The Greatest Girl Groups Of All Time

Some of history’s most popular and successful anthems have been sung by all-female groups. Whether it’s “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child, “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, or “Stop! In The Name of Love” by the Supremes, these songs made a huge impact on their fans. Many of these girl groups paved the way for other women to not only shine on stage but also to dominate the charts. There are even quite a few record breakers in the following list…

Destiny’s Child Is One Of R&B’s Most Influential Girl Groups

Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett formed Destiny’s Child in the mid-’90s. They rose to fame the following year with hits such as “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “Say My Name.” Michelle Williams replaced Roberson and Luckett in 2000. Their album Survivor was a hit, with singles “Independent Women,” “Survivor” and “Bootylicious.”

Destiny's Child Performing In Concert
Photo by John Atashian/Getty Images
Photo by John Atashian/Getty Images

They took a three-year hiatus before releasing their fourth and final album. The group sold more than 60 million records worldwide. They were nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, winning two. They are considered one of the most influential girl groups in R&B music and one of history’s greatest girl groups.

The Spice Girls Were Second Only To The Beatles In England

Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), and Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) formed the Spice Girls in 1994. The English singers became global superstars after their 1996 release, “Wannabe,” hit number one in nearly 40 countries.

Photo credit: Tim Roney/Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Roney/Getty Images

Their first album, Spice, became the top-selling album by a female group (31 million copies were sold). They are the best-selling female group of all time. In their native England, their success has only been matched by The Beatles. Known for promoting “girl power,” they are considered one of the ’90s top cultural icons.

The Pointer Sisters Are One Of Music’s Most Famous Sibling Groups

Sisters June, Bonnie, Anita and Ruth Pointer first began performing together as a quartet in the early ’70s. They won a Grammy Award in 1975 for Best Country Vocal Performance for “Fairytale.” Bonnie left in 1978 to launch a solo career. Their fame skyrocketed in the ’80s, and they won two more Grammys for “Jump (For My Love)” and “Automatic.” They are considered one of the most successful female artists of all time.

Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

They had a total of 13 top-20 hits. June left the group in 2004 and died of cancer in 2006. From 2009 and 2015 the lineup included Anita, Ruth, Issa, and Ruth’s granddaughter Sadako Pointer. Bonnie passed away at the age of 69.

The Go-Go’s Released One Of The World’s Most Successful Debut Albums

The new wave band The Go-Go’s formed in Los Angeles in the late ’70s. They wrote their own songs and played their own instruments, making them a big hit in the ’80s. Their 1981 debut album, Beauty and the Beat, hit number one and stayed on top of the charts for six weeks.

Photo credit: George Rose/Getty Images
Photo credit: George Rose/Getty Images

Beauty and the Beat is one of the world’s most successful debut albums and includes the songs “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got The Beat.” The group disbanded in 1985 but got back together again on numerous occasions. A show about the group, Head Over Heels, is currently playing on Broadway.

The Bangles Defined ’80s Pop Rock

Another popular all-girl band from the ’80s was The Bangles. Their hits include “Walk Like an Egyptian,” “Manic Monday,” “Hazy Shade of Winter” and “Eternal Flame.” Founding members include Susanna Hoffs (vocals and rhythm guitar), Michael Steele (bass and vocals), Debbi Peterson (drums and vocals) and Vicki Peterson (guitar and vocals).

Photo credit: Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Photo credit: Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The band broke up in the late ’80s, but several of the members’ solo careers weren’t very successful. They reformed in 1998. While their recent projects can’t be matched to their ’80s success, they performed a song for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and a remake of “Eternal Flame” by Atomic Kitten hit number one in 2001.

The Supremes Are Motown Music Legends

The Motown act the Supremes formed in the ’60s and originally featured Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown. They had 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, making them America’s most successful singing group. Their fame was only matched by The Beatles.

Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Supremes’ popularity paved the way for other African-American R&B acts to achieve mainstream success. The group was renamed Diana Ross & the Supremes in 1967 but reverted back in 1970 when she left the group. They broke up in 1977. Hit songs include “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.”

An Album By TLC Is The Only Certified Diamond Record By A Girl Group

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas formed TLC in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1990. Their hit singles include “Creep,” “Waterfalls,” “No Scrubs” and “Unpretty.” To this day, their album CrazySexyCool is the only one by a female group to be certified diamond.

Photo credit: Ron Davis/Getty Images
Photo credit: Ron Davis/Getty Images

They are the second best-selling girl group worldwide (number one is The Spice Girls). TLC received five Grammy Awards. Lopes died in Honduras in a car crash in 2002, and Watkins and Thomas elected not to replace her. They released their final album but continue to perform as a duo.

Girls Aloud Are One Of The World’s Most Successful Reality TV Groups

The British TV show, Popstars: The Rivals, led to the formation of English-Irish pop group Girls Aloud in 2002. Members include Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh. They dominated the British charts with 20 top 10 singles, including four number-one singles.

Photo credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images
Photo credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images

Hits include “Sound of the Underground,” “No Good Advice” and “Love Machine.” In 2007 and 2011, Guinness World Records listed them as “Most Successful Reality TV Group.” They’re also considered the U.K.’s best-selling girl group of the 21st century. In 2010, they were featured in Britain’s richest stars under 30 list. The group broke up back in 2013.

