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4 Non Blondes

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4 Non Blondes
4 Non Blondes' founder and lead singer, Linda Perry, in 2010
4 Non Blondes' founder and lead singer, Linda Perry, in 2010
Background information
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.
GenresAlternative rock
Years active
  • 1989–1994
Past members

4 Non Blondes was an American rock band from San Francisco,[1] active from 1989 to 1994.[2] Their only album, Bigger, Better, Faster, More!, spent 59 weeks on the Billboard 200 and sold 1.5 million copies between 1992 and 1994.[3] They hit the charts in 1993 with the release of the album's second single, "What's Up?".[2]

Originally, the band was all-female, with vocalist Linda Perry, bassist Christa Hillhouse, guitarist Shaunna Hall, and drummer Wanda Day.[4] However, before their album was released, Dawn Richardson replaced Day on drums, and Roger Rocha replaced Hall on guitar.

Perry left the band in 1994, and the remaining members disbanded shortly after.[5]


Bassist Christa Hillhouse and guitarist Shaunna Hall had been roommates and met drummer Wanda Day when they joined a band she was playing in. When the three left that band, they started playing as a trio, but after seeing Perry sing at a solo performance, Hillhouse and Hall asked her to join as vocalist.

According to Perry, she and Hall were at Nightbreak, a San Francisco club, and when it was mentioned the trio was looking for a vocalist, Perry announced she was a singer, to which Hall replied, "I know". Their first rehearsal was supposed to be at 6:10 pm on October 17, 1989, but shortly after 5:00 pm the Loma Prieta earthquake hit the San Francisco area.[6][7]

The unusual name of the band came from an experience the group had in the Bay Area with a blonde family. According to Christa Hillhouse, "Right next to us, there's a trash receptacle with a piece of pizza on top and the kid wanted to pick it up. The mom said, 'No, it's probably dirty, what with the pigeons and people.' And she stared right at us. We were Non Blondes."[8] They said the experience became a symbol that they did not fit the California stereotype.

They got their start in the San Francisco bar scene, especially lesbian bars, gaining a significant lesbian following.[5][9] In July 1991, the band was signed to Interscope[4] following a performance at the Gavin Convention, where they opened for Primus on Valentine's Day of the same year. As they began pre-production for their debut album, Day was fired and replaced by Dawn Richardson. In 1992, while recording Bigger, Better, Faster, More! the album's producer, David Tickle, felt that Hall's guitar playing was "not happening" so she was let go from the band as well.[10] Guitarist Louis Metoyer finished the record.

The album and its song "What's Up?" was released as the album's second single in 1993. It was successful in the United States[11] and in several European countries, peaking at number one in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.[citation needed]

Roger Rocha joined after completion of the album and stayed with the band until 1994.

Openly lesbian lead singer Perry often performed with a prominent "dyke" sticker affixed to her guitar, including at the Billboard Music Awards in 1993[12] and on Late Night with David Letterman.[13]

4 Non Blondes contributed the song "Mary's House" to the film Wayne's World 2 in 1993.[14] They also covered Van Halen's "I'm the One" on the soundtrack for Airheads. They contributed "Bless the Beasts and Children" to a 1994 The Carpenters tribute album If I Were a Carpenter, and "Misty Mountain Hop"[14] to the 1995 Encomium tribute album to Led Zeppelin.

The group disbanded in late 1994 during the recording of their second album. Perry has said that she had been unhappy with Bigger, Better, Faster, More![5] She has also explained that her sexuality had a part to play in her tensions with the group. Perry was an out lesbian, but band members Hillhouse and Richardson were less comfortable being as open about their sexuality in the early 1990s.[3]

Perry went solo in 1995. She has released solo work, and produced and written songs on albums by Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Courtney Love and Kelly Osbourne.[15]

Hall has recorded, produced, composed for and performed with various artists, including vocalist Storm Large (1999–2001), guitarist Eric McFadden (1995–2001) and funk pioneer George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and released "Electrofunkadelica: e3+FUNKnth = music for the body, mind & soul", a self-produced project in 2006 on Make Music, Not War! Records.

