Crazy how many female R&B groups debuted in the 90s (Male groups as well for that matter) I thought I’d take some time to rank the 25 best … of course my opinion, feel free to disagree in the comments and on twitter; with that, I thought let me do a podcast so I can reminisce and play some of the songs from these ladies that helped shape the 90s R&B musical landscape (And give some obscure groups some shine) so feel free to listen, share, and comment on the podcast AND the list below.
Top 25 Female R&B Groups of the 90s
25. Sista (1994)
La’Shawn Shellman, Chonita Coleman, and Radiah Scott, Missy Elliott
The only thing you know about Sista was it was Missy Elliott’s first group (Fayze) and they were the girls on the roof with the long fake ponytails … only the truest of the true remember a single song.
The thing working in their favor was the production from DeVante Swing (Swing Mob)
They did have the joint It’s Alright with Craig Mack … they are on the list purely because of that and to show off I remember
24. Y?N-Vee (1994)
Natasha Walker, Tescia Harris, Nicole Chaney, Yenan Ragsdale
They are really known most for being shouted out on “This is how we do it” by Montell Jordan, they DID remake “I’m going down” before Mary did it … they also had that song and video for Chocolate
… they were the first to really show off abs and they did their best to give you sexy, the music and production just wasn’t there.
23. Sa Deuce (1996)
Janai Abercrombie and Paula Asiah Pierre-Lewis
You’re asking who? You might also be saying “I remember that album cover!” (and you never bought it) … I did
They made that song “Don’t Waste my Time”, once you listen to it you’ll remember it.
22. Pure Soul (1994)
Shawn Allen, Keitha Shepard, Kirstin Hall, Heather Perkins
Most known for the “I want you back” song, they also redid “Stairway to Heaven”, so that’s a thing, they are higher than the previous few because they had more videos on BET
21. Shades (1997)
Danielle Andrews, Tiffanie Cardwell, Monique Peoples and Shannon Walker Williams
I loved Shades, mainly because I thought they were the most attractive R&B group ever, they were FINE … not a single flaw
They were signed to Motown, and might’ve been something except, this is the era when Girl groups were EVERYWHERE, most notable song “Tell Me (I’ll be around)”
… they also redid Time will Reveal and How deep is your love, they had some talent outside of being fine. (Shannon married Ray Allen btw)
20. Nuttin Nyce (1993)
LaTeece Wallace, Onnie Ponder, Liz Burnett
No chance you remember Nuttin Nyce, you may remember the album cover, you probably remember the name … but do you remember “Froggy Style”?
Their first single was “In My nature” which is probably the most popular song, they did a collaboration with Hi-Five called “What can I say to you”, you also may remember “Down 4 Whateva”
… but that Froggy Style was my jam
19. Tha Truth (1997)
Cindy Goodson, Teresa Lewis, Jamie Williams
This group was like a poor man’s Total, they had decent voices and they had the Hip Hop cameos and influence. They released “Red Lights” and charted, then they dropped “Everyday” that might be the most popular song
… that or the “Makin Moves” joint with Keith Murray; they should’ve been bigger than they were with the backing they had.
18. MoKenStef (1995)
Monifa Bethune, Kenya Hadley, Stefanie Sinclair
Everyone remembers Mokenstef! In unison start singing “He’s mine … may have had him once but I have him all the time …” some people (for whatever reason) don’t know their name is from the members names (Monifa, Kenya, and Stefanie)
The He’s mine song blew up … that and the remix; they did a Smokey Robinson cover, and a Michael Jackson cover; they are more popular for the name somehow that name just stuck in everyone’s minds.
17. Vybe (1995)
Stacey Daniels, Tanya Robinson, Pam Olivia and Debbie Mitchell
Vybe was so fine! You’ll know the song “Take it to the front” … that was the most popular hit they had, they were also on the Panther motion picture soundtrack; you might also remember the Warm Summer Daze song as well.
