Girl groups are the Distaff Counterpart
of boy bands
. These ladies will generally be attractive and may sing in suitably Stripperiffic
outfits. While girl groups have a predominantly female fan base, they do have a sizable number of male fans, a sharp contrast to a boy band's almost all-female fan base. In other words, girls want to be them, boys want to sleep with them. Although girls groups typically aren't as massive as boy bands
, they have stayed relatively popular over the years outside of the US. However, boy bands have made a comeback and, although One Direction are far ahead of any girl group, the rest of the market is mostly on an equal level to the girls.
Compare Idol Singer
Real examples (in rough chronological order):
- Older Than They Think: The Andrews Sisters, back in The Forties
- The American Bombshells are their Spiritual Successor - a trio of singers that perform for American soldiers.
- The Chantelles, the most famous female doo-wop group ("Maybe").
- Many vocal groups produced by Phil Spector, including the Ronettes and the Crystals.
- The Supremes. They were the breakthrough R&B act, and helped put Motown Records on the map in The Sixties. Their most famous singer, Diana Ross, went on to have a lengthy and successful solo career.
- The Marvelettes, who scored Motown's first number one hit.
- Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, another great Motown group.
- The Angels, who are best known for their 1963 hit "My Boyfriend's Back".
- The Shangri-Las.
- Toto Coelho, of "I Eat Cannibals" fame.
- Wild Orchid, best known for being the former band of Stacy Ferguson before she joined the Black Eyed Peas.
- TLC, the biggest-selling girl group in America (over forty million albums — keeping in mind that they released only six albums, including two greatest hits collections). Their second album, 1994's CrazySexyCool, was the first album by a girl group to go diamond (ten million sold — the album ultimately reached 11 million). They released their last album of original material in 2002 after one of their members, Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes, died in a car crash in Honduras.
- All Saints, who had a more R&B tinge to their sound. When the group broke up, sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton created their own short-lived project Appleton, before reforming All Saints in sporadic bursts.
- Spice Girls. Today, they are best known for having given the world Victoria Beckham, Spice World and the Ear Worm "Wannabe".
- B*Witched, an Irish group of four (consisting of twins Edele and Keavy Lynch, Sinead O'Carrol, and half Greek Lindsay Armau), famous for setting a world record of 4 #1 singles in a row by an Irish group (a record later broken by Westlife), and the fact that the twins were sisters of Boyzone's Shane Lynch. Some time after the group broke up, the twins launched a new career as MsLynch.
- Salt-n-Pepa, a Grammy-award winning rap group that gave the world "Push It" and the controversial pop song "Let's Talk about Sex".
- Destinys Child, best known for being Beyonce's old band.
- No Secrets
- Cleopatra (Comin' Atcha!)
- Sugababes, and their spinoff group Mutya Keisha Siobhan
- Atomic Kitten.
- t.A.T.u., a Russian girl duo that were sold as being lesbian lovers (they weren't).
- Girls Aloud, created by a British Talent Show. They're one of the most successful groups to spring from a reality show (in terms of UK chart performance), having earned 20 top 10 hits in the UK alone. (They did had a few international singles, but remained solely in the U.K.)
- The Pussycat Dolls, a former burlesque troupe that takes Stripperiffic to the next level.
- Also their reality-TV-born offshoot, Girlicious.
- Pussycat Dolls' lead singer, Nicole Scherzinger was originally part of another girl group, a pop group created for the show Popstars called Eden's Crush.
- The Cheetah Girls, the Disney Channel's girl group.
- Which got two of its members from the original group 3LW.
- Cherish, a group consisting of four sisters (two of which are twins).
- Danity Kane, formed by the MTV show Making the Band 3. Both their albums went straight to US no 1, a feat that at the time had only been accomplished by Eminem's rap group D12. No girl group would even enter the top 5 in the states with its debut album for seven years.
- The Veronicas, twin sisters from Australia who took their name from the Archie character.
- The Saturdays, who had 10 top 10 hits without a number 1, before, with the help of a reality TV series in the US, got their first UK no 1 with "What About Us".
- Korea has several popular ones now: SNSD (Girls' Generation), T-Ara, KARA, Wonder Girls. Oh, and Boy Bands are alive and well too, but that's a different story.
- How could you forget 2NE1?
- Japanese Idol Group AKB48, with a whopping 140 total members.
- Little Mix, winners of the 8th series of The X Factor (not to mention the first, and still only, group to ever win the show). They later became the first UK Girl-group "ever" to debut in the top 5 in the US with its debut album (even higher than the Spice Girls' first week!) and second only to One Direction among all UK groups. They were the first girl group "ever" to be in the top 5 with its debut album since 2006.
- Probably the most straightforward example in Country Music was 3 of Hearts, composed of 3 young-adult women who sang with a heavy pop influence. They went absolutely nowhere. The next closest would probably be SHeDAISY, who had more mainstream success in the early 2000s but was still less sexually-driven than most examples.
- Dixie Chicks, the most successful girl group in Country history and one of the most successful girl groups of all time.
