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Girl bands of the 1990s, ranked from brutal to brilliant

Will your favourite come out on top?

IT WAS THE best of times, it was the worst of times.

The 90s brought great joy, great music and great fashion. HOWEVER, it also saw some of the outright worst music, fashion and creative direction of the 20th century. Girl bands were flavour of the decade, and they ran the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Here they are: definitively RANKED.

17. Daphne and Celeste

Absolute dogmuck and, what’s more, it’s almost as if they knew it and enjoyed that fact. Watch here to see their reception at Reading festival in 2000. Unmissable. No, trust us, just watch.

Source: duncy21

16. Loose Chippins

Yep, during the girl band boom of the late 90s, there was a band out there called Loose Chippins. LOOSE CHIPPINS. Worst name ever? Almost certainly.

We haven’t placed them below Daphne and Celeste because they aren’t as offensively bad, and seem like nice enough girls. While relegated for the dustbin of history for most people, we thought they deserved a place on our list for their baffling, terrible name alone.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Source: Andy Whitmore

15. Buffalo G

Buffalo G did a rap cover of Bananarama’s Really Saying Something – which in turn was a cover of the Velvelettes. Meta? Yes. But not a patch on the original, unfortunately.

FYI – Naomi Lynch, one part of Buffalo G, is sister to Edele and Keavy from B*Witched and Shane from Boyzone. A “talented” family.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

14. Girl Thing

Their song Last One Standing was admittedly catchy, but in a bad way, like the flu. It’s brash, in your face, pseudo-sass but lacking in real substance and attitude.

On another note, this was our first introduction to Jodi Albert – later of Hollyoaks, and currently married to Westlife’s Kian Egan. Hi Jodi! Cool bandana!

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

13. Dream

Our first American entrants, Dream hit it big in 2000 with their single He Loves U Not which was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

That font, those outfits, the hair. Ow, right in the bubblegum nostalgia.

Source: Debbie Hammond

12. Alisha’s Attic

Essex “rock chicks”. Leaders of the 90s bindi accessory movement. Alanis Morrissette lite. Altogether now: “I AM, I FEEL..”

Source: Nick Tansley/EMPICS Entertainment

Source: phoben

11. Bellefire

Formed in 1999 by Louis Walsh, aimed at “a more mature niche in the pop market”. Never really took off, but probably have more impressive vocal stylings than others on the list. They just never really grabbed us. Sorry. Zzz.

Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

10. Cleopatra

Cleopatra was made up of sisters Cleo, Yonah and Zainam Higgins from the UK. Their singles included a cover of the Jackson 5 and also the brilliant song Comin’ Atcha/Cleopatra’s Theme. Go on, give it another listen. It’s still good.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

9. Atomic Kitten

Straight outta the ‘Pool, with attitude to match. They’ve been on and off with various line-up changes since their beginnings in 1998, but their first incarnation will always be the one in our hearts. You can make us whole again. Sob.

Source: EMPICS Entertainment

8. Eternal

Formed in 1992, with singles including the frankly amazing I Wanna Be The Only One. In typical girl band style, they went through various line-up changes and swaps. The group spawned Louise Nurding’s (now Redknapp) and Kelle Bryan’s solo careers.

Soulful gals – pretty much the UK’s answer to En Vogue (more of which anon…)

Source: riggsy1980

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

7. Sugababes

While they long outlasted the 90s (like many of the rest of the top contenders in our ranking), they were originally formed in 1998. They’ve undergone enough line-up changes to give you a nosebleed, but our personal favourite is their original (and coincidentally most quintessentially 90s) single Overload.

Fun game: Watch the video and see how many 90s fashion oddities you can spot.

Source: Zem Zamson

6. B*Witched

The finest of the Irish girl bands. If you don’t have fond, affectionate memories of these denim-loving ladies, then you’re dead inside.


Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

5. En Vogue

More 90s than a one-shouldered top and clear mascara. But En Vogue are more than just a brilliant 90s girl band – they’re one of the most successful female groups of all time.

Source: RhinoEntertainment

4. Destiny’s Child

Their original line-up, before a Papa Knowles-inspired changes were made, released some incredible R’n'B 90s gems – including Bills Bills Bills, Bug a Boo and Say My Name.

Can the band that gave the world Beyoncé really be anything less than top five? Think on.

Source: EMPICS Entertainment

Source: EMPICS Entertainment


3. TLC

From Creep to No Scrubs, back to Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg and Unpretty. Great ones for dancing around in their videos in their silky Penneys pyjamas (to see what we mean, check out the Creep video).

The girls are sadly missing Left Eye after a tragic car crash in 2002, but we’re sure they’re proud of their legacy and years together.

Source: Thiago Nascimento Costa

2. All Saints

Founded in 1993 (if you can believe that) but bcame best known for their debut album in 1997 – which featured singles Never Ever, Under the Bridge, Bootie Call and I Know Where It’s At.

Add the songs Pure Shores and Black Coffee and you’ve got yourself a stellar back catalogue worthy of second place. Plus, anyone who says they don’t know the words to the chorus of Never Ever is lying.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

1. Spice Girls


Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Source: EMPICS Entertainment

The ultimate. Their first single, Wannabe, was the shot heard around the world in 1996. Girl power forever.

Read: The boybands we’re glad were left behind in the 90s>

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About the author:

Fiona Hyde

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