Girl group

A girl group is a music act featuring several female singers who generally harmonize together. The term "girl group" is also used in a narrower sense in the United States to denote the wave of American female pop music singing groups, many of whom were influenced by doo-wop and which flourished in the late 1950s and early 1960s between the decline of early rock and roll and start of the British Invasion.[1][2] All-female bands, in which members also play instruments, are usually considered a separate phenomenon. These groups are sometimes called "girl bands" to differentiate,[3] although this terminology is not universally followed.

With the advent of the music industry and radio broadcasting, a number of girl groups emerged, such as the Andrews Sisters. The late 1950s saw the emergence of all-female singing groups as a major force, with 750 distinct girl groups releasing songs that reached US and UK music charts from 1960 to 1966.[4] The Supremes alone held 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 during the height of the wave and throughout most of the British Invasion rivaled the Beatles in popularity.[5][6]

In later eras, the girl group template would be applied to disco, contemporary R&B, and country-based formats, as well as pop. A more globalized music industry saw the extreme popularity of dance-oriented pop music[7] led by major record labels. This emergence, led by the US, UK, South Korea, and Japan, produced extremely popular acts, with eight groups debuting after 1990 having sold more than 15 million physical copies of their albums. Also, since the late 2000s, South Korea has had a significant impact, with 8 of the top 10 girl groups by digital sales in the world originating there.

Currently the most sold album by a female group of this decade is 7/27 for fifth harmony, as they are also the group of best-selling girls of this decade alike with a total of 49.9 million copies sold in the world


Vaudeville and close harmonies

One of the first major all-female groups was the Hamilton Sisters and Fordyce, an American trio who successfully toured England and parts of Europe in 1927, recorded and appeared on BBC radio – they toured the US variety and big-time theaters extensively, and later changed their stage name to the Three X Sisters. The ladies were together from 1923 until the early 1940s, and known for their close harmonies, as well as barbershop style or novelty tunes, and utilized their 1930s radio success.[8] The Three X Sisters were also especially a notable addition to the music scene, and predicted later girl group success by maintaining their popularity throughout the Great Depression.[9] The Boswell Sisters, who became one of the most popular singing groups from 1930 to 1936, had over twenty hits. The Andrews Sisters started in 1937 as a Boswell tribute band and continued recording and performing through the 1940s into the late-1960s, achieving more record sales, more Billboard hits, more million-sellers, and more movie appearances than any other girl group to date.[10] The Andrews Sisters had musical hits across multiple genres, which contributed to the prevalence and popularity of the girl group form.[11]

The rise of girl groups appeared out of and was influenced by other musical movements of the time period. Vaudeville created an environment of entertainment in which the appearance of the girl group was not unfriendly, and musical forms like a cappella and barbershop quartet singing provided inspiration for the structure of the songs and types of harmonies sung by initial girl groups. Importantly, the first successful girl groups of this era were typically white, but capitalized on using music such as ragtime that had originated in the African American community. This era was also advantageous to the beginnings of girl group music because of the newfound prevalence of the radio as well, which allowed this style of music to spread.

1955–1970: The golden age of girl groups

As the rock era began, close harmony acts like the Chordettes, the Fontane Sisters, the McGuire Sisters and the DeCastro Sisters remained popular, with the first three acts topping the pop charts and the last reaching number two, at the end of 1954 to the beginning of 1955.[12] Also, the Lennon Sisters were a mainstay on the Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 on. In early 1956, doo-wop one-hit wonder acts like the Bonnie Sisters with "Cry Baby" and the Teen Queens with "Eddie My Love" showed early promise for a departure from traditional pop harmonies. With "Mr. Lee", the Bobbettes lasted for 5 1/2 months on the charts in 1957, building momentum and gaining further acceptance of all-female, all-black vocal groups.[13]

However, it was the Chantels' 1958 song "Maybe" that became "arguably, the first true glimmering of the girl group sound."[14][15] The "mixture of black doo-wop, rock and roll, and white pop"[16] was appealing to a teenage audience and grew from scandals involving payola and the perceived social effects of rock music.[17] However, early groups such as the Chantels started developing their groups' musical capacities traditionally, through mediums like Latin and choir music.[18] The success of the Chantels and others was followed by an enormous rise in girl groups with varying skills and experience, with the music industry's typical racially segregated genre labels of R&B and pop slowly breaking apart.[15] This rise also allowed a semblance of class mobility to groups of people who often could not otherwise gain such success, and "forming vocal groups together and cutting records gave them access to other opportunities toward professional advancement and personal growth, expanding the idea of girlhood as an identity across race and class lines."[19] The group often considered to have achieved the first sustained success in girl group genre is the Shirelles,[20][21] who first reached the Top 40 with "Tonight's the Night", and in 1961 became the first girl group to reach number one on the Hot 100 with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow",[22] written by songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King at 1650 Broadway.[23] The Shirelles solidified their success with five more top 10 hits, most particularly 1962's number one hit "Soldier Boy", over the next two and a half years. "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes became a major indication of the racial integration of popular music, as it was the first number one song in the US for African-American owned label, Motown Records.[24] Motown would mastermind several major girl groups, including Martha and the Vandellas, the Velvelettes, and the Supremes.[23]

