While family act The Staple Singers were not technically a girl group, their vocals were often driven by female lead Mavis who was backed by sisters Yvonne and Celotha. Their guttural gospel styling was the perfect platform for venturing into soul, R&B and funk.
Original members: Roebuck "Pops" Staples and children Cleotha, Pervis, Yvonne and Mavis
Style: Gospel, R&B, soul, blues, funk
Labels: Vee-Jay, United Records, Checker Records, Riverside Records, Epic, Stax
Bragging Rights: Pop Staples was good friends with Martin Luther King Jr. The Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999. In 2005, they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Mavis won her first solo Grammy award for her album, "You Are Not Alone." It was named the Best Americana Album.
Co-sign: Says Eric Benet: "I just remember being a kid and seeing some of these performances and they were just so real."
The Supremes are the spotlight group this month in Yahoo! Music's Best Soul Girl Groups Of All Time tribute for Black Music Month. A different act will be profiled everyday. The list includes African American women from a variety of genres — R&B, pop, gospel and rap — who were trailblazers and paved the way for those who followed.