Top 10 Girl Groups Of All Time

originally posted on Billboard.com
Top 10 Girl Groups Of All TimeFrom TLC to the Pointer Sisters, check out the top girl groups ever, based on the Billboard charts.

At Billboard.com, we’ve celebrated our second annual Girl Group Week by looking at the biggest songs, best music videos, current state of girl groups, drafting our dream girl groups, scoping out post-girl group solo songs and a whole lot more. It’s time to get to the main event: an updated list of the 10 biggest girl groups of all time.

A long line of girl groups have found success on the Billboard charts, with Motown’s brightest stars generating hits as a collective a half-century ago, and artists like TLC and Destiny’s Child making their mark in the 1990’s and 2000’s, respectively. Check out Billboard’s list of the Top 10 girl groups of all time, and see if your favorite female group made the cut.

NOTE: This ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart through the tally dated March 7, 2015. Artists are ranked based on an inverse point system, with a song’s weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Hot 100 chart earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Each act’s collected titles that charted over the course of their career were aggregated to determine the final ranking. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.

10. Martha & The Vandellas

A legendary Motown group, Martha Reeves’ vocal group found success with the ballad “Come and Get These Memories” before striking gold with “Heat Wave,” “Quicksand” and “Dancing in the Street.”

9. En Vogue

The title of En Vogue’s first two albums, 1990’s Born to Sing and 1992’s Funky Divas, fit perfectly: the members of producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy’s R&B group flaunted their vocal gifts through soulful cuts like “Hold On” and “Don’t Let Go (Love).”

8. Exposé

The trio of Exposé watched songs like “Point of No Return, “Seasons Change” and “Tell Me Why” checker the Billboard charts during the late 80’s and early 90’s, honing its dance-pop sound before disbanding in 1996. A brief reunion a decade later included a tour, with Jeanette Jurado, Gioia Bruno and Ann Curless performing their best-known hits.

7. Wilson Phillips

Younger music fans might only know Wilson Phillips from hearing “Hold On” in films like Bridesmaids and Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, but the trio of Chynna Phillips, Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson had more than just one unstoppable hit following their 1990 formation. “Hold On” is the go-to Wilson Phillips jam thanks to its soaring hook and mesmerizing harmonies, but songs like “Release Me,” “You’re In Love” and “Impulsive” helped make this trio one for the ages.

6. The Shirelles

One of the most important girl groups of the 1960’s, the Shirelles formed as a quartet of high school friends and ended up becoming a gargantuan influence on the early female contributors to the American rock scene. Swinging tempos and pitch-perfect harmonies defined hits like “Mama Said” and “Dedicated To The One I Love,”   and although they are not as well-remembered as the Supremes, the Shirelles’ best singles are virtually unrivaled.

5. The Bangles

A power-pop force in the mid-80’s, the Bangles scored several hits while dabbling in a variety of sounds yet never losing their authoritative identity. Prince helped the group out by writing the early hit “Manic Monday,” but “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame” were even more enduring smashes that firmly delivered the Bangles to the mainstream. Although the group never regained its popularity when the 90’s began, the Bangles remain crucial to the pop landscape of the previous decade.

4. The Pointer Sisters

Anita, Ruth, Bonnie and June Pointer blended R&B, pop, disco, country and rock with jaw-dropping aplomb after growing up in Oakland and scoring timeless cuts like “I’m So Excited,” “Jump (For My Love),” “Automatic,” “Fire” and “Fairytale.”

3. Destiny’s Child

Before Beyonce was Queen Bey, she was one-third of the extraordinarily popular Destiny’s Child, delivering songs like “Say My Name,” “Survivor” and “Bootylicious” with the help of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. After Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle all became independent women, they reunited for a farewell album, Destiny Fulfilled, and farewell tour; in 2013, the ladies rejoined once together for a new track, “Nuclear,” and a surprise appearance during Bey’s Super Bowl halftime show.