The Shirelles Launched The Girl Group Genre

School friends Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Addie “Micki” Harris, and Beverly Lee formed The Shirelles in the late ’50s. Their first hit song was “Tonight’s the Night.” Many point to The Shirelles as ground zero for the girl group genre. They were notable because they attracted both black and white music fans.

Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Shirelles were given the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. They are considered one of history’s best musical acts. Other hit songs include “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “Dedicated to The One I Love.”

En Vogue Is One Of The Most Successful Female Groups Of All Time

Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones formed the R&B/pop vocal group En Vogue in 1989. Some of their hit songs include “Hold On,” “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Free Your Mind” and “Don’t Let Go (Love).”

Photo credit: Ron Galella, Ltd/WireImage
Photo credit: Ron Galella, Ltd/WireImage

The group experienced a few changes in its membership over the years. En Vogue has sold more than 20 million records worldwide and received seven Grammy nominations as well as several other awards. They are considered one of the most successful female groups of all time.

The Pussycat Dolls Started Out As a Burlesque Group

Choreographer Robin Antin formed the burlesque group the Pussycat dolls in 1995. They were transformed into a music group in 2003 and featured Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton, and Kimberly Wyatt. Their hit singles include “Don’t Cha,” “Buttons” and “Stickwitu.”

Photo credit: Hal Horowitz/WireImage via Getty Images
Photo credit: Hal Horowitz/WireImage via Getty Images

Scherzinger’s popularity caused strife within the group, and Bachar eventually left. The group disbanded in 2009. They sold 54 million records worldwide and are one of the world’s best-selling girl groups, despite only making two studio albums. “Don’t Cha” alone sold more than 3 million copies – making it the best-selling song of all time by a female group in the United States.

’80s Brit Band Bananarama Reconvened Its Original Lineup & Continue To Tour

Guinness World Records listed this group as the all-female band in the world with the most number of chart entries. Pals Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward formed the pop band Bananarama in London, England, in 1981. Thirty-two of their singles appeared on the Top 50 UK Singles chart between 1982 and 2009.

Photo credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images

Their most recognizable songs include “It Ain’t What You Do…,” “Really Saying Something,” “Shy Boy,” “Cruel Summer,” “Robert De Niro’s Waiting…,” “Venus” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” They were part of MTV’s Second British invasion of the United States. Fahey left the group in 1988 but returned and the trio continues to tour.

Little Mix Broke A Spice Girls Record

Little Mix is another English girl group. They gained fame following their appearance during the eighth season of The X Factor in the United Kingdom. Little Mix was the first group to win the reality competition. Members include Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock. Jesy Nelson was originally part of the band but left the group citing mental health reasons.

Photo credit: Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images

Their debut album, DNA, was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom and the United States. They are credited with having the highest U.S. chart position for a British female band (topping even the Spice Girls). The group continues to put out albums and break records, but their fourth album, Glory Days, achieved the longest-reigning girl group number-one album in two decades.

Fifth Harmony Also Became Famous Due To The X Factor

The founding members of Miami-based Fifth Harmony are Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui, and Camila Cabello (who left the group). They formed on the second season of the U.S. version of The X Factor in 2012. Much of their fame was fueled by social media.

Photo credit: FOX via Getty Images
Photo credit: FOX via Getty Images

Their hit songs include “Miss Movin’ On,” “Better Together,” “Boss,” “Sledgehammer” and “Worth It,” the last of which was certified triple platinum and was number one in 13 countries. Their first top-10 single was “Work From Home” — it was also the first top-five song by a girl group in 10 years.

Salt-N-Pepa Is A Pioneering Female Rap Group

Salt-N-Pepa is one of the first all-female rap groups. Members are Cheryl James (“Salt”), Sandra Denton (“Pepa”) and Deidra Roper (“DJ Spinderella”), who was just 15 years old when she replaced Latoya Hanson in 1987. In 1995 they won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Photo credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images

At a time when rap was known for misogynistic lyrics, Salt-N-Pepa took the power and openly sang about attraction, intimate moments, and men in their music. Hits include “Push It” and “Shake Your Thing.”

A Popular Martha And The Vandellas Song Inspired David Bowie & Mick Jagger

The Motown group Martha and the Vandellas was formed in 1957 with friends Annette Beard, Rosalind Ashford, and Gloria Williams. Martha Reeves became lead vocalist after Williams’ left in 1962. Their hit songs include “Come and Get These Memories,” “Heat Wave,” “Quicksand,” “Nowhere to Run,” “Jimmy Mack” and “Dancing in the Street.”

Photo credit: RB/Redferns
Photo credit: RB/Redferns

They had 26 hits on the charts in various genres — doo-wop, R&B, pop, blues, rock and roll, and soul. “Heat Wave” stuck at number one on the R&B singles chart for five weeks and resulted in their first and only Grammy nomination. Van Halen, David Bowie and Mick Jagger famously covered their song “Dancing in the Street.”

All Saints Had The Second Best-Selling Girl Group Single Following The Spice Girls

Melanie Blatt, Shaznay Lewis, and Simone Rainford formed All Saints 1.9.7.5. in 1993 in London. Sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton took Rainford’s place in 1996, and their name was shortened to All Saints. Their eponymous debut album is the U.K.’s third-best selling girl group album.

Photo credit: Jo Hale/Getty Images
Photo credit: Jo Hale/Getty Images

Their song “Never Ever” is the second best-selling girl group single behind the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” Other hit songs include “Pure Shores” and “Black Coffee.” They split in 2001, reformed in 2006, and split again in 2009.