Please Mr. Postman album

Other songwriters and producers in the US and UK quickly recognized the potential of this new approach and recruited existing acts (or, in some cases, created new ones) to record their songs in a girl-group style. Phil Spector recruited the Crystals, the Blossoms, and the Ronettes,[25] while Goffin and King penned two hit songs for the Cookies. Phil Spector made a huge impact on the ubiquity of the girl group, as well as bringing fame and notoriety to new heights for many girl groups. Phil Spector's so-called Wall of Sound, which used layers of instruments to create a more potent sound[26] allowed girl groups to sing powerfully and in different styles than earlier generations. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller would likewise foster the Exciters, the Dixie Cups, and the Shangri-Las.[27] The Shangri-Las' hit single, "Leader of the Pack," exemplified the "'death disc' genre" adopted by some girl groups.[28] These songs usually told the story of teenage love cut short by the death of one of the young lovers.

The Paris Sisters had success from 1961 to 1964, especially with "I Love How You Love Me". The Sensations, the Chiffons, the Angels, and the Orlons were also prominent in the early 1960s. In early fall 1963 one-hit wonder the Jaynetts' "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" achieved a mysterious sound[29] quite unlike that of any other girl group. In 1964, the one-hit wonder group the Murmaids took David Gates' "Popsicles and Icicles" to the top 3 in January, the Carefrees' "We Love You Beatles" scraped the top 40 in April, and the Jewels' "Opportunity" was a small hit in December.[30]

The girl group sound also extended to existing acts backed by studio musician girls performing without label credit. Examples are too numerous to mention.

Over 750 girl groups were able to chart a song between 1960 and 1966[4] in the US and UK, although the genre's reach was not as strongly felt in the music industries of other regions. As the youth culture of western Continental Europe was deeply immersed in Yé-yé, recording artists of East Asia mostly varied from traditional singers, government-sponsored chorus,[31][32] or multi-cultural soloists and bands,[33][34] while bossa nova was trendy in Latin America. Beat Music's global influence eventually pushed out girl groups as a genre and, except for a small number of the foregoing groups and possibly the Toys and the Sweet Inspirations, the only girl groups with any significant chart presence from the beginning of the British Invasion through 1970 were Motown girl groups with the Supremes being the only girl group to score number one hits.[35][36] The distinct girl group sound would not re-emerge until the 21st century, where it would influence modern-day English-speaking pop-soul soloists who have been met with international success, such as Amy Winehouse, Adele, Duffy and Melanie Fiona among others. In addition to influencing individual singers, this generation of girl groups cemented the girl group form and sentiment and provided inspiration for many future groups.

1966–1989: Changes in formats and genres

Labelle 1975
Singing group Labelle, circa 1975

Entering the 1970s, The Supremes had continued success with top 10 hits "Up the Ladder to the Roof" and "Stoned Love" along with six other singles charting on Billboard's top 40. Only two other girl groups made top 10 chartings through 1974 with "Want Ads" by Honey Cone and "When Will I See You Again" by the Three Degrees[37] (which had roots in the 1960s and in 1970, like the Chantels in 1958, began their top 40 pop career with "Maybe"). Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles was a US 1960s girl group whose image Vicki Wickham, their manager, helped remake in the early 1970s, renaming the group Labelle and pushing them in the direction of glam rock.[38] Labelle were the first girl group to eschew matching outfits and identical choreography, instead wearing extravagant spacesuits and feathered headdresses.[39] Later, during the disco craze and beyond, female acts included First Choice, Silver Convention, Hot, the Emotions, High Inergy, Odyssey, Sister Sledge, Mary Jane Girls, Belle Epoque, Frantique, Luv', and Baccara. Extending into the 1980s were groups like the Pointer Sisters, Exposé, and Bananarama.

In Latin America, there were a number of dance-oriented popular girl groups during the era, including the Flans, Jeans, and Pandora.

In Japan, all-female idol groups Candies and Pink Lady made a series of hits during the 1970s and 1980s as well. The Japanese music program Music Station listed Candies and Pink Lady in their Top 50 Idols of All Time (compiled in 2011), placing them at number 32 and number 15, with sales exceeding 5 and 13 million in Japan, respectively.[40] With the single "Kiss in the Dark", Pink Lady was also one of only two Japanese artists to have reached the Billboard Top 40.[41] Billboard magazine states that Pink Lady have sold over 40 million singles and 25 million albums worldwide.[42]

1990–present: Dance pop girl group era

American R&B and hip hop

With the rise of new jack swing, contemporary R&B and hip hop, American girl groups such as En Vogue, Exposé and Sweet Sensation all had singles which hit number one on the charts. Groups in these genres, such as SWV, Xscape, 702, Total, Zhane, Blaque, and 3LW, managed to have songs chart on both the U.S. Hot 100 and the U.S. R&B charts. However, TLC achieved the most success for a girl group in an era where contemporary R&B would become global mainstream acceptance.[43] TLC remains the best-selling American girl group with 65 million records sold, and their second studio album, CrazySexyCool (1994), remains the best-selling album by a girl group in the United States (Diamond certification), while selling over 14 million copies worldwide.[44] Destiny's Child emerged in the late 1990s and sold more than 60 million records.[45]

Despite the dying popularity of girl groups in the US in the mid-2000s, American girl group and dance ensemble the Pussycat Dolls achieved worldwide success with their singles. Following their disbandment, the format became a very minor format with a small number of groups achieving any level of notoriety. One such exception is Miami-based girl group Fifth Harmony, who were formed in 2012 on The X Factor USA. They reached international success with their debut album Reflection, which featured the hit “Worth It”.