16. Blaque (1999)
Natina Reed, Brandi Williams, Shamari Fears
Believing, Life, Achieving, Quest, Unity, Everything < <-- you did NOT know that! They were Left Eye of TLC's group ... she introduced them with the first single 808 (They were also seen in Lil Kim's Not tonight video) other than 808 they didn’t drop a ton og hits They were in the movie Bring it on ... they also did an answer to 50 Cent's wankster song called "No Ganksta" for some reason. The group broke up and got back together, Natina Reed ultimately passed away, and Shamari married Ronnie DeVoe of New Edition
15. Blackgirl (1994)
Pam Copeland, Nycolia Turman, Rochelle Stuart
They made 90s girls anthems … most notably “90s Girl” they debuted with Treat U Right and the song “Krazy”
They were nominated for a lot of billboard awards, my favorite blackgirl memory is they were the background group/featured group on Hip Hop’s Question mark Asylum’s single “Hey Look Away”
14. Allure (1997)
Linnie Belcher, Alia Davis, Lalisha Sanders, Akissa Mendez
Another very very attractive group, originally signed to Mariah Carey’s Crave label they dropped Head over Heels (With Nas) and remade Lisa Lisa’s “All Cried Out” with 112
Seemed like they would blow up, they had a proven mentor in Carey, some street cred with Nas, LL, and 112 on tracks … just didn’t pop off, they eventually signed with Ron Artest’s label (sigh) and well …
13. The good girls (1990)
Joyce Tolbert, Shireen Crutchfield, DeMonica Santiago
Technically they made their debut at the end of 1989 BUT it’s The Good Girls!!!! cmon they have to be on the list!
They were billed as the new Supremes … even being signed to Motwon AND even did a cover of “Love is like an itching in my heart”, the first single Your Sweetness was a hit as well as I need your love
The Good Girls also appeared on the late MC Trouble’s first single “I wanna make you mine” … lead singer Shireen Crutchfield also went on to act in House Party 3, Seinfeld, Dark Angel, and The Bold and the Beautiful
12. Zhane (1994)
Renee Neufville, Jean Norris
As we get to the top 10 the groups are more well known .. everyone remembers Zhane, the girls with the short hair and you didnt know how to pronounce their names; the first time we heard them was on DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Ring my Bell”
Signed to Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit label, They dropped “Hey Mr. DJ” and “Groove Thang” and ran up the charts in the early 90s.
In the late 90s you could hear Zhane with Busta Rhymes on “It’s a Party” De La Soul on “4 More”, and “Jamboree” with Naughty By Nature
11. Changing faces (1993)
Cassandra Lucas, Charisse Rose
R Kelly brought us Changing Faces with “Stroke You up” and then “G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.” in 1998 they did a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time after Time”; They also appeared on the Space Jam and Dr. Dolittle sound tracks, their songs “Keep it Right there” and “All of My days” were also very solid … they made 3 albums from 1994 to 2000
10. Kut close (1995)
Athena Cage, Lavonn Battle, Tabitha Duncan
Just like R Kelly gave us Changing Faces, Keith Sweat brought us Kut Klose, even appearing on the first single “Get Up on it” they eventually released their only album Surrender and the singles “I Like”, “Lovely Thang” and the title track … later on appearing on Keith Sweat’s album to perform “Twisted”
If you do not own The Surrender album it’s a must have.
9. Brownstone (1995)
Monica “Mimi” Doby, Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell and Nichole “Nicci” Gilbert
One of the few groups signed to Michael Jackson’s label, most known for the song “If you Love me” and “5 Miles to empty” … also Grapevyne
The girls dropped 2 albums From the bottom up in 1995 and Still Climbing in 1997 … I cant tell you why was also a hit, Nicci Gilbert has gone on to do solos and acting in What happens in Living Single, Martin, Woo, and the R&B Divas reality show
8. 702 (1996)
LeMisha and Irish Grinstead, Kameelah Williams, Amelia Childs
Discovered by Sinbad and named after the Las Vegas area code the four girls which incldued twin sisters eventually signed to Michael Bivins (Of New Edition) Biv Ten records through Motown, they are known most for the song “Get it Together” and “Steelo” the first time we heard them was on the duet with Chicago group Subway on “This Lil Game We Play”
The group had it’s share of members coming and going and Orish ultimately passed in 2008 Kameelah has gone solo, and has been seen on the R&B Divas Reality show
7. Jade (1992)
Tonya Kelly, Joi Marshall, and Di Reed
The girls with the braids and the voices … Jade released two albums: Jade to the max in 1992 and Mind, Body & Song in 1994; their song “Don’t Walk Away” was a huge hit in the 90s … their second single after appearing on the Class Act Soundtrack. Other notable songs are “Looking for Mr. Do Right” and “5-4-3-2 (Yo! Time Is Up)”
Lead singer Di Reed eventually left the group to go solo as the remaining two brought in a new singer to keep the Jade name going.
