Impact’s Music Essentials: Girl Groups

Daria Paterek

Daria Paterek rounds up her ten favourite songs by girl groups for Impact’s Music Essentials.

Spice Girls – Spice Up Your Life

Let’s start this list with the Spice Girls, a.k.a. the best-selling girl group in history. Although they are best known for their single Wannabe, Spice Up Your Life is the perfect summary of what the group stands for: having fun.

None of them have come close to achieving the stardom that the Spice Girls have

Every member has a chance to shine in this captivating single. Referencing multiple cultures and languages (“Hai, sí, ja! / Flamenco, lambada / Then polka”), the song symbolises the international traction and impact that the group achieved. Even though this list is filled with wonderful girl groups, none of them have come close to achieving the stardom that the Spice Girls have. 

TLC – Waterfalls

TLC’s signature song is the saddest one on this list. Despite calming instrumentals and smooth vocals, Waterfalls covers a deeply dark topic. The song is cautionary, referring to the problems that plagued young people during the 1990s, such as the H.I.V. epidemic and drug taking. The masterful way that such a powerful message was intertwined within such a calming song earns TLC a top spot on this list. 

Destiny’s Child – Bootylicious

Sexy, fun, and confidence-inducing is how I would describe Bootylicious. From the effortless sample to the adlibs and harmonies, Bootylicious is a staple in the girl group genre. And the song’s impact continues to be unmatched, becoming recently featured in Disney’s Turning Red.  

Mis-Teeq – Scandalous

Scandalous epitomises the greatness of 2000s music

Almost 20 years after its release, Scandalous sounds fresher than ever. Scandalous is an insanely catchy R&B song that wonderfully embodies UK garage vibes. Scandalous epitomises the greatness of 2000s music; from the beat, to the lyrics, the song is incredible. It truly is, in my opinion, a British classic. It is also one Mis-Teeq’s only song to break the US, even becoming featured in Grand Theft Auto V.

The Pussycat Dolls – Buttons

The Pussycat Dolls’ group dynamic worked completely differently to any other girl group on this list. Contrary to a typical girl group, The Pussycat Dolls were a burlesque-style group. While the group is best known for its seductive dance routines, it cannot be denied that they released some iconic music. And Buttons is definitely one that will go down in history.

G.R.L. – Ugly Heart

Upbeat and fun, Ugly Heart is GRL’s most popular song, which demonstrated that they had the potential to become massive. Each member has an independent style and a unique voice, which blend together through their angelic harmonies. Receiving over 2.5 million views in less than a week, it is heart-breaking that the group had to disband in tragic circumstances. 

Fifth Harmony – That’s My Girl

It is upsetting that Fifth Harmony’s best song was released towards the end of their lifespan. That’s My Girl stands for everything that girl groups are about: female empowerment, sisterhood, and independence. It also pays homage to the legacy of Destiny’s child, through the lyrics “Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it / Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it”. That’s My Girl demonstrated Fifth Harmony’s transition into a cohesive unit. It’s a shame that they disbanded soon after.

BLACKPINK – How You Like That

This list would be incomplete without acknowledging the massive achievements and impacts of K-Pop. Despite debuting in only 2016, BLACKPINK has continuously broken records and facilitated itself as a power force. Influenced by hip-hop, the song is incredibly catchy and features mesmerizing beat drops.

Little Mix – Sweet Melody

Little Mix has a phenomenal discography, but I don’t think anything comes close to the power that Sweet Melody holds. The song symbolises Little Mix’s transition to a darker aesthetic and a more mature sound. In Sweet Melody, the girls are at the top of the game: from divine harmonies and an unforgettable beat, Sweet Melody explains why the girls continue to be so popular.

FLO – Cardboard Box

It’s easy to understand why this song will get stuck in your head

After the dominance of pop among girl groups, FLO brings out the R&B vibes that are so nostalgic. After taking Twitter by storm (and reaching 1 million views in two weeks on their debut single), Cardboard Box illustrates FLO’s potential to dominate the UK girl group scene (following Little Mix’s announcement about their upcoming break). Produced by MNEK, it’s easy to understand why this song will get stuck in your head. It’s masterfully produced, angelically sang, and it oozes confidence. If FLO continues like this, they are bound to stay.

Daria Paterek

Featured image courtesy of marcen27 via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article videos courtesy of Spice Girls, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Miss-Teeq, The Pussycat Dolls, G.R.L., Fifth Harmony, BLACKPINK, Little Mix, and FloLikeThisVEVO via @youtube.com. No changes were made to these videos.

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