- The late 80s featured a new breed of girl groups who specialized in freestyle dance music. Such groups included Expose, the Cover Girls, Pajama Party, Seduction, Sweet Sensation, and Company B.
- Cimorelli, which started on YouTube. They do covers mostly, but recently they have been branching in doing original songs.
- Stooshe, who had 3 UK top 20 hits in 2012-13. Originally intended to be risque, they instead went for a radio-friendly, Diana Ross-like sound for "Love Me", "Black Heart" and "Slip".
- Haim, Three Californian sisters, whose music is somewhere between country, rock, folk and R&B, were named as sound of 2013 by the BBC, an accolade won by 50 Cent, Adele, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J in the past.
- Fifth Harmony, akin to Little Mix, but on the American version of X Factor. Like the British 4-piece, this 5 member girl group was formed by producers, encountered name changes (originally LYLAS and 1432), and also love doing acoustic covers like Cimorelli above. Unlike LM, however, 5H faced the bottom 2 twice on their way to the final, and finished 3rd. Their debut album (the EP titled Better Together) debuted at #6 on the Billboard charts, becoming the highest charting debut by an act from the X Factor U.S.
- Play, a Swedish girl group best known for song "Us Against the World" and being attached the everGirl line.
- G.R.L., a girl group formed by Pussycat Dolls' founder Robin Antin.
- Josie and the Pussycats, who were later defictionalized.
- Jem (is truly, truly outrageous) and rival band the Misfits (their songs are better)
- The girls from the video game Rockin' Pretty.
- The Cheetah Girls, who were also defictionalized.
- In probably the strangest example, Mike and the Bots play a girl group for the song "Where Oh Werewolf".
- The Chipettes, as a Distaff Counterpart to the Chipmunks 'Boy Band'
- Donna and the Dynamos, Donna Sheridan's old girl group from Mamma Mia!.
- Phineas and Ferb has The Bettys, a Shout-Out of sorts to the Veronicas.
- The Greek Chorus of Little Shop of Horrors is one of these. They are named Crystal, Chiffon and Ronette, after three genuine girl groups of the sixties.
- Lilpri from Hime Chen Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri. It helps that they're voiced by three of the four members of real Girl Group S/mileage.
- G3 Princess from Engine Sentai Go-onger.
- Girls Dead Monster (GirlDeMo for short) from Angel Beats!.
- As Empreguetes ("The Maidettes") from the Brazilian Soap Opera Cheias de Charme.
- Dreamgirls, a musical about a girl group based on The Supremes. Released as a film in 2006.
- The Sapphires, about an Australian Aboriginal girl group who embark on a tour of Vietnam to entertain the armed forces in 1968. Very Loosely Based on a True Story
- Sabrina, Chloe, Hilda and Zelda formed one called The Flavour Babes in Sabrina: The Animated Series with Chloe playing French Horn, Zelda on keyboard, Hilda as drummer and Sabrina as guitarist and lead vocals. None of them knew how to play instruments so they used magic to become a famous group.
- In the live action, Sabrina did this as well. She, Roxie and Morgan enter a talent show in the seventh season as 'Gal Palz' - with help from some magic lozenges. It's quite obviously not them singing when they perform.
- Libby formed one back in season 2 - of which the above mentioned episode is a Recycled Script - with the rest of the cheerleading squad. She named them The Libby Chessler Generation.
The term "girl group" has also been used to describe rock bands that are composed entirely or mostly of women. Most of these "girl groups" resent this name, due to its connections with pop music and the inherent Double Standard
involving rock bands composed of men being called the even more detested label of boy band
- The Runaways. While there were female rock singers before them (Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Suzi Quatro), they are one of the most well known all-female rock bands.
- The Go-Gos. Originally a punk band, they switched to a Power Pop sound once they put together their main lineup. In 1981, they became the first all-female rock band to top the Billboard album charts.
- The Bangles
- Vixen, a Hair Metal band.
- The Riot Grrrl movement in The Nineties was an offshoot of Punk Rock that was defined by its staunch feminist messages and lyrics. Bands included Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Heavens to Betsy, Huggy Bear and Bratmobile. Only Sleater-Kinney survived the scene, and they did so by drastically changing their sound around the 1997 release of Dig Me Out and arguably got better because of it.
- Many '90s rock bands were mistakenly associated with riot grrrl just because they had female lead singers: Hole, L7, Babes in Toyland, Sonic Youth, etc. In L7 and Babes in Toyland's cases, they were all-girl bands.
- The Donnas
- The Like
- The Stunners
- The Finnish band Indica
- Jack Off Jill
- Vivian Girls, indie noise-pop, not unlike The Ramones if you take away the Y chromosome.
- Exist Trace
- Afterschool Tea Time, the light rock band formed by the main character of K-On!.
- The Faders, a pop-punk trio of girls that played their own instruments but blurred the lines between rock band and girl group.
- There's also plenty of examples of tribute bands whose members are all girls, like Lez Zeppelin, The Iron Maidens or ThundHerStruck (whose singer does alternate between Bon Scott and Brian Johnson modes, to boot).