The 2000s produced a treasure trove of iconic girl bands in the genres of R&B and pop. Many were led by Black women channeling the historical greats, like The Supremes, Vandellas, Shirelles, and Ronettes. Black female singing groups were back on top, and this time, smashing gender and racial barriers with meaningful lyrics and uncompromising advocacy. Keep reading to discover our list of the nine best Black female singing groups of the 2000s.
1. Before Dark
Before Dark was an R&B trio with a short, but impactful run. Sisters, Arike Rice, and Jeni G. collaborated with Mia Wright in the 90s, to release their first album, Daydreaming, in July 2000 with RCA Records.
The first single released was “Baby,” featuring rapper, Solé, which was about a girl being ghosted for seven days and telling (him) to recognize they belong together. Needless to say, the next release, “Monica,” was all about another girl creeping on (her) man.
“Monica” hit number seven on the R&B charts and reached 77 on the Top 100. In 2001, Before Dark disbanded to pursue other endeavors. However, Arike Rice continued to inspire audiences through voice and screen in blockbuster hits, Dreamgirls and Hairspray. Today, Rice has been a writer and supervising producer for ABC’s long-running series, Black-ish, which had its finale this past year.
The King sisters formed Cherish at birth, thanks to their father, who toured with acts like Earth, Wind, & Fire. They hit fame status in 2003 when being featured on Da Brat’s hit, “Love Wit Chu.” Their debut single, “Miss P,” failed, leading to their debut album being canceled. However, that didn’t stop Fallon, Felisha, Farrah, and Neosha as they appeared in three songs on The Powerpuff Girls movie soundtrack.
In 2006, Cherish released the hit single “Do It To It,” featuring Sean P., which opened up the opportunity for the ladies to release a new debut album, Unappreciated. This album hit number four on the Billboard 200 album charts.
Unfortunately, Cherish’s next album, The Truth, wasn’t received as well. Despite that being their last album, the group is still together. What’s more, Fallon and Felisha compose and write music for other artists.
3. Danity Kane
When Sean P. Diddy Combs created an interracial group of five ladies with an R&B sound on MTV’s making a band, the soulful pop group Danity Kane was born. In 2005, Diddy signed Danity Kane to Bad Boy Records. The self-titled debut album went Platinum, selling a million domestically.
In 2008, the girl group’s second album, Welcome to the Dollhouse, was released, topping the charts. Danity Kane became the first female group in Billboard history to top the charts with their first two albums. Along the way, the group of five experienced some issues and disbanded a year later.
Bad Boy Records quickly released all the women from the label. In 2014, Danity Kane became a trio with the album DK3, but quickly dissolved. Most of the members have stepped away from music, except for Dawn Richard, who continues with a solo career.
4. Changing Faces
Charisse Rose and Cassandra Lucas were the duo to make up Changing Faces. They had experienced a taste of success while performing backup vocals for recording artist Sybil in the 90s. When they returned to NYC, the pair formed their band and started singing on the streets of Manhattan.
While doing so, they were signed to Big Beat Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic. In the 90s, the group’s two hit singles were written and produced by R. Kelly. Changing Faces was also featured in two movie soundtracks for Dr. Doolittle and Space Jam.
When Changing Faces released their third album, Visit Me, in 2000, the single, “Just Us,” had little promotion, which resulted in a lawsuit issue that challenged the group’s entire discography. Nevertheless, the first single released from the album, “That Other Woman”, exploded, hitting number five on the Billboard Dance Club chart.
In 2009, the issue of pirating music was challenging for artists, and it didn’t spare Changing Faces when their new single, “Crazy Luv,” was leaked. The new album rumored to be released in 2012 never came to fruition, but the group released “Hate Love” in 2013 on iTunes. That proves to be their final single. After another failed attempt and another lawsuit, this time between Lucas and Rose, the group agreed there were no plans for a reunion.
3LW stands for Three Little Women, featuring Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, and Naturi Naughton (Jessica Benson later replaced Naughton). Initially, 3LW signed with Epic Records before moving over to So So Def.
The group’s first single released, “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right),” hit the airwaves in 2000 and was an instant chart success. Their self-titled debut album hit Platinum, granting them a seat on the MTV Total Request Live Tour with Eve, Nelly, Destiny’s Child, and Jessica Simpson.
In 2001, 3LW formed part of the supergroup with Michael Jackson, Mariah Carrey, Reba McEntire, and Celine Dion to record “What More Can I Give” in support of those affected by 9/11. By 2002, 3LW was more like 2LW when Naughton and Bailon had an altercation, which resulted in Naughton leaving the group.