2. TLC

Tionne “T-Boz” Waykins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas spent a decade ruling the charts with pop-R&B masterpieces like “No Scrubs,” “Waterfalls,” “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” and “Creep,” before Lopes’ untimely death in a car crash in 2002. T-Boz and Chilli recently revived their best-selling project, with a compilation album (20) and a performance at the American Music Awards in 2013; a new album is in the works, following a successful Kickstarter campaign.

1. The Supremes

Aside from being the most successful girl group of all time, the Supremes are among the most popular musical artists ever, with Diana Ross and co.’s songs sounding as timeless as ever. “Baby Love,” “Stop! In The Name Of Love,” “Come See About Me,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Where Did Our Love Go”… the list of Motown classics goes on and on, and although there have been many girl group smashes in the decades since the Supremes ruled the Billboard charts, no collective has yet to challenge their, for lack of a better word, supremacy.

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TLC’s ‘CrazySexyCool’ Turns 20: 20 Fun Facts You Might Not Know

1. Each word in the album’s title refers to a different member of the group.

Just as each of the girl’s names make up part of the group’s acronym TLC — T-Boz, Left Eye, Chilli — so too do each of the words in the album’s title correspond to a member of the group. T-Boz is the cool. Chilli is the sexy. And Left Eye is the crazy.

2. Left Eye isn’t on the album nearly as much because she was in rehab.

Left Eye pleaded guilty to her arson charge, and the only reason she dodged prison was because she blamed it on alcohol. She was sent to a rehab facility instead, which is why Left Eye appears on so little of the album. Her rehab facility only released her for a couple of recording sessions, during which time she cut just a handful of album-worthy rap verses.

But Left Eye’s absence allowed the band to stray from their hip-hop roots and really push the deep, soulful R&B sound that made CrazySexyCool so marketable.

3. TLC went bankrupt shortly after releasing the album.

Though CrazySexyCool sold 11 million copies in the U.S., making an incredible $75 million dollars for their record company, TLC’s ludicrously exploitative contracts only paid each of the members $50,000.  Left Eye still owed $1.3 million in the damages done to her boyfriend’s home. One year after the biggest R&B album in history exploded on the scene, the girls had to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1995.

4. TLC held up Clive Davis at gunpoint to get the royalty money they thought they were owed.

Between the release of the album and the bankruptcy, Left Eye recruited some of the girls she met at her rehab facility to raid their record company, Arista Records. Their plan was to storm the offices, steal all the TLC albums and merchandise they could find and demand more money from their label boss, industry legend Clive Davis, by holding him at gunpoint.

Amazingly enough, their tactics worked. Davis gave them a little bump in their contract, but not enough to delay the inevitable Chapter 11. TLC, however, does not advise anyone to follow their example. “I wouldn’t say do what we did … thank God we didn’t go to jail,” T-Boz said in offering advice to others starting out in the music industry. “Educate yourself. Learn about the business you’re getting into.”

5. TLC provided Outkast with its first national audience.

The girls from TLC grew up and formed their group in Decatur, Ga., near Atlanta, which is Outkast’s hometown. The last track of CrazySexyCool, called “Sumthin’ Wicked This Way Comes,” features a verse from a little-known MC at the time named Andre 3000. Outkast’s first album, Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik, had dropped earlier that year, in April 1994.

6. … and Cee-Lo Green.

The name Thomas Callaway — a man better known as Cee-Lo Green, of Goodie Mob, Gnarls Barkley and The Voice fame — appears in the liner notes for the album as backing vocals. T-Boz discussed his involvement in a 2013 Fuse.tv interview: “[Cee-Lo] was chilling in the studio, so I was like, ‘Hey, you sing good, why don’t you [sing backup]?’ He was in Goodie Mob, we grew up together, we go way back. He did and it was amazing! I love his voice. Then, everybody knew him as a rapper. Now, the world knows him as a singer, but he was like that years ago.”

