Women who partnered together to create amazing songs have made some of the most memorable moments in music history. In the past century, we’ve been blessed to have so many of the best girl bands grace our ears and our hearts with their art.
In the spirit of girl power, we’ve built a list of female groups who rocked our worlds with songs we still sing along to today. Stay tuned as we go through the best girl bands ever.
1. The Supremes
Originally called The Primettes, this Motown girl group was the most successful vocal group to ever come out of the US. They had 12 singles to hit number one on the Billboard top 100 throughout the 60s. The Supremes’ success helped pave the way for future African American musicians. The group still stands as the 16th greatest artist to top the charts.
2. Spice Girls
There was no bigger musical group throughout half of the 90s than the Spice Girls. Little girls to adult women were all entranced by the calls for girl power and the fun, pop music the group put out. After selling over 100 million records, the Spice Girls are the best-selling girl group of all time. They are also the most successful pop group to come out of Great Britain since the Beatles.
This three-person girl group had a unique combination of talents. T-Boz had a low-pitched and sultry sound, Chilli’s was a bit sweeter of an R&B voice, and Left Eye brought in hip-hop. Together, through four albums, TLC dominated the airwaves and TV with music that had both playful and serious messages. After racking up 65 million sales worldwide, they are America’s best-selling girl group.
4. Destiny’s Child
Starting out as Girl’s Tyme in 1990, four girls came together to bring a more light-hearted sound to R&B. When they were signed to a major label seven years later, their name was changed to Destiny’s Child. It wasn’t until the second album that they hit mainstream success. A string of top singles followed for several years. Destiny’s Child is ranked as one of the greatest trios ever in music.
5. The Ronettes
When the singers were teens, they were called The Darling Sisters. Lead singer, Veronica, later married the producer who signed them to a major label and changed her name to Ronnie Spector. At that point, they became the Ronettes. They were the only girl group to tour with the Beatles. Their song “Be My Baby” is part of the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Ronettes hold a record for the longest period between having a chart hit, 58 years.
6. Wilson Philips
When it comes to having music in your blood, these women definitely qualify. All three singers from Wilson Philips were the daughters of huge bands from the previous generation. Their debut album was wildly successful and three of their singles hit the top spot on the Hot 100. One of which, “Hold On,” won single of the year and was nominated for five Grammys and two American Music Awards.
7. En Vogue
“Don’t Let Go,” the most successful single of 1996, was not En Vogue’s first foray into the top of the charts. Since 1989, the foursome had been making hits and charting in both the US and UK. Due to their range and style, En Vogue is often regarded as one of the best girl groups ever. They won 12 major awards and were nominated for seven Grammys.
Formed in the aftermath of two other groups that had broken up, Labelle was a mainstay of the 60s and 70s. Their style and sound changed a few times before they had their biggest success in the disco era with “Lady Marmalade.” As the first Black music group to cover Rolling Stone magazine, each member went on to have successful solo careers.
Within two years of becoming a band, the three women that comprised Salt-N-Pepa had their first hit with “Push It!” By the time their fourth album came out, it had sold more copies than any other female rap act ever. Between that album’s success and eventually becoming one of the top-selling rap acts, Salt-N-Pepa has been dubbed the First Ladies of Rap and Hip Hop.
10. The Bangles
You can’t really talk about 80s music without mentioning The Bangles. Starting in 1981, these ladies had a multitude of hits and often worked with other big artists of the day. Their top single was “Eternal Flame,” which ended up being the best-selling single by an all-female group. After they separated before going into the 90s, the group reformed a decade later.
11. The Go-Go’s
Taking advantage of the punk rock era in the late 70s, The Go-Go’s stood out as an all-female group in a genre of mostly men. Their first album produced two out of their three biggest hits and sold two million copies. The group is ranked as the most successful rock band composed of women and is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
12. The Pointer Sisters
While they’re billed as an R&B group, The Pointer Sisters made some of the most genre-diverse music. From pop to jazz and dance to country, and everything in between, these women were not afraid to branch out in the 70s and 80s. For 12 years, the sisters had 13 top hits and won three Grammys. In the mid-90s, they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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13. The Runaways
Though they were only making music for four years, The Runaways produced five albums and had several hits. These ladies weren’t only popular in the US, their music reached across the oceans. Citizens of Japan especially took to their music due to the popularity of the hit “Cherry Bomb.”
14. Little Mix
Most of the recent televised talent shows are more for entertainment than starting successful careers. However, every once in a while, the tides are in favor of the music. That would be the case with the British girl group Little Mix. Winners of The X Factor UK, four women combined their unique specialties to spread positive messages. Since their 2011 debut, they’ve become one of the best-selling girl groups with 60 million albums sold.
Crossing over not only international but language lines is a major feat for anyone. Blackpink is the top girl group in South Korea and used that to leverage their way up the American charts and beyond. Since 2016, they are also the first female Koran act to be on the Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart. Blackpink is certified by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Sisters With Voices, SWV, started as a gospel trio in the late 80s. A decade later, and after several hits, they were one of the top R&B groups of the 90s. After that, they all embarked on solo projects before reuniting in the mid-00s. Since SWV has sold more than 25 million albums, they are one of the top-selling girl groups.
17. Danity Kane
After winning the third season of Making The Band on MTV, five girls were put into a group that was signed by the major label, Bad Boy Records. Within two years of their first album, one member left and a second followed her a handful of years later. Between shifting band members and infighting, Danity Kane still went on to become the first girl group to have their first two albums top the charts.
