Girl Bands Then & Now: What Makes Them So Popular?

Following on from my last post It’s All About The Nineties (which happens to be my latest fave post that I’ve written – mainly because I love being nostalgic and stuff), I decided to write about some of the music that I’ve caught myself listening to since then. And what have I been listening to lately I hear you ask? GIRL BANDS.

I’m talking about ladies that get together, decide that they can make decent music if they were a group and BOOM! They get a record deal and become worldwide sensations, inspiring women everywhere to grab their hairbrushes and sing into them (they also become posters for men to put on their wall and dream about).

And just who are these women? Which bands am I referring to? Why are girl bands so great? Carry on reading if you really want to know (and of course you’ll want to know – girl bands aren’t like Marmite, you purely love them. No hatred for girl bands exists in this world). So let’s look at some of my fave girl bands throughout the ages (basically the past 20 years as they’re the only ages I’ve been present in!)

In no particular order…!!

HAIM – Forever:

I’ve written about this band before (here) but can you blame me? These three sisters (Este Arielle Haim, Danielle Sari Haim and Alana Mychal Haim) that originate from sunny Los Angeles are signed with Jay-Z’s management Roc Nation (and let’s face it if you get the stamp of approval by Jay-Z you must rock). I love their R&B tones that are mixed with indie rock and subtle country vibes. HAIM are one of my all-time favourite bands to listen to when I feel like I want to drive around on a sunny day in my convertible to get ice cream or something (I like HAIM because I don’t have a convertible – or a car at all for that matter – but listening to them makes me feel like I could easily just drive around aimlessly listening to them…) Grow your hair long, rock a pair of ripped denim shorts and chill out to this girl band…


Destiny’s Child – Say My Name:

Hellooooo? This wouldn’t be a blog post about girl bands if I didn’t even mention the three chicas that showed the guys what we’re made of in the 2000s. Although there had been some replacements in the 90s, Destiny’s Child’s famous and most recognised line-up included Beyonce Knowles (who is now a successful solo artist, like I even need to say who Beyonce is), Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. With hits like Bills, Bills, BillsSurvivor and Bootylicious, it’s really not that difficult to see why these ladies were popular then and now. Don some tight-fitting jeans, give your hair a blow dry and wear some brown lipstick when you’re listening to these girls!


TLC – Creep:

TLC. One of my favourite groups mainly due to three songs: No ScrubsCreep and Waterfalls. When I see a video from these ladies I’m sent right back to my childhood. I remember seeing Waterfalls for the first time, in awe as they morphed out of the water (all thanks to CGI ofc). But my favourite track to chill out to is definitely Creep, and I’m not sure if it’s the jazz vibes that relax me or the fact that they’re all in giant pyjamas… Over-sized jerseys, a Left-Eye inspired black line under your eye and a scrunchie are all you need to feel like a TLC member.


Girls Aloud – Untouchable

I can’t lie – it was a close tie between Untouchable and the ever-catchy Something New. But as Untouchable was released first, and therefore was my first favourite, it had to be this song! Meeting in 2002 for TV show Popstars: The Rivals, Girls Aloud provide the ultimate cheesy music but to the point where you can still honestly tell the world that yeah, you do like Girls Aloud actually. Wear a brightly coloured dress à la the Love Machine video and grab some bronzer whilst you’re having your Girls Aloud session of music.


Eternal – Just A Step From Heaven

I love watching this video because I love the round black sunglasses and the black clothes that the girls are wearing. And I remember hearing this song all the time on the radio. Made up of members Kelle Bryan, Louise Redknapp, Easther Bennett and Vernett Bennett the 90s R&B group were known as the UK’s equivalent of successful American girl band En Vogue. I love Kelle’s vocals in this song, Just A Step From Heaven, released in good ol’ 1994.


Pussycat Dolls – I Don’t Need A Man

After their success with Don’t Cha, the Pussycat Dolls became renowned for their dancing ability in their music videos (and Nicole’s role as lead singer compared with the other girls’ involvement was always a topic of conversation). Looking like they’d stepped right off of a runway with their model looks, the girls had hits like Jai Ho (which once heard will not leave your head for a number of months), Buttons and When I Grow Up whilst also creating moving, slower songs such as I Hate This Part and Stickwitu. Can there be a better example of their girl power than their “being an independent woman rules!” song I Don’t Need A Man?


Spice Girls – Who Do You Think You Are?

Another 90s band, the Spice Girls were all about Girl Power! With several hits and their names being known worldwide, the 90s wouldn’t have been the 90s without women everywhere asking themselves “Am I a Baby Spice? A Sporty Spice? Or am I like Posh Spice?…” Spice Girls were the very first girl band that I remember being a fan of. There are videos of me as a little person singing ‘Mama’, I had a plastic bracelet that had SPICE GIRLS all around it, a few of their CDs and a video game where you could play all of the songs as a member of the band. I even vaguely remember watching their concert on TV one year around Halloween! Hugely popular, the Spice Girls taught us that we should let our own personalities shine through everything that we do (shown through the individual styles of each member and them being named as different ‘spices’). So be yourself when you’re listening to these girls, or choose a Spice Girl that you loved to be (for me it was always Baby Spice because I too had bright blonde hair as a kid) and incorporate their style whenever you next hear a Spice Girls track.

And now…

As promised, I will attempt to answer the question ‘Why are girls bands so great?’ Well I could delve deep into feminist topics here, or talk about their sex appeal, or the fact that women harmonising sometimes sound a lot better in a song which requires a lot of high notes (unless you’re someone like Usher or Boyz II Men or Justin Timberlake…). But the answer is much simpler. Girls bands are great in the same way that boy bands are great. Or the same way that bands with both men and women in are great.

The answer is: bands are great because you see and hear a unified group of people doing something that they clearly enjoy and are good at. Bands make other people happy and make people want to dance to their great music! You also feel like you’d really like to hang out with the people in your favourite band – whether it be Paramore, Take That, One Direction, Little Mix or the Backstreet Boys. You learn the lyrics, the choreography and everything about them so that you feel like you’re a part of the group! It kind of mimics that feeling you get if you’re with a group of your best mates and you have a karaoke session or two. It’s that same kind of happiness because you’re all singing together and having a good time – it’s as simple as that!

 Long live girl bands and long live girl power!

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