|Stylistic origins||1930s–1970: music hall, vaudeville, swing music, jump blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul music, gospel music, traditional pop
1970–1990: disco, power pop, pop rock
1990s–present: pop, dance-pop, teen pop, pop punk, contemporary R&B, hip hop, electropop, k-pop, j-pop
|Cultural origins||1930s United States|
|Typical instruments||Vocals, electronic backing, sampler, sequencer, electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, keyboard|
|Derivative forms||boy bands, twee pop, riot grrrl, bubblegum pop|
|Motown Records, pop icon, teenybopper, postmodernism, consumerism, pop culture, manufactured pop, teen idol, girl power, all-female band|
A girl group is a music act featuring several female singers who generally harmonize together. The term "girl group" is also used in a narrower sense in the United States of America to denote the wave of American female pop music singing groups, many of whom were influenced by doo-wop, and which flourished in the late 1950s and early 1960s between the decline of early rock and roll and start of the British Invasion.
All-female bands, in which members also play instruments, are usually considered a separate phenomenon. These groups are sometimes called "girl bands" to differentiate, although this terminology is not universally followed, and these bands are sometimes also called girl groups. For example, vocalist groups Sugababes and Girls Aloud are referred to as "girl bands"; while instrumentalists Girlschool are termed a "girl group".
With the advent of the music industry and radio broadcasting, a number of girl groups emerged, such as the Andrews Sisters. The late 1950s saw the emergence of all-female singing groups as a major force, with 750 distinct girl groups releasing songs that reached US and UK music charts from 1960 to 1966. The Supremes alone held 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 during the height of the wave and throughout most of the British Invasion rivaled the Beatles in popularity. In later eras, the girl group template would be applied to disco, contemporary R&B, and country-based formats, as well as pop. A more globalized music industry saw the extreme popularity of dance-oriented pop music led by major record labels. This emergence, led by the US, UK, South Korea, and Japan, produced extremely popular acts, with eight groups debuting after 1990 having sold more than 15 million physical copies of their albums. Also, since the late 2000s, South Korea has had a significant impact, with 8 of the top 10 girl groups by digital sales in the world originating there.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Vaudeville and close harmonies
- 1.2 1955–1970: The golden age of girl groups
- 1.3 1966–1989: Changes in formats and genres
- 1.4 1990–present: Dance pop girl group era
- 2 Themes
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Vaudeville and close harmonies
One of the first major all-female groups was the Hamilton Sisters and Fordyce, an American trio who successfully toured England and parts of Europe in 1927, recorded and appeared on BBC radio – they toured the US variety and big-time theaters extensively, and later changed their stage name to the Three X Sisters. The ladies were together from 1923 until the early 1940s, and known for their close harmonies, as well as barbershop style or novelty tunes, and utilized their 1930s radio success. The Three X Sisters were also especially a notable addition to the music scene, and predicted later girl group success by maintaining their popularity throughout the Great Depression. The Boswell Sisters, who became one of the most popular singing groups from 1930 to 1936, had over twenty hits. The Andrews Sisters started in 1937 as a Boswell tribute band and continued recording and performing through the 1940s into the late-1960s, achieving more record sales, more Billboard hits, more million-sellers, and more movie appearances than any other girl group to date. The Andrews Sisters had musical hits across multiple genres, which contributed to the prevalence and popularity of the girl group form.
The rise of girl groups appeared out of and was influenced by other musical movements of the time period. Vaudeville created an environment of entertainment in which the appearance of the girl group was not unfriendly, and musical forms like a cappella and barbershop quartet singing provided inspiration for the structure of the songs and types of harmonies sung by initial girl groups. Importantly, the first successful girl groups of this era were typically white, but capitalized on using music such as ragtime that had originated in the African American community. This era was also advantageous to the beginnings of girl group music because of the newfound prevalence of the radio as well, which allowed this style of music to spread.
1955–1970: The golden age of girl groups
As the rock era began, close harmony acts like the Chordettes, the Fontane Sisters, the McGuire Sisters and the DeCastro Sisters remained popular, with the first three acts topping the pop charts and the last reaching number two, at the end of 1954 to the beginning of 1955. Also, the Lennon Sisters were a mainstay on the Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 on. In early 1956, doo-wop one-hit wonder acts like the Bonnie Sisters with "Cry Baby" and the Teen Queens with "Eddie My Love" showed early promise for a departure from traditional pop harmonies. With "Mr. Lee", the Bobbettes lasted for 5 1/2 months on the charts in 1957, building momentum and gaining further acceptance of all-female, all-black vocal groups.