6. Xscape (1992)
LaTocha Scott, Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle
Signed to Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label they released Hummin Comin at Cha with the lead single “Just Kickin it” and the follow up “Understanding”, they went on to release 2 more albums Off the Hook in 1995 and Traces of my lipstick in 1998 both yielded hits such as “The Arms of the One Who Loves You”, Keep On, Keepin On, and “Who can I run to”
each member attempted a solo career with Kandi and Tiny being ultimately the most successful with writing and appearing on Realty shows … Tamika and LaTocha both released singles Tamika is doing stage plays while her sister is appearing on R&B Divas
5. Total (1996)
Kima Raynor, Keisha Spivey, and Pamela Long
The first time we heard Total was on BIG’s debut song “Juicy” and then on the “One more chance” remix … Big then joined them in 1995 on “Can’t you see” and they blew up.
The trio had the perfect mix of R&B and Hip Hop and has the only song that featured Lil Kim and Foxy Brown on the same track (No One Else Remix) … Pam was the voice on the hook of Big’s “Hypnotize” and Ma$e’s “What you want” they released another album “Kima Keisha, and Pam” which gave us more hits such as “Trippin” and “Sitting Home”
… Kima never got a feature though; she does have a song with her sister the Rapper Vita; Pam is doing a solo album and supposedly there’s a reunion in the works.
4. Destiny’s child (1998)
Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, LeToya Luckett, Farrah Franklin, Michelle Williams
Not much needs to be said about Girls Time … they are probably the second most famous group on this entire list (and probably would be a lot of people’s #1)
Regardless of the lineup or the year they made hits … original member Tamar Davis eventually went on to record with Prince so there’s been success all around
3. Envogue (1990)
Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson, Terry Ellis
Once we get to these top 3 there isnt much else I need to say, Foster and McElroy produced Born to Sing possibly the most complete R&B album by a female group ever … completely flawless
Initially called For you the group (which were a trio until they heard Terri sing) released Born to sing and Funky Divas before Dawn left the group
They started to release more albums with different lineups … Maxine also left, there were lawsuits and other mess but the original quartet had the strongest voices you were going to find in a group
2. TLC (1991)
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas
Probably the most famous group on the list … they were worldwide; they debuted in 1992 with Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip and the single “Aint 2 Proud 2 Beg” they brought a new style and a legit emcee in the group, while others would have a guest rapper or a member who didnt rhyme verry well.
The first album also gave us “Hat to the back” “What about your friends” and “Baby Baby Baby” … and was multi-platinum; their NEXT album CrazySexyCool went DIAMOND! thanks most in part to “Waterfalls” and “creep” … later Fanmail sold over 10 million because of “No Scrubs” and “Unpretty”
TLC is currently the best selling American female group of all time
This list isnt about just selling records though …
1. SWV (1992)
Cheryl Gamble, Tamara Johnson and Leanne Lyons
Sisters With Voices were the 90s from the debut Album It’s About Time that gaves us “Im so into you” and Weak” they gave us REMIXES on REMIXES starting with the “Right here” remix with the Human Nature track (The UK remix had a young Skateboard P on it) not only did they give you club/party songs they came with Downtown and Always on my mind
The remix for Anything with the Wu Tang Clan is a 90s Classic
They rocked the early 90s then the late 90s with a duet with Blackstreet and the album New Beginning which gave us “You’re The One” and “Use your heart” … then Release some tension had hits “Rain” and “Can we” …the eventually broke up and Coko dropped her solo Hot Coko which was an underrated banger
The trio has since gotten back together and released more music I missed Us in 2012 and supposedly working on a new album
Good 2 Go
Melissa Miller, Natalie Fernie, Kathy Webb, Cindy Shows and Missy Newman
1 Hit Wonder … Never Satisfied was my jam though
Stacy Francis, Monica Boyd, Julia Roberson, and Tisha Hunter
These girls could SING … Full Force brought them out … They didn’t make many hits, Stacy ended up on X Factor in 2011
So that’s it … again enjoy the show, If you remember like I do, have comments on the post or the show … leave them below or tweet me (@eclectik)
Comment and Share: Like on Facebook, Google + the show, Thumbs up and RT on Stitcher … Tweet with #EDP!!!