The second British invasion

Spice Girls in Toronto, Ontario
Breaking through during the mid-1990s the Spice Girls became the best-selling girl group of all time.

Amidst the American domination of the girl group scene, the UK's Spice Girls shifted the tide and had ten number 1 singles in the UK and US. With sold-out concerts, advertisements, merchandise, 80 million worldwide record sales, the best-selling album of all time by a female group,[46][47][48] and a film, the Spice Girls became the most commercially successful British group since the Beatles.[49][50][51][52][53]

The cultural movement started by the Spice Girls produced other similar acts, which include the British-Canadian outfit All Saints, Irish girl group B*Witched, Atomic Kitten and Eternal, who all achieved varying levels of success during the decade. Throughout the 2000s, girl groups from the UK remained popular, with Girls Aloud's "Sound of the Underground" and Sugababes' "Round Round" having been called "two huge groundbreaking hits"[54] credited with reshaping British pop music for the 2000s.[55] The success of Sugababes and Girls Aloud inspired other UK girl group acts, including Mis-Teeq, the Saturdays, StooShe and Little Mix, who were the first group to win the UK version of The X Factor.

Emergence of Asian dance-pop girl groups

Although the emergence of dance-pop focused acts in Asia paralleled their British counterparts in the 1990s, girl groups in Asia sustained as a successful format through the 2010s.[56] Many of these girl groups practice highly choreographed dances with studio-produced playback.

Japan has the music industry's second largest market overall and the largest physical music market in the world,[57] with the physical sales Oricon Singles Chart being dominated by J-pop idol girl groups.[58][59] In the late 1990s, vocal/dance girl bands Speed and Max gained prominence in Asia, and paved the way for succeeding Japanese girl groups, such as Morning Musume, AKB48, Perfume, and Momoiro Clover Z. Speed sold a total of 20 million copies in Japan within three years, with Variety calling them "Japan’s top girl group",[60] while Max still hold the record for girl group with the second most number of consecutive top 10 singles in Japan.[61] Morning Musume are one of the most successful and longest running Japanese pop idol girl groups in Japan, and have sold over 18 million copies there. AKB48 have had the best-selling singles of the year in the country for the past six years. The AKB48 format has also expanded to other Asian countries. Throughout the 2010s, AKB48 sister groups have been launched or will be launched in Indonesia, China, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, India, South Korea and Vietnam.[62][63][64][65][66] Several new idol groups appeared in the 2010s and created a fiercely competitive situation in the music industry, which has been referred to as the "Idol sengoku jidai" (アイドル戦国時代; lit. Age of the Idol Warring States).[67]

Girls' Generation at DMC Festival 2015 MBC Radio DJ Concert 02
Girls' Generation. Left to right, standing: Sunny, Yuri, Yoona, Seohyun and Taeyeon. Left to right, kneeling: Sooyoung, Tiffany and Hyoyeon

Since 2009, Hallyu (Korean wave) and K-pop has become increasingly significant in the entertainment industry, with its influence breaking the confinements of Asia and spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Americas.[68][69] Girl groups are considered one of the leaders of this "Hallyu" wave, with popular groups consistently topping the Gaon Album Charts. Popular South Korean girl groups include Girls' Generation, Wonder Girls, Kara, 2NE1, T-ara, f(x), Twice, Red Velvet and Black Pink, amongst others.[70] The girl groups of Korea have been particularly effective in digital sales of music, with seven South Korean acts comprising the top ten in digital sales among girl groups. In 2013, Girls' Generation won the award for Video of the Year at the first YouTube Music Awards for "I Got a Boy". The influence of the original girl groups of the United States was not lost on this era of artists, as many adopted visual influences through their "retro" concepts,[71] such as the international 2008 hit "Nobody" by Wonder Girls.


Girl groups have a wide array of subject matter in their songs, depending on time and place and who was producing. Songs also had a penchant for reflecting the political and cultural climate around them. For instance, songs with abusive undertones were somewhat common during the 1950s–1970s. One notable example was the song "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)" by the Crystals. During the "golden age of girl groups", lyrics were disparate, ranging from songs about mean dogs to underage pregnancy. However, common sentiments were also found in ideas like new love, pining after a crush or lover, and heartache. Some songs sounded upbeat or cheerful and sang about falling in love, whereas others took a decidedly more melancholic turn. Groups like the Shangri-Las, with the song "I Can Never Go Home Anymore" sang about the darker side of being in love.[72]


An especially prevalent theme was adolescence. Since most of the girl groups were composed of young singers, often still in high school, songs mentioned parents in many cases. Adolescence was also a popular subject because of an emerging audience of young girls listening to and buying records. Adolescence was also reinforced by girl groups in cultivation of a youthful image, since "an unprecedented instance of teenage girls occupying center stage of mainstream commercial culture".[73] An example of this youth branding might be Baby Spice from the Spice Girls. This was shown through flourishes like typically matching outfits for mid-century girl groups and youthful content in songs. Girl groups of the 1950s era would also give advice to other girls, or sing about the advice their mothers gave to them, which was a similarity to some male musical groups of the time (for example, the Miracles' "Shop Around").

