The Supremes reigned, well, supreme in the 1960s, and today they remain one of the most iconic girl groups (and musical acts, period) ever to grace the music industry.

Considered one of Motown Records’ crown jewels, The Supremes were one of the most commercially successful groups of their time, scoring an impressive 12 No. 1 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Listed at No. 26 on Billboard’s Greatest Artists of All-Time, The Supremes have been inducted into several notable institutions over the years, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

Original members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Betty McGlown’s initial chart success and rise to fame came at a pivotal time in the U.S., when Black artists had a difficult time breaking into the mainstream. The Supremes helped pave the way, opening doors and ushering in a new era of representation in popular music.

Listen to The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On":

While the quartet-turned-trio’s musical legacy has resonated through the decades, with the torch passing between generations of girl groups, one modern girl group is the clear heir to The Supreme’s throne: Little Mix.

With their exceptional vocals, staggering sales figures and undeniable impact on pop culture, U.K. act Little Mix have earned their status as the best girl group since The Supremes. Here’s why.

Vocals: Harmonies that Soar

When it comes to vocal prowess, Little Mix are in a league of their own. Each member — Jade, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jesy,who left the group in December 2020 — brings a unique tone and style to the table, blending seamlessly to create pop-perfect harmonies.

From powerful belting to delicate runs, Little Mix is consistently versatile. Jesy goes from a soft spoken part to an all-out belt on “Secret Love Song,” while Perrie dips into her falsetto before transitioning to a high belt during the climax of “Shout Out to My Ex,” proving the group can do it all.

Much like The Supremes, whose tight harmonies defined an era, Little Mix's vocal chemistry is unparalleled in contemporary pop  just watch their 2017 performance of “Love on the Brain” from the Honda Stage, or their 2017 performance of “Wings” at Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester benefit concert, or them harmonizing in Japanese on The Graham Norton Show in 2018.

Whether live on stage or in the studio, Little Mix deliver vocal performances that leave audiences captivated and craving more.

Watch Little Mix Perform "Love on the Brain":

Sales: Breaking Records, Setting Standards

When it comes to commercial success, Little Mix have shattered records and set new standards for girl groups worldwide. In 2021, they became the first girl group to have three or more albums reach one billion streams on Spotify, and in 2021 they became the first girl group to spend a total of 100 weeks in the Top 10 on the U.K. singles chart.

With multiple platinum albums and hit singles topping charts across the globe, Little Mix’s sales figures speak volumes about their popularity and staying power, rivaling and surpassing other girl groups. For example, their 2016 album Glory Days was the fastest-selling album from a girl group since Destiny's Child’s Survivor in 2001, and the album also achieved the highest first week sales for a girl group since 1997’s Spiceworld.

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Additionally, Glory Days spent five weeks at No. 1 in the U.K., achieving the longest run in the position since Spice Girls’ Spice in 1996. And in 2023, Little Mix became the second best-selling girl group when they sold over 75 million records, tying them with The Supremes.

From arenas to streaming platforms, Little Mix command a loyal fanbase that eagerly consumes their music and merchandise.

Impact: Redefining Girl Power for a New Generation

Perhaps the most significant aspect of Little Mix’s legacy is their impact on pop culture. The group’s influence extends beyond just album sales; they've become cultural icons, inspiring countless fans with their message of empowerment and self-love.

Much like The Supremes were pioneers for Black women in the 1960s, Little Mix have been at the forefront of redefining girl power for a new generation ever since their formation in 2011. Through their music, they champion messages of confidence, resilience and inclusivity, empowering fans of all ages to embrace their individuality and celebrate their strengths.

Little Mix have also been vocal about their allyship toward the queer community. They’ve held up Pride flags up at their concerts before singing “Secret Love Song,” which has been embraced by their LGBTQIA+ fans, and their song “Power” includes lyrics that address sexism (“You're the man, but I got the, I got the, I got the power...”) alongside a music video featuring drag queens. In 2018, the track even became the first official theme song for the WWE’s Women’s Royal Rumble.

Whether speaking out against societal pressures or advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, Little Mix use their platform to effect positive change in the world — a legacy that will endure long after their final encore.

Watch Little Mix's "Power" Music Video:

Barrier-Breaking Women in Music

To celebrate these pioneers, Stacker used data from primary news sources to compile a list of 50 women who broke barriers in the music industry. Many of these names are well-known; but are you familiar with know about one of the first Indian singers who won over crowds in North America? What about the rock star who opened up doors for hip-hop icons? Or the pop star who became an owner of a professional football team?

Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman

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