However, it was the Chantels' 1958 song "Maybe" that became "arguably, the first true glimmering of the girl group sound." The "mixture of black doo-wop, rock and roll, and white pop" was appealing to a teenage audience and grew from scandals involving payola and the perceived social effects of rock music. However, early groups such as the Chantels started developing their groups' musical capacities traditionally, through mediums like Latin and choir music. The success of the Chantels and others was followed by an enormous rise in girl groups with varying skills and experience, with the music industry's typical racially segregated genre labels of R&B and pop slowly breaking apart. This rise also allowed a semblance of class mobility to groups of people who often could not otherwise gain such success, and "forming vocal groups together and cutting records gave them access to other opportunities toward professional advancement and personal growth, expanding the idea of girlhood as an identity across race and class lines." The group often considered to have achieved the first sustained success in girl group genre is the Shirelles, who first reached the Top 40 with "Tonight's the Night", and in 1961 became the first girl group to reach number one on the Hot 100 with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", written by songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King at 1650 Broadway. The Shirelles solidified their success with five more top 10 hits, most particularly 1962's number one hit "Soldier Boy", over the next two and a half years. "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes became a major indication of the racial integration of popular music, as it was the first number one song in the US for African-American owned label, Motown Records. Motown would mastermind several major girl groups, including Martha and the Vandellas, the Velvelettes, and the Supremes.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
Other songwriters and producers in the US and UK quickly recognized the potential of this new approach and recruited existing acts (or, in some cases, created new ones) to record their songs in a girl-group style. Phil Spector recruited the Crystals, the Blossoms, and the Ronettes, while Goffin and King penned two hit songs for the Cookies. Phil Spector made a huge impact on the ubiquity of the girl group, as well as bringing fame and notoriety to new heights for many girl groups. Phil Spector's so-called Wall of Sound, which used layers of instruments to create a more potent sound allowed girl groups to sing powerfully and in different styles than earlier generations. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller would likewise foster the Exciters, the Dixie Cups, and the Shangri-Las. The Shangri-Las' hit single, "Leader of the Pack," exemplified the "'death disc' genre" adopted by some girl groups. These songs usually told the story of teenage love cut short by the death of one of the young lovers.
The Paris Sisters had success from 1961 to 1964, especially with "I Love How You Love Me". The Sensations, the Chiffons, the Angels, and the Orlons were also prominent in the early 1960s. In early fall 1963 one-hit wonder the Jaynetts' "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" achieved a mysterious sound quite unlike that of any other girl group. In 1964, the one-hit wonder group the Murmaids took David Gates' "Popsicles and Icicles" to the top 3 in January, the Carefrees' "We Love You Beatles" scraped the top 40 in April, and the Jewels' "Opportunity" was a small hit in December.
The girl group sound also extended to existing acts backed by studio musician girls performing without label credit. Examples are too numerous to mention.
Over 750 girl groups were able to chart a song between 1960 and 1966 in the US and UK, although the genre's reach was not as strongly felt in the music industries of other regions. As the youth culture of western Continental Europe was deeply immersed in Yé-yé, recording artists of East Asia mostly varied from traditional singers, government-sponsored chorus, or multi-cultural soloists and bands, while bossa nova was trendy in Latin America. Beat Music's global influence eventually pushed out girl groups as a genre and, except for a small number of the foregoing groups and possibly the Toys and the Sweet Inspirations, the only girl group with any significant chart presence from the beginning of the British Invasion through 1970 was the Supremes. The distinct girl group sound would not re-emerge until the 21st century, where it would influence modern-day English-speaking pop-soul soloists who have been met with international success, such as Amy Winehouse, Adele, Duffy and Melanie Fiona among others. In addition to influencing individual singers, this generation of girl groups cemented the girl group form and sentiment and provided inspiration for many future groups.
