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En Vogue

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Biography

When En Vogue debuted to dazzling, chart-topping effect in 1990, the vocal R&B group attracted comparisons to the Supremes, even though Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, and Dawn Robinson shared lead vocals and intentionally designated no particular singer the group's Diana Ross. The quartet had more in common with fellow Oakland natives the Pointer Sisters, as they drew from all eras of R&B with convincing stylistic diversions and a knack for recalling the past and sounding current at once. After three consecutive platinum albums and six Top Ten pop hits during the '90s alone, En Vogue had set a standard by which all subsequent female vocal groups were judged. Lineup changes, lawsuits, and infrequent recordings during the ensuing decades did not diminish the impact of their impeccable harmonies. En Vogue were conceived and put together by producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, former members of Club Nouveau. Foster and McElroy wanted a vocal group who could exude sultriness and intelligence in addition to technical proficiency, and as producers, they wanted material that would fuse R&B and girl group traditions with contemporary new jack swing rhythms. The two held auditions and settled on a membership of Herron (a former Miss Black California), Jones, and Robinson. Ellis auditioned later and made the group a quartet. Originally called 4-U, they first appeared on Foster and McElroy's 1989 album FM2 as Vogue, and then switched to En Vogue after learning of another group with the same name. Born to Sing, En Vogue's debut album, appeared in 1990 and was the source of four major hit singles. "Hold On," "Lies," and "You Don't Have to Worry" all topped the Billboard R&B chart, while "Don't Go" reached number three. "Hold On" also crossed over and narrowly missed the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The parent release was eventually certified platinum. In between albums, Herron appeared in the film Juice. When En Vogue returned in 1992 with Funky Divas, critical and commercial response was overwhelming. The album's wide array of styles, from pop and R&B to rap, rock, and reggae, was lauded in print. "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)," "Giving Him Something He Can Feel" (written by Curtis Mayfield and originally performed by Aretha Franklin), and "Free Your Mind" (the chorus of which quoted George Clinton) all went Top Ten pop, sending the album to multi-platinum status. En Vogue were in the Top Ten again in 1993, backing Salt-N-Pepa on their hit "Whatta Man." The group's third album took a few more years to materialize. In the meantime, they took part in the recording of "Freedom" for the Panther soundtrack and appeared in Batman Forever. Ellis released the solo album Southern Gal. "Don't Let Go (Love)," a song they contributed to the Set It Off soundtrack, became a number two single in early 1997. That June, the group released EV3, titled in reference to its place in their discography and the absence of Robinson, who left during the album sessions and went on to join Lucy Pearl. Like Funky Divas, EV3 peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200. "Whatever" and "Too Long, Too Gone" gave them their tenth and 11th Top 40 pop hits. The Best of En Vogue closed out the decade in 1999. Album four, Masterpiece Theater, was released in 2000. Only one single, "Riddle," was out before the plug was pulled on its promotion. En Vogue were informed after an interview that they had been dropped by their label. Jones departed to take care of her family and was replaced in 2001 by Amanda Cole. Another anthology, The Very Best of En Vogue, was out by the end of the year. In 2002, En Vogue returned with a contribution to the Deliver Us from Eva soundtrack and their first Christmas album, The Gift of Christmas, released quietly on an independent label. Cole left the group in the middle of 2003 for a solo career. That September, the group reappeared for a small European tour with Jones temporarily in place of Herron (who had just given birth) and Rhona Bennett as a new member. Bennett, Ellis, and Herron released Soul Flower in 2004. The next several years were marked by numerous lineup changes, false starts, occasional performances, and legal battles over contractual obligations and the group's name. The lineup that made Soul Flower returned in 2018 with Electric Café. Foster and McElroy, Raphael Saadiq, and Ne-Yo were among the collaborators. ~ Andy Kellman & Steve Huey
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)
  3.   Free Your Mind
  4.   Giving Him Something He Can Feel
  5.   Don't Let Go (Love)
  6.   I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  7.   Hold On
  8.   Don't Go
  9.   My Christmas
  10.   What Child Is This? (Prayer)
  11.   Give It Up, Turn It Loose
  12.   Silent Night
  13.   Lies
  14.   Whatever
  15.   Yesterday
  16.   Eyes of a Child
  17.   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  18.   Runaway Love
  19.   Reach 4 Me
  20.   Too Gone, Too Long
  21.   Work It Out
  22.   Does Anybody Hear Me
  23.   No Fool No More
  24.   Déjà Vu
  25.   Love Makes You Do Thangs
  26.   Waitin' on You
  27.   Hip Hop Lover
  28.   O Holy Night
  29.   Oceans Deep
  30.   I'm Good
  31.   You Don't Know Me (Like That)
  32.   Oh Holy Night
  33.   Merry Christmas, Baby
  34.   Snowy Nights
  35.   Jingle Bells
  36.   Number One Man
  37.   Those Dogs
  38.   Beat of Love
  39.   Sad But True
  40.   Love U Crazay
  41.   Riddle
  42.   Someday My Prince Will Come/One Song
  43.   Let It Flow
  44.   You're All I Need
  45.   Damn I Wanna Be Your Lover
  46.   Thanks (Prayer)
  47.   Love Don't Love You
  48.   This Is Your Life
  49.   Desire
  50.   What Is Love
  51.   You Don't Have to Worry
  52.   Strange
  53.   Time Goes On
  54.   Hooked on Your Love
  55.   Rocket
  56.   This Christmas
  57.   Oh Christmas Tree Greeting
  58.   Party
  59.   Have A Seat
  60.   Life
  61.   Have a Seat by Snoop Dogg
  62.   I'll Cry Later
  63.   What's Her Face by Molly
  64.   With My Honey
  65.   Suite Outro
  66.   Whatever Will Be Will Be
  67.   Love Won't Take Me Out
  68.   Suite Intro
  69.   No No No (Can't Come Back)
  70.   I Want a Monster to Be My Friend
  71.   What a Diff'rence a Day Makes
  72.   Sitting by Heaven's Door
  73.   Right Direction
  74.   It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings
  75.   Just Can't Stay Away
  76.   Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
  77.   Latin Soul
  78.   That's What Christmas Means to Me
  79.   Part of Me
  80.   Luv My Thangz
  81.   So Serious
  82.   Electric Café
  83.   Blue Skies
  84.   Emotions
  85.   Falling in Love
  86.   Luv Lines
  87.   Expiration Day
  88.   A Thousand Times
  89.   Love the Way
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