100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics’ Picks

There are few institutions with a prouder legacy within pop music than the girl group. For as long as the Billboard Hot 100 has existed, there have been all-female vocal groups gracing its ranks, from the early days of The Chantels and The Bobbettes in the late ’50s all the way up to Fifth Harmony and Little Mix in 2017.



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Over that six-decade span of iconic mainstream success, girl groups have often been dismissed, jeered at or all but written out of rock history. But as the years march on, the groups have endured — through their fashion, their cool, and most importantly, their songs.


To honor that legacy, Billboard will be doing a week’s worth of girl group coverage, starting with our list of the 100 greatest girl group songs of all-time — or at least of the rock era, with a quick shout-out to absent predecessors like the Andrews Sisters and The Chordettes — as decided by Billboard’s editorial staff. (For a list of the biggest girl group hits of all-time as determined by their Billboard Hot 100 chart success, click here.)

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Our list takes us through the many forms the girl group has taken over the last 60+ years — from Spector to Motown to disco to freestyle to R&B to Girl Power to TRL to K-pop to X Factor — but always keeps the emphasis on the sparkling, life-affirming and truly timeless music.

Before we get counting down, though, a word about how we defined the term “girl group.” For a group to be included here, it had to be all-female, it had to have at least three members, and it had to be primarily vocal in nature: In other words, no groups that present mostly as bands, with the emphasis just as much on their instruments as their singing. So you won’t see artists like The Go-Go’s or HAIM on this list — just like you wouldn’t see The Cars or Vampire Weekend on our list of boy bands.

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to get together with your best friends, put on your finest matching outfits, and check out our 100 favorite girl group songs: the leaders of the pack, now and forever. (Find a Spotify playlist of the whole list at the very bottom.)

100. The Paris Sisters, “I Love How You Love Me” (1961)

The real-life sibling trio The Paris Sisters hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961 with “I Love How You Love Me,” produced by a pre-Wall of Sound Phil Spector. The song’s gentle, heavenly guitar picking is augmented by restrained backing harmonies and austere strings, and the whole composition could seem oppressively wholesome — if not for the aching sexual longing Priscilla Paris injects into the words “squeeze me, tease me, please me” just before the song fades out. — JOE LYNCH

99. Wilson Phillips, “Impulsive” (1990)

The only one of second-gen supergroup Wilson Phillips’ first four singles not to go to No. 1 on the Hot 100 — petering out at No. 4, ho hum — “Impulsive” was nevertheless a gem, marrying Belinda Carlisle’s wistfulness with Tina Turner’s blunt pop force for one of the most undeniable radio singles of its era. Plus, if there’s a better summation of the classic girl-group ethos than “Wanna be impulsive, reckless, and lose myself in your kiss,” we haven’t heard it in the years since. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER

98. L.A.X. Gurlz, “Forget You” (2006)

Before Cee Lo Green made the song title famous with a much more bitter message to an ex, these one-single wonders — “Forget You” was L.A.X. Gurlz’s only release as a group — dished one heck of a catchy moving-on anthem. Their sassy lyrics, backed by a synth-pop beat, help mend any broken heart, right down to its final declaration of independence: “And that’s the story/ Now you know how I feel/ That’s all I gotta say.” — TAYLOR WEATHERBY

97. B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (1998)

If you couldn’t tell from the Irish jig breakdown toward the end of their debut single, B*Witched hailed from the Emerald Isle — but the lyrics to their lone crossover hit, which slyly nod to adolescent sexual experimentation, are universal. They were also subtle enough to fly under the radar of most censors, who were tricked by the absurdly effervescent bubblegum melodies into thinking the lyrics were equally pure. — J. Lynch

96. Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (2001)

The British trio brought a Spice Girls-gone-disco vibe with their four initial singles, and after slowing things down a notch with “Follow Me,” Atomic Kitten introduced their first quasi-ballad with the captivating “Whole Again” — showing a different side of the usually-upbeat group. The U.K. chart-topping smash quickly proved a perennial, as fellow European girl group Play covered it just a couple years later, even bringing out the track’s passion a little more. — T.W.

