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For the eponymous extended play by this group, see G.R.L. (EP).
G.R.L 2013-09-28-Skokie-IL photoby Adam-Bielawski.jpg
G.R.L. on 29 September 2013. From left to right: Natasha Slayton, Paula Van Oppen, Simone Battle, Emmalyn Estrada and Lauren Bennett.
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Pop
Years active 2013-15
Associated acts
Website grlmusic.com
Past members

G.R.L. was an American-British-Canadian girl group formed by Robin Antin. The group was managed by Larry Rudolph and consisted of members Simone Battle (until her death in September 2014), Lauren Bennett, Emmalyn Estrada, Natasha Slayton, and Paula van Oppen.

After a brief hiatus following Battle's death, the group reemerged and continued as a quartet. The group ultimately disbanded on June 2, 2015.

Music career[edit]

2011–13: Formation and line-up changes[edit]

In March 2011, Antin began holding auditions to find new girls to replace the departed members of The Pussycat Dolls.[1] The new line-up made their debut on February 5, 2012, during the Super Bowl, as part of GoDaddy’s annual TV commercials, appearing with Danica Patrick. "The look of the commercial is not necessarily the new look of the group this time around," said Robin Antin, adding, "It's breathtakingly beautiful. It's a fun, real-campy kind of sexy. It's all of that, but again, what we're doing for this next life of the Pussycat Dolls, the girls are all young. It's a fresh, young energy."[2] An official picture taken from the ad showed five members: Lauren Bennett from Paradiso Girls, Paula van Oppen (from So You Think You Can Dance and the PCD burlesque show), former Laker Girl Vanessa Curry, Chrystina Sayers from Girlicious, and Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Erica Kiehl Jenkins.[3][4]

On 13 April 2012, it was announced that Chrystina Sayers was no longer a part of the new line-up.[5] In July 2012, the line-up was announced consisting of Bennett and Van Oppen, with new members Natalie Mejia (from Girlicious), Amanda Branche, and Natasha Slayton, thus confirming Jenkins' withdrawal from the group.[6] In August 2012, publicity photos showed the 'new' line-up including Simone Battle (from Season one of The X Factor USA) replacing Branche.[7] In November 2012, it was revealed, through the hiring of Emmalyn Estrada, that Mejia was no longer part of the group, thus creating the official lineup of G.R.L.[8] Mejia announced that she was expecting her first child with her husband, and due to her situation she made a choice to not continue with the group.[9]

On February 2013, Antin officially announced that the girls will be making their debut as a brand-new group with a different name instead of replacing the departed members of the Pussycat Dolls.[10] The group was officially unvelied at Chateau Marmont in April.[10]

2013–14: Self-Titled Debut EP[edit]

"There's different flavors in here. There are other girl groups that share the lead, but we also share the lead as well as being very individual. We all have our own thing going on. We took out the 'I' -- it’s basically short for girl, [but] we give it a new meaning. A girl isn't just a young female, it's a strong minded and a strong willed individual. It really represents the bond that we have because we’re all strong individuals and we come together and unite as one girl."

— G.R.L, on being transcendent of the typical girl group.[11]

On June 16, the group released their debut single, "Vacation", which was included on the soundtrack for the animated movie The Smurfs 2 as a B-side to Britney Spears' "Ooh La La.[12] The song made its official debut on a national chart on the South Korea Gaon International Chart at number ninety-seven.[13] The group's collaboration with rapper Pitbull on the lead single, "Wild Wild Love" off his album Globalization, became successful internationally.[14] The single peaked at number thirty on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, selling 767,000 copies in the U.S as of March 2015.[14] The song made the top ten in Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, Norway, Scotland, United Kingdom, including certified platinum in Australia and Canada.[15]

Not long after their formation they announced they had begun recording for their debut studio album, with songwriters and record producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Cirkut, Darkchild, and Lukas Hilbert.[16] However, the album was scrapped in favor of an self-entitled EP instead. The lead single off the EP, "Ugly Heart", debuted in the ARIA Singles Chart at forty-one, before peaking in the top ten at number 2, becoming the group's most successful single to date certifying 4x platinum.[17][18] The song peaked at number ten on The Australian 2014 Year End charts, certifying platinum.[19] The track reached a peak position of number 3 on the Official New Zealand Music Chart.[20] On September 10, 2013 in Brooklyn, NY, the group began a month long promotional tour partnered with Claire's and Westfield Malls meeting fans, visiting radio stations, and performing at select locations.[21]

2014–15: Battle's death and disabandment[edit]

On September 5, 2014, Battle was found dead in her West Hollywood home.[22][23] Los Angeles County Coroner's Lieutenant Fred Corral ruled the death a suicide, following an autopsy.[24] The next day, the group released a statement via Twitter, saying, "Words cannot express the depth of our loss. Simone's incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart."[25] In a following tweet, they said "We will carry her memory with us in everything we do."[26]

The group released their first single since Battle's death, "Lighthouse".[27] Along with the single, the group announced a new campaign with Give an Hour called G.R.L. Gives an Hour, which was dedicated to raise awareness about mental health issues in America.[28] G.R.L. Gives an Hour later became an associate campaign of Michelle Obama's Change Direction.[29] "Lighthouse" peaked at number thirty on the ARIA Singles Chart in Australia, number eighteen on the New Zealand singles chart, number 55 on the UK Singles Chart, number 35 on the sales-only based version of the chart and at number 24 on the Scottish Singles Chart.[30][31][32][33]

On March 10, 2015, it was revealed by the band during their performance on Australian breakfast television program Sunrise while in Hawaii that they would be the opening act for Meghan Trainor on the Australian leg of her That Bass Tour where they performed on April 27 and April 30.[34][35]