Adolescence was also important (especially starting in the 1950s) from the other end: the consumers were "teeneagers [with] disposable income, ready access to automobiles, and consolidated high schools that exposed them to large numbers of other teens. Mass teen culture was born."[74] This was a symbiotic relationship with the girl groups in that these groups sang youthful content to appeal to their teen audience, and the teens, especially girls, bought the girl group records accordingly. Girls were also more easily exploited and more accessible to a youth, as well as broader audiences.


Additionally, as the girl group structure persisted through further generations, popular cultural sentiments were incorporated into the music. The appearance of "girl power" and feminism was also added, even though beginning groups were very structured in their femininity.[73] Girl groups would give advice to their audience, or there would be a back-and-forth dialogue between the backup singers and the main singer. It would be simplistic to imply that girl groups only sang about being in love; on the contrary, many groups expressed complex sentiments in their songs. There were songs of support, songs that were gossipy, etc.; like any other musical movement, there was lots of variation in what was being sung. A prominent theme was often teaching "what it meant to be a woman".[75] Girl groups would exhibit what womanhood looked like from the clothes they were wearing to the actual lyrics in their songs. Of course this changed over the years (what the Supremes were wearing was different from the Spice Girls), but girl groups still served as beacons and examples of certain types of identities to their audiences through the years.

Girl groups in earlier generations like the 1950s were perhaps more exploited (at least overtly) than more recent girl groups. In the 1990s through the present, with the prevalence of such groups as the Spice Girls, there has been a strong emphasis on women's independence and a sort of feminism. At the very least, the music is more assertive lyrically and relies less on innuendo. This more recent wave of girl groups is more sexually provocative as well, which makes sense within pop music within this time frame as well.[76]

See also


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External links

Black Pink

Black Pink (Hangul: 블랙핑크), stylized as BLACKPINK or BLΛƆKPIИK, is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment, consisting of members Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa, and Rosé.

The group debuted on August 8, 2016, with their single Square One, which spawned "Whistle", their first number-one song in South Korea. The single also included "Boombayah", their first number one on Billboard World Digital Songs chart, which set the record as the most-viewed debut music video by a Korean act. With the group's commercial success in their first five months, they were hailed as the New Artist of the Year at the 31st Golden Disc Awards and the 26th Seoul Music Awards.As at 2018, Black Pink is the highest-charting female K-pop act on both Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, peaking at number 55 with "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du", and peaking at number 40 with Square Up respectively. They are also the first and only K-pop girl group to enter and top Billboard's Emerging Artists chart. They are also the first female K-pop group to have four number-one singles on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart. At the time of its release, "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" was the most-viewed Korean music video in 24 hours on YouTube.

Chungha (singer)

Chungha (Hangul: 청하; born February 9, 1996) is a South Korean singer. She finished fourth in Mnet's girl group survival show Produce 101, and is a former member of the now disbanded South Korean girl group I.O.I.

Contemporary Christian music

Contemporary Christian music (or CCM—and occasionally "inspirational music") is a genre of modern popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith. It formed as those affected by the 1960s Jesus movement revival began to express themselves in a more contemporary style of music than the hymns, Gospel and Southern Gospel music that was prevalent in the church at the time. Today, the term is typically used to refer to pop, rock, or praise & worship styles.

It has representation on several music charts including Billboard's Christian Albums, Christian Songs, Hot Christian AC (Adult Contemporary), Christian CHR, Soft AC/Inspirational, and Christian Digital Songs as well as the UK's Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart. Top-selling CCM artists will also appear on the Billboard 200. In the iTunes Store, the genre is represented as part of the Christian and gospel genre.

Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child was an American girl group whose final and best-known line-up comprised Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. Formed in 1997 in Houston, Texas, Destiny's Child members began their musical career as Girl's Tyme, formed in 1990, comprising Knowles, Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett among others. After years of limited success, the quartet were signed in 1997 to Columbia Records and Music World Entertainment as Destiny's Child. Destiny's Child was launched into mainstream recognition following the release of their best-selling second album, The Writing's on the Wall (1999), which contained the number-one singles "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name". Despite critical and commercial success, the group was plagued by internal conflict and legal turmoil, as Roberson and Luckett attempted to split from the group's manager Mathew Knowles, citing favoritism of Knowles and Rowland.

In early 2000, both Roberson and Luckett were replaced with Williams and Farrah Franklin; however, Franklin quit after five months, leaving the group as a trio. Their third album, Survivor (2001), which contains themes the public interpreted as a channel to the group's experience, contains the worldwide hits "Independent Women", "Survivor" and "Bootylicious". In 2002, they announced a hiatus and re-united two years later for the release of their fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled (2004).