By 2003, 3LW had their newest member, Benson, but Bailon and Williams had signed on with Disney for the original movie Cheetah Girls, including Raven-Symoné and Sabrina Bryan. The movie was a hit and spun off the actual group, Cheetah Girls. That led to 3LW’s third album being shelved indefinitely.
Blaque is an American trio known outside the US as Blaque Ivory. The trio was formed in 1999, and Billboard named them the 4th Best New Artist of the Year. They toured with NSYNC as the opening act, leading to Blaque’s debut album, Bring It All To Me, going Platinum. Indeed, their final single released on their album featured the boy band’s JC Chasez and was an international hit.
The group also toured with TLC on the FanMail Tour and had a taste of the silver screen when they appeared as cheerleaders in the movie Bring It On. Their second album Blaqued Out was shelved when Columbia Records dropped the band. However, the album was leaked on the internet and Blaque was signed up with fellow artist Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, joining Left-Eye Productions. When Left-Eye tragically died, Blaque moved to Elektra Records.
In 2005, Shamari Fears and Brandi Williams parted ways to focus on their solo careers. By 2008, the group was disbanded, but reunited in 2012 for a tribute to Left-Eye and the Left Eye Music Festival in Decatur, Georgia. They decided to work on a new album, but it was cut short by the tragic death of Natina Reed. In 2019, Blaque/The Move Entertainment label released the long-awaited album, Torch.
SWV, also known as Sisters With Voices, came together in 1988. The trio includes Tamara (Taj) Johnson, Cheryl (Coko) Gamble, and Leanne (Lelee) Lyons. In the 90s, SWV had a number of hit successes before they disbanded in 1998.
However, they reunited in 2005, to become one of the greatest Black female singing groups of the 2000s. Rather than making new records, SVV continued to perform material from the earlier days of their career until recording a new album, I Missed Us, in 2011. SWV sold over 25 million records, making them one of the most commercially successful girl groups of all time.
In 2019, SWV partnered with Salt-N-Pepa for the BET reality show Ladies Night. Today, SWV is still dabbling in TV and performing with fellow generational legends.
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes started the group TLC in the 90s, grabbing Rozonda “Chili” Thomas to join them as they went on to have nine top ten hits on Billboard. The 90s granted them accolades, Grammys, awards, and legend status, being the first R&B group to receive the Million certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
In 1999, the group was preparing for the Millennium and released the album FanMail. “No Scrubs” instantly became a worldwide sensation, helping their album gosix-time Platinum. “UnPretty” was the next release off the album and shot straight to number one, being the group’s fourth chart-topping single.
As the first years of the 2000s passed, TLC released the singles “Dear Lie”, “Girl Talk,” and “Hands Up.” However, they did not replicate earlier success. To compound matters, Lopes feuded with fellow members and decided to focus on her solo career. While TLC continued to make appearances, nothing seemed resolved by the time of the untimely death of Lopez in 2002. The group decided they would retire after the release of their latest album, 3D.
TLC is still on the radio on the reunion circuit. They toured with New Kids on the Block, I Love the 90s: The Party Continues Tour, and Whole Lotta Hits Tour, co-headlining with Nelly. In addition, TLC embarked on a Celebration of CrazySexyCool tour in honor of the 25th anniversary of the CrazySexyCool album.
9. Destiny’s Child
Girl’s Tyme was established in 1990 as a quartet made up of Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett. Following a name change when being signed to Columbia Records, the group transformed into Destiny’s Child.
The 90s iteration produced many hits, but by 2000, Robertson and Luckett left due to a dispute with their management team. Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin became the new half of DC, but Franklin quit after only a few short months.
As a strong trio in the 2000s, Destiny’s Child released their third album, Survivor, in 2001. The album featured hits, like “Survivor” and “Bootylicious.” A year later, Destiny’s Child announced that its members were going to pursue solo careers. As the solo thing was working out better for some than others, in 2004, the group released their final album, Destiny Fulfilled, which included hits Soldier and Lose My Breath. The trio officially disbanded in 2006 with no animosity.
Today, Beyoncé Knowles is one of the top-selling solo artists in the world. As a group, Destiny’s Child sold more than 60 million albums, and they remain a popular group that have been ranked as one of the greatest trios of all time.
Best Black Female Singing Groups of the 2000s, Final Thoughts
The 2000s brought a lot of unapologetic Black female artists. These talented singing groups had their share of success and turmoil but their songs hit the ears and hearts of millions.
They inspired and empowered women of all ages to stand up and raise their voices. As these Black female singing groups of the 2000s lived their dreams, they influenced a new generation, like Lizzo, H.E.R, Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion, and Normani.