The Supremes, later known as Diana Ross and the Supremes, makes the list of the best-known female singing groups and inspired the Broadway musical "Dream Girls." Singing harmony to the music composed by songwriters Brian Holland, Lamont dozier and Eddie Holland and others, this Motown group featured a trio of women. The original group included Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson. Famous tunes include chart toppers "Where Did Our Love Go?" "Baby Love," "I Hear a Symphony," "Come See About Me," and "Stop! In the Name of Love." The group saw six #1 hits in a year and made the recording charts in Great Britain. The Supremes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Patti Labelle, born Patricia Holt, took lead vocals for the Bluebelles during the early 1960s and later in the female singing group Labelle in the 1970s. The Bluebelles, originally known as the Ordettes, hit the top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100 list in 1962 with "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman." Labelle, fronted by Patti Labelle, continues to perform and record today.
Although the women of the Shirelles first sang publicly in 1958 in high school, the group's singles released in the 1960s brought them to national attention. A string of chart toppers, including "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," "Solider Boy," "I Met Him On a Sunday," and "Foolish Little Girl," made their name. The Shirelles included Shirley Owens, also known as Shirley Alston and Shirley Alston Reeves, Beverly Lee, Addie Harris and Doris Coley, later known as Doris Kenner Jackson. Songwriters Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Hal David and Burt Bacharach composed tunes for the female singing group. The ladies of the Shirelles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
How could the Chiffons miss with tunes by the songwriting team of Carole King and Jerry Goffin? The group first formed in 1960 and featured Patricia Bennett, Barbara Lee, Judy Craig and Sylvia Peterson -- high school friends from Monroe located in the Bronx. Ms. Craig took the lead vocals for the group. "He's So Fine" earned the Chiffons a gold record in sales in 1963. Other chart toppers by the group included "Sweet Talkin' Guy" and "One FIne Day."
Phil Spector's work is featured on the Ronnets' work. Estelle Bennett, sister Veronica Bennett, also known as Ronnie Spector and Nedra Talley, the Bennett's cousin, released their first tune in 1961. "My Darling Angel" didn't make the charts, but singles "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You," both released in 1963, did chart. "Be My Baby" topped the U.S. Hot 100 chart at #2. "Paradise," the last single by the group, was released in 1976. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
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