like You Can Have It All. They had a unique sound and were more indie rock than a lot of other girl groups from that time. Some of the best albums were May I Sing With Me, Painful, Electr-O-Pura, and I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One.
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Calling all country fans, one of the best 90s girl groups we have to include on our list is SHeDaisy, which was a group similar to The Dixie Chicks. They had appeal both in country and pop and released a lot of popular songs such as Little Goodbyes, Like The Chicks, and I Will…But.
Sadly, the group has been out of the limelight since 2006 when they released what would be their last album to focus on having children and their personal endeavors. More than 15 of their tracks have been on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart so they were a fairly big deal in the 90s.
Stereolab is a band a lot of people haven’t heard of, but they deserve to be on the list because they are still considered to be one of the top avant-garde and indie groups of the 90s. They formed in 1990 with Laetitia Sadler on vocals, guitar, and keyboard, although the group isn’t all female.
They had some success commercially and were known as a post-rock group that was innovative for combining several genres of music together to create their unique sound. They released Loops, Tomato Ketchup, Emperor, and Dots, among other albums.
Up next is the group Portishead who first made waves in 1994 even though they formed in 1991 in Bristol, England, with Beth Gibbons leading the vocals. The band released their first album in 1994 called Dummy, and they are a blend of hip hop, lo-fi, and alternative rock, so they were unique for their time. Dummy received acclaim and was a huge success with songs such as Sour Times, Glory Box, and Numb. They released two more albums including one in 2008 called Third and Portishead in 1997.
Lastly is the girl group Dream, which just barely makes our list as they formed first in 1998 under another name before they were signed by Sean Diddy Combs to a record deal. It wasn’t until 2000 that their album was released and the song He Loves U Not from It Was All A Dream became a huge hit. The track hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 charts!
If you remember watching TRL, then you remember coming across them more than once. They were a huge deal back then and even toured in 2016, so they are still around trying to make music.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.