95. The Exciters, “Tell Him” (1962)

“Tell Him” was certainly the right song to give to a group called The Exciters, each string stab and rushed chorus exhortation sounding like the product of a frenzied mind and rbeat-skipping heart. The sentiment and delivery were enduring enough for a 2012 SNL sketch to adapt the song’s forthcoming refrain to advise a more misleading approach (“Tell him… that… you’re really into hockey… tell him that you’re not grossed out when he says the word ‘panties’“). — A.U.

94. The Pointer Sisters, “Automatic” (1984)

Electro proved the Pointer Sisters’ calling, singing made-to-order soul over brittle drum machines and swooping disco synths that weren’t pretending to be anything else. It’s hard to imagine a dance-pop act nailing some of their biggest hits on their tenth album today, but the Pointers were absolute machines by 1984, with Sister Ruth’s gender-bending contralto flowing out of the plasticine six-minute epic “Automatic” to counter that sparkling five-note bleep of a hook. Latter-day disco culture needed both, as you’d imagine, and everything on the spectrum in between. — DAN WEISS

93. Apollonia 6, “Sex Shooter” (1984)

Prince’s mid-’80s genius was so far too prolific to be contained to his own catalog, as he spun off classic hits for nearly all his Purple Rain cast mates. Apollonia 6’s “Sex Shooter,” performed by the trio in the film, was a frothy jam of lust and abandon worthy of The Purple One, Apollonia declaring, “I need you to get me off/ I’m your bomb getting ready to explode,” but saying far more with each ecstatic “woah-oh-woahhhh!” — A.U.

92. Little Mix, “Move” (2013)

The U.K. pop quartet has released its fair share of should-been-bigger singles, but none more combustible than “Move,” the lead single from sophomore LP Salute. Rhythmic without sacrificing its smarts, the song deserved to dominate both sides of the Atlantic. — J. Lipshutz

91. Richgirl, “He Ain’t Wit Me Now (Tho)” (2009)

As fearless a debut single as a girl group has released, producer Rich Harrison coming out guns blazing with the kind of pounding piano and shredding strings you’d hear on a Kubrick score, setting the stage for Richgirl to kick down the door with their storming, “Get Me Bodied”-worthy vocal strut. Unsurprisingly it flopped — no Top 40 station in the country would’ve had the balls to make it 20 seconds in — and RichGirl disbanded before their debut LP, but decades from now this thing will still be a stunner, the sound of a girl group marching down your back in painfully sharp high heels. — A.U.

90. The Supremes, “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart” (1966)

The most underrated single of The Supremes’ classic run, a near-Northern Soul swing built around a tensely rumbling bass line, honking guitars, and bells as sublime as only Holland and Dozier could make ’em ring. Diana Ross is still the MVP, though, yelping and cooing at the song’s center as she sings in ecstatic frustration about that itch she just can’t scratch: “Get up in the morning and I’m filled with desire/ No, I can’t stop the fire/ Love’s a real live wire.” — A.U.

89. 3LW, “Playas Gon’ Play” (2001)

Turn-of-the-millennium girl group 3LW are best-remembered today for the sighing top 40 hit “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right),” but the superior jam might’ve been follow-up “Playas Gon’ Play,” an airtight production with a knocking beat that fizzes delectably but unpredictably. The musical frenzy is in stark contrast to the restrained, resigned vocal, in which the trio (including future acting star Naturi Naughton) attempts to brush off the peanut gallery commenting on love from the sidelines, irritated but determined. — A.U.