7. TLC wrote “Waterfalls” to show support for AIDS victims.

TLC had been major proponents of safe sex since their very beginnings. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes got her nickname for the way she taped a condom over her left eye to promote safe sex in the group’s early videos. Fans would come up to the TLC members at shows and tell them how much it meant that they were discussing AIDS and contraception when no one else was. The girls found this very moving and wrote “Waterfalls” as a tribute to those fans. The song became one of the earliest examples of socially conscious lyrics in mainstream pop music, and the members became paid spokespeople for HIV/AIDS awareness when their singing careers started to wind down.

8. TLC also recorded the ‘All That’ theme song during the ‘CrazySexyCool’ sessions.

During those same sessions for CrazySexyCool, TLC also recorded the theme song for a new sketch comedy show premiering on Nickelodeon called All That. That ill rap verse in the opening theme is none other than Left Eye Lopes: “The show is All of That and yes we do it all the time / So sit your booty on the floor or in a chair, / Ground or in the air / Just don’t go nowhere”

9. TLC’s Prince cover helps bring him back to the mainstream.

The song “If I Was Your Girlfriend” is a cover of a Prince track. It was not the first Prince cover the group released. They also recorded his “Get It Up” for the movie House Party 3.

At that point, though, Prince wasn’t popular at all. In 1994, he was the subject of abject mockery. Today, of course, Prince’s music is a topic of academic study and is recognized today as a major influence on all modern music. In 1994, TLC helped remind people how great the Symbol’s music was.

10. Left Eye has the lyrics to “Waterfalls” inscribed on her casket.

The inscription reads: “Dreams are hopeless aspirations, in hopes of coming true, believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you.”

 

11. TLC’s “CrazySexyCool” was the 1st album by a female group to go diamond.

Diamond is a term created by the RIAA in 1999 to certify when a record sells over ten million copies. CrazySexyCool helped solidify TLC’s place as the best selling female group of all time.

12. TLC was originally named “2nd Nature.”

“2nd Nature” was the idea of then-teenaged Crystal Jones — the “C” before being replaced by Chili. The name change was the idea of manager Perri “Pebbles” Reid (thank you Pebbles.) Oddly enough, the name was adopted by a short lived all-male R&B group three years later so I guess they made the right move.

13. Future Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Kandi Burruss wrote “No Scrubs.”

Before joining the other ladies on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandie Burruss wrote “No Scrubs” alongside producer Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs and fellow Xscape member Tameka “Tiny” Cottle (they had a hit in 1993 called “Just Kickin’ It” before forming their own duo called KAT.) At the time, Briggs was an in-house producer at LaFace records, where he wrote the original version of the song. Burruss and Cottle changed the lyrics, including the now-famous “Scrubs” term. The execs at the label thought the song would work best for TLC and asked them to give up the single. Burruss later went on to write “Bills, Bills, Bills” for Destiny’s Child with the help of Briggs.

14. The first voice heard on CrazySexyCool belongs to Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest

15. Their style was like the 4th member of the group

  

  

16. Just days before TLC singer Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in a car accident, she was in a vehicle involved in another fatality.

While traveling in a van driven by her assistant in Honduras, Lopes and her party accidentally hit a ten year old boy who jolted across the road chasing his brothers and sisters. The van hit the boy and although he was rushed to hospital, he died almost instantly. Lopes paid for the funeral costs and compensated the family for their loss. Her assistant was never charged.

 

17. TLC appeared in the movie House Party 3 and the Prince-penned “Get It Up” to the soundtrack of Poetic Justice.

 

18. In 2005, a TLC reality show, R U the Girl, aired on the UPN network, but was criticized for what appeared to be the group’s hunt for a Lopes replacement.

At the end of the series, the winner, Tiffany Baker (a.k.a. O’so Krispie), recorded a new song with T-Boz and Chilli, “I Bet,”

19. TLC’s Fan Mail managed to end pop star Britney Spears’ three week run at No. 1.

 

 

20. Left Eye rapped on former Spice Girl Melanie C’s “Never Be the Same Again.”

Sporty Spice’s solo career did fairly well, and “Never Be the Same Again” went #1 in 35 countries including the UK.

