12 Girl Groups Who Have Made Their Mark on the Music Industry

From The Supremes to BLACKPINK, learn more about some of the most popular girl groups in music history and how they've left their mark on the industry

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The Supremes

The Supremes
Motown Archives

The Supremes are one of the most iconic Motown acts of all time. Most famously made up of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, the group had 12 No. 1 hits including "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," and "Stop! In the Name of Love," "You Keep Me Hangin' On."

Ross was just 15 years old when she first joined Ballard, Wilson and Betty McGlown (who was later replaced by Barbara Martin) in a group called The Primettes.

After auditioning for Smokey Robinson, who brought them to Motown Records, they were introduced to Berry Gordy and signed a record deal in 1961; shortly after, Martin left and the group changed its name to the Supremes.

Their 1964 album Where Did Our Love Go was a smash, with three of their number one singles; the hits would keep coming for the next three years, at which point Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong and the group underwent another name change, to Diana Ross and the Supremes.

In 1970, Ross left to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Jean Terrell. The group continued to release music with a rotating cast of singers until 1976.

Of the original Supremes, only Diana Ross is still alive and performing. Wilson died in 2021 at the age of 76 and Ballard died in 1976 at the age of 32.

Earlier this year, Wilson's daughter Turkessa Babich and Ballard's daughter Lisa Chapman, accepted The Supremes' lifetime achievement award at the Recording Academy's 2023 special merit ceremony on behalf of their mothers.

02 of 12

The Ronettes

Ronnie Spector
The Ronettes. R. H. Vincent/Redferns/Getty

For the Ronettes, superstardom was a family business. Ronnie Spector (born Veronica Bennett), her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley made waves in the 1960s with songs like "Be My Baby," and "Walking in the Rain" and toured with the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Record producer Phil Spector helped create the group's unforgettable signature sound (though his eventual marriage to Ronnie was an abusive one).

The group performed live together for the last time in 1966 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Ronettes' memorable style also set them apart from other girl groups.

"We wanted to be different, because there were all these other girl groups with wide dresses. When the Supremes came on, they had on gowns. I said, 'Uh uh. That's not our look.' My aunt made us our first outfits, and I told her, 'I don't want anything wide, we want something tight,' because we'd dance," Spector told PEOPLE in 2018.

Spector died in 2022 and her sister Bennett died in 2009. Talley is still alive but has retired from singing.

03 of 12

The Pointer Sisters

(MANDATORY CREDIT Ebet Roberts/Getty Images) UNITED STATES - AUGUST 25: Photo of POINTER SISTERS; The Pointer Sisters performing at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
Ebet Roberts/Redferns

The Pointer Sisters also kept it in the family: The iconic trio was made up of real-life sisters Anita, Bonnie and June Pointer. The group came together in 1969 to form the legendary group responsible for songs like "I'm So Excited," "Jump," "Slow Hand," "Fire," "He's So Shy" and "Neutron Dance."

The group rose to fame in 1973, continuing to top the charts throughout the 70s and 80s.

After releasing their country single "Fairytale" — which was written by Anita and Bonnie and brought the group much success — they became the first Black female group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in 1974.

The song's impact wouldn't stop there. It later won the group its first Grammy Award for best country performance by a duo or group in 1975 and to date, The Pointer Sisters are the only Black women who have won a Grammy in a country music category. In total, the group won three Grammy Awards.

Anita died in January 2023 and was preceded in death by her sisters: June Pointer died in 2006 and Bonnie Pointer died in 2020.

04 of 12

The Go-Go's

The all girl pop musical group, The Go-Gos, (L-R) Belinda Carlisle (lead vocals), Gina Schock (drums), Charlotte Caffey (lead guitar), Kathy Valentine (bass), and Jane Wiedlin (rhythm guitar), playfully pose during a 1985 Hollywood, California, portrait session.
George Rose/Getty

After first coming together as a group in 1978, The Go-Go's would rise to fame over the following decade, becoming a pop-rock supergroup responsible for songs like "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Vacation" and "We Got the Beat."