88. Fin.K.L., “Now” (2000)

O.G. K-pop fans would mostly agree that the late ’90s/early ’00s were dominated by boy bands — barring S.E.S and Fin.K.L., with the latter group reportedly created by record label DSP Media just to rival the former. “Now” stands as one of the best creations from that rivalry, with the song constantly elevating itself, perhaps best heard when the ladies’ slinky, harmony-driven chorus is then topped by a shout-and-repeat hook. Fin.K.L’s influence would continue past their 2002 disbandment, with leader Lee Hyori becoming one of K-pop’s most successful female solo artists. — JEFF BENJAMIN

87. Sweet Sensation, “If Wishes Came True” (1990)

Not the most eternal Hot 100 No. 1 hit of its era, perhaps — as of publishing, “If Wishes Came True” had yet to even clear 200k streams on Spotify — “If Wishes Came True” was still a chart-topper for a reason, a ballad as powerful as the hair metal lighter-wavers dominating the charts, but with a tender-hearted, open-eyed innocence to make it especially crushing. Could be overdue for an awesome HAIM cover. — A.U.

86. The Cookies, “Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad (About My Baby)” (1963)

Find you a girl group who sings about you the way The Cookies sing about their man: A pop song of either absolute confidence or unparalleled naivete, the trio spends “Don’t Say Nothin'” asserting their man’s perfection and proving thoroughly unwilling to hear any talk to the contrary. “He’s true/ He’s true to me/ So girl, you better shut your mouth!” The song was written by married couple Gerry Goffin and Carole King, who (somewhat ironically) would soon split over Goffin’s unfaithfulness. — A.U.

85. Klymaxx, “Meeting in the Ladies’ Room” (1985)

“I’d hate to come down to their level and become a BW — a basic woman — but if they don’t stop, it’s gonna get scandalous.” Such are the events that precipitate the Klymaxx board chairs convening in the lavatory to discuss Bernadette Cooper’s plan of action in keeping the other ladies’ hands off her man — and by the strutting electro-pop jam’s end, dominance has rightly been asserted: “Excuse me, ladies, this man’s with me/ I don’t like to share, you can plainly see.” Measure twice, cut once. — A.U.

84. Brownstone, “If You Love Me” (1994)

Harnessing the strut of New Jack Swing with an emotive edge, Brownstone’s “If You Love Me” reigns as a sidepiece anthem delivered with a bruised ego, a la Changing Faces’ “That Other Woman” and Aaliyah’s “If Your Girl Only Knew.” The R&B trio, at the time signed to Michael Jackson’s MJJ Records, spend the first minute in a contemplative prison of their lover’s making, edging closer to an explosive chorus that runs down a list of reasonable demands. — STEVEN J. HOROWITZ

83. Shirley Gunter & the Queens, “Oop Shoop” (1954)

Dating back to 1954, “Oop Shoop” not only laid groundwork for girl group but for rock n’ roll itself. As with Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, Shirley Gunter and the Queens gave “Oop Shoop” – a nonsense R&B number — a hopping rockabilly energy that transformed it into something previously unheard. In addition to pioneering a genre that would soon take over the world, Shirley Gunter and the Queens were also one of the first all-female African-American groups to enjoy major chart success. — J. Lynch

82. Martha and the Vandellas, “Jimmy Mack” (1967)

A before-she-cheats swinger, in which Martha pleads over a pounding heartbeat of handclaps and drums for her titular man to come back before she’s led all the way into temptation. The song’s sweet-and-sour chorus would’ve landed in any era, but in the late ’60s the song took on special resonance, as girls across the country were pleading for their own Jimmy Macks to hurry back from overseas, before fates a lot worse than romantic betrayal befell them. — A.U.

81. Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (2001)

The pre-American Idol reality series Popstars didn’t leave the legacy of its successor, but it did beat Idol to the top 10 of the Hot 100, when season one winners Eden’s Crush hit No. 8 with the glitchy, head-smacking R&B dismissal of “Get Over Yourself,” a sadly forgotten gem of the period. The group was folded shortly after, but one of their ranks carried the girl group torch for the rest of the decade, as Nicole Scherzinger went on to lead the burlesque troupe-turned-pop hitmakers The Pussycat Dolls. — A.U.