1966–1989: Changes in formats and genres
From 1971 through 1974 the only two hits purely by western girl groups peaking in the top 10 were "Want Ads" by Honey Cone and "When Will I See You Again" by the Three Degrees (which had roots in the 1960s and in 1970, like the Chantels in 1958, began their top 40 pop career with "Maybe"). Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles was a US 1960s girl group whose image Vicki Wickham, their manager, helped remake in the early 1970s, renaming the group Labelle and pushing them in the direction of glam rock. Labelle were the first girl group to eschew matching outfits and identical choreography, instead wearing extravagant spacesuits and feathered headdresses. Later, during the disco craze and beyond, female acts included First Choice, Silver Convention, Hot, the Emotions, High Inergy, Odyssey, Sister Sledge, Mary Jane Girls, Belle Epoque, Frantique, Luv', and Baccara. In the 1980s, there were groups like the Pointer Sisters, Exposé and Bananarama.
In Latin America the most popular girl groups during the era were the Flans and Pandora.
In Japan, all-female idol groups Candies and Pink Lady made a series of hits during the 1970s and 1980s as well. The Japanese music program Music Station listed Candies and Pink Lady in their Top 50 Idols of All Time (compiled in 2011), placing them at number 32 and number 15, with sales exceeding 5 and 13 million in Japan, respectively. Pink Lady was also one of only two Japanese artists to have reached the Billboard Top 40 with the single "Kiss in the Dark", the other artist being Kyu Sakamoto, who became famous for "Ue wo Muite Arukō", the Japanese version of "Sukiyaki". Billboard magazine states that Pink Lady have sold over 40 million singles and 25 million albums worldwide.
1990–present: Dance pop girl group era
Latin America scene
The Mexican girl group Pandora started out as backup singers, then began releasing albums in 1985. In 1992 and 1993, they were named the best pop group by El Nuestro. The Mexican girl group Flans released an album each year from 1985 to 1990, with several different membership changes, then recorded sporadically after that. The Mexican girl group Jeans saw chart success in 1996 and 1997, and kept recording through 2006, with many changes in membership.
American R&B and hip hop
With the rise of new jack swing, contemporary R&B and hip hop, American girl groups such as En Vogue, Exposé and Sweet Sensation all had singles which hit number one on the charts. Groups in these genres, such as SWV, Xscape, 702, Total, Zhane, Blaque, and 3LW, managed to have songs chart on both the U.S. Hot 100 and the U.S. R&B charts. However, TLC achieved the most success for a girl group in an era where contemporary R&B would become global mainstream acceptance. TLC remains the best-selling American girl group with 65 million records sold, and their 1994 album, CrazySexyCool, remains the best-selling album for a girl group in the United States (diamond certification), while selling over 23 million copies worldwide. Destiny's Child emerged in the late 1990s and sold more than 60 million records.
Despite the dying popularity of girl groups in the US in the mid-2000s, American girl group and dance ensemble The Pussycat Dolls achieved worldwide success with their singles, such as "Don't Cha", "Buttons", and "When I Grow Up". The Pussycat Dolls spawned numerous spin-off girl groups with limited success, the most successful of which had been international girl group G.R.L., which debuted in 2014 with a Billboard Hot 100 top 40 single "Wild Wild Love", but went into hiatus prematurely with the unexpected passing of member Simone Battle. Fifth Harmony, who came in third on the second season of The X Factor, is the first girl group since The Pussycat Dolls to have multiple singles enter into the top 40 of the US Billboard Hot 100.
Fifth Harmony is an American five-piece girl group formed on the second season of The X Factor USA in July 2012. Their singles "Worth It" and "Work from Home achieved 4 times platinum certification in the United States in 2015 and 2016. They also became the first girl group to top the iTunes Worldwide Charts in the digital media age with their second album 7/27. They have 2 videos with a billion views, "Worth It" and "Work from Home, become the first girl group in achieve that. In December 2016, a member of the group Camila Cabello announced her departure.
The second British invasion
Amidst the American domination of the girl group scene, the UK's Spice Girls shifted the tide and had nine number 1 singles in the UK and US. With sold-out concerts, advertisements, merchandise, 80 million worldwide album sales, the best-selling album of all time by a female group, and a film, the Spice Girls became the most commercially successful British group since the Beatles.
The cultural movement started by the Spice Girls produced other similar acts, which include the British-Canadian outfit All Saints, Irish girl group B*Witched and Eternal, who all achieved varying levels of success during the decade. Throughout the 2000s, girl groups from the UK remained popular, with Girls Aloud's "Sound of the Underground" and Sugababes' "Round Round" having been called "two huge groundbreaking hits" credited with reshaping British pop music for the 2000s. The success of Sugababes and Girls Aloud inspired other UK girl group acts, including Mis-Teeq, the Saturdays, StooShe, and Little Mix.
