Boy bands get all the love, but what about kickass girl groups? Rockin’ ladies getting together to make beautiful songs has been a thing for as long as there has been music. Some of the best songs to jam to in the car with your BFFs are girl group bangers. Who doesn’t love screaming the words to the Spice Girls hit “Wannabe”?!
You could debate all day which girl group is the best — do you live for the classic oldies or love the new-wave pop groups? Here is the definitive ranking of the best girl groups of all time to end those tireless debates. Keep reading to see which group rules them all!
This Irish group ranks last on this list because I’m gonna bet you forgot they existed until just this moment. They only really had the one big hit, “C’est La Vie,” (though it’s catchy AF). They have all the must-haves for girl groups: high-pitched voices, four girls with different haircuts to tell them apart, and an affinity for belly shirts. They’ve crept into obscurity in the U.S., but you can usually spot their music playing over the credits of a mid-’90s rom-com.
Oh, push it — push it real good! Yup, that’s how you know this iconic girl group. They definitely were not one-hit wonders, though. Songs like “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Whatta Man” topped the charts and definitely have you singing “whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man” in your had right this second. The duo split a while back but reunited a few years ago and now regularly tour the country. While they were definitely important pieces of girl group herstory, their legacy just doesn’t stack up to some of the other icons on this list.
Matching outfits? Check. Weird, awkward dancing? Check. Catch AF songs? Double check. They deserve to be one of the best girl groups of all time solely for the song “He Loves U Not,” no debate. It was really their only semi-recognizable song but it’s the ultimate girls night jam. Cool fact? The girls in the band were all mere teens when they released their iconic single.
If you’ve ever seen a Venus razor commercial then you know Bananarama. Their hit song “Venus” is now synonymous with the ladies shave brand from being prominently featured in their advertisements. The band had some fame in the US, but they remained a much bigger force in their native UK. They’re still going strong, having just recently reunited in their fifties and are ready to rock harder than ever.
14. The Pointer Sisters
These ladies could do everything. Their music was poppy, soulful, jazzy, and electric all at the same time. They’re known for upbeat hits like “Automatic” and “I’m So Excited” and were hit machines during the late ’70s and early ’80s. While their lineup has changed a bit through the years it’s always included women in the Pointer family — starting as the sisters and transitioning to daughters and grandaughters filling in roles. The group still tours to this day, playing their classic dance hits for a new generation.
I’d forgive you for forgetting about 3LW — they rose up right around the same time as TLC and Destiny’s Child and definitely got overshadowed by a girl group fronted by friggin’ Beyoncé. They had solid hits like “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right),” but in-band turmoil didn’t do them any favors. And then Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams committed to Disney’s The Cheetah Girls and that kind of put a kibosh on the band. The most recent sighting of the 3LW girls in recent years? Bailon dated Rob Kardashian for quite a while, before the boy went and lost his damn mind with Blac Chyna!
12. Danity Kane
Danity Kane could’ve really stood a chance on this list if only they hadn’t had so much behind-the-scenes drama in their girl group. After being formed on Sean Combs/Diddy‘s Making the Band 3, Danity Kane put out some truly iconic songs including “Show Stopper” and “Damaged.” Even “Ride For You” was somewhat successful. But then Aubrey O’Day and D. Woods left in ’08, the same year “Damaged” debuted. Natch, the band broke up in ’09 and came back in ’13 (with O’Day), but the whole set up was just a mess. There’s something to be said about reality-TV-formed bands… seems like the members aren’t always the happiest with their bandmates and opt to quit prematurely. They did, however, win a Guinness World Record as the First female group in Billboard history to debut their first two albums at the top of the charts. So that’s something.
11. En Vogue
This ’90s R&B; trio is one of the smoothest girl groups of all time. Hits like “Free Your Mind” are inescapable to this very day. With award nominations and wins aplenty, they are widely regarded as one of the most successful girl groups ever. The band hasn’t slowed down since their heyday in the ’90s, with their newest album set to be released early next year.
10. The Go-Gos
If you’re looking for infectious pop beats, The Go-Go’s have got you covered. Who doesn’t bop along with “We’ve Got the Beat” every time they hear it!? Their new wave pop hits were tinged with a rock edge from their roots as a punk band. The band still tours and makes occasional appearances, like stopping by Jimmy Kimmel Live! earlier this year. And by the way, they claimed “Beauty and the Beat” long before Justin Bieber did, just sayin’.