80. Electrik Red, “So Good” (2009)

The-Dream and Tricky Stewart followed in the tradition of producers and writers like Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and Rich Harrison in creating girl groups So Plush and Richgirl, respectively, with Electrik Red. The short-lived quartet has only one album to its name — How to Be a Lady: Volume 1 — featuring the singles “Drink in My Cup” and “So Good,” the latter of which toned down the spice and settled on breezy terrain, with a brilliant refrain of reluctant capitulation (“I shouldn’t have let you hit that/ ‘Coz now I can’t forget that”). — S.J.H.

79. The Bobbettes, “Mr. Lee” (1958)

The gleefully jaunty “Mr. Lee” is so enamored with its subject that The Bobbettes repeat the title ten times per chorus and another 20 times in the verse, a fair approximation of love so overpowering all trains of thought lead back to one name. Of course such infatuations can ultimately prove dangerous, and in the case of the Bobbettes, it was downright fatal — as evidenced by sequel song “I Shot Mr. Lee,” unsurprisingly a lesser hit than the original. — A.U.

78. The Jaynetts, “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” (1963)

Unusually enigmatic for a girl group smash, “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” was built around a proto-psychedelic chorus that almost served as an incantation, its ambiguous chorus open to interpretations of everything from drug use to homosexuality. The song’s aura of mystery and intrigue led it not only to major chart success at the time, hitting No. 2 on the Hot 100 in ’63, but to it being one of the most covered songs in girl-group history, even making for one of the first singles released by a pre-disco Donna Summer. — A.U.

77. Destiny’s Child, “Independent Women (Part I)” (2000)

Destiny’s Child racked up four Hot 100 No. 1 hits during the group’s existence, and “Independent Women Pt. 1” spent the longest time at the top – 11 weeks. Featured on the soundtrack to the 2000 movie adaptation of the TV series Charlie’s Angels (as well as on the trio’s Survivor album), the song’s staccato stutter-step beat and “I depend on me” attitude – a foreshadowing of Beyonce’s future solo work — still sizzles, despite the dated references to the film’s stars, Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. — FRANK DIGIACOMO

76. Play, “I Must Not Chase the Boys” (2003)

While other girl groups were singing of falling in love or getting over an ex, Swedish quartet Play declared that they were opting out of doing either. Instead, they delivered a message that many girls could likely relate to — whether it’s because they’re also caught between the devil and the angel they used to be, or they’re over chasing boys who don’t give them the time of day. Play had brought that same kind of don’t-need-you sass with “Cinderella,” but the rock edge of “I Must Not Chase the Boys” showed that the group had matured in the same way that the song’s lyrics explained. — T.W.

75. The Blossoms, “That’s When the Tears Start” (1965)

Few girl groups have ever been done as dirty historically as The Blossoms, who actually performed the “He’s a Rebel” version credited (as a chart-topping hit) to The Crystals, and who delivered uncredited backing vocals on The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” also a No. 1. Needless to say, the Darlene Love-led trio never achieved such success under their own name, but they did notch a number of cult classics, including the dancing-through-the-tears “That’s When the Tears Start” — whose horn-led sway would be all but swiped for Spiral Starecase’s “More Today Than Yesterday” a half-decade later; a much bigger chart hitch, natch. — A.U.

74. Bananarama, “Robert De Niro’s Waiting (Talking Italian)” (1984)

One of the more subversive girl-group songs of the 1980s, “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” distracts with a breezy of-the-moment synth-pop sound and the British trio’s harmonies, which both soar and dive to a steely spoken whisper. Listen closely to the lyrics, though, and they’re about… date rape, as the members explained in later years: “Don’t come any closer/ I don’t wanna feel, ooh!/ Your breathing, your touching.”  De Niro, who in 1984 was still at the peak of his acting powers, figures as a cinematic escape from the trauma. — F.D.

73. The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (1962)

Good luck getting “doo-lang, doo-lang doo-lang” out of your head 55 years later — and pity the poor songwriter who has the Chiffons’ invincible, sub-two-minute classic rattling around in their creative center, inexplicably infecting their own works with that bulletproof, simple-as-hell two-part melody. They got George Harrison and seeped right into “My Sweet Lord.” You could be next. — D.W.

