Whether it’s because of timeless harmonies or a mix-mash of different delivery styles, female music trios will always be popular in music. Those who are just getting into these groups might be completely unaware of the lineage that has allowed their favorite artist to thrive in their era.
All of the following groups are considered massively influential in providing the framework and pushing the boundaries of what was/is possible for women in the music industry.
If you were alive during the 1990s, TLC was a part of your life whether you had any say in the matter at all. Of course, with tracks like No Scrubs, and Waterfalls, even those who wouldn’t openly admit their enjoyment of TLC didn’t mind hearing the group being played endlessly on the radio and MTV.
While TLC has been active in the new (current) century, the group’s popularity waned significantly following the death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in 2002.
The early 1960s were ripe for female-led groups, with The Ronettes laying the foundation that would be adopted throughout pop music at the time. With their collaboration with producer Phil Spector, The Ronettes created some of the most enduring hits of that decade.
This pair of sisters, along with their cousin, is primarily known for Be My Baby, which has been featured endlessly in films, including Martin Scorsese’s 1973 film, Mean Streets.
The Chicks (Dixie Chicks)
One of the most formidable female trios of country music throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s is the Dixie Chicks (now known as simply, The Chicks). Despite being rooted in country, The Chicks had several colossal hits that managed to find crossover success.
With tracks like Goodbye Earl, and Wide Open Spaces, The Chicks helped to inspire the young generation of females currently at the top of the country music charts.
If you’re someone who grew up in the US during the dawning of the new millennium, it’s easy to forget that the styles of pop music happening at the time were also quite popular across the pond in the UK. One of the UK’s biggest female pop trios of that period was Atomic Kitten, who found massive international success between 2001 and 2003.
The Quentin Tarantino fans reading this are all too familiar with The 188.8.131.52’s, who not only had a cameo in Kill Bill Vol. 1 but also had several songs featured in the soundtrack. This Japanese punk rock group is known for infusing various styles of American surf and garage genres and is known internationally for their track, Woo Hoo.
The dawning of the 2000s saw Sugababes dominating the UK charts upon the release of their 2nd album, Angels with Dirty Faces. Despite having some lineup changes along the way, Sugababes held a tight grip on their popularity in the UK through the 2010s.
Sugababes fans were surprised with an announcement that the group will be releasing a new album in 2024. Despite their phenomenal popularity, Sugababes is another UK group that never found massive success with US audiences.
If you live in the UK, you might be questioning your sanity as to whether there is actually a resurgence of girl pop groups as if it were the early 2000s. Well, you aren’t crazy.
Little Mix could be considered one of the groups that is the most responsible for this sort of musical resurgence. Initially a 4-piece, Little Mix formed as a result of the popular television show, The X Factor, and winning the contest, in 2011.
By far one of the most influential female trios to hail from 1960s Motown is The Supremes, of which singer, Diana Ross was originally a member. This group dominated the pop charts from 1964 until about 1970, after which Diana Ross embarked on a successful solo career while the group continued with Mary Wilson remaining the sole member through each lineup change.
Stop! In the Name of Love, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, and Someday We’ll Be Together, are just a few of the many songs that most people are familiar with.
Another group to come from the 1960s Motown era was The Velvelettes, who consisted of a pair of sisters alongside their cousin. Initially, the group did not start as a trio, but as their success waned and life took its course, the group was whittled down to just 3 members.
Some of the group’s biggest hits include Needle in a Haystack, and He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’ (which was eventually covered almost 20 years later by Bananarama, another group featured in this article).
Wildly popular throughout the 1990s, En Vogue is another group that did not initially begin as a trio. If you primarily know of En Vogue through their monumental hit, Don’t Let Go (Love), you’ll primarily remember the group as being a quartet.
Shortly after that song’s release, En Vogue has mostly consisted of 3 members (though there have been lineup changes. The group continues to perform, dropping their latest album in 2018 while appearing in Coming 2 America (2021) as well as 2022’s season for The Masked Singer.