The late poet Maya Angelou once said, “I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters (or brothers). It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood (and brotherhood) is a condition people have to work at.”
As someone with brothers and sisters, I can certainly relate to that assessment. Our unique family bonds, though seemingly fragile at times, cannot easily be broken, neither from internal or external forces.
And while brothers have our own form of unbreakable male bonding, forged by years of fighting among ourselves but daring others to try and do the same with any one of us, sisters take that duality of a relationship to a whole different level. They can be – at once – the worst of enemies and the best of friends (that last part especially occurring when they’ve grown older).
Think about it: in what other relationship could one want to wring a person’s neck while loving them so dearly at the same time? Your sister can one minute make you wish you were an only child and another wonder what you’d do without her.
Sisters are like different flowers from the same garden, with enough similarities from their common parentage and upbringing to make their differences seem monumental. It’s a small wonder that, after sharing the same household for so many years growing up – sometimes marred by volatile moments that would shake any other friendship to its very core – sisters can emerge relatively unscathed, with a love for one another that’s all the stronger for it.
But they do indeed emerge stronger.
Theirs is a tale of unique intimacy. Sisters know each other’s deepest secrets, for they are often co-conspirators in crime and mischief and often live to tell about it. Theirs is a bond of longevity and durability. They generally survive their parents and their brothers, and their relationships with one another often outlast their own marriages. At times their sole purpose for being in each other’s long lives – seemingly – is to annoy, criticize and irritate the hell out of one another, while alternately being one another’s counselor, confidant and comforter.
Simply put, at least from my external vantage point, sisterhood can be a very powerful thing.
So given this crazy relationship, who else would one want to go into business with other than her sister? Conversely, why would she want to? Why partner with someone who knows what buttons to push to get a rise? Someone who can shut the other one up with the roll of an eye?
This article celebrates sisters who have taken the chance and done just that (not the eye roll part, but the join forces part). And because this Sunday is National Sisters Day and this is a music blog site, I’m celebrating sisters who’ve defied the odds and teamed up as members of singing groups or bands.
Over the years, dozens of sibling musical acts have wowed us with their tight vocal harmonies, their complimentary musicianship and their song craftsmanship. Many of them have had more than one sister, sometimes three, even four in a recording group. Earlier this year, as part of African-American History Month, I ranked the top black family acts, several of which included sisters. This week, I focus on just the sisters – in recognition of National Sisters Day – regardless of race, genre or era.
What follows then are the 25 Most Significant Musical Acts Involving Sisters. To create the list, I had two main criteria. First: at least two sisters had to be included in the duo or group, regardless of their role in that group. The presence of brothers, parents or any non-related members was considered incidental and did not affect eligibility for this list (although if the group benefited from the other members’ contributions, that certainly didn’t hurt their rankings).
Secondly, the sisters had to have recorded at least one album together as official members of the group.
So let’s get started. Oh, and before you get your hopes up, the groups SWV (Sisters With Voices), Twisted Sister and the Scissor Sisters are not on this list, because, well, they don’t really contain sisters. In fact, the latter two rock groups didn’t even have girls in ’em.
With that said, here they are, DJRob’s ranking of the 25 Most Significant Musical Acts Involving Sisters.
Oh…and don’t forget to tell your sister “Happy National Sisters Day!” on August 7.
The Lynns are twin sisters Peggy and Patsy who happen to be the two youngest children of legendary country singer, Loretta Lynn. While not nearly as successful as their mother, they did have some success on the country charts in 1997 and '98 with singles like "Nights Like These" and "Woman to Woman." They received two Country Music Association award nominations for Vocal Duo of the Year in '98 and '99.