Who Run the World? My Favorite Girl Groups

Mack Mendenhall

En Vogue

En Vogue has cycled through several line-up changes since their formation in 1989, but the original four members were Maxine Jones, Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, and Cindy Herron. The R&B, soul, funk, and new jack swing girl group was known for its popular covers of famous songs such as “(Giving Him) Something He Can Feel” by Aretha Franklin and “Who’s Lovin’ You” by The Jackson 5 in their first number two hit “Hold On.” En Vogue also famously sampled James Brown’s hit “The Payback” on “Hold On” and on their second number two hit “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It).” Currently, Ellis, Herron, and Rhona Bennett perform as En Vogue.


Major Hits: “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Free Your Mind,” “Don’t Let Go (Love),” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Hold On”



Though they were originally only active for ten years, SWV (Sisters With Voices) became one of the most popular R&B girl groups of the 1990s. Since their formation in 1988, their trio lineup of Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson, and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons has remained consistent. SWV’s style captitalized on the popularity of new jack swing, a mixture of R&B, dance, pop, and hip hop that was widely successful in the late ’80s and early ’90s. One of their most famous songs, “Right Here,” samples Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit “Human Nature” and remixes the track with a hip hop beat. SWV reunited in 2005 and continues to perform to this day.


Major Hits: “Weak,” “Right Here – Human Nature Remix,” “Anything,” “I’m So Into You,” “You’re the One”


The Supremes

Signed to Motown Records, Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard were introduced to the world in 1962 with their debut album, Meet The Supremes. The iconic trio has become the blueprint for all female groups to follow. Classy, refined, and glamorous, The Supremes ruled the 1960s with one chart-topping hit after another. By the 1970s, lead singer Diana Ross’ successful solo career was taking off, and the group disbanded in 1977.


Major Hits: “Baby Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Come See About Me”



One of the best-selling girl groups of all time, TLC shook up the R&B music scene in 1992 with their debut album, Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip!  The album was heavily characterized by its effortless blend of new jack swing, R&B, funk, and hip hop. Beyond their music, the three group members – Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas – became known as advocates for female empowerment, safe sex, gender role nonconformity, and stylistic freedom. TLC went on to win four Grammy Awards for their following two albums, CrazySexyCool (1994) and Fanmail (1999). Though rapper Lopes tragically passed away in a car accident in 2002, Watkins and Thomas still perform together on occasion and continue to carry on the legacy of TLC’s legendary music.


Major Hits: “No Scrubs,” “Waterfalls,” “What About Your Friends,” “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” “Creep”


The Pussycat Dolls

Formerly a burlesque troupe, The Pussycat Dolls were formed in the early 2000s and released their first album, PCD, in 2005 after the recruitment of lead singer Nicole Scherzinger. Their original line-up also included Kimberly Wyatt, Melody Thornton, Carmit Bachar, Jessica Sutta, and Ashley Roberts. The Pussycat Dolls scored multi-platinum hit songs, dozens of award nominations, and international success from PCD and went on to release one more album together, Doll Domination, in 2008 before disbanding. However, five of the original Pussycat Dolls reunited in 2019 to release a new single, “React.”


Major Hits: “Don’t Cha,” “Stickwitu,” “Buttons,” “When I Grow Up,” “I Hate This Part”


Destiny's Child

Though the legendary girl group went through several changes to their line-up in the late 1990s, Destiny’s Child is best known as a trio consisting of lead singer Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. The group was massively popular through the early 2000s and launched successful solo careers for all three members, especially Beyoncé. Since their early prominent years, the three women have united several times in the past decade, notably at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show in 2013.


Major Hits: “Say My Name,” “Independent Women,” “Survivor,” “Bootylicious,” “Bills, Bills, Bills”