9. The Pussycat Dolls
The Pussycat Dolls have a very unique origin story. The group was founded in the mid-’90s as a burlesque dance troupe in California (Christina Applegate was an original Doll!). Almost ten years later, the troupe’s creator negotiated a record contract to turn the group from dancers to singers. The original lineup of the group was SIX girls, making it hard for any of them to truly shine. Though one definitely stood out: Nicole Scherzinger. It was the emphasis on her as a focal point of the group that eventually unraveled them. But before they broke up they had some absolute bangers. To this day “Don’t Cha” is an anthem for girls who know they’re the best and know that dudes are missing out and if hearing the song “Beep” isn’t actually the closest we’ve come to being able to time travel to the mid-00s, I’m not sure what is.
8. The Bangles
This pop-rock band is one of the edgier girl groups to come out of the 1980s. The group melded infectious beats with rock riffs on hits like “Manic Monday” and the ever-catchy “Walk Like an Egyptian.” Though, to this day. I don’t understand why walking like an Egyptian is so great. Like most girl groups and boy bands, they eventually broke up… and then reformed when they were older and wiser. The band is still together but hasn’t been super active in recent years.
7. Wilson Phillips
Wilson Phillips was destined for great things. The group consists of sisters Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips who all happen to be daughters of rock royalty. With parents like The Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson and The Mamas and the Papas‘ Michelle Phillips, you’re going to have a lot of talent running through that band. The sisters are known for the hit song “Hold On,” and we won’t judge you if you know it from the iconic Bridesmaids scene. The group had their obligatory breakup, but they reunited and continue to perform to this day.
6. Little Mix
This newer girl group has just burst on to the scene in the last few years but they’ve already made a lasting impression. The group formed in 2011 after appearing on the UK version of The X Factor and they became the first group to win the competition. While the group has achieved a lot of success in their native UK since winning they’ve just started to seep into the US after opening for Ariana Grande. They’ve got a TON of A+ hits including “Black Magic,” “Hair,” and “Touch” but their best-known song to many will be “Shout Out to My Ex,” which is a straight-up savage ode to band member Perrie Edward‘s ex Zayn Malik. Don’t break up with a girl via text because she’ll write an amazing song and drag your ass.
5. The Supremes
This trio of women rivaled The Beatles in popularity during their height so, yeah, they were truly supreme. While the trio had plenty of hits, they’re perhaps most well-known for the song “Baby Love.” The band released over 20 albums during their time as a group, giving you plenty of R&B; croons to listen to. The Supremes was also the jumping off point for the legendary Diana Ross, who was Beyoncé before Queen B was even thought of. The band was even named Diana Ross & The Supremes due to the positive reaction to the lead singer.
4. Fifth Harmony
This is the girl group that reintroduced the modern generation to girl groups. Their rise in the US is quite similar to Little Mix’s rise in the UK. The group was prominent on the US version of The X Factor, though they didn’t win the season they were on. Their appearance on the show though garnered them tons of fans and a huge social media following which parachuted the band to success. They’re now one of the biggest girl groups in the world. You literally can’t escape their songs on the radio, with 2016’s “Work From Home” still being played on steady rotation. Despite founding member Camila Cabello leaving the band, Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordei, Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“No Scrubs” is the song of this generation, don’t @ me. Chilli (Rozonda Thomas), T-Boz (Tionne Watkins) and Left Eye (Lisa Lopez) were the baddest bitches in the girl group game. They each brought distinctive personalities (and nicknames!) to the group, refusing to be another band of girls you couldn’t tell the difference between. TLC remains the best selling girl group EVER, cementing their legacy as one of the best of all time. And let’s talk about the outfits! The girls always coordinated with slightly different variations in their outfits. It was ICONIC. BRB, gonna go listen to “Waterfalls” and feel all the emotion.
2. Destiny’s Child
Bless the girl group that brought us our Lord and savior Beyoncé. Destiny’s Child was Queen B’s first musical endeavor, along with the ever-talented Kelly Rowland and poor, always forgotten about Michelle Williams. The trio gave us some of the best girl group songs of the entire millennium. Their hit song “Bootylicious” even got the word added to the dictionary it was so popular! They had the anthem of girls catching their man creeping everywhere, “Say My Name,” back when they were four members. When the group broke up eventually, each of the members went on to pursue solo ventures — with one particularly notable success story. (Though let’s be real, Kelly Rowland has made major waves with her music.) They still make time to cameo on each other’s albums and even perform together once in awhile, blessing us all with reminders of the girl group magic they created.
1. Spice Girls
The most iconic, legendary girl group of all time is, of course, The Spice Girls. Forget The Beatles, the true British Invasion happened in the mid-’90s when these five girls bust on to the scene. The group had all the archetypes: Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm), Baby Spice (Emma Bunton), Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell), Scary Spice (Melanie Brown), and Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham). Let’s not think too closely about women defining themselves as one defining personality trait and by their hair color. The band remains the best-selling girl group worldwide of all time, a huge accomplishment that has made them a permanent part of popular culture. Now go listen to “Wannabe” on a loop and celebrate #girlpower!