With news of a Destiny's Child reunion and the possibility the trio will pad Beyonce's Super Bowl performance, it got us reminiscing on the golden era of females voices in R&B. The 1990s were rife with stellar groups, from the aforementioned "Survivors" to the powerhouse femmes of En Vogue. Here we check in with some of our favorites from that time:
The Los Angeles trio showed impressive pipes on this a capella classic, with naught more than some reverb and echo emphasizing their talents. Alleged in-fighting led to a revolving door of women joining and leaving the group, including Monica "Mimi" Doby, who has enjoyed a long career as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Maybe she can school today's youth on some quality R&B instead of the overly Auto-Tuned dreck all too common right now.
They might have been manufactured the same sort of way 'NSync and the Backstreet Boys were, but their fabrication didn't lessen this writer's adoration for Expose. The third (or so) incarnation of this threesome consisting of Ann Curless, Kelly Moneymaker and Jeanette Jurado was a sunny, optimistic melding of R&B and adult contemporary. Though they rode high on the power ballad "I'll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me" in 1993, Arista dropped them from the label by 1995. Reunion shows featuring varying former members occurred at state fairs in the aughts, and subsequent re-recordings and dance singles have been released in the last few years. Curless, Jurado and 1980s lineup star Gioia Bruno have a couple of casino dates booked in 2013.
Championed early on by Naughty By Nature and Queen Latifah, Zhane were the queens of mellow cool. They were partiers, as proclaimed in "Hey Mr. D.J." and "Groove Thang," but in a classy cocktail way. The duo of Renee Neufville and Jean Norris-Baylor, who met in college in Philadelphia, parted ways in 1999. Baylor, in collaboration with husband Marcus, has a new album slated for release this year. Neufville sings and plays keyboards in the jazz outfit RH Factor, bringing her to locales as diverse as China and Nigeria.