Emergence of Asian dance-pop girl groups
Although the emergence of dance-pop focused acts in Asia paralleled their British counterparts in the 1990s, girl groups in Asia sustained as a successful format through the 2010s. Many of these girl groups practice highly choreographed dances with studio-produced playback.
Japan has the music industry's second largest market overall and the largest physical music market in the world, with the physical sales Oricon Singles Chart being dominated by J-pop idol girl groups. In the late 1990s, vocal/dance girl bands Speed and Max gained prominence in Asia, and paved the way for succeeding Japanese girl groups, such as Morning Musume, AKB48, and Momoiro Clover Z. Speed sold a total of 20 million copies in Japan within three years, with Variety calling them "Japan’s top girl group", while Max still hold the record for girl group with the second most number of consecutive top 10 singles in Japan. Morning Musume are one of the most successful and longest running Japanese pop idol girl groups in Japan, and have sold over 18 million copies there. AKB48 have had the best-selling singles of the year in the country for the past six years. They are also the best-selling act in Japan by number of singles sold and one of the overall best-selling acts in Japan of all time. Several new idol groups appeared in the 2010s and created a fiercely competitive situation in the music industry, which has been referred to as the "Idol sengoku jidai" (アイドル戦国時代; lit. Age of the Idol Warring States). In 2014, about 486,000 people attended Momoiro Clover Z's live concerts, which was the highest record for female musicians in Japan. Momoiro Clover Z has been ranked as the most popular female idol group from 2013 to 2016.
In 2009, Hallyu (Korean wave) and K-pop had become increasingly significant in the entertainment industry, with its influence breaking the confinements of Asia and spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Americas Girl groups are one of the leaders of the "Hallyu" wave, with top albums consistently selling millions of copies. Popular South Korean groups include Girls' Generation, 2NE1, 4minute, f(x), SISTAR, Miss A, Red Velvet, Wonder Girls, and others. The girl groups of Korea have been particularly effective in digital sales of music, with seven South Korean acts comprising the top ten in digital sales among girl groups. In 2013, Girls' Generation won the award for Video of the Year at the first YouTube Music Awards for "I Got a Boy". The influence of the original girl groups of the United States was not lost on this era of artists, as many adopted visual influences through their "retro" concepts, such as the international 2008 hit "Nobody" by Wonder Girls.
Girl groups have a wide array of subject matter in their songs, depending on time and place and who was producing. Songs also had a penchant for reflecting the political and cultural climate around them. For instance, songs with abusive undertones were somewhat common during the 1950s–1970s. One notable example was the song "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)" by the Crystals. During the "golden age of girl groups", lyrics were disparate, ranging from songs about mean dogs to underage pregnancy. However, common sentiments were also found in ideas like new love, pining after a crush or lover, and heartache. Some songs sounded upbeat or cheerful and sang about falling in love, whereas others took a decidedly more melancholic turn. Groups like the Shangri-Las, with the song "I Can Never Go Home Anymore" sang about the darker side of being in love.
An especially prevalent theme was adolescence. Since most of the girl groups were composed of young singers, often still in high school, songs mentioned parents in many cases. Adolescence was also a popular subject because of an emerging audience of young girls listening to and buying records. Adolescence was also reinforced by girl groups in cultivation of a youthful image, since "an unprecedented instance of teenage girls occupying center stage of mainstream commercial culture". An example of this youth branding might be Baby Spice from the Spice Girls. This was shown through flourishes like typically matching outfits for mid-century girl groups and youthful content in songs. Girl groups of the 1950s era would also give advice to other girls, or sing about the advice their mothers gave to them, which was a similarity to some male musical groups of the time (for example, The Miracles' "Shop Around").
Adolescence was also important (especially starting in the 1950s) from the other end: the consumers were "teeneagers [with] disposable income, ready access to automobiles, and consolidated high schools that exposed them to large numbers of other teens. Mass teen culture was born." This was a symbiotic relationship with the girl groups in that these groups sang youthful content to appeal to their teen audience, and the teens, especially girls, bought the girl group records accordingly. Girls were also more easily exploited and more accessible to a youth, as well as broader audiences.
