10 Best Black Female Singing Groups
A list of the ten best black female singing groups requires a trip down memory lane and a look at current signing groups. While male singing groups have been popular for generations, groups of women have always found the limelight less bright. Big bands usually featured a female soloist or a man and woman singing as a team. It wasn't until the late 1950s that women, especially black vocal groups, became featured acts. Motown created a special sound for African-American female groups, and these classic singers inspired future generations of African-American female singing groups.
- The Supremes, later known as Diana Ross and the Supremes. Although many of the songs were written by the likes of Holland, Dozier and Holland, the ladies of the Supremes knew how to deliver on the song and the harmony. "Where Did Our Love Go," "Come See About Me," "You Can't Hurry Love," and "Stop! In the Name of Love," all released in the 1960s, were chart toppers.
- The Marvelettes. Another early female Motown group that originally put out singles on the Tamla record label, The Marvelettes' early hit, "Please, Mr. Postman," took top honors on the charts. Later hits included "Beechwood 4-5789," "Playboy" and "Someday, Someway." By the mid-1960s, Motown had a corral of female groups, but the Marvelettes continued to score on the charts with "Don't Mess With Bill" in the late '60s.
- En Vogue. This Oakland singing super group combined videos with song and took a record number of awards. The quartette hit the charts with "Hold On," released in 1990, and added "Lies" and "You Don't Have to Worry" a few months later.
- Martha and the Vandellas, aka Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. This classic female singing group in the 1960s was a star in the Motown sky. Group hits include "Jimmy Mack," "Nowhere to Run," "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" and "Dancing in the Street."
- Salt-N-Pepa. This New York-based, hip hop female group from the 1980s rapped their way into the multi-million record sales set. They made their name in film scores with "The Showstopper" and went onto a more mainstream R&B styling.
- Destiny's Child. This super female trio of African-American singers is still cranking out the hits. Sometimes known as DC or DC3, the ladies of this group include Beyonce Knowles, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland.
- The Velvelettes. This best black female signing group makes claim to be the first female groups to join the Motown record label. The group started with five members and performed as a trio for a time. The group reformed in 1984 and continues to perform today. The group's first single, "There He Goes," had Stevie Wonder on harmonica, but was never released as an album. The Velvetettes' modern CDs are the only place to find a full collection of the group's hit songs.
- 702. This group, composed of Lemisha, Kameelah and Irish, use the zip code of their hometown in Nevada. "This Lil' Game We Play" and "Get It Together" are other tunes from their album released in the late 1990s.
- Sisters With Voices, aka SWV. Another New York girl's group, SWV started as a gospel group but moved into rock and R&B. Hits include "Weak," "I'm so into You" and a tune that sampled Michael Jackson's "Human Nature."
- Brown Sugar. This all-female black reggae rock singing group released their first single in the 1970s. The group was made up of Caron Wheeler, Kofi, also known as Carol Vieira, and Pauline Catlin. The group didn't last long, but their legacy to reggae, especially in London and Jamaica, earns the group a slot on the best black female signing group hall of fame.