Every girl group has a few essential ingredients: personality, a few decent hits, some distinct voices, and that all-important X-factor. But, while the ingredients matterwhat about volume? To put it simply: how many girls should be in a girl group? There’s a case to be made for girl groups of each size, so let’s take a look at the argument for each one.
Examples: t.A.T.u., Icona Pop, Tegan & Sara, The Weather Girls, Indigo Girls, The Veronicas
Though definitely not the most popular form of girl group by far, there are enough two-member girl groups with enough bops to make a case for. I mean, if Amy Poehler & Tina Fey have taught us anything, it’s that when two personalities click together, they’re eminently watchable. And with two-member girl groups, how the personalities mix and the group’s origin story is a central part of the mythology. For example, Tegan and Sara are queer, identical twin sisters. And t.A.T.u. mimicked being a lesbian couple, though they were not. Bonus points: many of the girl groups in this categoryTegan and Sara, the Indigo Girlsare known for their followings among queer women.
Examples: The Supremes, Destiny’s Child, TLC, SWV, Salt N Pepa, Wilson Phillips, 3LW
The list of three-member groups is as long as it is iconic. Put quite frankly, not only do each of these groups have a list of hits, they’ve each contributed songs that will stand the test of time. As demonstrated by most of TLC and Destiny’s Child songs, three-member girl groups excel at making sure each member of the group shines on a song. Destiny’s Child made sure Kelly and Beyonce each got a verse while Michelle delivered the bridge. T-Boz and Chili usually handled the verses while Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes would rap a verse.
Examples: Xscape, En Vogue, Little Mix, Dream, B*witched, Fifth Harmony, Destiny’s Child, The Bangles
While not as popular as three-girl groups, four-girl groups like En Vogue, early Destiny’s Child, and Xscape make the most use of four-part harmonies, making for some of the most musically satisfying listens. Not to mention, the fact that they seem to be fewer and more far between in terms of success, they often have a spunky, underdog quality to them.
Examples: Spice Girls, Pussycat Dolls, Fifth Harmony, Danity Kane, Eden’s Crush
The Spice Girls remain the best-selling girl group of all time, but five girl groups can be a hard thing to navigate. These groups don’t attempt as many harmonies as three- and four-member groups. And while Spice Girls and Fifth Harmony mostly tried to hand everyone the microphone, groups like Pussycat Dolls worked on a one singer/ four background singers model. But, with so many people in a group, it’s easy for listeners to find a personality and voice to glom onto.
So, what’s the right size for a girl group?
What is the ideal number of girls in a girl group?
— Hispanic Pixie Dream Girl (@mathewrodriguez) December 21, 2017