72. SWV, “Weak” (1993)

Sisters With Voices, consisting of Coko, Taj and Lelee, reigned as one of the most prominent and influential girl groups of the 1990s thanks to hits like “Anything” and “I’m So Into You.” Their sole Hot 100 topper, “Weak,” only highlighted their ability to toggle from upbeat to slow without losing any momentum, lacing this doe-eyed ballad with towering vocal runs. — S.J.H.

71. The Marvelettes, “The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game” (1966)

The kind of un-self-explanatory song title that forces you to pay attention to a song’s entire lyric for proper context, “The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game” was quietly confident in its mystery, The Marvelettes slowly unfolding their pursuer-becomes-the-pursuee drama over a slow-and-low groove and dynamite faux-harmonica hook. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson, “Hunter” just missed the top 10 on the Hot 100, but has since been covered by such paragons of cool as Grace Jones, Blondie and Massive Attack. — A.U.

70. Red Velvet, “Dumb Dumb” (2015)

There are pop hooks that grab you, and then there are hooks that strangle you and absolutely refuse to let go. Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb” epitomizes that latter, with the quirky quintet repeating the word “dumb” more than 200 times throughout this single, brilliantly exemplifying why K-pop acts — particularly the girl groups — craft some of the most addictive singles in pop. — J.B.

69. Expose, “Exposed to Love” (1985)

Expose was a pop superpower for at least one album in the late ’80s, with their Exposure LP launching four top 10 hits, including the No. 1 ballad “Seasons Change.” But the best single of all might’ve been the non-Hot-100-charting “Exposed to Love,” a euphoric freestyle banger with a less-is-more chorus (“Exposed to love/ Never felt like this, love”) whose fragmented phrasing gets most of the way to expressing young love’s inherent inarticulateness — and the flourescent synths fill in the gaps from there. — A.U.

68. The Pussycat Dolls, “Stickwitu” (2005)

After zooming to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 with their breakout jam “Don’t Cha,” and before their seductive follow-ups “Beep” and “Buttons,” PCD created one of the most heartfelt ballads in modern girl group history with “Stickwitu.” Though the majority of rest of the Pussycat Dolls’ 14 singles would be made for the club (with the notable exception of 2008’s breakup ballad “I Hate This Part”), the sweetly sighing “Stickwitu” proved that the group wasn’t just about the sex appeal – and 12 years later, the song is likely still making couples everywhere sway along and fall deeper in love. — T.W.

67. The Three Degrees, “When Will I See You Again?” (1974)

The Philly soul that dominated the ’70s didn’t produce anywhere near the girl group roster that Motown did in the ’60s, but Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff gave us one all-female classic in The Three Degrees’ “When Will I See You Again?” Despairing even by girl-group standards, the mascara really starts to run on the pleading chrous (“Are we in love or are we just friends? Is this the beginning or is this the end?“) before the trio again simplifies their line of questioning to the heartbreaking titular query. — A.U.

66. Sister Sledge, “He’s the Greatest Dancer” (1979)

Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards gifted Sister Sledge with that busy, unrelenting, even kind of ominous groove in 1979, and Will Smith purloined it for his own unflappable 1998 Hot 100-topper “Getting’ Jiggy Wit’ It.” But the sisters Sledge themselves — Debbie, Joni, Kim, and Kathy — make “He’s the Greatest Dancer” what it is, as the world’s most effusive cheerleading squad for a guy who had a “body that would shame Adonis.” It’s such constant ascendant flight that you actually entertain the idea that this anonymous dude could live up to his theme song. — D.W.

65. Girls Aloud, “Love Machine” (2004)

It’s a bedroom blitz from U.K. superheroes Girls Aloud on this juggernaut of a pop/rock rave-up, doing The Miracles one better while gearing up for the ultimate battle of the sexes in a neglige. What will the neighbours say? Good question, and better left unanswered. — A.U.

