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In honor of Women’s History Month, I have compiled a list of girl groups from around the world and throughout the years by looking at and celebrating their success and domination over the music industry. Here is a list of women who killed the game and continue to come out on top.  

The US has a rich history of girl groups, even though it seems to have fallen off the past couple of years with an overwhelming amount of solo artists. The Supremes, who included the members Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and Betty McGlown were mainly active during the 1960s under Motown and recorded 12 number one hits on Billboard Hot 100. Billboard even ranked them as the 16th greatest artist of all time. The trio TLC consisting of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas was a group for the ages. TLC was and still remains the best-selling American girl group and their second album, “CrazySexyCool,” released in 1994, is still the best-selling American girl group album. With timeless hits like “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs,” they have etched their names into history. Then one of the most recent was Fifth Harmony. Fifth Harmony was one of the last big-name girl groups to come out of the US. The group was formed via a singing competition, “The X Factor” in 2012 consisting of the member’s Ally Brooke, Normani, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui, and Camila Cabello. Their 2016 single “Work From Home” became one of the best-selling singles by a girl group, peaking at number 4 on Billboard Hot 100. Since the group’s hiatus in 2018, there have not been any American girl groups with the same success.

In the 1990s Japan saw a wave of girl groups, one of those groups being Speed. They were composed of the members Hiroko Shimabukuro, Eriko Imai, Takako Uehara, and Hitoe Arakaki debuting in 1996 they saw instant success. They became the most successful girl group in Asia with over 20 million single and album sales in almost 4 years. Then we have Morning Musume, who holds the second-highest overall single sales for a female group on the Oricon chart with 64 top 10 singles. The group, like other Japanese girl groups, continually adds and loses members with many sub-groups of the group itself. AKB48 is a rotational group formed in 2005 and was formed with the intention to see a group perform daily while also performing simultaneously at several events. The group is split into teams with each team having its own theme. They are currently the 5th best-selling girl group worldwide and are the highest selling musical act in Japan in terms of singles sold.  

From the 1990s to now South Korea has had a huge emergence of girl groups, some of which are currently taking over the world. The Wonder Girls came onto the scene in 2007 with the single “Irony” consisting of the members Yeen, Sunye, Sunmi, Hyuna, and Sohee. Hyuna left the group that same year and Yubin was added to the group before their debut album. Their 2009 hit “Nobody” charted at 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 making them the first South Korean act to ever enter the chart. They opened for the Jonas Brothers’ World Tour that same year. Girls Generation (also known as SNSD) came on the scene in 2007 with nine members: Taeyon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, Seohyun, and Jessica. Their 2009 single “Gee” launched the group into fame and made them legends within the industry, with the song being named Melon’s most popular song of the 2000s. They certainly earned their name of “The Nation’s Girl Group” in South Korea. Blackpink, if you haven’t already heard of them, is a four-member group composed of Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé, and Lisa. They debuted in 2016, but got launched into stardom in 2018 with their single “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du”. They are now the highest-charting Korean female act on Billboard Hot 100, with the peak of 13 with the song “Ice Cream” that also features Selena Gomez on the track back in 2020. They also peaked at number 2 on Billboard 200 with their album “The Album” that same year, while the album became the first-ever Korean girl group to sell over one million copies. They have also broken world records throughout their career and their accomplishments continue to pile up. 

The British got in on the girl group craze in the 1990s when the Spice Girls debuted in 1996 with “Wannabe” they took the world by storm. The group consisted of the members Mel B “Scary Spice”, Melanie Chisholm “Sporty Spice”, Emma Burton “Baby Spice”, Geri Halliwell “Ginger Spice”, and Victoria Beckham “Posh Spice”. Their debut song reached number one on the charts of 37 countries and their debut album “Spice” became the best-selling album by a female group in history. Currently, they are the best-selling girl group of all time and one of the best-selling artists ever. They were formed to compete against the boy bands of the time and they did just that, becoming one of the most iconic girl groups of all time. Little Mix then came on the scene in 2011 becoming the first group to win the British version of “The X Factor”. The group had four members at debut with Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and now former member Jesy Nelson. Their debut album “DNA” is the highest-charting entry on the US Billboard 200 for a British girl group debut album. They are one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. In 2021, the group became the first female group to win the Brit Award for British Group. 

Meg Hanff

App State '23

I am a junior Public Health major with a minor Anthropology from the eastern part of North Carolina. I love music, books (my family might think I love this one too much), sports, and learning about new things.
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