Destiny's Child has sold more than sixty million records worldwide to date. Billboard magazine ranks the group as one of the greatest musical trios of all time, the ninth most successful artist/band of the 2000s, placed the group 68th in its All-Time Hot 100 Artists list in 2008 and in December 2016, the magazine ranked them as the 90th most successful dance club artist of all-time. The group was nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, winning twice for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and once for Best R&B Song.

F(x) (group)

f(x) (; Hangul: 에프엑스) is a South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment. The group is currently composed of four members: Victoria, Amber, Luna, and Krystal. Originally a five-piece group, Sulli left the group in August 2015.

f(x) officially debuted in September 2009 with the release of the digital single "La Cha Ta". Their debut studio album, Pinocchio (2011), and their two extended plays, Nu Abo (2010) and Electric Shock (2012), produced three number one singles on Gaon Digital Chart. Their acclaimed second studio album, Pink Tape (2013), was the only K-pop album on US music channel Fuse's '41 Best Albums of 2013'. The group released their third and fourth albums, Red Light (2014) and 4 Walls (2015), to both commercial and critical success.

f(x) has been recognised for their experimental style and eclectic, electropop-based sound. They are one of the first few recognized K-pop groups internationally, becoming the first K-pop act to perform at SXSW.

Fifth Harmony

Fifth Harmony is an American girl group based in Miami, composed of Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui, and previously Camila Cabello until her departure from the group in December 2016. The group signed a joint record deal with Simon Cowell's label Syco Records and L.A. Reid's label Epic Records after forming and finishing third in the second season of the American singing competition series The X Factor in 2012. Rising to prominence by social media, the group's debut extended play and their three studio albums all charted within the top ten of the Billboard 200 in the United States.

Following their exit from The X Factor, they released their debut single "Miss Movin' On", preceding their extended play Better Together, certified gold in the United States. Its music video won the group the MTV Video Music Award for Artist to Watch. The group released their debut studio album Reflection in 2015, also receiving a gold certification in the country. The album included the singles "Boss", "Sledgehammer" and "Worth It". The latter achieved triple platinum certification in the United States and reached the top-ten in thirteen countries. The following year, "Work from Home", the lead single from their second album 7/27, became the group's first top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 and the first top-five by a girl group in a decade on that chart. They released their self-titled third album in 2017.

Their accolades include three MTV Europe Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four iHeartRadio Music Awards, an American Music Award, a Billboard Women in Music award and six Teen Choice Awards. As of December 2016, in the United States, Fifth Harmony has sold a total of 456,000 albums, seven million digital songs and earned 1.6 billion on-demand streams, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The group went on hiatus in May 2018, allowing the members to pursue solo projects.

Girls' Generation

Girls' Generation (Hangul: 소녀시대; RR: Sonyeo Sidae), also known as SNSD, is a South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment. The group is composed of eight members: Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun. Originally a nine-piece group, Jessica later departed from the group in September 2014. Girls' Generation debuted in 2007 with their Korean eponymous debut album. Though the album gained some attention, it was not until 2009 that the group rose to fame with the single "Gee", which claimed the top spot on KBS's Music Bank for a record-breaking nine consecutive weeks and was named the most popular song of the 2000s in South Korea by Melon. Girls' Generation further consolidated their popularity on the South Korean music scene with follow-up singles "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)", "Oh!", and "Run Devil Run", which were released in mid-2009 and early 2010.

In mid-2010, Girls' Generation signed with Nayutawave Records (present-day EMI Records Japan) to venture into the Japanese music scene. Their 2011 eponymous Japanese debut album peaked atop the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart and became the first album by a non-Japanese girl group to be certified "Million" by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. The group's third Korean studio album The Boys was released in October 2011 and became the best-selling album of 2011 in South Korea with sales of over 380,000 copies. An English version of the single "The Boys" was released by Interscope Records in an attempt to expand the group's endeavor to the global music scene. The group's 2013 fourth Korean studio album I Got a Boy was supported by the single "I Got a Boy", which was subjected to major attention from Western media following its winning the Video of the Year award at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards. Their fifth Korean studio album, Lion Heart, was released in 2015. In 2017, Girls' Generation released their sixth Korean studio album, Holiday Night, to commemorate the group's tenth debut anniversary.

Girls' Generation's signature musical styles are characterized as electropop and bubblegum pop, though their sounds have varied widely, incorporating various genres including hip hop, R&B, and EDM. They have sold over 4.4 million albums and 30 million digital singles as of 2012. The group's immense popularity in their native country South Korea has earned them numerous accolades and the titles "The Nation's Singers" and "The Nation's Girl Group". Girls' Generation is also deemed one of the prominent figures of the Korean Wave and one of the most popular K-pop acts internationally. They are the first Asian girl group to achieve five music videos with over 100 million views on YouTube: "Gee", "I Got a Boy", "The Boys", "Mr. Taxi", and "Oh!". In Japan, they became the first non-Japanese girl group to have three number-one albums on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart, and their three Japanese concert tours attracted a record-breaking 550,000 spectators, more than any other Korean girl group.

