Top 5 best selling black female singing groups. Based on album sales, the music of these soulful singing divas have entertained us for decades. Let’s count down –
Top 5 Best Selling Female Divas Based On Sales & Streams
#5 – EN VOGUE
- Claimed Sales – $20 Million Dollars
- Number of Studio Albums – 8
- Genre – R&B
- Original Members – Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, Dawn Robinson and Maxine Jones
- Years Active – 30 years (1989 – present)
After Dawn Robinson left group in 1997, Terry, Cindy and Maxine continued on as a trio. However, Maxine Jones would depart in 2001 and be replaced by Amanda Cole. By 2003, Cole would leave and a new member, Rhona Bennett replaced her.
Original members united briefly in 2005. Again, the original members reunited for their 20th anniversary of En Vogue. After touring, Robinson and Jones again left the group, and Bennett rejoined.
Since leaving En Vogue, Dawn Robinson joined another group, Lucy Pearl and put out a solo effort, Dawn. Maxine put out 2 singles and announced that she was working on a solo project.
Terry Ellis went on to record a solo project, Southern Gal, in 1995. Still performing today as part of the trio with Ellis, is Cindy Herron and Rhona Bennett. Herron had rejoined the group again in 2014.
#4 – THE SUPREMES
- Claimed Sales – $20+ Million Dollars
- Number of Studio Albums – 29
- Genre – R&B, Pop, Soul
- Original Members – Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown
- Years Active – 18 years (1959 – 1977)
Getting their start as a group known as the Primettes, original members are Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown. Replaced by Barbara Martin, McGlown left the group in 1960. Changing their name to The Supremes, they were signed to Motown in 1962.
After Martin left the group, the 3 remaining members carried on as a trio. Another name change occured in 1967, when Berry Gordy renamed the group, Diana Ross and The Supremes. Around the same time, Ballard was released and Cindy Birdsong replaced her. By 1970, Diana Ross would leave the group to start a successful solo career.
In the mean time, the group continued with new member Jean Terrell and went back to being called The Supremes. During the 70’s, other members joined the group, Linda Laurence, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Green.
After 18 years, with Mary Wilson the only original member to stay ’til the end, The Supremes officially disbanded in 1977.
With twelve #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, they remain America’s Most Successful Vocal Group. Today, Diana Ross and Mary Wilson are still performing solo acts.
#3 – THE POINTER SISTERS
- Claimed Sales – $40 Million Dollars
- Number of Studio Albums – 16
- Genre – R&B, Soul
- Original Members – June Pointer, Bonnie Pointer
- Years Active – 50 years (1959 – Present)
Starting out with just 2 members in 1969, sisters Bonnie and June were none as Pointers, A Pair. Joining the group later was sister, Anita which made the group a trio.
Growing to a quartet in 1972, sister Ruth joined the group. Gaining the most success as a trio was Ruth, Anita and June in the 80’s.
Leaving the group to become a solo act, Bonnie had modest success. Struggling with a drug addition, June Pointer left the group in 2004, and died of extensive cancer in 2006. She was replaced by Ruth’s daughter, Issa.
Still performing today as the Pointer Sisters, are Ruth, Anita, Issa and Ruth’s granddaughter, Sadako. Sometimes performing as a trio, the lineup is rotated between the 4 members.
#2 – DESTINY’S CHILD
- Claimed Sales – $60 Million Dollars
- Number of Studio Albums – 5
- Genre – R&B
- Original Members – Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, LeToya Luckett
- Years Active – 9 yeas (1997 – 2006)
Originally rappers, the group called themselves Girls Tyme. Finding there way to Star Search, the early version of the group were formed in Houston Texas when they were just 9 years old.
In early 2000, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett were replaced with Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin. After just 5 months, Franklin quit and the group became the trio we most recognize as Destiny’s Child.
All 3 members had success as solo artist. Michelle came out 4 studio albums, in gospel and back to secular music. Adding to her ventures, Michelle has done acting on the small screen and on broadway. Kelly married and gave birth to a little boy and has done 4 studio albums and other ventures after leaving Destiny’s Child.
Shooting up to superstardom status, everyone knows Beyonce continues her reign today as a major force in the music industry. Dropping 6 studio albums, 3 collaborative albums, 5 headlining tours, 3 co-headlining tours and 3 concert residencies. If that wasn’t enough, she also became half of a super power couple with billionaire husband, rapper Jay Z and together they are raising 3 kids, including twins.
#1 – TLC
- Claimed Sales – $65 Million Dollars
- Number of Studio Albums – 5
- Genre – R&B, Hip Hop
- Original Members – Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Lefteye” Lopez and Crystal Jones
- Years Active – 13 Years (1990 – 2003, 2017)
Some may not realize it, but “Chili” was not an original member, it was a girl by the name of Crystal Jones. Originally called Second Nature, the name of the group was changed to TLC by their new producer, Pebbles.
After original member, Crystal did not sign the contract with Pebbles, she was released, according to her interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. In 1991, Rozanda “Chili” Thomas joined the group and TLC rapidly became famous.
Making hit record after hit record, Tionne, Rozanda and Lisa were in their prime when Lisa “Lefteye” Lopez was killed in a car accident while in Honduras. For a brief time, the 2 remaining members sang together again in 2017.
Records of sales figures are not available in most countries before the 90’s. Also, certifications were not common until the 70’s in the United States and Canada; even later in other countries, per Wikipedia.
Another factor in this list is that starting in 2010, in addition to record sales, the number of streaming sales are also included in the recording of certifications.
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