The group originally consisted of Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Margot Olavarria and Elissa Bello; Charlotte Caffey joined soon after. The band had some rotating members through the years: In 1979, Bello was replaced by Gina Schock, Olavarria was replaced by Kathy Valentine. and in 1984, Wiedlin stepped away and Paula Jean Brown joined the group.

At the time of their rise to stardom, they were one of a few all-girl groups in an often male-dominated industry.

"That didn't affect us one single bit. We weren't the least bit interested in any of that kind of crap," Schock told PEOPLE in 2021. "You know, gender never came into the picture. We were just a gang of five girls having a great time, playing music, doing what we love, hanging out with our friends, running from one show to another."

In 1985, the band would disband after nearly a decade of making music for their fans and various members pursued projects on their own, including later writing songs for pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, per the band's website.

The band collaborated sporadically throughout the years and in 2011 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2016, Carlisle, Wiedlin, Caffey and Schock performed their hit "We Got the Beat" at the Billboard Music Awards to celebrate the song's 35th anniversary and later that year played their final show of a farewell tour at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

Despite their goodbye, the show wasn't the end for the band, who in 2018 performed three shows at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic and in 2019 released their first new song in 19 years, "Club Zero."

In 2021, the group was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

"You get the five of us in one room, the energy is palpable," Schock said of the band's longtime connection. "We have this crazy chemistry that happens and you can't buy that."

05 of 12

The Bangles

The Bangles, interview and photo session for MUSIC LIFE magazine, Tokyo, Japan, June 1986. L-R Michael Steele, Vicki Peterson, Susanna Hoffs, Debbi Peterson.
Midori Tsukagoshi/Shinko Music/Getty

It all started with a newspaper ad. That's right, in 1980, Susanna Hoffs decided to place an ad in Los Angeles' Recycler in hopes of starting her own girl band, The Bangles' website explains. After Annette Zilinskas responded — and connected with sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson — the group was officially created. Originally called "The Bangs," the group released their debut single in 1981 titled "Getting Out of Hand" (with a b-side track titled "Call on Me") and became part of a group of musicians known as the The Paisley Underground who were reviving a sound that had been made popular in the 1960s. The following year, they changed their name to The Bangles.

In 1983, Zilinskas left the band and was replaced by Michael (Micki) Steele, formerly of The Runaways – who was Vicki's roommate, the website said. Now, with their new cast of musicians, the band would create their first major album, All Over the Place.

Throughout the 1980s, the group churned out hits like "Manic Monday," written by Prince, "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Walking Down Your Street," posed on the cover of Rolling Stone, opened for acts like Cyndi Lauper and Queen and performed on Saturday Night Live, according to their website.

The band went on hiatus in the 1990s, though they did record a song for the soundtrack of 1998's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Since then, Steele has left the band though the remaining trio continued to tour following her departure and released their sixth studio album Sweetheart of the Sun in 2011, the band's website highlighted. In 2014, they released a compilation album and in 2019 teamed up with some of their contemporaries to create a collection of covers.

06 of 12

Spice Girls

Victoria Beckham, Mel C, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Mel B from The Spice Girls
Spice Girls. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Spice Girls first spiced up our lives back in the 1990s when they landed on the scene with their debut single "Wannabe" in 1996.

Made up of Melanie Chisholm (Sporty), Geri Halliwell (Ginger), Emma Bunton (Baby), Melanie Brown (Scary) and Victoria Adams (Posh), the Spice Girls were initially put together by father-son management team Bob and Chris Herbert, The New York Times explained.

Despite their manufactured beginnings, the women decided to take matters into their own hands, the Times said, and piled into Horner's car and fled with the group's master recordings.

"Wannabe" was a No. 1 hit in 37 countries, and Spice— their debut album would become one of the best-selling albums by a female group.