Additionally, as the girl group structure persisted through further generations, popular cultural sentiments were incorporated into the music. The appearance of "girl power" and feminism was also added, even though beginning groups were very structured in their femininity. Girl groups would give advice to their audience, or there would be a back-and-forth dialogue between the backup singers and the main singer. It would be simplistic to imply that girl groups only sang about being in love; on the contrary, many groups expressed complex sentiments in their songs. There were songs of support, songs that were gossipy, etc.; like any other musical movement, there was lots of variation in what was being sung. A prominent theme was often teaching "what it meant to be a woman". Girl groups would exhibit what womanhood looked like from the clothes they were wearing to the actual lyrics in their songs. Of course this changed over the years (what the Supremes were wearing was different from the Spice Girls), but girl groups still served as beacons and examples of certain types of identities to their audiences through the years.
Girl groups in earlier generations like the 1950s were perhaps more exploited (at least overtly) than more recent girl groups. In the 1990s through the present, with the prevalence of such groups as the Spice Girls,Little Mix and Fifth Harmony, there has been a strong emphasis on women's independence and a sort of feminism. At the very least, the music is more assertive lyrically and relies less on innuendo. This more recent wave of girl groups is more sexually provocative as well, which makes sense within pop music within this time frame as well.
- Rutledge, Meredith E. (2013-04-15). "The Fabulous Girl Groups | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum". Rockhall.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Girl Groups - A Short History". History-of-rock.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "he nation's new sweetheart". The Observer. 9 November 2008.
- "The Hedrons". Belfast Telegraph. 19 January 2007.[permanent dead link]
- "Girl Groups". Girl Groups. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. pp. 950, 959, 964, 967, 969, 970, 983, 984, 988–990. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
- Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture - Google Books. Retrieved 2014-06-04 – via Google Books.
- Reading Eagle - Google News Archive Search
- "Three X Sisters". threexsistersharmony.angelfire.com. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
- "Swing It! The Andrews Sisters Story," John Sforza, University Press of Kentucky, 2000
- "The Andrews Sisters - The Official Site". www.cmgww.com. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
- Alan Betrock Girl groups: the story of a sound 1982 p.148 "Back on the East Coast, Kama-Sutra Productions turned out a series of girl-group records with Stacy Cane, The Juliettes, Ann Marie, The Petites, and The Pussycats."
- Dave Thompson. "Maybe - The Chantels | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian". Smithsonianmag.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Lucy M. O’Brien. "girl groups (music) - Encyclopedia Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "THE GIRL GROUPS With the exception of the teen idols, girl group". Shsu.edu. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "The Chantels". www.history-of-rock.com. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Girl Groups, Girl Culture: Popular Music and Identity in the 1960s by Jacqueline Warwick". Feminist Music Geek. 2009-11-08. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "100 Greatest Artists: The Shirelles". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "From The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame". The Shirelles. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "The Brill Building and the Girl Group Era | Rock and Roll: An American Story". Teachrock.org. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Turner, Alwyn W. (2003). "Classic Girl Groups". In Peter Buckley. The Rough Guide to Rock (3rd ed.). London: Rough Guides. pp. 426–428. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0.
- "History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian". Smithsonianmag.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Phil Spector Biography". Rolling Stone. 1939-12-26. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Phil Spector - The Producer". www.history-of-rock.com. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
- "Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller Biography | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum". Rockhall.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Larkin, Colin (2006-07-04). "Shangri-Las". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- Stewart Mason. "Cruisin 1963 - Various Artists". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-10-21.
- Whitburn, Joel (1990). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Sixties (5 December 1964). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-074-1.
- "Mass and Propaganda Music | Cultural Exchange China - The Netherlands". Culturalexchange-cn.nl. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "60's & 70's Asian Pop Record Covers Photo Gallery by david greenfield at". Pbase.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music - Google Books. 2011-03-17. Retrieved 2014-06-04 – via Google Books.
- Whitburn, Joel (1990). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Sixties (4 January 1964 through 27 December 1969). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-074-1.
- Whitburn, Joel (1990). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Seventies (3 January 1970 through 26 December 1970). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-076-8.
- Whitburn, Joel (1990). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Seventies (2 January 1971 through 28 December 1974). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-076-8.