18. The Andrews Sisters
The sisters came to prominence during a difficult time for the US. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” their 1941 hit, topped the charts during WWII. Boogie-woogie was actually the era they sang in. That very specific sound, made of three different voice ranges, has been copied throughout the decades. After selling 80 million albums, The Andrews Sisters were among the first to be inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
19. All Saints
British girl group, All Saints, didn’t see success until they signed a pair of Canadian sisters in the mid-90s. Their first album together hit the top of the charts and ended up being the third best-selling album from a girl group in the UK. For the remainder of the 90s and into the 00s, the women produced a multi-platinum record and had multiple number-one singles.
20. The Pussycat Dolls
To set themselves apart, The Pussycat Dolls were more than just singers. When the audience watched a performance, it was an ensemble of entertainment and choreography. After a whirlwind of success, they have been ranked as the 10th greatest girl group.
Being invited to be part of a supergroup following the events of 9/11 was just one of the momentous events to come from this trio. 3 Little Women, 3LW, came together in 1999 and released their first album the following year, which was certified platinum. Until the late 00s, they were all over pop culture with three albums.
22. Wonder Girls
Known widely as South Korea’s Retro Queens, the Wonder Girls started in 2007 but include elements of the past in their music. Using their time as an opener for the Jonas Brothers, the five members were able to step into the US market. Over the next decade, they solidified themselves as part of the top 10 K-pop girl groups.
23. The Shirelles
To perform at the high school talent show, the four girls created a group, The Shirelles. They sounded so good together that a record label signed them up. By the following year, a single was released. After a few changes in management, the girls found their groove and produced seven top hits. Their debut album was selected to be preserved in the National Recording Registry.
With one album that performed very well in Eastern Europe, t.A.T.u’s management saw an opportunity to get them into a bigger market. In 2002, the duo released an English-language album that was certified platinum. They took the notoriety and represented their home country Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. Using the guise of a relationship, the girls became a favorite across the US, Europe, and even Japan.
Five women from Atlanta knew they sounded good together and formed Xscape in 1991. A year later, they whittled down to four and were signed to a major label. Their first album was released to high praise, where it was certified platinum. Xscape’s third album went gold but it wasn’t enough to keep them together. However, they did regroup in 2017.
26. The Saturdays
The pop group based out of London is a mix of five British and Irish members. The Saturdays’ first album went platinum and their second single was a #1 hit. In its first week, the song sold over 100,000 copies. Since 2007, they have released four studio albums and two EPs and participated in nine tours.
27. Fifth Harmony
Finishing third isn’t often the most notable marker of success, but it worked for Fifth Harmony when they were on The X Factor. The five girls ended up signing a contract with two labels in their journey to produce an album. One of their singles went 3x platinum and hit the top 10 in 13 countries. Fifth Harmony is one of the best-selling girl groups. They had the most top 10 albums for any group like them this century.
The height of their success was short, but that hasn’t stopped the members of Cleopatra from regrouping several times following leaving their label in 2001. They had two albums and eight singles for just a few years.
29. Eden’s Crush
Popstars was a short-lived TV show that went around the country looking for talented singers. While the show didn’t have extended success, Eden’s Crush did come out of it. Their debut album was certified gold and the women went on tour to open for other pop acts such as *NSYNC and Jessica Simpson. Their record label shut down so member Nicole Scherzinger went on to another girl group, The Pussycat Dolls.
30. Girls Aloud
Coming out of the talent pool from a TV show, the English-Irish pop group started performing together in 2002. The five women of Girls Aloud had 20 top chart singles in the UK across seven albums. Their success was so immense that the Guinness Book of World Records listed them in two categories. First, as the most successful reality TV group. The second for being a group with the most consecutive top 10 songs by a UK girl group.
31. Wild Orchid
NRG became Wild Orchid two years after coming together. This is when they signed with a record label in 1994. Releasing two albums and earning several nominations from the Billboard Awards brought them enough prominence to be considered one of the best girl groups of the day. Group member, Stacy Ferguson, went on to be part of the Black Eyed Peas.
32. The Weather Girls
In the mid-70s, two women were backup singers for a well-known disco singer. Within a few years, they caught the attention of a record label. “It’s Raining Men,” their first and best single, propelled them into a mainstream audience. The song also got them a Grammy nomination.
Three girls joined forces in 1980 to share their music with the world. Over three decades, Bananarama achieved 30 singles to hit the charts in the UK. They were recognized by Guinness World Records for the highest number of chart singles from a girl group.
For five years, starting in 1997, this Irish girl group put out two albums with eight singles. Those singles were all high on the charts. B*Witched ended things in the early 00s, but they participated in a reunion a decade later that prompted them to release another album.
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35. The Chicks
Busting onto the scene in 1997, the Dixie Chicks were a country band that changed their name to The Chicks two decades later. The three women were based in Dallas and first came together in 1989. In the mid-00s, they became controversial due to remarks made about the president. Their audience’s conservative-leaning views made them a target. Despite that, The Chicks have won 13 Grammys and are the best-selling country group in the US.
36. The Veronicas
No, you’re not seeing double. The Veronicas are identical twins who just so happen to be a musical duo. Their first album exploded on the radio and went 4x platinum in Australia, their home country. The Veronicas’ second album was also platinum and produced four top singles. Since 2005, they’ve had four studio albums.
It was all just a five-year Dream. The women’s hit single, “He Loves U Not,” was their biggest and the one that hopped the pond from America to England. It was so popular that over a decade later, Dream was asked to come back together for another performance and album.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.