Jeon So-mi

Ennik Somi Douma (born March 9, 2001), professionally known by her Korean name Jeon So-mi or mononymously as Somi, is a Canadian singer currently based in South Korea. She finished first in Mnet's K-pop reality show Produce 101, and is best known as a former member of the now disbanded South Korean girl group I.O.I.

Kara (South Korean group)

Kara (Hangul: 카라, Japanese: カラ, often stylized as KARA) was a South Korean pop girl group formed by DSP Media in 2007. The group's final lineup was composed of Park Gyuri, Han Seungyeon, Goo Hara and Heo Youngji. Members Nicole Jung and Kang Ji-young officially departed from the group in 2014, while Kim Sung-hee left in 2008. The group's name comes from the Greek word "chara" (χαρά, lit. "joy"), which they interpreted to mean "sweet melody".The group originally started off as a quartet and made their debut with "Break It" (2007) while displaying a strong female image and a mature R&B sound. Expectations for the group were big because they were considered as successors to their senior labelmate, Fin.K.L. They released their first studio album titled The First Blooming in March 2007. However, their debut was not well received by the public and was a commercial failure. The following year, Kim Sung-hee departed the group due to parental pressure, and members Goo Hara and Kang Jiyoung were brought in. After their addition, the group also changed their musical style and their image to the "pretty but natural" appeal, releasing their first mini-album, Rock U in July 2008. They achieved their first number one song with "Honey" (2009). In July 2009, the group released their second studio album, Revolution and spawned the hit single "Mister", whose choreography featured the "butt-dance", that helped increase the group's popularity within East Asia. Their follow-up singles including "Lupin" (2010), "Jumping" (2010), "Step" (2011), and "Pandora" (2012) were also successful and helped further establish the group within the Korean music industry. The group were ranked at No. 6 and No. 5 in Gallup Korea in 2009 and 2010 respectively, thus making them the second best girl group in Korea for 2010. They were also ranked at No. 4 and 13 in February 2012 and 2013's Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list.After finding national success, the group began to expand their music to Japan by signing to Universal Music Japan's subsidiary label, Universal Sigma in 2010. The group's debut was a success as they were dubbed as "Japan's No. 1 Rookie Artist of 2010" by Oricon and also receiving the "New Artist of the Year Award (International)" from the Japan Gold Disc Awards. In April 2011, the group achieved their first number one single in Japan with "Jet Coaster Love", making them the first foreign female group since the creation of the Oricon to rank number one in the first week of release and also the first foreign female group in thirty years to do so. Overall, the group managed to sell over one million physical singles within two years, making them one of the fastest-selling South Korean acts in Japan.In 2014, Nicole Jung and Kang Jiyoung decided not to renew their contracts with DSP Media thus leaving the group to pursue their own endeavors; Nicole debuted as solo artist and Jiyoung became an actress in Japan. Following their departures, a reality show titled Kara Project was aired on TV to select members to join the group. Seven trainees from DSP Media took part in the program. The winner of the competition was Heo Youngji who became the latest member to join the group.

On January 15, 2016, DSP Media announced that the contracts with Park Gyu-ri, Han Seung-yeon and Goo Ha-ra expired and they decided not to renew their contracts.

Little Mix

Little Mix are a British girl group formed in 2011 during the eighth series of the UK version of The X Factor. They were the first group to win the competition, and following their victory, they signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Music and released a cover of Damien Rice's "Cannonball" as their winner's single. The members are Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson.Little Mix released their debut album DNA in 2012, which peaked inside the top 10 in ten countries including the UK and US. This made Little Mix the first girl group since the Pussycat Dolls to reach the US top five with their debut album, as well as earning the highest debut US chart position for a British girl group's first release, breaking the record previously held by the Spice Girls. The group's second album Salute (2013) became their second album to debut inside the top 10 in both the UK and US. Their third album Get Weird was released in 2015. Their fourth album Glory Days (2016) became their first number one album in the UK, and also achieved the longest-reigning girl group number one album since the Spice Girls' debut album 20 years earlier, and the highest first week UK album sales for a girl band since 1997. In the UK, the group has earned four number-one singles, including "Wings", "Black Magic" and "Shout Out to My Ex".

The group won Best British Single for "Shout Out to My Ex" at the 2017 Brit Awards; they have also received several other awards during their career, including two MTV Europe Music Awards, two Teen Choice Awards and two Glamour Awards. As of August 2018, the group has achieved four platinum certified albums and

sixteen certified singles in the UK. Little Mix appeared on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.

Play (Swedish group)

Play was a Swedish pop girl group consisting of, in total, seven young women. Faye Hamlin, Anna Sundstrand, Anaïs Lameche, and Rosie Munter formed Play's original line-up from the band's formation from 2001 until late 2003. After founding member Faye left the group, fifth member Janet Leon joined Play to fill Hamlin's position as lead singer. In 2005, the group officially announced an "indefinite break" and split up. At that time, Play had sold almost one million albums. Four years later, in 2009, the group reformed with a new line-up of three members consisting of Anaïs, Faye, and the sixth and oldest member of Play, Sanne Karlsson. In February 2011, an official statement was made that Faye had once again left the group in 2010 and would be replaced by Emelie Norenberg. It was announced in May 2011 that the band had separated for the second time.