64. The Cake, “Baby That’s Me” (1967)

In which Phil Spector sidekick Jack Nietzsche tries his hand at creating his own classic Ronettes ballad — with help from co-writer Jackie DeShannon and a superlative vocal performance from New York trio The Cake — and damn near gets there. Drenched in reverb and vocal anguish, “Baby That’s Me” creates the same feeling of getting caught in an emotional downpour as “Walking in the Rain” — though unfortunately, by ’67, pop audiences had raised their umbrella to such Wall of Sound storms, and The Cake never even grazed the Billboard charts.

63. The Ikettes, “I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)” (1961)

In between arguably inventing rock and roll and turning his wife into one of the great pop icons of the 20th century, Ike Turner found modest chart success fashioning The Ikettes, a girl group whose biggest hit came with this hypnotically melancholy mid-tempo number. The group was short lived, but the song became a perennial, not only inspiring the sublime nonsense of Eiffel 65’s only U.S. hit, but also informing the classic chorus to “Shoop,” the signature ’90s hit for a very different kind of girl group. — A.U.

62. Spice Girls, “Spice Up Your Life” (1997)

Besting “Wannabe” would quickly prove impossible, but the Spice Girls still managed to shoot off one of the best girl group songs of the ’90s with the lead single to second album Spiceworld. A call for global unity (emphasized by the fact that all five women sing the chorus simultaneously) that stuffs an entire aural carnival into 2:53, the song has an unquenchable energy thanks to its joyous samba rhythms and irresistible “Hai, si, ja” refrain – which means “yes” in Japanese, Spanish and German, respectively. — J. Lynch

61. Mary Jane Girls, “All Night Long” (1983)

Rick James protégés Mary Jane Girls may not have scored a sizeable chart hit with “All Night Long,” but it’s clear to see why it’s become one of the most sampled records of that era, with everyone from Mary J. Blige and Groove Theory to LL Cool J and Big Daddy Kane repurposing the cookout classic. Over a James-produced, bass-plucked confection, the group harmonizes while stylishly anticipating an R-rated night with a romantic interest. — S.J.H.

60. The Chantels, “Maybe” (1957)

An African-American girl group made up of high school students from the Bronx, The Chantels weren’t given many avenues to succeed in the late ’50s, but nevertheless scored a 1957 chart hit with “Maybe,” one of the girl group genre’s first classics. The backup vocals are doo-wop, the music is gospel-R&B, but the lead is a pioneering game-changer: Even though the lyrics speak to obsessive teenage lamentation, Arlene Smith belts them like a dominating force, her voice remaining strong even though the words tip to weakness. That trick of marrying vocal resolve to tragic subject matter would be repeated on countless such classics to come. — J. Lynch

59. f(x), “Rum Pum Pum Pum” (2013)

A song that embodies why the K-pop scene is as creative as it is weird, experimental outfit f(x) blended samba-inspired production, alien-like harmonies and the melody of a famous Christmas carol for what turned out to be a huge hit. The ladies blend mysterious coos and energetic raps to compare their dating style to pushy wisdom teeth, all while playing with rhythm and vocal tempos, resulting in one of the many standout tracks on their beloved Pink Tape album from 2013. — J.B.

58. Xscape, “Who Can I Run To?” (1995)

Originally a B-side to the Jones Girls’ 1979 hit “You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else,” the agonized “Who Can I Run To?” found new life in the mid-’90s thanks to the vocal prowess of hitmakers Xscape, rightly turning the syrupy slow jam into one of the defining R&B hits in his era. The song still captivates another 20 years later, proving a highlight of Xscape’s much-anticipated reunion medley at the 2017 BET Awards. — A.U.

57. Fifth Harmony, “Sledgehammer” (2014)

Physically, the line “If you could take my pulse right now/It would feel just like a sledgehammer” is more than a bit confusing. Yet the girls of 5H sell their tale of unsaid infatuation with dedicated melismas and gooey production. — J. Lipshutz

56. The Ronettes, “Baby I Love You” (1963)

Nobody in pop history has ever “whoa-oh”ed quite like Ronnie Spector, and likely the finest utterance of her signature non-verbal came as the lead-in to the thundering drums and and bellowing winds of “Baby I Love You.” Never matched, the song’s testimony of unreserved devotion and affection has nevertheless made it an easy target for decades of covers, including by The Ramones and Cher — the latter of whom also sings backup on the original recording. — A.U.

