Ten Greatest Female R&B Groups

The Supremes Lead the List of Best Female Groups

In Honor of Women's History Month, we salute the best female R&B groups. Three of the groups launched the careers of superstar lead singers: The Supremes-Diana Ross, Destiny's Child-Beyonce, LaBelle-Patti LaBelle.

Here are the "Ten Greatest Female R&B Groups."

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The Marvelettes

The Marvelettes. Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty Images

The Marvelettes were the first Motown act to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Please Me. Postman" in 1961. Their success paved the way for the label's most famous girl group, The Supremes. Smokey Robinson composed their gold certified 1966 hit "Don't Mess With Bill." Marvin Gaye also wrote songs for the group and played drums on several of their recordings.

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SWV. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

SWV (Sisters With Voices) won eleven Billboard Music Awards for its 1993 triple platinum debut album It's About Time which featured the number one hits, "Weak" and "Right Here/Human Nature." The group was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1994.

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LaBelle. RB/Redferns

Led by Patti LaBelle, the group LaBelle began its career in 1958 as The Ordettes, and performed under various names including Patti LaBelle and the BlueBelles until changing its name to simply LaBelle in 1971. With their new name, they defined "glam rock," wearing space age costumes, and recording the classic "Lady Marmalade"" in 1974. Consisting of LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, they made history as first black pop group to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

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Martha and the Vandellas

Martha and the Vandellas. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1995, Martha and the Vandellas became the second female group (following The Supremes), to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four years later, their classic, "Dancing in the Street," was chosen for the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. "Dancing in the Street" and "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" were included in the list of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll,

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En Vogue

En Vogue. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

En Voguefrom Oakland, California haswon seven MTV Video Music Awards, two American Music Awards, and three Soul Train Music Awards. The group also received the 1993 Soul Train Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year. Their 1990 debut single, "Hold On," was the first of three consecutive number one hits. Their 1992 Funky Divas album was certified triple platinum, including the chart topping songs "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" and their cover of the Aretha Franklin classic, "Giving Him Something He Can Feel."

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The Shirelles

The Shirelles. Kaye/Express/Getty Images

The Shirelles were one of the most popular girl groups of the 1960s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were the first female group to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" in 1960. Rolling Stone named them one of the 100 best acts of all-time.

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The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters. Paul Natkin/WireImage

The Pointer Sisters from Oakland, California have won three Grammys, three American Music Awards. and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The trio achieved thirteen top 20 Billboard hits between 1973 and 1985, including "I'm So Excited," "Jump (For My Love)," "Automatic," "Fire" and "Fairytale."

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TLC. KMazur/WireImage

TLC is the best selling American female group of all-time with over 65 million records sold. Consisting of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (until her death in 2002) and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, the group recorded ten top ten singles, four number one hits, and four multi-platinum albums. TLC has won numerous honors, including five Grammys, five Soul Train Music Awards, three Soul Train Lady of Soul awards (including Entertainer of the Year), three Billboard Music Awards, and one American Music Award.

On April 25, 2002, Lopes was killed in an automobile accident in La Ceiba, Honduras. She was 30 years old. Her final album with TLC, 3D,  was released November 12, 2002. It was certified platinum and earned two Grammy nominations.

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Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Destiny's Child is one of the most honored female groups of all-time, winning three Grammys, three NAACP Image Awards, five American Music Awards, four Soul Train Music Awards, and ten Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. The group was also recognized with the Soul Train Quincy Jones Award for career achievement in 2006, and the Soul Train Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year in 2001.

Lead singer Beyonce launched her solo career in 2004, and she reunited with group members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams for a triumphant performance during halftime of the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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The Supremes

The Supremes. Apic/Getty Images

The Supremes were the most successful female group of all-time, hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with twelve classic songs in the 1960s, including "Where Did Our Love Go," "Stop! In the Name Of Love," and "Baby Love." The original group consisted of lead singer Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Betty McGlown. McGlown was replaced by Barbara Martin who left the act in 1962. In 1967, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. changed the name to Diana Ross and The Supremes, and Cindy Birdsong replaced Ballard. 

On January 20, 1988, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. On March 11, 1994, The Supremes received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.