I grew up in the 90’s a time where boy bands and girl bands ruled the world. And for so long I just assumed it would stay that way…but I was so wrong. While I was focusing on girl power (and boy power) my favorite bands were splitting at the seams with internal issues. Also…whatever happened to a ton of promising pop starlets that we were bopping our heads to in hopes of a new album? Even One Direction and Fifth Harmony couldn’t keep their group members together these days—did past bands ever really have any hope?
In this piece, I am exploring some of our favorite girl bands and female artists that literally just disappeared without a word. There are so many, yet some of them have recently resurfaced thanks to the rise of social media. While some of these ladies have tried and failed to back to their musical roots, but others surprisingly shifted gears and decided to focus on other businesses rather than the music industry.
This will be a fun (and heartbreaking) look back at some of our previously favorite people who pretty much faded away without so much as a word or even a courtesy warning. The gnawing feeling in my gut discussing this is probably from feeling as if I was robbed of talent I actually enjoyed.
16 Where Did The Pussy Cat Dolls Go?
The Pussycat Dolls were one of the most well-known girl groups of the 2000’s. They topped the charts with super sexy and fun dance songs. I remember hopping around playing them on my iPod thinking how cool they all were. Plus, they always put on the best performances. Hello, these girls always did really cool kicks and flips all over the place.
Their last big domination was back in 2008 after a 3-year hiatus. We thought that with their return, we were safe and entertained. However, Nicole Scherzinger was busy getting all of the attention and glory. There were rumors that the other girls were jealous of this, understandably. It wasn’t soon before Nicole came out with her own hit singles, but she struggled to get any solid album sales on her own.
15 Remember Not To "Mess With" Nivea's Man?
Nivea was a promising R&B artist. Don’t you remember her single “Don’t Mess with My Man”? We were all singing to it at some point whether we genuinely like it, or just because it was on the radio so often. Either way, it was the perfect hit song to bump Nivea to the top of our radar. And we also can’t forget her epic song “Laundromat” that had a very random yet cute music video to accompany it.
Unfortunately, the rest of her music went nowhere in 2001. But she came back briefly in 2005 after marrying epic record producer, The-Dream. We finally thought her producer hubby would push her music to the top again. But their marriage was quickly over, and so was any thread of a possible comeback.
14 Pop Princess Willa Went Nowhere
Willa Ford was said to be the new Brittney Spears in 2001. And for a while there, we believed all of the hype. Her single “I Wanna Be Bad” was super catchy inspired many day dreams of myself creating a similar, hot music video. She was a model turned singer who left us hanging for her next album.
Willa’s fame lasted the lifespan of her first single. Nothing else she made was catching. She put an end to her singing career after her second album flopped. Now you can spot her in a few movies like 2009’s Friday the 13th, 2016’s Hunt for Truth, and more. Yeah, I never watched any of those movies either. In fact, she hasn’t filmed any major hits either. Maybe it just wasn’t in her destiny to have incredible success.
13 Did Paula DeAnda "Walk Away"?
Paula DeAnda made amazing headway with her first album, Paula DeAnda. In 2006 she was a hit releasing queen. Her first couple of singles, “Doing Too Much” and “Walk Away” were instant hits. So where did she go?
Well, she signed. Seven-album deal with Arista Records. She left Arista when they shelved the option for her third album. She took to the internet to release a few singles, but nothing clicked with listeners. Paula even appeared on Season 6 of the voice with Blake Shelton as her coach. But she didn’t last very long on the show either. In 2015 she launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new music project and got the money in just a couple of weeks. Paula DeAnda still tours in the US, but none of her music has gone viral as of yet.
12 Our Original Emo Girl, Vitamin C
Everyone tragically remembers Vitamin C for her song “Graduation”. In fact, it was my own graduation song…for middle school. Yup, that’s how far back we are going. Just as her music was capturing our hearts, she jumped on the acting bandwagon as well.