The group officially disbanded on June 2, 2015 through a joint statement from RCA Records, Kemosabe Records, Larry Rudolph, and Robin Antin, stating "Nearly 9 months following the tragic death of band member Simone Battle, girl group G.R.L. announces today that they are disbanding. We wish them continued success in each of their next creative endeavors." [36][37][38]

Prior to the announcement, Van Oppen and Estrada began to remove the name of the band from their Twitter accounts while Bennett tweeted on May 31, saying, "Thank u all for ridin with GRL thru the tough times... I know it's a bit all confusing but I love you all, and care never forget."[36] Slayton also took to her Twitter account to inform the fans on June 2, saying, "Words can't describe how much I appreciate all of these posts from all of you. Me = emotional..If it were up to me, we would keep going."[39] On June 5, Antin made a comment to L.A. Weekly with a further explanation, saying, "I wanted it to continue GRL more than anything, but the world of GRL changed when we lost our sister, Simone. I hope the loving and supportive fans understand. I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend with Simone, Lauren, Natasha, Paula, and Emmalyn. I have some of the most amazing memories with those girls that I am so thankful for and I will never forget, and that is all I could ask for. I support all the girls on the journey of fulfilling their dreams."[40]


Main article: G.R.L. discography
Extended plays


  1. ^ "New Pussycat Dolls sought". Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (2012-01-30). "Pussycat Dolls' New Lineup To Debut In Super Bowl Ad - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  3. ^ "Meet the New Pussycat Dolls! Girls will Debut at Super Bowl 2012 [PHOTOS] - International Business Times". Ibtimes.com. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  4. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (2012-02-06). "Pussycat Dolls' Post-Super Bowl Plans Include Kim Kardashian - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  5. ^ "Chrystina Sayers Formerly of Pop Group "Girlicious" Embarks on Solo Career With Genius Music". Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Agora é oficial? Nova formação do Pussycat Dolls é revelada". Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Photos: New Pussycat Dolls lineup revealed as Robin Antin expands empire". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  8. ^ "New Pussycat Dolls Lineup With Natalie Out & Emmalyn In". Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "I was married in June and was asked to keep it private, I found out about my little girl in September and was asked to make a choice". Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Lansky, Sam (April 18, 2013). "The Pussycat Dolls Get Reborn As GRL & We Will Never Be The Same". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sophie Schillaci. "G.R.L. Brings a New Meaning to Girl Power". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (July 9, 2013). "G.R.L.: New Girl Group's Formation Was 'Not Something That Happened Overnight'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  13. ^ "South Korea Gaon International Chart". Gaon Chart. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (March 3, 2015). "Girl Group Tragedy: Inside G.R.L.'s Slow Healing Process". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles 2014". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  16. ^ "G.R.L. Interview: On Pitbull, 'Ugly Heart' + Empowerment". PopCrush. April 4, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  17. ^ Corner, Lewis (July 14, 2014). "The Madden Brothers end Justice Crew's No.1 reign in Australia". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Paloma Faith staying strong at No. 1". Australian Recording Industry Association. August 2, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  19. ^ http://ariacharts.com.au/chart/top-100-singles
  20. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Rob Perez. "GRL launches promotional tour at select Claire's stores and Westfield malls in US". The Music Universe. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "GRL's Simone Battle Passes away". Fox 101.9. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  23. ^ Alexander, Susannah (September 6, 2014). "Simone Battle of girl group GRL dies, aged 25". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  24. ^ Nissim, Mayer (September 8, 2014). "GRL star Simone Battle cause of death ruled as suicide". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  25. ^ G.R.L. (6 September 2014). "Words cannot express the depth of our loss. Simone's incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart.". Twitter. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  26. ^ G.R.L. (6 September 2014). "We will carry her memory with us in everything we do.". Twitter. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  27. ^ McCabe, Kathy (January 15, 2015). "Girl group G.R.L. struggle with their grief as they release new single Lighthouse in honour of Simone Battle". news.com.au. Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  28. ^ "G.R.L Gives an Hour". Give an Hour. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  29. ^ "The Campaign to Change Direction". The Campaign to Change Direction. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "Chartifacts Wednesday 28th January 2015". Australian Recording Industry Association. January 28, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Singles". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Official Singles Sales Chart Top 100 - 15-03-2015 - 21-03-2015". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. 
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Top 100 - 15-03-2015 - 21-03-2015 - Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. 
  34. ^ "Meghan Trainor announces 2015 Australian Tour!". Australian Recording Industry Association. January 8, 2015. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  35. ^ Sarkari, Karishma (March 11, 2015). "All about the girls! G.R.L announced as support act for Meghan Trainor's first ever tour Down Under as the girl group perform new single on Australian breakfast TV show". Daily Mail. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  36. ^ a b Jason Lipshutz (June 3, 2015). "GRL Breaks Up". Billboard. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  37. ^ Slayton, Natasha (2 June 2015). "Words can't describe how much I appreciate all of these posts from all of you. Me = emotional..If it were up to me, we would keep going.". Twitter. 
  38. ^ L.J. Williamson (2 June 2015). "ROBIN ANTIN BUILT A GIRL GROUP EMPIRE WITH THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS. BUT DOES THE FORMULA STILL WORK?". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  39. ^ Slayton, Natasha (2 June 2015). "Words can't describe how much I appreciate all of these posts from all of you. Me = emotional..If it were up to me, we would keep going.". Twitter. 
  40. ^ L.J. Williamson (2 June 2015). "ROBIN ANTIN BUILT A GIRL GROUP EMPIRE WITH THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS. BUT DOES THE FORMULA STILL WORK?". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 12 June 2015.