- "New England's largest GLBT newspaper". Bay Windows. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Dan DeLuca (10 November 2008). "Patti LaBelle joins some old friends". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "Patti LaBelle's Back to Now". Time Out Chicago. Timeout. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "Music Station announces their Top 50 Idols of All-Time | tokyohive.com". www.tokyohive.com. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
- "Billboard magazine, June 1979". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- "Billboard magazine, September 1980". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Ibanga, Imaeyen (2008-06-19). "Not 'The End of the Road' for '90s R&B - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Matilda Battersby (2012-11-05). "TLC plan first album since Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes' death - News - Music". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Waxman, Olivia B. (2013-01-11). "Beyoncé and Destiny's Child to Release Original Track for First Time in Eight Years | TIME.com". Entertainment.time.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Girl Group Tragedy: Inside G.R.L.'s Slow Healing Process". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- Biography - Spice Girls Rolling Stone; Spice selling some 23 million copies worldwide
- Facts - Timeline Spice Girls
- Timeline: Spice Girls BBC News, 28 June 2007
- "herNew Spice Girls documentary on BBC One". BBC Press Office. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "Victoria Beckham on Larry King". YouTube. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "In pictures: Spice Girls through the years". BBC News. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- "The Official Top 20 biggest selling groups of all time revealed!". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2012-11-03.
- "Beatles Top All Time UK Singles Sales | Rock News | News". Planet Rock. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- Neil McCormick (13 August 2009). "Xenomania: how to write a hit song". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 24 Nov 2009.
- Emily MacKay (November 2009). "End of Decade: Sound of the Overground". NME. UK: IPC Media. Retrieved 3 Dec 2009.
- "ももクロ、初のAKB超え タレントパワーランキング". Nihon Keizai Shimbun (in Japanese). 24 June 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
タレントパワーランキング トップ100. Nikkei Entertainment (in Japanese). Nikkei BP (June, 2013): 48–49. 2013-05-04.
タレントパワーランキング トップ100. Nikkei Entertainment (in Japanese). Nikkei BP (June, 2014). 2014-05-02.
タレントパワーランキング トップ100. Nikkei Entertainment (in Japanese). Nikkei BP (June, 2015). 2015-05-02.
タレントパワーランキング トップ100. Nikkei Entertainment (in Japanese). Nikkei BP (June, 2016). 2016-05-04.
- Williamson, Lucy (2011-06-14). "BBC News - The dark side of South Korean pop music". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Releases Its 2014 Data on the World Music Market". aramajapan.com. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- Girl groups top the Oricon Singles Chart in 16 out of 52 weeks in 2011, in 16 out of 53 in 2012, in 19 out of 50 in 2013 and in 17 out of 50 in 2014. 7 of the 10 best selling singles in Japan in 2013 were by AKB48 related groups, including 4 by AKB48, 2 by SKE48, 1 by NMB48. Several solo acts from members or former members of AKB48 have also reached the number one place on the singles chart. 9 out of the top 10 best-selling singles in the country in 2015 belonged to either the idol girl group AKB48 or its "sister" and "rival" groups.
- "Oricon 2013 Yearly Charts : Singles". tokyohive. 6Theory Media, LLC. 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- Herskovitz, Jon (11 October 1999). "Top Japanese girl group Speed coming to a halt". Variety. Retrieved 15 November 2008.
- "女性グループのシングル1位獲得数で単独1位に！ モーニング娘。の偉業を検証". Yahoo!.
- "【オリコン】AKB48、シングル総売上日本一3615.8万枚 秋元氏総売上は1億枚突破". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. December 9, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "デビュー続々！ 2010年アイドル戦国時代 生き残るのはどのグループ!?".
- "AKB48よりももクロが上 コンサート動員力2014". Nihon Keizai Shimbun (in Japanese). 4 December 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "K-Pop takes America: how South Korea's music machine is conquering the world". The Verge. 18 October 2012.
- "K-POP Hits the Europe". The UOS Times. 31 August 2011.
- "Dispatch ranks the Girl Groups of 2013". allkpop.com. 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- C., Jody (March 10, 2014). "K-Pop Fashion Trend Report: Retro-Vintage". KpopStarz. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Jonze, Tim (2014-07-23). "60s girl groups: 10 of the best". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
- Buckingham, Kathryn (2014-12-26). "The Evolving Presence of Feminism and Women in Rock and Roll". Story of a Phoenix. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
- "Sisters With Voices: A Brief History of Girl Groups". The Learned Fangirl. 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
- Cyrus, Cynthia J. (May 2003). Selling an Image: Girl Groups of the 1960s. Cambridge University Press. pp. 173–193.
- "Girl Groups, Girl Culture: Popular Music and Identity in the 1960s by Jacqueline Warwick". Feminist Music Geek. 2009-11-08. Retrieved 2016-05-23.