The Supremes were originally formed as the Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959. They were the female version of the Temptations who were then known as The Primes. Initially, the group had several flops before becoming the most commercially successful of Motown’s acts and are, to date, America’s most successful vocal group with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Most of these hits were written and produced by Motown’s main songwriting and production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland. At their peak in the mid-1960s, the Supremes broke records by rivalling the Beatles in worldwide popularity and their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success. Click “NEXT” above or below to see the next group>
The Emotions were formed in Chicago, Illinois. They originally consisted of three sisters, all children of Joseph and Lillian Hutchinson. Joseph had prayed for talented children before the girls were born. They began singing in church choirs and were known as the Hutchinson Sunbeams. In 1968, the girls changed their name to ‘The Emotions’ and released their first album, So I Can Love You, the following year. The album’s title track, written by Sheila, was a minor hit single, as was “The Best Part Of A Love Affair”. In 1969 the girls were asked to be part of a summer outdoor concert in Rochester, New York. The group caught the eye of the host of the concerts, Herb Hamlett the black DJ at WCMF FM. Father Joe was the group’s guitarist and formed a friendship with Hamlett, that brought the group bookings and headliners in New York State.
Labelle is a female singing group who were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The group was formed after the disbanding of two rival girl groups in the Philadelphia/Trenton areas, the Ordettes, and the Del-Capris, forming as a new version of the former group, later changing their name to The Blue Belles (later Bluebelles). The founding members were Patti LaBelle (formerly Patricia Holt), Sundray Tucker, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. Tucker left before the group cut their first record and was replaced by Cindy Birdsong.
As The Bluebelles, and later Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, the group found success with ballads in the doo-wop genre, most notably, “Down the Aisle (The Wedding Song)”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Over the Rainbow”. After Birdsong departed from the group to join The Supremes in 1967,
The Clark Sisters are an American gospel vocal group consisting of four sisters: Jacky Clark Chisholm, Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark-Terrell, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Karen Clark Sheard. A fifth sister, Denise Clark Bradford, no longer performs with the group. The Clark Sisters are the daughters of legendary gospel musician and choral director Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. They are credited for helping to bring gospel music to the mainstream and are considered as pioneers of contemporary gospel. Their biggest crossover hits include: “Is My Living in Vain?” “Hallelujah,” “He Gave Me Nothing to Lose,” “Endow Me,” their hit song “Jesus Is A Love Song,” “Pure Gold,” “Expect a Miracle,” and their largest mainstream crossover gold certified, “You Brought the Sunshine.” Some of the Clark Sister’s greatest classics dominated Billboard’s R & B a
Sisters with Voices, better known as SWV, are an R&B, Grammy-nominated trio from New York City. Formed in 1990 as a gospel group,SWV became one of the most successful R&B groups of the 1990s. They had a series of hits, including “Weak”, “Right Here/Human Nature”, “I’m So into You”, and “You’re the One”. The group disbanded in 1998 to pursue solo projects, and reunited in 2005 and continue to reunite to tour.
SWV (an abbreviation for Sisters With Voices) was formed by three friends: Cheryl Gamble, Tamara Johnson and Leanne Lyons (the founding member). After getting their demo together, the trio sent out demo tapes along with bottles of Perrier (“We couldn’t afford champagne,” says Taj) to catch the attention of record execs all over America. In 1991, after being invited to sing live in front of RCA honchos, SWV was signed to an eight-album record deal.
En Vogue is a female group from Oakland, California assembled by music producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy.
The group has won more MTV Video Music Awards than any other female group in its history, a total of seven, along with five Soul Train Awards, six American Music Awards, and seven Grammy nominations. According to Billboard Magazine, they were the 18th most successful act of the 1990s, and one of the most popular and successful female groups of all time.En Vogue has accumulated over 2,800 weeks on various Billboard charts.
Assembled in Oakland, California in July 1989, En Vogue launched with original members Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, and noticeably Dawn Robinson and Terry Ellis. The inspiration for the group came when production duo of Foster and Mc Elroy envisioned a modern-day girl group in the tradition of the 1950s/1960s female trios. The blueprint was based on the plan of recruiting singers who possessed noticeably good looks.
TLC was a hugely successful female trio whose repertoire spanned R&B and hip hop. Originally composed of singer Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and singer Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas the group found unprecedented success in the 1990s while also enduring a series of spats with the law, each other, and the group’s record label.
Initially, tlc achieved commercial success following the release of their debut album Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, which sold 6 million copies worldwide. However, it was their second album, CrazySexyCool, that catapulted the group to superstar status. CrazySexyCool went on to be certified diamond by the RIAA— a first for a female group, and eventually sold 23 million copies worldwide. Five years later, the group released their third album FanMail, which became the group’s first album to debut at number one and sold more than 11 million copies worldwide. The subsequent tour following FanMail’s release became the highest grossing tour of all time by a female band. In 2002, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in a car accident in Honduras. Seven months later, T-Boz and Chilli released the group’s fourth album 3D, which sold 2 million copies worldwide, scored the Top 40 hit Girl Talk and earned two Grammy Awards nominations, it featured unreleased vocals from Left Eye.
Salt n Pepa
The group entered pop music at a time when rap music was believed to be a fad and record companies were reluctant to sign rap artists. Originally calling themselves Super Nature (on their first single), James and Denton debuted in 1985 with the single “The Showstopper” an answer record to Doug E. Fresh’s hit single “The Show”.“The Showstopper” was produced by Hurby Azor. The song utilized a melody from the 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds. The finished recording garnered some airplay on a New York City rap radio program. The independent Pop Art Records gave it an official release, and “The Showstopper” became a modest R&B hit.With the success of Showstopper, the group’s name was changed to Salt-N-Pepa (which they had called themselves in the first verse of the song) and they signed to the independent Next Plateau Records to record a full-length album. Roper then joined the group as the dj, replacing dj Latoya Hanson as Spinderella, and the group’s first album Hot, Cool & Vicious was released afterwards in 1986. The album was produced by Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor, Salt’s boyfriend at the time and also the group’s manager. Years later, the women would have legal issues with Azor as they accused him of paying unfair royalties.