The group's second album, Spiceworld, was accompanied by the Spice World movie. The movie grossed around $100 million worldwide, and its premiere was even celebrated by the Royal family.

That's right, the movie's premiere was just one of the many times the women of the Spice Girls have brushed shoulders with the Royal family. For the 1997 premiere, a young Prince Harry, Prince William and then-Prince Charles joined the celebration at London's Leicester Square.

Following the movie's success, a massive 1998 Spiceworld Tour followed, during which the group performed to over 2 million fans (including these celebs!) across North America and Europe.

The group powered through until 2000 when they opted for a hiatus — though they did reunite for a 2007-2008 tour and periodically tease the possibility of another reunion.

07 of 12

Destiny's Child

Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé and Michelle Williams. Steve Granitz/WireImage

Destiny's Child gave us some of the most memorable songs of the millennium, including "Bootylicious" and "Independent Woman Pt. 1." But before they reached their final iteration, a trio made up of Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Beyoncé Knowles, the group was initially signed in 1996 with Rowland, Knowles, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson.

But there was conflict in the group about the management style of Knowles' father Mathew, so in the 2000 video for "Say My Name," fans were introduced Luckett and Roberson's replacements: Farrah Franklin and Williams.

After similar management conflict, Franklin quit, leaving Rowland, Williams and Knowles to pick up the pieces – and write a hit song about the drama, called "Survivor."

They achieved massive success: "Independent Woman Pt. 1" was No. 1 on Billboard for 11 weeks, a feat that secured the group a spot in Guinness Book of World Records for "Most weeks at No.1 on US singles chart - girl band."

Following two Grammy awards, the group went their separate ways in 2005. The three women have remained dear friends and reunited as a group both for Queen Bey's Super Bowl performance in 2013 and her headline performance at Coachella in 2018.

08 of 12


Ron Galella/Getty Images

TLC made waves in the 1990s as a trio made up of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Their hits include "Waterfalls", "No Scrubs", "Creep" and "Unpretty."

"Waterfalls" spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart; belying its upbeat, catchy melody, the song actually hit on rather serious topics including the AIDS crisis and the illegal drug trade in the U.S.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, TLC is the second biggest-selling female group, behind The Chicks, with 23 million certified units.

Tragically, Left Eye was killed in a car accident in 2002 at the age of 30 while doing charity work in Honduras.

T-Boz and Chilli have carried on the group's legacy and continued to perform as a duo. At '90s Con in March 2022, the pair revealed that they had plans of heading to Broadway.

Chilli also reminisced on what made their group so special: "The chemistry between the three of us when Lisa was here is just something that is either there or it's not. I can't sing her part, [T-Boz] can't sing my parts, we can't do Lisa's raps. Everybody has respect for the other and what they do; we just come together through all of it, and this is deeper than a marriage. We're sisters, this is my sister, and we're always going to be together."

09 of 12

Fifth Harmony

Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Camila Cabello, Lauren Jauregui, and Dinah Jane Hansen of Fifth Harmony
Ally Brooke, Normani, Camila Cabello, Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane in Fifth Harmony. Bryan Steffy/BET/Getty

Perhaps the most noteworthy groups to come out of the American version X-Factor, Fifth Harmony released two albums during their tenure as a group, Reflection and 7/27, and scored multi-platinum singles including "Worth It" and "Work From Home."

"Sledgehammer" earned the group their first top 40 Billboard Hot 100 entry in the U.S., and it was eventually certified platinum.

Made up of Camilla Cabello, Lauren Jauregui, Normani, Dinah Jane and Ally Brooke, the group was formed during season two and came in third place. All five women are now solo artists, following Cabello's unexpected departure in 2016 to launch a solo career.

Though the remaining members continued to perform following Cabello's exit, they officially went on hiatus in 2018.

"It was a whirlwind. I'm going to say how proud I am of Fifth Harmony, of what we did, of what we did for music, what we did for female empowerment, what we did for girl groups," Brooke said of her time in the group, while noting the difficulties she faced during that time. "We will be in the history books, y'all."

