G.R.L. in 2013
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
G.R.L. were 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.
2011–12: Formation and line-up changes
In March 2011, Antin began holding auditions to find new girls to replace the departed members of The Pussycat Dolls. 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." 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.
On 13 April 2012, it was announced that Chrystina Sayers was no longer a part of the new line-up. 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. In August 2012, publicity photos showed the 'new' line-up including Simone Battle (from Season one of The X Factor USA) replacing Branche. 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. 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.
2013–14: G.R.L. and Battle's death
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. On June 16, the group released their promotional single, "Vacation", which was included on the soundtrack for the animated movie The Smurfs 2. It was the first material to be released under their new name "G.R.L.". The music video for the song, directed by Hannah Lux Davis, features a cameo from Mel B as a nod to her previous membership in the girl group the Spice Girls. On September 10, the single entered the South Korea Chart at number 97. The group held their first live performances on September 28 at Westfield Old Orchard Claire's in Skokie, Illinois and performed three songs from the album: "Vacation", "Girls Are Always Right", and "Show Me What You Got". They confirmed in an interview that they are working with Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Cirkut, Darkchild, and Lukas Hilbert for the new album which is set to release in 2014. In another 2014 interview, the group described themselves as transcendent of the typical girl group norm that features only one individual as the leader, rather, members of G.R.L. shared the spotlight, with Bennet saying, "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." Battle went on to explain the meaning of the name of the group, saying, "...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." 
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.
On January 28, 2014, the group announced on their Facebook page that "Show Me What You Got" would be included on the 49th volume of the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation album series, released on February 4 in the United States. G.R.L. featured on Pitbull's single, "Wild Wild Love", which was released on February 25, 2014. On March 14, the group performed at the iTunes Festival at SXSW, opening for Zedd and Pitbull.
On June 3, 2014, the group released their debut single, "Ugly Heart", and peaked at number two in Australia and four in New Zealand. Following the release of "Ugly Heart", they released their debut EP G.R.L. on July 29, 2014. It included "Ugly Heart", "Show Me What You Got", and new songs, "Rewind", "Don't Talk About Love", and "Girls Are Always Right".
On September 5, 2014, Battle was found dead in her West Hollywood home. Los Angeles County Coroner's Lieutenant Fred Corral ruled the death a suicide, following an autopsy. 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." In a following tweet, they said "We will carry her memory with us in everything we do."
2015: "Lighthouse", That Bass Tour and Disbandment
After releasing a preview of the song in December, "Lighthouse" was confirmed as the group's next single in January 2015, the first since Battle's death. The album artwork was released on January 13, with the music video following two days later, on January 15. 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. G.R.L. Gives an Hour later became an associate campaign of Michelle Obama's Change Direction.
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 in the coming months, which started April 27, and ended April 30.
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."  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." 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." 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."
- Extended plays
- G.R.L. (2014)
- "New Pussycat Dolls sought". Retrieved 18 March 2011.
- Vena, Jocelyn (2012-01-30). "Pussycat Dolls' New Lineup To Debut In Super Bowl Ad - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- "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.
- Vena, Jocelyn (2012-02-06). "Pussycat Dolls' Post-Super Bowl Plans Include Kim Kardashian - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- "Chrystina Sayers Formerly of Pop Group "Girlicious" Embarks on Solo Career With Genius Music". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Agora é oficial? Nova formação do Pussycat Dolls é revelada". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Photos: New Pussycat Dolls lineup revealed as Robin Antin expands empire". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- "New Pussycat Dolls Lineup With Natalie Out & Emmalyn In". Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "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.
- Sophie Schillaci. "G.R.L. Brings a New Meaning to Girl Power". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Rob Perez. "GRL launches promotional tour at select Claire's stores and Westfield malls in US". The Music Universe. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- G.R.L. (28 January 2014). "ONE WEEK! Our song #ShowMeWhatYouGot will debut on Now That's Music!'s #NOW49 on Feb 4! Aww yeaaa!!". Facebook. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- "GRL's Simone Battle Passes away". Fox 101.9. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Alexander, Susannah (September 6, 2014). "Simone Battle of girl group GRL dies, aged 25". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- Nissim, Mayer (September 8, 2014). "GRL star Simone Battle cause of death ruled as suicide". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
- 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.
- G.R.L. (6 September 2014). "We will carry her memory with us in everything we do.". Twitter. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- 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.
- "G.R.L Gives an Hour". Give an Hour. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- "The Campaign to Change Direction". The Campaign to Change Direction. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Karishma Sakari (11 March 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. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Jason Lipshutz (June 3, 2015). "GRL Breaks Up". Billboard. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved June 3, 2015.
- 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.
- 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.