55. The Crystals, “Da Doo Ron Ron” (1963)

If you’ve ever wondered what people mean by Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” look no further than The Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron.” Given the purposefully inane chorus and simple rhyme scheme, the barnstorming production on “Da Doo Ron Ron” takes the spotlight, with cascading piano chords and a screeching saxophone demonstrating that girl group hits frequently rocked harder than most early-’60s rock n’ roll records. — J. Lynch

54. Blaque, “Bring It All to Me” (1999)

No, they’re not a one-hit wonder — “808” was also a top 10 hit on its own — but Blaque’s defining moment will forever be the delectably dated “Bring It All To Me,” a silky R&B sing-along which included a hit remix featuring JC Chasez (but credited to all of *NSYNC). — J. Lipshutz

53. Dixie Cups, “People Say” (1964)

Those damn sideline haters, always providing their unsolicited sniping as to why girl group romances won’t last — The Dixie Cups don’t wanna hear it, and on “People Say,” they shake ’em off in exhilarating fashion over a snapping beat, declaring “I don’t really care what the people say.” Despite these assertions, the group’s own intro gives away their lingering insecurity: “Don’t you ever hurt me, if you do/ Everything they’re saying will be true.” — A.U.

52. Jade, “Don’t Walk Away” (1992)

Irresistible from its opening answering-machine harmonies, “Don’t Walk Away” had a strut without peer in ’90s R&B, boasting a clomping, Kool and the Gang-borrowing beat with more cowbell than a half-dozen Blue Oyster Cults. Still, it’s the group’s piercing vocals that make the jam indelible, and the reason producers like Diplo & Sleepy Tom are still trying to recapture its magic decades later. — A.U.

51. The Shangri-Las, “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” (1964)

The Shangri-Las were so deliriously in love on “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” they had to invent a new spelling for the word, all feet- and heartbeat-skipping giddiness as they plant one of the loudest smooches you’ve ever heard on their be-luv-ed. It sounds so friggin’ good that the backing vocals keep insisting “tell me more, tell me more!” — though at just 2:12, you best believe the Shangri-Las aren’t giving all their secrets away on this one. — A.U.

50. G.R.L., “Ugly Heart” (2014)

The tragic death of Simone Battle ended the promise of five-piece girl group G.R.L., but not before they delivered one lasting gem in this surprisingly moving single, which featured each of the members’ individual personalities shining through, as well as a decisively fierce chorus. — J. Lipshutz

49. The Cover Girls, “Show Me” (1986)

One of the earliest and finest crossover hits of the freestyle era, the sparkling “Show Me” demanded love and respect through its vocals and sonic irrepressibility. “Actions speak louder than words,” the group affirms on the hook — but of course, synths speak loudest of all, and the effervescent keys blanketing the Cover Girls’ late-’80s breakout hit were absolutely unigonorable. — A.U.

48. The Pointer Sisters, “Fire” (1978)

Bruce Springsteen was one of the biggest girl-group devotees of his era, so it’s no surprise that he gave back to the tradition by giving this ever-so-slow-burning classic to the Pointer Sisters. Bruce eventually performed it himself, of course, but he could never do his composition the justice that the Pointers’ velvet harmonies could on the song’s brilliantly understated chorus: “‘Coz when we kiss/ Oooh/ FI-IRE.” — A.U.

47. All Saints, “Never Ever” (1997)

Though they didn’t nearly achieve the same level of success in the U.S., quartet All Saints ended up becoming one of the biggest all-female groups of the ‘90s in their native U.K. “Never Ever,” which peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100, had a considerably larger impact overseas, becoming the second-best selling single by a girl group of all time in the U.K. to Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” It makes sense why: singer Nicole Appleton deadpan chants the first verse before joining up with the rest of the quartet for a slinky, surprisingly anthemic breakup kiss-off. — S.J.H.