Girl groups are the Distaff Counterpart of Boy Bands. Naturally they'll be a group of attractive young girls who sing and dance in Stripperiffic outfits - usually with songs about sex. Videos will be full of Fanservice and expect at least one member to make it into a lads' mag.
Unlike Boy Bands, there are no set roles for each member of the Girl Group. If there are three members, they'll usually correspond to Beauty, Brains, and Brawn or The Three Faces of Eve. If it's four, then likely the Four-Girl Ensemble. And if it's five, of course the Five-Man Band.
The quintessential Girl Group was The Andrews Sisters way back in the 40s (see below) but the concept of one really exploded in the late 90s. The cause? The Spice Girls.
This British quintet turned into an overnight sensation, achieving worldwide fame and cementing their status in pop culture. Any groups formed in the 90s and 2000s were following their lead. While the boy band craze died down in the early 2000s, girl groups remained around for the rest of the decade. While not as prominent as before, there are still a few.
South Korea has taken this trope Up to Eleven. There are loads of girl bands active, with some of them being insanely popular. This has been going on for a while, with Girls' Generation being most famous in the early 2010's. Now, it's Blackpink and TWICE that are most popular, with Red Velvet, GFRIEND, Mamamoo and A Pink also being quite renowned. Even unknown bands usually have loyal fans, including bands that haven't even debuted yet.
Some ex-girlgroup singers have eclipsed their bands, such as Diana Ross, Beyoncé, Cheryl and Camilla Cabello.
- 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.
- 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.
- AKB48 (with a whopping 140 total members)
- 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.
- The Andrews Sisters, back in The '40s. The American Bombshells are their Spiritual Successor - a trio of singers that perform for American soldiers.
- The Angels, who are best known for their 1963 hit "My Boyfriend's Back".
- Atomic Kitten. A British trio who weren't exactly stars but were reasonably successful - with three number one singles in the UK. Sort of a Token Wholesome amongst the various Stripperiffic girl groups of the day, their music leaning more towards Sweet Dreams Fuel. A pre-scandal Kerry Katona was a member briefly.
- BABYMETAL is a weird example. They're a Heavy Metal idol group from Japan. Yeah, Widget Series indeed. They're the source of much Memetic Mutation among metalheads.
- Bananarama - a British trio who got a listing in The Guinness Book of World Records as the Girl Group with the most chart entries in the world.
- Blackpink are popular all over the world, but in South East Asia especially.
- 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.
- The Chantelles, the most famous female doo-wop group ("Maybe").
- The Cheetah Girls, the Disney Channel's girl group.
- Which got two of its members from the original group 3LW.
- Adrienne Bailon, one of the members of the original group, 3LW, also appeared in Elle A Modern Cinderella Tale, assisting Elle Daniels to uncover her secrets of her rival band's evil plot of ruining her songs, in which they will be broken up once and for all, according to the IMDB, Seventeen, Teen and Screen Media Films websites.
- Cherish, a group consisting of four sisters (two of which are twins).
- Cimorelli, which started on YouTube. They do covers mostly, but recently they have been branching in doing original songs. They recently released their first album in May 2016, called "Up At Night", with a little help in some parts of the album as well as a second one a year after, "Alive", making it also their first Gospel Music album. Not bad for a girl group that went indie in 2015.
- Cleopatra (Comin' Atcha!)
- The Chiffons ("He's So Fine," "One Fine Day")
- 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 and would later be eclipsed by Boy Bands One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer. No girl group would even enter the top 5 in the states with its debut album for seven years.
- Destiny's Child, best known for being Beyonce's old band.
- Dream, who preceded Danity Kane's signing to Bad Boy Records by four years. They were popular at the beginning of the millennium thanks to TRL, but only managed become a Two-Hit Wonder on MTV before fading into obscurity.
- Dixie Chicks, the most successful girl group in Country music history and one of the most successful girl groups of all time.
- En Vogue, best known for their songs "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" and "Free Your Mind". They were contemporaries of TLC and Salt-N-Pepa, and were the major standouts of the R&B girl groups in the 1990s, especially for their harmonies.
- 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 US. Much like their Transatlantic Equivalent Spear Counterpart, One Direction are in the UK, they're easily the most successful act produced by the US version of that show, and, like with 1D, lost a member abruptlynote , released an album as a quartet with less successnote , and then went on hiatus.
- 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.
- Girls' Generation was the popular Korean band in the early 2010's.
- Hello! Project's various groups like Morning Musume.
- Indica, a Finnish rock girl group.
- Little Mix, winners of the 8th series of The X Factor (not to mention the first 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. They have continued to release million selling albums without looking like splitting in over 7 years together.
- LOONA, a twelve member K-Pop group.
- Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, another great Motown group.
- The Marvelettes, who scored Motown's first number one hit.
- Millionaires, in that while they had some success, they were largely despised for their grating voices and sound. They claim they're actually a Stealth Parody of "scene queens", but who knows for sure.
- Mis Teeq, a British R&B group. They started out with four but one of the girls left after the first single. Their best known song "Scandalous" was used in the Catwoman movie. Member Alesha Dixon later found success as a winner and eventual judge on Strictly Come Dancing, and then Britain's Got Talent.
- Momoiro Clover Z
- Mutya Keisha Siobhan
- No Angels, a German girl group formed in 2000 on the country's version of Popstars, preceding many of the reality show acts by a few years. They did pretty well for themselves across Europe, even representing Germany in the 2008 Eurovision contest, though that didn't go well.