She appeared in Dracula 2000, Scary Movie 2, and Get Over It, all within a couple of years. Graduation came out in 1999, and Matel released a Vitamin C doll in 2000—if that doesn’t mean you made it, I don’t know what does. She continued writing and creating music until 2001 when she disappeared for a while. It wasn’t until 2012 that we realized our favorite original emo girl was now the VP of Music at Nickelodeon. Vitamin C now spends her days behind a desk rather than in the studio.
11 Mya Is Constantly Resurfacing
Mya is one of the artists that we just keep hearing endless rumors of a return with no actual conclusion. The artist herself records and posts dance rehearsals and song snippets on her Instagram account. She made a name for herself in 1998 by impressing us with her vocals from her debut album. Then in 2002 she came back in the epic “Lady Marmalade” video and song with Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Lil’ Kim.
In 2003 she released her third album, which went gold. But she went on to create two albums for the Japanese market in 2008 and 2011. Later Mya appeared on Dancing with Stars, sparking rumors of her return to America. She starred in a few movies, but nothing major. In September she recently announced her upcoming album, “Ready for Whatever”, but never gave us a date. We will have to wait and see.
10 Nelly Furtado "Turned Off The Lights" On Her Career
Nelly Furtado was a household name at some point in the mid 2000’s. She pushed hit after hit from ballads to epic dance music. In 2008 she was on top of the world with her bestselling album, “Loose”, doing so well. However, Nelly wanted to spend her time with her next album focusing on the Spanish market with her Spanish album, “Mi Plan”.
Soon after, she went on to form her own independent record label. Since, she has lent her voice to many artists in some successful features. But as Nelly changed up her musical stylings, her fans didn’t follow and it was like she was debuting in a whole new genre over and over again. She released a single late last year, but we’ve barely heard a peep out of her since.
9 3LW Went Their Separate Ways And Went Away
Oh my gosh, you can’t ignore the success 3LW had in the early 200’s which eventually landed group members Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams gigs as the notorious Cheetah Girls from the Disney franchise. I was too old for the Disney channel, and even I totally indulged in the Cheetah Girl movies.
In 2002 Jessica Benson left the group, and Naturi Naughton joined the dup instead. The group toured with Destiney’s Child, Dream, Nelly, and Jessica Simpson. When Jessica left, Adrienne and Kiely jokingly called themselves 2LW until Naturi joined them. Their third album was delayed because of the girl’s partnership with the Cheetah Girls. During this time the girls disbanned, and Adrienne claimed she wanted to pursue a solo career. Kiely followed her lead as well. Adrienne is now on The Real, Kiely has a web series, and Naturi stars in the show Power.
8 Keri Hilson Would Rather Focus On Acting
Keri Hilson started her career as a backup vocalist when she was 14. But we remember her from hit singles “The Way I Are”, “Knock You Down”, and “Pretty Girl Rock”. She’s had two hit albums, but Keri was just not content only keeping to the music business. She took a 5-year hiatus from her music.
In 2012 she made her acting debut in the comedy, Think Like a Man. She then appeared in the movie Riddick. In 2015 she came out with her third album, “L.I.A.R.”. However, Keri has repeated that she is now concentrating on her acting career. It seems that the microphone just isn’t enough for her to have a happy career. She’s made various appearances in series, and it currently working on some new acting projects.
7 Danity Kane Was Way Too Much Drama
The rise and fall of Danity Kane is all too familiar thanks to reality tv and Diddy’s Making the Band. For it’s fourth installment Diddy had Danity Kane compete with equally loveable boy band Day 26, who he pinned against one another. There was a lot of drama seeing as they all shared a mansion together. The ladies of Danity Kane hit their first album out of the park, gaining tons of popularity, but there were rumors that egos got in the way—specifically that of Aubrey O’Day who was a wild card, and D. Woods who Diddy personally preferred to work with professionally in production.
O’Day was too risqué in Diddy’s opinion and wasn’t asked to return to Making the Band. The group tried to get back together behind Diddy’s back, but D. Woods felt loyal to Diddy. The girls disbanded a second time.
