Billboard Explains: The Evolution of Girl Groups

Girl groups like Destiny’s Child, Fifth Harmony, Blackpink and the Spice Girls have given us some of the biggest hits, most memorable moments and iconic solo stars, but what are the classic girl group components that make them so popular, and what are their origins?

Girl groups have been popular in every decade. A few examples include The Andrews Sisters in the ’30s and ’40s, The Chordettes in the ’50s, and Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles in the ’60s. Their popularity exploded following the release of The Shirelles‘ 1960 hit “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and The Marvelettes‘ “Please Mr. Postman” in 1961.

The Supremes carried the torch through the 1960s with 12 No. 1 on the Hot 100s, before passing it on to rock-inspired groups like The Runaways in the 1970s. By the 1990s, the golden era of girl groups was upon us, thanks to bands like En Vogue, Xscape, SWV and TLC. Even country had a popular girl group, The Chicks, who have tied The Supremes for the most No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 among all female groups.

Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child led the 2000s into an explosion of R&B and pop girl groups that included 3LW, Danity Kane, The Pussycat Dolls, Fifth Harmony and Little Mix. Most recently, the K-pop phenomenon led to the rise of successful girl groups including Girls’ Generation, TWICE and Blackpink.

As Billboard host Tetris Kelly states, the girls’ distinct and relatable personalities and their lively anthems have allowed them to stand the test of time and remain prominent in pop culture.

Watch the latest episode of Billboard Explains above to learn more about the evolution of girl groups.

After the video, catch up on more Billboard Explains videos and learn about the BBMAs, NFTsSXSW, the magic of boy bandsAmerican Music Awards, the Billboard Latin Music Awards, the Hot 100 charthow R&B/hip-hop became the biggest genre in the U.S.how festivals book their lineupsBillie Eilish’s formula for success, the history of rap battlesnonbinary awareness in musicthe Billboard Music Awardsthe Free Britney movementrise of K-pop in the U.S.why Taylor Swift is re-recording her first six albumsthe boom of hit all-female collaborationshow Grammy nominees and winners are chosenwhy songwriters are selling their publishing catalogshow the Super Bowl halftime show is booked and why Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was able to shoot to No. 1 on the Hot 100.

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