Red Velvet (group)

Red Velvet (Hangul: 레드벨벳) is a South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment. The group debuted on August 1, 2014, with the digital single "Happiness" and four group members: Irene, Seulgi, Wendy and Joy. In March 2015, Yeri was added into the group prior to the release of their first extended play, Ice Cream Cake.

Since their debut, Red Velvet has released two studio albums, one reissue album, and seven extended plays in Korean, with eight of them topping South Korea's Gaon Album Chart. Their singles "Ice Cream Cake", "Dumb Dumb", "Russian Roulette", "Rookie", "Peek-a-Boo", "Bad Boy" have all charted in the top five of the Gaon Digital Chart, while their singles "Red Flavor" and "Power Up" topped the chart upon their release. Additionally, they made their Japanese debut in July 2018 with the extended play #Cookie Jar. They have been regarded as one of the most popular K-pop groups worldwide by Time and Billboard and have received several awards for music, choreography, and popularity, including the Golden Disc New Artist Award and the Mnet Asian Music Award for Best Female Group in 2017. The director of the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange cited Red Velvet as a major contributor and one of the country's talented idol groups who have "largely promoted K-pop" while discussing the Korean Wave and K-pop receiving a significant increase in recognition around the world in 2018.

Red Velvet is known for their 'dual concept' dubbed as their "red" and "velvet" sides which influences their styling and the music they release. The group's "red" half produces singles predominantly of the pop genre due to its bright and more youthful nature such as their singles "Ice Cream Cake", "Dumb Dumb" and "Red Flavor" while their more mature "velvet" concept has spawned tracks primarily R&B such as their singles "Automatic" and "Bad Boy". They often incorporate other genres for the two sides, mixing them with genres such as electronic pop, hip-hop and disco. This dual concept has earned the group international praise for their versatility and diverse music.

Secret (South Korean group)

Secret (Hangul: 시크릿) was a South Korean K-pop girl group formed by TS Entertainment in 2009. The group originally debuted with four members: Jun Hyoseong, Jung Hana, Song Jieun and Han Sunhwa. They released their debut single I Want You Back October 2009. Secret's debut single did not meet great success and it was not until the following year that the group saw a rise in popularity. In 2010, Secret released two singles Magic and Madonna which earned much attention with both singles peaking at No. 2 and No. 1 respectively on the Gaon Digital Chart. With the success of "Magic" and "Madonna", the group received the "Newcomer Award" at the 25th Golden Disk Awards. During Secret's early days the group was known as "basement idols" because of the poor living conditions they were in, but with their rapid success the group was able to move into better conditions.In 2011, Secret adopted a girl-next-door image through songs like Shy Boy and Starlight Moonlight which led the group to major success. With the hit single Shy Boy Secret won their first music show award on M Countdown; they also managed to stay at number one on Music Bank for three consecutive weeks, earning them a triple crown. Shy Boy and Starlight Moonlight won Secret multiple awards including two Song of the Year awards at the 1st Gaon Chart Awards for the months of January and June. Secret released their first full-length album Moving in Secret in October 2011, featuring the lead single "Love is Move" which showcased Secret's sexy and confident side again. With the group's success in South Korea throughout 2011, Secret sold over seven million in digital download sales.

In August of the same year, Secret made their Japanese debut releasing their first single, "Madonna", a remake of their Korean hit single, which debuted at number nine on the Oricon charts. In November 2011, "Shy Boy" was remade to serve as the lead single on their first Japanese mini album Shy Boy which also featured a Christmas remake of "Starlight Moonlight" titled "Christmas Magic". Throughout 2012, Secret heavily promoted in Japan releasing two Japanese singles, So Much For Goodbye and Twinkle Twinkle, prior to releasing their first full-length Japanese album, Welcome to Secret Time. Twinkle Twinkle was used as the ending theme song of the Naruto spin-off, "Naruto SD: Rock Lee and his Ninja Pals" which aired on TV Tokyo.

After almost a year of absence from the South Korean music industry Secret released their third extended play "Poison" in September 2012 followed by the digital single Talk That in December. The following year Secret released their fourth extended play Letter from Secret April 2013 and their third single album, Gift From Secret December 2013. In August 2014, Secret released their fifth extended play Secret Summer.

Spice Girls

The Spice Girls are an English pop girl group formed in 1994. The group comprised Melanie Brown ("Scary Spice"), Melanie Chisholm ("Sporty Spice"), Emma Bunton ("Baby Spice"), Geri Halliwell ("Ginger Spice"), and Victoria Adams ("Posh Spice"; now Victoria Beckham). They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number one in 37 countries and established their global success. Their debut album Spice sold more than 31 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by a female group in history. Their follow-up album, Spiceworld sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The Spice Girls have sold 85 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling female group of all time, one of the best-selling pop groups of all time, and the biggest British pop success since The Beatles. Among the highest profile acts in 1990s British popular culture, Time called them "arguably the most recognizable face" of Cool Britannia, the mid-1990s celebration of youth culture in the UK.Measures of their success include international record sales, a 2007–2008 reunion tour, merchandising, iconic symbolism such as Halliwell's Union Jack dress representing "girl power", and a film, Spice World. The group became one of the most successful marketing engines ever, earning up to $75 million per year, with their global gross income estimated at $500–800 million by May 1998. Under the guidance of their mentor and manager Simon Fuller, the Spice Girls embraced merchandising and became a regular feature of the British and global press. In 1996, Top of the Pops magazine gave each member of the group aliases, which were adopted by the group and media. According to Rolling Stone journalist and biographer David Sinclair, "Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh, and Sporty were the most widely recognised group of individuals since John, Paul, George, and Ringo". With the "girl power" label, the Spice Girls were popular cultural icons of the 1990s. They are cited as part of the 'second wave' 1990s British Invasion of the US.