After leaving the Non Blondes in 1991, Day continued drumming with Malibu Barbi, and then Bad Dog Play Dead. In late 1992, an accident crushed her legs and broke her back, which made drumming very painful. She moved out of San Francisco in 1995, spent some time in Arizona and eventually went back to Salt Lake City.[16] Day died on July 10, 1997, and is buried in Tropic, Utah.[17]

Hillhouse maintains the official website for 4 Non Blondes.[18]

Perry and Hillhouse reunited in 1999 in support of Perry's solo tour.[19]

On May 11, 2014, the group reunited to perform a concert at a fundraiser entitled "An Evening For Women: Celebrating Arts, Music and Equality" which was held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Perry produces the annual event for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to raise money for the center. According to Perry, "the majority of the money goes to the youth center program, which is basically kids that get thrown out on the street by their own parents for being gay."[20] The six songs on the track list were "Train", "Spaceman", "The Ladder", "Mighty Lady", "Superfly" and "What's Up?," and the fundraiser was organized by the Los Angeles LGBT Center.[21]

Dolly Parton and Linda Perry did a cover of the band's song "What's Up?" in 2023.[22]


  • Linda Perry – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1989–1994, 2014)
  • Christa Hillhouse – bass, backing vocals (1989–1994, 2014)
  • Shaunna Hall – lead guitar (1989–1992)
  • Wanda Day – drums (1989–1991; died 1997)
  • Dawn Richardson – drums (1991–1994, 2014)
  • Louis Metoyer – lead guitar (1992)
  • Roger Rocha – lead guitar, backing vocals (1992–1994, 2014)
  • James Mankey – lead guitar (1994)



Studio album [edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Bigger, Better, Faster, More! 13 4 1 1 1 1 10 1 1 4

Live album [edit]

  • Hello Mr. President (Live in Italy 1993) (1994)