6 Girls Aloud Focused On Cheryl Cole First
If you’ve never heard of Girls Aloud, but have herd of Cheryl Cole, then there’s your problem. Girls Aloud was a sensational English-Irish girl pop group. Like recent girl groups, they were created through a music reality TV show. They won various awards before their first disbandment in 2009. They came back in 2012 very briefly, for their hits tour.
But they announced they were officially splitting for good on this tour. Ever since, the media has kept it’s eye on Cheryl Cole, one of the vocalists of the group. She appeared on the British version of the X Factor. Girls Aloud is still looked at a very successful girl band, but no other member debuted a solo album yet. There’s rumors that Cheryl has been dating a former contestant and One Direction member.
5 There Were Too Many 'Stars' For One Pop Group In The Spice Girls
Thought there were many pop groups in the 90’s, the Spice Girls are looked at as starting it all. Their franchise was incredibly successful leading to not only selling albums but marketing branded candy, Barbies, movies, and so much more. Every little girl wanted to be a Spice Girl. In 2000, however, at the top of the world it seemed, they announced they were going on hiatus to pursue different opportunities.
All of them reunited in 2007, and again in 2010, but it was brief. Separately, they all struggled. The only successful one at the moment is Victoria Beckham, who is a major part of the fashion elite and recently debuted a namesake makeup line as well. Can you name what any of the other members are up to recently?
4 Joss Stone's Fame Lasted One Album
English soul and R&B artist, Joss Stone, captured our hearts in 2003 with her single “Super Duper Love”. She left us wondering who the young woman with the incredible vocals was. Her first two albums “the Soul Sessions” and “Mind Body & Soul” both went multi-platinum. In 2007 while presenting an award, Joss had seemed to have lost her British accent, confusing us all. She lashed out at media for criticizing her, and all talks of her third album faded for a while.
It didn’t do well after its release despite having big names like Common involved. In 2008 she went on to focus on her acting career which didn’t really kick of either. In 2011 it was revealed that police arrested two men plotting to rob and murder Joss Stone. The singer was shaken, but continued to distribute her music in Asia. We haven’t heard from her since.
3 Leona Lewis Completely Vanished After Three Albums
Leona Lewis was the winner of Britain’s the X Factor, and she had us intrigued from the start. Her debut album went 10 times platinum. Who can forget “Bleeding Love”? She signed a five-album contract with J Records, but managed to release four, one being a Christmas album. In 2014 she announced that she would be starring in a musical in the UK.
This was also the year it was officially announced that she was parting ways with her record label and mentor Simon Cowell. In 2015 she reappeared with a YouTube studio session, but has since left her solo music career to work on Broadway. Her last tour ways in 2016, but this year we haven’t heard a peep from Leona. What is she planning next?
2 Sinead O'Connor Literally Went Missing in 2016
Irish singer and songwriter, Sinead O’ Connor’s, claim to fame was her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”, which some have said was better than the original. Now we recognize her as an activist for women’s rights who used to sing ‘that song’. She’s had ten solo albums since them…can you name any of them? Don’t feel bac, neither could I. She’s been in the industry since the 80’s but has a much larger audience worldwide.
She’s been open about mental illness and her own issues and struggles. But in March of 2016 it was reported that the singer when missing in Chicago, IL. She went for a bike ride, and never came back. However, while she was missing, she posted a long, confusing message on Facebook which worried fans. Thankfully she came back the next day, safe and sound.
1 Amerie Rocked The Charts And Then Went Away
Amerie released “1 Thing” in 2005, and we couldn’t stop dancing to it. It was an immediate hit. She was acting alongside Katie Holmes in First Daughter in 2004. Feeling on top of the world, she took her producer hat off and decided to fight for her solo release.
She’s released seven different albums, yet we haven’t heard of one except for “Touch”, which featured hit song “1 Thing”. In 2016 she announced she would be releasing an EP. She’s had some background success with releasing albums on SoundCloud, but her popularity with the masses hasn’t gone too far. Thankfully, she’s had quite a bit of her own die-hard fans who still follow her career. But we are still waiting for another popular dance single from Amerie.