First #! Hit By A Girl Group: A Rhode Island DJ Looks Back

It is on this day in 1961 that the first girl group ever achieved a #1 single. The Shirelles reached the top of the HOT 100 with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Carole was eighteen when she co-wrote this hit single. The Shirelles were from Paterson, NJ and signed a record deal after being noticed performing at a talent show at their high school.

Girl Group The Shirtelles

Girl Group Country Sold (only albums) Genre Studio Albums Members Years Active
1. Spice Girls  United Kingdom 75 million Pop 3 5 → 4 → 5 1996–2001, 2007–2008 (8 years)
2. TLC  United States 50 million R&B/Hip Hop 4 3 → 2 1991–2003, 2008–present (16 years)
3. Destiny’s Child  United States 45 million R&B 4 4 → 3 1997–2005 (9 years)
4. Bananarama  United Kingdom 40 million Pop 10 3 → 2 1981–present (30 years)
5. Speed  Japan 20 million Pop 4 4 1996–2001, 2003, 2008–present (10 years)
6. The Supremes  United States 20 million R&B 29 4 → 3 1959–1977 (19 years)
7. En Vogue  United States 20 million R&B 6 4 → 3 → 4 1989–present (23 years)
8. Morning Musume  Japan 16 million Pop 12 Rotational 1997–present (15 years)
9. Salt-N-Pepa  United States 15 million Hip Hop 5 3 1986–1999, 2008–present (17 years)
10. SWV  United States 15 million R&B 3 3 1990–1998, 2005–present (17 years)


Surprisingly, The Spice Girls are the greatest selling pop band in the UK since The Beatles. Surprising in a different manner is the absence of The Dixie Chicks. I wonder if the fact that they are not a typical ‘girl group’ and are actual musicians and writers that they are omitted from the ‘girl group’ genre.


It is interesting to note, The Supremes due to the fact of when they were at the height of the success it took 29 albums to reach sixth place on the list where-as The Spice Girls only recorded three studio albums. Clearly if The Supremes were at the peak of the popularity today they would be far and away the best-selling girl group ever. This illustrates how much the music industry has changed in the last twenty-five years.


When I was living in South Korea, there were several very popular girl groups. Young ladies idolized them and considered them role models.  The most famous at the time were The Wonder Girls. The rise in popularity outside of their native countries of J-Pop and K-Pop has introduced listeners worldwide to the various girl groups that head the charts in Japan and South Korea. As a side note, these stars are rarely found drunk, drugged, naked or breaking the law as young females celebrities are in The USA.


Who is your favorite girl group ever?

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