10 of 12

Little Mix

Little Mix
Little Mix. John Phillips/Getty

Like One Direction before them, Little Mix got their start on The X-Factor U.K. when the judges placed Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall together in 2011. From there, they took off.

They were the first group to be chosen by the public to win the show, Wonderland notes.

They had a number of hits including "Wings," "Woman Like Me," "Black Magic," "Confetti," "Secret Love Song" and "Touch." Their debut album, DNA, broke a record previously held by none other than the Spice Girls when it entered the US charts at No. 4, Wonderland said.

"It's so refreshing to see females owning it right now," Pinnock told the magazine back in 2015. "Girl power is what we're about. It's what we stand for as a group. We want to do everything we can to make women feel better about themselves."

In December 2020, Nelson announced she'd be stepping away from the group and in 2021, the remaining trio — who continued to tour and released their hits album Between Us, which featured several previously unreleased tracks — said they'd be taking a hiatus from music.

11 of 12

The Chicks

(L-R) Emily Strayer, Natalie Maines, and Martie Maguire of The Chicks perform onstage during weekend two, day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas.
The Chicks. Rick Kern/WireImage

Since releasing their first album in 1990, The Chicks have cemented their place as country legends and are the best-selling female group in the U.S. ever.

The group first consisted of ​​sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer, as well as Laura Lynch and Robin Lynn Macy, according to CMT, and released their first three albums independently. By 1995 Macy and Lynch had left and Natalie Maines had joined, creating the trio we know today. In 1998, they released Wide Open Spaces which included the single "I Can Love You Better" — their first to make it to the top 10 on the country charts, CMT said.

The 12-time-Grammy winning group continued making music into the early aughts though a brief comment from Maines in 2003 ahead of a concert in London, sharing her disapproval of the Iraq war and then-President George W. Bush, put them at the center of a firestorm of controversy.

In 2006, the group released their acclaimed album Taking the Long Way, then took a long break from the music industry to focus on parenthood and regroup after the firestorm.

In 2020, The Chicks returned to the public eye with the release of "Gaslighter," — their first new single in 13 years, and first off their album of the same name.

That year, they also announced that they were changing their name from Dixie Chicks to The Chicks amid nationwide protests for racial justice.

Following partnerships with Planned Parenthood and Proclaim Justice on their DCX MMXVI World Tour, the trio opted to work with non-profit REVERB on their 2022 North American tour to raise awareness for environmental issues as well as promote sustainability.

In January, they announced their first-ever concert residency called "The Chicks: Six Nights in Vegas"which is set to take place in May at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 28: (L-R) Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie and Rosé of Blackpink attends the 2022 MTV VMAs at Prudential Center on August 28, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global)
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

One of K-Pop's (and the universe's) biggest girl groups, BLACKPINK, first rose to the top of the U.S. pop charts in 2020 — but their first 2016 single "Boombayah," secured their spot as global superstars.

The four person group, made up of Kim Jisoo, Kim Jennie, Park Chaeyoung (Rosé) and Lalisa Pranpriya Manoban (also spelled Manobal), gets their name from the from their songs' mixture of tough (black) and flirty (pink) elements.

They were formed by YG Entertainment under the famous K-pop trainee system in South Korea, where they auditioned with the entertainment agency to become students or "trainees."

The band has a signature phrase, "BLACKPINK in your area," which declares the group's plan for global domination — first uttered in their 2016 debut song. The group now has amassed over 84 million subscribers and counting on its YouTube channel — with the video for "Kill This Love" reaching over 1.7 billion views as of February 2023.

Speaking of YouTube, the group also set the Guinness World Records for the most-watched music videos within 24 hour of release on the platform with their videos for "Kill This Love" in 2019 and "How You Like That" in 2020, the organization notes.

And — to further the plans of taking over the music world — in 2023, the group will make history as the first K-pop headlining act at Coachella.

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