- No Secrets - an American tandem of five who mainly got known for recording covers of classic Disney songs. After one member left, none other than a pre-stardom Lady Gaga was slated to replace her - but her manager backed out of the deal.
- The Pipettes, formed in 2006, went for a Retraux 1960s girl group style.
- Play, a Swedish girl group best known for song "Us Against the World" and being attached the everGirl line.
- The Puppini Sisters are big (but not slavish) fans of the Andrews.
- 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. After their disbandment, Nicole Scherzinger went solo for unknown reasons, but has yet to ever achieve any success she had with PCD.
- Red Velvet
- Ranetki, a Russian girl group best known outside of Russia for their song "O Tebye", which was used on one of the radio stations in the game Grand Theft Auto IV.
- 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".
- 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".
- The Shangri-Las, best known for their "tough girl" image in comparison to the more wholesome images of their contemporaries. Their best known single "Leader of the Pack" was an song about All Girls Want Bad Boys.
- Many vocal groups produced by Phil Spector, including The Ronettes and The Crystals.
- Spice Girls. Their shocking popularity led to several other girl groups being manufactured. Most examples from the late 90s and early 2000s were created to cash in on the craze. Each girl was given her own distinct nickname and identity - Scary Spice (Mel B), Posh Spice (Victoria), Baby Spice (Emma), Sporty Spice (Mel C) and Ginger Spice (Geri)note . Also got a movie - Spice World.
- 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".
- The Supremes. They were the breakthrough R&B act, and helped put Motown Records on the map in The '60s. Their most famous singer, Diana Ross, went on to have a lengthy and successful solo career.
- Sweet California from Spain.
- t.A.T.u., a Russian girl duo that were sold as being lesbian lovers (they weren't).
- Tiktak, a Finnish girl group popular in the early 2000s.
- 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.
- Toto Coelho, of "I Eat Cannibals" fame.
- TWICE is not just popular in Korea, but also in Japan.
- The Veronicas, twin sisters from Australia who took their name from the Archie character.
- Wild Orchid, best known for being the former band of Stacy Ferguson before she joined the Black Eyed Peas.
- Wonder Girls
Fictional ones:Anime and Manga
- Girls Dead Monster (GirlDeMo for short) from Angel Beats!.
- 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.
- Macross Delta has Walküre. This being Macross, their singing is central to the plot; specifically, it's able to cure people of "Var Syndrome". Now Defictionalized, with Minori Suzuki and JUNNA (Freyja and the singing voice of Mikumo respectively) as its lead singers, with Kiyono Yasuno, Nozomi Nishida and Nao Touyama (Kaname, Makina and Reina respectively) also part of the group.
- The Cheetah Girls, who were also defictionalized.
- An early example: the Viennese Swallows in The Smiling Lieutenant (1931).
- 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
- The all-girl orchestra in which the main characters hide out in Some Like It Hot.
- Burnistoun: Kelly and the Sloppy Seconds, an all-female band who sing somewhat sexually-charged songs and wear risque rocker outfits.
- As Empreguetes ("The Maidettes") from the Brazilian Soap Opera Cheias de Charme.
- In probably the strangest example, Mike and the Bots play a girl group for the song "Where Oh Werewolf".
- G3 Princess from Engine Sentai Go-onger.
- Star, Simone, and Alexandra from STAR. The girls changed their group name from Big Trouble to Take 3.
- 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.
- Dreamgirls, a musical about a girl group based on The Supremes. Released as a film in 2006.
- 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.
- Donna and the Dynamos, Donna Sheridan's old girl group from Mamma Mia!.
- League of Legends introduced KPop inspired K/DA (Kill/Death/Assist) featuring Ahri, Akali, Evelynn and Kai'Sa. It was defictionalized when they released their first single POP/STARS.
- The girls from the video game Rockin' Pretty.
- The Chipettes, as a Distaff Counterpart to the Chipmunks 'Boy Band'
- Jem (is truly, truly outrageous) and rival band the Misfits (their songs are better)
- The title band in LoliRock is one of these.
- Phineas and Ferb has The Bettys, a Shout-Out of sorts to the Veronicas.
- 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.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks:
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 rarely being called the even more detested label of boy band (and then only as an explicit insult).
- Afterschool Tea Time, the light rock band formed by the main character of K-On!.
- The Bangles
- Band-Maid, a heavy metal/hard rock band from Japan where the member dress as maids. Their music is a very accessible kind of metal, but it's still not exactly what you'd expect upon seeing them at first glance.
- Conquer Divide is an all-female Metalcore band
- Doll Skin, an all-female punk rock band from Arizona.
- The Donnas
- The Faders, a pop-punk trio of girls that played their own instruments but blurred the lines between rock band and girl group.
- Girlschool, one of the few NWOBHM examples.
- 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.
- 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 and by Sam Smith in the future. Not a full example however, as the band features an unrelated male member on drums.
- Hey Violet used to be this before Julia was replaced with Casey.
- The Finnish band Indica
- The Like
- The Riot Grrrl movement in The '90s 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 (a British group who actually had a mixed-gender line-up) 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.
- Babes in Toyland plays with the girl group characterization in the music video for "Sweet '69"
- 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.Genre-Busting indie noise-pop,]] not unlike The Ramones if you take away the Y chromosome.
- S Club 7 only had 4 girls whose names are Hannah (Spearritt), Jo (O'Meara), Rachel (Stevens) and Tina (Barrett).
- The Stunners
- 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).
- Tiktak, another Finnish band
- Vivian Girls, indie noise-pop, not unlike The Ramones if you take away the Y chromosome.
- Vixen, a Hair Metal band.