Are you ready for the next generation of girl power?Are you ready for the next generation of girl power?
Nine girls ages 8-13 make up Girl Authority -- touted as a G-rated version of the Spice Girls for the ever-growing 'tween market -– and each comes with her own unique moniker and style. "Party Girl" Kate, "Boho Girl" Jess, "Urban Girl" Gina and various other cutely concocted personalities sing their versions of such hits as Madonna's "Material Girl," ABBA's "Dancing Queen" and Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway."
And the kids love it.
Last week, GA's self-titled debut on Zoë/Rounder Records entered Billboard's Top Kid Audio chart at No. 9, ranking alongside such chart-toppers as Razor & Tie's "Kidz Bop" series and Walt Disney's "High School Musical" soundtrack. The album also came in at No. 17 on the Top Heatseekers chart.
For the nine Boston-based members, who have performed musical theater together for nearly five years, it's a dream come true.
"I became 'Country Girl' because I love country music, and I love being outside, riding horses and having adventures," 11-year-old "Country Girl" Crystal tells billboard.com. "'Country Girl' is very independent."
Crystal names Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood as her favorite singers, and she choose SheDaisy's "Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing" to sing on the album.
"We had a list of songs -- some of them were country, some of them were pop, some of them were oldies," she says. "I'd heard the song before -- my dad played it in the car once -- and I loved it. So when I saw it on the list, I was like ‘Oh my gosh!' And I got really excited."
Although she didn't know some of the "oldies" like the Go-Go's "We Got the Beat" and Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," she quips, "But I knew 'Material Girl!'"
Her favorite song on the album, though?
"Besides my song?" she quickly defends. "It's probably 'Hollaback Girl' because it's a group number so we all sing it, and we all have a teeny little line by ourselves."
Those individual lines include replacing the song's refrain, "This my s***," with words like "shh," "what?" and "lime."
The girls' cutesy renditions recently caught the attention of some unusual fans in the Dresden Dolls, the self-proclaimed Brechtian punk cabaret duo.
According to Crystal, "We were recording the CD one day and they came [into the studio] to get something from their friend, and we sang a song for them and they just loved us."
That fateful meeting has turned into Girl Authority's first major performance in front of a non-'tween audience. At the Dresden Doll's April 21 show in Boston, the girls will sing their version of "I Love Rock ‘N' Roll" and then will sing backup on the new Dolls' single "Sing."
"They said we could wear whatever we wanted," says Crystal. "I was like, 'Oh wow!' 'cause usually we have to wear our Girl Authority shirts. So when they said we could wear whatever we wanted I was like, 'Wow! That's going to be fun!"
Girl Authority will take that "fun" on tour for the first time this summer, visiting such places as Six Flags amusement parks.
"I'm really excited that we're gonna be on tour, but then again it's not gonna be the same summer as years before. Like I can't go to camp this year, but still I'd rather be touring than go to camp," says Crystal, adding with a giggle, "I kinda wanna go to Maine. I've been there before, so I don't know why. I just feel like I wanna go to Maine!"
Is there a message that Girl Authority will be bringing to their fans across the country?
"Be yourself," she says. "That's the message I want to send to all the little girls -- and big girls, too, maybe!"