In 2012, it was One Direction who helped bring boy bands back to the forefront on of the music industry. Now in 2016, Fifth Harmony has become the first major girl group to hit the top ten in the United States since The Pussycat Dolls in 2008 with their sexed up jam, “Work From Home." Fifth Harmony had caught my attention full-time after their first album came out and when I got their breakout hit “Worth It” stuck in my head. I’m loving their 7/27 album which is made perfect for the pop world of 2016.
Growing up in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I was a big fan of many girl groups. More than I was a fan of boy bands. I love to see three to five beautiful ladies singing in harmony and dance in motion. For the youngins today, I’ve compiled a list of top five all-time favorite girl groups.
1. Destiny’s Child
These girls were just perfect. Before "Lemonade," Beyonce was already in formation with her three members from Houston, Texas. Beyonce, along with Kelly, LaTavia and Letoya were the original lineup of Destiny’s Child. These girl rocked the world, MTV and my heart with club bangers like “Jumpin Jumpin” to self-confident anthems like “Bootylicious." One thing that the girls were all about is female empowerment. Whether it was checking a guy for spending their money in “Bills Bills Bills” to overcoming adversity in “Survivor.” Their outfits were always in coordination thanks to Tina Knowles while their harmonies were on fleek. And despite all member changes and legal drama (in which we ended up with Michelle Williams) the girls still slayed. They broke up in 2006 but has sold 50 million records to date.
Favorite Album: "The Writing’s On The Wall"
2. Spice Girls
Before there was Little Mix, there was the Spice Girls, and they were 1000x more ubiquitous. The British act was manufactured in 1994 by two managers in the United Kingdom. They were eventually fired by the girls who later signed by Simon Fuller and Virgin Records. In 1997, they were officially the biggest act in the world. By then they a had crossed over in America. All the members stood out individually. Geri was Ginger Spice, known for her fiery red hair and teasing sexuality. Victoria was Posh Spice and is known for her high class designer clothes. Mel C was known as Sporty Spice as she always rocked a tracksuit and possessed athletic abilities. Emma was Baby Spice given she was the youngest of the group and had very youthful looks. Mel B was Scary Spice as she wore cheetah, had an in-your-face attitude and also was the only member of black descent.What I loved most about them was how bubblegummy their music were. They had the catchiest hooks and the danciest beats. You could see that the girls had great chemistry in their music videos.
Songs like “Wannabe” and “Say You’ll Be There” are positive, kid-friendly and very tongue-in-cheek. Did I mention their hilarious movie (Spice World) and that they were all about girl power? It all ended in 2001, as the group’s success was declining given Ginger Spice had left three years prior. However, given this year is their 20th anniversary, we’re keep our finger crossed that they go on tour.
Favorite Album: "Spice"
This act straight out of Atlanta is very much a classic R&B girl group. Many of their songs are pure 90s classics. They also put many producers on the map such as Dallas Austin, Babyface and Organized Noise. You had T-Boz with her raspy voice, Chili with her mezzo-soprano and Left-Eye who always added in a rap verse. Their songs also had moving messages. In “Waterfalls” they touched issues such as the AIDS epidemic and drug dealing, while “Unpretty” talked about insecurely that many young girls feel. Their music video was always fun to me whether they were dancing in water, with pajamas on, or in a futuristic setting. However, the girls were dealing with TMZ-friendly drama outside of music. Left Eye was arrested for arson of her boyfriend's house, T-Boz struggled with sickle cell anemia and Chili had an abortion. The group also was reportedly cheated by their record label and management as they filed for bankruptcy in 1995. Left Eye is gone, (it’s been 14 years since her untimely death) however, the surviving members have promised one more album.
Favorite Album: "CrazySexyCool"
If you were a pop fan of the Y2K period, you had to have known 3LW, also known as Three Little Women. Composed of members Kiely Williams, Naturi Naughton and Adrienne Bailon, all teenagers at the time, were very much a Disney-friendly, teen version of TLC. Their most notable song was “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right).” The song is relatively silly: Kiely had a notable line where you can clearly hear her mispronunciation of words due to her lips. Plus, the song was about telling a guy from the eighth/ninth grade how to be a man. Really? Though I have to give it up for the beautiful guitar solo in the beginning. Their debut album has a lot of R&B gems where Naturi’s church-bred voice and Adrienne's powerful vocals sound like the Latina-Beyonce. Kiely’s baby voice doesn’t do much for me though. The group fell apart in 2002 as Naturi left the group amidst internal drama between her, the members and management. Adrienne and Kiely went to do The Cheetah Girl franchise. Their second and last album, "A Girl Can Mack" was very slept. The P. Diddy produced cut “I Do (Wanna Get Close to You)” is very underrated and could’ve been a very popular crossover hit. Most of the other songs were very street-oriented hip hop and R&B. Although the group isn’t no longer together you can catch Adrienne Bailon on FOX’s talk show "The Real" and Naturi on Starz black soap opera, "Power."
Favorite Album: "A Girl Can Mack"
5. Danity Kane
Like 3LW, Danity Kane was short-lived but is a favorite in my heart. The group was formed on Diddy’s "Making the Band," which aired on MTV in the mid 2000s. They also seemed to be the most diverse girl group I’ve seen. Two white girls (Aubrey and Shannon), two blacks (Dawn and D. Woods) and a Latina (Aundrea). Their first two albums opened up at No. 1 on the Top 200 and gave the girl three top 10 hits. Musically, the girls can described as urban pop. Not too much R&B/hip-hop, but just enough pop to make them crossover. Also, unlike The Pussycat Dolls, their girls all took turns on verses in their songs. Their albums were made up of Clubby and bouncy urban tracks and syrupy ballads. I swear, “Damaged” was my song in the seventh grade. The girls were all equally beautiful. It's too bad they split up. Though they reunited briefly in 2013 and gave us “Lemonade” which I pop-lock and drop to. Maybe they’ll settle their difference one day. For now we have Dawn Richards’ alternative R&B and Dumblonde (the group’s spin-off with Aubrey and Shannon).
Favorite Album: "Welcome to The Dollhouse"