 

Empowering ’90s songs that made you love being a girl

written by Sara Altschule for Hellogiggles.com

The era of flannel, platform shoes, and Tamagotchis may be long gone—but the best music from that era lives on. We’ve noticed, in fact, that some of those super-empowering, female-driven ’90s songs are still influencing female musicians today—see the rad band Juce, or even T-Swift’s new album for proof. That’s because the ’90s was kind of an important moment for women in music. Female vocalists found their voices and made sure we’d all sing along with them. They had (and still have) us feeling our feelings and our feelings cannot be stopped. So let’s bring back some of the classic songs from that decade and rock out one more time.

1. Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know” (1995)

Alanis understood us and how it feels after a heart-wrenching breakup. She took us from sad to angry, and we needed that. Now, girls around the world are singing this song at karaoke while thinking about that man or woman who broke them. Thank you for giving us this emotional release, Alanis.

2. TLC – “No Scrubs” (1999)
Sing it, ladies. We don’t want ‘no scrubs’ because we are better than that, and TLC made us realize our worth. They also brought us unforgettably awesome attire in their video.
3. Natalie Imbruglia – “Torn” (1997)
What’s powerful about this song is that she’s ‘wide awake’ now about the reality of her relationship and making us realize the same thing. It’s empowering to express your true emotions and become fully aware, even when everything is just the worst.
4. Destiny’s Child – “Jumpin‘, Jumpin‘” (1999)
“Ladies, leave your man at home,” go out and blast this Destiny’s Child song. This one is for the girl who wants to have a good time with her besties, leaving all that dude-drama behind. Here’s to a night of shaking it off.
5. Spice Girls – “Wannabe” (1996)
You didn’t think I would make a ’90s playlist without adding the girl group who CREATED girl power, did you? This song is all about loving your girlfriends, making it known to your significant other that they matter, and we love that. They were saying “ovaries before brovaries,” long before we did.
6. No Doubt – “Just a Girl” (1995)
Gwen Stefani was seriously on point with this 1995 song. She gets how the world views being a woman and how frustrating it can be being “just a girl.” Society can limit us as women by stereotypes and viewpoints. Stefani “had it up to here” with that outlook and so have we.

7. Meredith Brooks – “Bitch” (1997)

Women around the world were immediately singing along with Brooks about how we can’t be defined as just one thing. We are many things “all rolled into one.” Brooks spoke of needing a strong man who can handle all her different and unique sides. AMEN, SISTA.

8. Shania Twain – “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” (1997)
This woman really showed us how to love being a woman. Sometimes we forget how amazing it is to be a woman and all the things we get to enjoy about it.
9. Des’ree – “You Gotta Be” (1994)
If you ever need a boost of self-confidence, just listen to this ’90s hit by Des’ree. In this song, she is telling us we’ve got to take an active role in our lives and be all things we want to be. Positive affirmations are the way to go and Des’ree gives us an advanced lesson in that. So if you’re feeling down and need a little push in the right direction, push play on this one.

Bette Midler Covers TLC’s “Waterfalls” — Yep, That Happened

  

This song is the latest from Midler’s upcoming collection of covers on It’s the Girls. According to Billboard, the album “spans seven decades of famous girl groups, from ‘30s trios The Boswell Sisters (the title track) and The Andrews Sisters (“Bei Mir Bist Du Schön”).” You can get your own copy starting November 4th.

 

#TBT Number on Songs on This Day

1955- Bill Haley and His Comets – Rock Around The Clock

1964- Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night

1975- Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’

1981- Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl

1983- Police – Every Breath You Take

1985- Tears for Fears – Shout

1987- U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

1991- Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It for You

1994- Lisa Loeb – Stay (I Missed You)

1995- TLC – Waterfalls

1999- Christina Aguilera – Genie In A Bottle

2001- Destiny’s Child – Bootylicious

2008- Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl

2010- Eminem feat. Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie