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8 Underrated R&B Female Groups with Amazing Harmonies

Updated on September 3, 2011

8 R&B Female Vocal Groups That Should Have Gone Further In Their Careers

For some reason, female vocal groups do not last a long time. Many of them come, make gain a little notoriety, and then fade away. While many female vocal groups do not last long, groups such as Destiny's Child, SWV and TLC seem to have made an impact on R&B music. However, there were many other female groups who were super talented, but didn't get very much recognition. These were not just female vocal groups. These are 8 groups that had amazing harmonies and should have gotten much more recognition than they did.

1. The Emotions: The Emotions are well known for their hit song "Best of My Love" which stayed number one at 5 weeks back in 1977. They also worked alongside Earth, Wind And Fire on "Boogie Wonderland". But it is the lesser known songs such as "Don't Ask My Neighbors" and "A Feeling Is" that many people love them for because it showcased their unique harmonies. When you listen to female groups such as The Jones Girls and EnVogue, you can clearly see that they were influenced by The Emotions Harmonies.

The Emotions showcase their gospel stylings and harmonies on their song Blessed

2. The Jones Girls- The Jones Girls biggest hit was "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else", which was a top 5 R&B hit song. Female R&B group Xscape also covered their slow jam "Who Can I Run To" back in 1995. The Jones Girls have admitted to being influenced by the Emotions and their harmonies were just as beautiful as The Emotions.

The Jones Girls hit the right notes with their tender and heartbreaking ballad "I Close My Eyes"

3. The Mary Jane Girls-When the Mary Jane Girls came on the scene they were often compared to Vanity 6 because each group presented the girls as beautiful and sexy singers who served some type of male fantasy role: Jojo was the tomboy, Maxi was the dominatrix, Candy was the classy vixen, and Cheri (the original fourth member) was the valley girl. Well, no offense to Prince, but vocally, The Mary Jane Girls won hands down. Their biggest hit was "My House" although "All Night Long" is a cult classic. These women did not just look good, they also had amazing four part harmonies and sung to sexy yet classy songs.

The Mary Jane Girls "You Are My Heaven" verses and chorus are sung in beautiful harmony

4. Zhane-What's interesting about Zhane is that there were only two vocal members, but their harmonies were beautiful together. They were best known for their songs "Hey Mr. DJ" and "Groove Thang". Zhane had two albums and with their talent on the piano as well as their vocals, we wish we could have heard more from them.

Zhane's "Love Me Today" showcase both their harmonies and their jazzy piano playing ability

5. Phajja-Phajja is another female group that had only two albums out. None of their songs reached the top ten, but a music video for their slow jam "What Are You Waiting For", gave them much publicity and put them on the map at the time as another female vocal group to look out for.

Phajja's slow and soulful "What Are You Waiting For" generated notoriety for their harmonies which was virtually unheard of in mainstream R&B music back in

6. The Braxtons-Anyone who watches The Braxtons Family Values reality show know that these women can sing. They've had gospel training and will not hesitate to showcase their vocal abilities on the show. Many however did not know that 3 of the Braxtons sisters came out with an album back in 1996, which was over shadowed by big sister's Toni success at the time. But the album had good gems and has since peek the interest of those who watch the show.

The Braxtons mid-tempo "L.A.D.I." showcases both their harmony and vocal ranges

7. BlackGirl-BlackGirl was known for their short hair and masculine yet feminine attire. While they did receive Billboard Award nominations, unfortunately this group only had one album. However if you look up information on the group, the general consensus is that they should have gone a lot further than they had.

BlackGirl also sings harmony through the verses and chorus on their smooth groove "Nubian Prince"

8. Body-Under the production of Ms. Angela Winbush herself,female vocal group Body's debut album had beautiful and elegant numbers on them. Unfortunately they only had one album, but again their album was chock full of strong vocals and harmonies.

Body covered the Isley Brother's "Footsteps In The Dark" and their vocals and harmonies did justice to the track


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    • profile image

      TruSoulDJ 5 years ago

      Interesting hub. Nothing like a good girl group with strong, soulful harmonies. Also check out the first CD by Virtue and a group that inspired a lot of R&B female singers, The Clark Sisters.

    • KiandraRutledge profile image

      KiandraRutledge 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Thanks CloudExplorer! I really appreciate your thoughts on the hub. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      Nice to finally get the chance to read one of your hubs, this one is definitely a timeless hub. It's filled with relevant content and some pretty awesome videos, thanks for sharing such a great editorial on hub. As for the women that don't get to last long in a dieing industry, well I figure it's the nature of the beast.

      When something becomes controlled by outside sources such a conglomerate Organization that's sole purpose is to monopolize on other achievements like great singing talent, things are bound to fall apart really quickly, once the popularity of such talented individuals isn't pushed, marketed, or in high demand from the public.

      You can thank the media for that part there, the paparazzi is vicious out there, I'm sure you all know as well.

      Awesome hub you got here, Voted up & I'm following you no doubt.

    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 6 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      I love Floetry too, even though they're not together anymore. Their song "Sending my Love" is the jam!

    • lsin82 profile image

      lsin82 6 years ago from Houston

      Man I think of myself as someone who loves music, but you named several groups that I have never heard of but I will definietely be looking them up on youtube and iTUNES. You listed Zhane and I do agree with you. Their neosoul sound in my open was ahead of its time. I still listen to them today myself. As a matter of fact I was jamming several of their songs on my iPod as I cleaned out the garage this morning lol. Great Hub...

    • nu-flowerchild profile image

      nu-flowerchild 6 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana

      The last time I heard of En Vogue was back in 2005, when they provided vocals to Stevie Wonder's last album, his song So What The Fuss. The art of the girl group has gone extinct. I was just saying to myself earlier this morning that the music industry is nothing but a popularity contest. I've seen everything change before my eyes. It exists in all the music award shows too, and that's why I can't watch them anymore.

    • KiandraRutledge profile image

      KiandraRutledge 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      nu-flowerchild I agree with you also, En Vogue was a hot group, and they did sound good live as well as they did record. I really wish they would get back together and record something. I wish them and a lot of other artists received more recognition than they had because they were very talented. Today it's more like a popularity contest and lots of gimmicks. So any way that I can shed a spotlight on the talented "unsung" artists I would definitely do that.

    • nu-flowerchild profile image

      nu-flowerchild 6 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana

      These days, I still listen to Zhane. I really believe that they could have gone further, but the music industry always changes. They weren't that big in their prime, but they got around decently. As always, music listeners are deep into mainstream music. There are so many underrated music stars. One female group that I want to name who was very successful, but I still feel that they are underrated is En Vogue. Their harmonies, style, and image were on point. I still go crazy whenever I see the music video for "Never Gonna Get It"! lol! And my bones shiver when I hear the beginning of "Hold On". If you were to ask me which one I preferred in the 90's, between Destiny's Child and En Vogue, I would go with En Vogue. They are definitely one of the greatest female groups of all time. I don't really think people know how much range those women had. Not dogging Destiny's Child, because they are just as good and have brought their contributions as well, but En Vogue... Talk about some soul.


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