As Black History Month 2017 draws to a close, djrobblog continues its tribute to a dying breed in black popular music: groups and bands. Last week we examined the state of black singing groups and bands during the 21st Century and honored the men in the category by counting down the 101 Greatest Songs by Male Groups from the last true era of R&B: 1990-2001.
This week it’s the women’s turn!
I’ve got the 101 Greatest Songs by Female Groups from those same years, and believe me when I say that there are some pretty heavy hitters on this list.
Sisters held it down in the 1990s with surprisingly even more success and variety than they did in the previous two decades. The female groups weren’t as large in number as their male counterparts, but those who were successful certainly held court.
If I asked you to name five female R&B groups who were successful in the 1980s, you would name the Pointer Sisters and maybe come up with two or three other groups like Klymaxx, Mary Jane Girls and Vanity/Apollonia 6. But you’d be hard-pressed to find many others.
To the contrary, there were at least 40 female groups who charted during the 1990s and into the early aughts. Heck, five of those groups alone account for nearly half of the songs on this djroblist of the 101 Greatest – a fact that makes them stand up well against almost anything the ’80s had to offer in the category.
The five biggest female groups of the 1990s were En Vogue, TLC, Destiny’s Child, SWV and Total. Other groups like Xscape, Jade, Brownstone, Zhané, and Blaque also made respectable showings with multiple hits during the era.
Even Motown Records got things rolling with a new girl group from the late 1980s/ early ’90s called The Good Girls (remember them?). The legendary record label tried to rekindle the magic it had in the 1960s with enormous acts like The Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas. In fact, The Good Girls even covered an old Supremes classic, “Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart,” which charted in 1990 (and is included in this list).
The 1990s introduced us to the Braxtons, who’ve since become more popular with a TV reality show. Back in the ’90s, they rode the success of big sister Toni with a release of their own (“So Many Ways”) that charted modestly. The decade also brought us one of the biggest stars of the ensuing two decades: Beyoncé Knowles. She blew up the ’90s and early ’00s with her group Destiny’s Child, a collective that has eight songs on this djroblist!
In fact, all the groups I’ve mentioned are represented on the list – and one of those big five (TLC, En Vogue, Destiny’s Child, SWV and Total) has the Number One song.
These djrobblog rankings were based on the typical factors: original chart performance, influence, endurance, critical acclaim, and a bit of the author’s opinion about the songs’ overall quality.
I also used a mini-poll I conducted on Facebook over the last weekend in February as one of the factors into the rankings.
There’s no need to delay the suspense any further. Please keep reading and find out whether some of your favorite songs by 1990s Female R&B Groups made the list – and where they placed.
Oh, and feel free to comment in the main comment section below, or vote the songs up or down in each entry.