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Dear Mr. President" 1992 40 Bigger, Better, Faster, More!
"What's Up?" 1993 14 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2
"Spaceman" 117 85 19 28 25 23 18 53
"Mary's House" Wayne's World II soundtrack
"Drifting" Bigger, Better, Faster, More!
"I'm the One" 1994 Airheads soundtrack
"Superfly" Bigger, Better, Faster, More!
"Misty Mountain Hop" 1995 78 Encomium
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • 1992 – "Dear Mr. President"
  • 1993 – "What's Up?"
  • 1993 – "Spaceman"
  • 1994 – "Superfly"
  • 1995 – "Misty Mountain Hop"
  • 1996 – "4 Non Blondes vs BBC"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Honoree Category Result Ref.
1993 Denmark GAFFA Awards Themselves Best New Act Nominated [44]
Most Overrated Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards "What's Up" Best Alternative Video Nominated
Žebřík Music Awards Best International Song Nominated [45]
Themselves Best International Breakthrough Nominated
1994 Danish Music Awards "What's Up" Best International Hit Won
Brit Awards Themselves International Breakthrough Act Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Strong, Martin (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 355. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2009). "4 Non Blondes". In Larkin, Colin (ed.). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780195313734.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Halperin, Shirley (July 26, 2015). "Linda Perry's Breaking Point". Billboard. Vol. 126, no. 23. pp. 48–51.
  4. ^ a b Hunt, Dennis (September 30, 1993). "4 Non Blondes; Color them unpredictable". Hamilton Spectator.
  5. ^ a b c Bono, Chastity (September 15, 1995). "Linda Perry: The lesbian singer of 4 Non Blondes goes solo with a bold and honest album". The Advocate. Vol. 609. pp. 37–40.
  6. ^ Indiana, Gary (July–August 1991). "4 Non Blondes Interview". Flipside.
  7. ^ Griggs, Lee; Wyss, Dennis; Reingold, Edwin M.; Willwerth, James (October 30, 1989). "Earthquake". Time. Archived from the original on December 24, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  8. ^ Martin, Louise (September 24, 1993). "Mane of the game is success". The Age.
  9. ^ Walters, Barry (September 17, 1996). "Nonblonde ambition". The Advocate. Vol. 716. pp. 81–82. ISSN 0001-8996.
  10. ^ Chun, Kimberly. "Noise: Miss understood". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Archived from the original on October 28, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  11. ^ "Linda Perry interview". Guitar Center. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  12. ^ Portwood, Jerry; Freeman, Jon; Spanos, Brittany; Exposito, Suzy; Lambe, Stacy; Camp, Zoe; Borton, Marcus; Shorey, Eric (June 1, 2019). "Music's Unsung LGBTQ Heroes". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  13. ^ Williams, Carla (October 15, 2004). "Music Video". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. Archived from the original on March 24, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "4 Non Blondes Triumph Following A 'Shaky' Start". Billboard. December 11, 1993.
  15. ^ De La O, Maria (October 1, 2011). "What's up with Linda Perry: The lesbian rock legend shares her heartbreak with a new album". Curve.
  16. ^ Hall, Shaunna. "Life and Times of Wanda Day". Loudith Faire. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  17. ^ "Death: Wanda Marie Day". Deseret News. July 12, 1997. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  18. ^ Christa, Hillhouse. "CHILLHOUSE MUSIC". Four Non Blondes. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  19. ^ Christa, Hillhouse. "Linda Perry Tour 1999". Chillhouse Music. Archived from the original on April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  20. ^ Jess (March 31, 2011). "Linda Perry Starts Pink's Party, Defends Christina Aguilera, Is Legendary". Autostraddle. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Breihan, Tom (May 11, 2014). "Watch A Reunited 4 Non Blondes Play "What's Up" For The First Time In 20 Years". Stereogum. Spin Media. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  22. ^ Grow, Kory (September 22, 2023). "Dolly Parton and Linda Perry Climb That Great Big Hill of Hope in 4 Non Blondes' 'What's Up?' Cover". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 27, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  23. ^ "Chart Stats – 4 Non Blondes". billboard.com. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  24. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
  25. ^ a b "Discographie 4 Non Blondes". AustrianCharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Suchen nach "4 Non Blondes"" [Search for '4 Non Blondes']. Offizielle Deutsche Charts (in German). Media Control AG. Retrieved August 24, 2021. In "Suchen" box at upper right enter "4 Non Blondes" and then Return.
  27. ^ a b "'4 Non Blondes". DutchCharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  28. ^ a b "Discography 4 Non Blondes". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  29. ^ a b "Discography 4 Non Blondes". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  30. ^ a b "Discography 4 Non Blondes". SwedishCharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  31. ^ a b "Discography 4 Non Blondes". SwissCharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Official Charts > 4 Non Blondes". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  33. ^ a b "American certifications – 4 Non Blondes". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  34. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  35. ^ a b "British certifications – 4 Non Blondes". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 24, 2021. Type 4 Non Blondes in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  36. ^ a b "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (4 Non Blondes)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  37. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – 4 Non Blondes" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  38. ^ a b "Austrian certifications – 4 Non Blondes" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  39. ^ a b "Dutch certifications – 4 Non Blondes" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved August 24, 2021. Enter 4 Non Blondes in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  40. ^ "4 Non Blondes". Billboard. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  41. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart for 1993". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  42. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2021. Scroll to position 652 to view certification.
  43. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". The Official New Zealand Music Chart. December 26, 1993. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  44. ^ "GAFFA-prisen 1991-2006 – se vinderne" [GAFFA Prize 1991-2006 - see the winners]. GAFFA (in Danish). January 6, 2007. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  45. ^ "Historie (1996-1992)". Hudební anketa Žebřík (in Czech). Retrieved August 24, 2021.

External links[edit]