TLC (group)

TLC is an American girl group whose original line-up consisted of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1990, the group was very successful during the 1990s despite numerous spats with the law, each other, and the group's record label and management. They scored nine top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including four number-one singles "Creep", "Waterfalls", "No Scrubs", and "Unpretty". The group also recorded four multi-platinum albums, including CrazySexyCool (1994) which received a diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). TLC also became the first R&B group in history to receive Million certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for FanMail (1999).Having sold over 65 million records worldwide, TLC is the best-selling American girl group and second worldwide to the English group Spice Girls. VH1 ranked TLC as the greatest female group, placing them at number 12 on the list of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Billboard magazine ranked TLC as one of the greatest musical trios, as well as the seventh most successful act of the 1990s. The group's accolades include four career Grammy Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards and five Soul Train Music Awards. Twenty years after their debut, TLC was honored with Outstanding Contribution to Music at the 17th MOBO Awards and Legend Award at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards Japan. All three members of TLC are considered irreplaceable by the other members, and each of them has contributed equally to the group. Following Lopes' death in 2002, instead of replacing her, the remaining members chose to continue as a duo. On June 30, 2017, they released their fifth eponymous self-titled album TLC; it was originally intended to be their final studio album but they have later clarified that they will not split up following the album's release and will continue to perform together.

The Pussycat Dolls

The Pussycat Dolls were an American girl group and dance ensemble, founded in Los Angeles, California, by choreographer Robin Antin in 1995 as a burlesque troupe. After attracting media attention, Antin negotiated a record deal with Interscope Geffen A&M Records in 2003 turning the group into a music franchise comprising Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton, and Kimberly Wyatt. Overseen by Antin, Interscope, and various partners, the group was transformed into a global image and commercial brand. The Pussycat Dolls achieved worldwide success with hit singles "Don't Cha", "Buttons", "Stickwitu", and their first album PCD. However, despite their commercial success, the group was plagued by internal conflict due to the emphasis on Scherzinger, the group's lead vocalist, and the subordinate treatment of the other members. Bachar's departure from the group preceded the release of their second and final studio album Doll Domination, which contains singles "When I Grow Up", "I Hate This Part", and "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)".

In 2009, they announced a minor hiatus that was later revealed to be an official break-up. The Dolls brand diversified into merchandise, reality television programs, a Las Vegas act, product endorsements, spin-off recording groups (Girlicious, Paradiso Girls, G.R.L.) and other ventures. Billboard ranked the Pussycat Dolls as the 80th most successful musical act of the 2000s. The group has sold 54 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. In 2012, The Pussycat Dolls ranked 100th on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music, and as the tenth all-girl group.

Total (girl group)

Total is an American girl group originally from the Plainfield, New Jersey area and one of the signature acts of Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records imprint during the 1990s. The group consisted of members Kima Raynor, Keisha Spivey, and Pamela Long. Total is best known for their hits "What You Want" (Featuring Mase), "Kissing You", "Can't You See" (featuring The Notorious B.I.G.), and "What About Us?" and "Trippin'", both featuring Missy Elliott. Long was also featured on The Notorious B.I.G.'s hit song "Hypnotize", singing the chorus.

Treble (musical group)

Treble was a girl group from the Netherlands.

Twice (group)

Twice (Hangul: 트와이스; Japanese: トゥワイス) is a South Korean girl group formed by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. The group is composed of nine members: Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group debuted on October 20, 2015, with the extended play (EP) The Story Begins.Twice rose to fame in 2016 with their single "Cheer Up": the song charted at number 1 on the Gaon Digital Chart and became the best-performing single of the year. It also won "Song of the Year" at two major music awards shows—Melon Music Awards and Mnet Asian Music Awards. Their subsequent single "TT", from their third EP Twicecoaster: Lane 1, claimed the top spot for four consecutive weeks. The EP was the highest selling K-pop girl group album of 2016, which sold 350,852 copies by year-end. Within 19 months after debut, Twice has sold over 1.2 million units of their four EPs and special album.The group officially debuted in Japan on June 28, 2017, under Warner Music Japan with the release of their first compilation album titled #Twice. The album debuted at number 2 on the Oricon Albums Chart, which sold 136,157 copies within seven days, the highest first week album sales of a K-pop artist in Japan in two years. It was followed by the release of Twice's first original Japanese maxi single titled "One More Time" in October. With over 250,000 unit sales, Twice became the first Korean girl group that earned Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for both album and CD single in the same year. Twice ranked third on Top Artist category of Billboard Japan's 2017 Year-End Rankings.

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