List of vocal groups

A vocal group in the music industry is a group of singers who sing and harmonize together with a backup band. Although it should be considered that all the groups that has a member(s) in charge of the vocals should be considered vocal groups (including rock bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones), many listeners assume that a vocal group is a musical ensemble that has most, or all, of its members not playing any instrument in recording or live performances, like many R&B/soul acts (specially Motown ones), easy listening groups and boy bands. Also, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame is counted as an important factor to categorize groups as vocal ones.

There are different cases. For example, the Beach Boys are featured as a playing band, but their heavy use of session and touring musicians made them known by some as a vocal group. In parts, it is the same case of the Bee Gees, the Association, the Jackson Five, etc.

In other words, while some group members of the bands reported above may play their own instruments (e.g. Carl Wilson, of the Beach Boys, and Maurice Gibb, of the Bee Gees), it is uncommon in favor of outside musicians. Groups that play their own instruments are generally categorized as bands instead of vocal groups

Sometimes, a vocal group is also a backing group to a lead singer, like the Miracles to Smokey Robinson, the actual Four Seasons to Frankie Valli and The Famous Flames to James Brown.

Some of the best-known of these groups include One Direction, the Four Tops, the Platters, the Drifters, the Temptations, the Four Seasons, the Marvelettes, the Commodores, the Impressions, the Jackson 5, the Manhattan Transfer, The Miracles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, James Brown & the Famous Flames, the Lettermen, Martha and the Vandellas, the Chi-Lites, the Dramatics, the Delfonics, the Pointer Sisters, the O'Jays, the Supremes, the Beach Boys, Dion and the Belmonts, the Midnighters, Boyz II Men, the Spinners, the Dells, the Stylistics, the Mamas & the Papas, the Bee Gees and Little Anthony and the Imperials.


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