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En Vogue Biography

Home > Music > E > En Vogue > Biography

Birth Place: Oakland, California, United States
Years Active: 1989–present
Genres: R&B, Soul, Pop

En Vogue is an American female R&B vocal group from Oakland, California assembled by music producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy. Original members included Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson and Terry Ellis.

After forming, the group began working with their producers on their debut album. Recording began in August 1989 and wrapped up in December of the same year. “Born to Sing” was released in April 1990. The album charted at #21 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #3 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. The first single, "Hold On," was released to radio in late February 1990 and became a crossover pop hit, reaching #2 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles charts, and #1 on both the R&B singles and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts. It later went to #5 in the UK, and became a hit in Europe. The next two singles, "Lies" and "You Don't Have to Worry," each went to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts, while the fourth and final single, "Don't Go," charted at #3 on the Billboard R&B. The album was later certified platinum by the RIAA. "Hold On" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

En Vogue's second album, “Funky Divas,” was released in the spring of 1992. The album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard R&B and ultimately doubled the take of its predecessor, going multi-platinum. The album’s first two singles, "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" and "Giving Him Something He Can Feel" both went Top 10 Pop, and peaked at #1 on the R&B charts. The next single, "Free Your Mind" also went Top 10. The final two singles "Give It Up Turn It Loose" and "Love Don't Love You" both were Top 40 hits. The album went on to sell more than three million copies, and was nominated for five Grammy Awards.

In 1993, En Vogue were featured vocalists on Salt-N-Pepa's top ten hit "Whatta Man," from Salt-N-Pepa's “Very Necessary” album. En Vogue reunited in 1996 to record "Don't Let Go (Love)" for the soundtrack to the motion picture “Set It Off.” Released in the autumn, it became the group's biggest hit to date, peaking at #2 on the Hot 100, #1 on the R&B Singles chart, and was certified platinum by the RIAA. It would also be the final En Vogue single to feature group member Dawn Robinson.

In response to the large commercial success of "Don't Let Go (Love)," the group steadfastly went to work on its third album. As the album was nearing completion, Robinson chose to leave the group in April 1997 after difficult contractual negotiations reached a stalemate. Despite Robinson's abrupt departure, En Vogue resolved to continue on as a trio.

“EV3,” the group's third album, was released in the spring and debuted at #8 on both the Billboard 200 Albums and the Billboard R&B Albums charts. The first single, the Babyface-penned and produced "Whatever" went on to become a Top 20 pop hit, a Top 10 R&B hit, while also peaking at #5 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The single later went on to be certified gold by the RIAA. The follow up single "Too Gone, Too Long" peaked in the Top 40. The album was certified platinum and nominated for Grammy Award.

In 1998, En Vogue recorded "No Fool No More" for the soundtrack to the motion picture, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love.” The following year, a greatest hits compilation, “The Best of En Vogue,” was released.

“Masterpiece Theatre,” the group's fourth studio album, was released in May 2000. The album debuted at #67 and #33 on the Billboard 200 Albums and R&B Albums charts respectively. The first (and only) single, "Riddle," peaked at #92 and #95 on the Hot 100 and R&B charts.

In 2001, original member Maxine Jones left the group to focus on her family. As a result, Amanda Cole joined the group. Ellis, Herron and Cole released a holiday album, “The Gift of Christmas.” Soon after the holiday album, Cole too left the group and was replaced with Rhona Bennett.

In 2004, En Vogue (now composed of Ellis, Herron and Bennett) released “Soul Flower” on independent label 33rd Street Records. While the album failed to chart on the Billboard 200, it managed to peak at #47 on the R&B charts. The albums two singles, "Losin' My Mind" and "Ooh Boy," however, failed to chart. Soon after promotion had finished on this album, Maxine Jones returned to En Vogue, turning the group back into a quartet for the first time since 1996.

In 2005, after an eight-year absence, Dawn Robinson rejoined En Vogue. They earned another Grammy nomination for the single "So What the Fuss," which featured Stevie Wonder and Prince.

The group has won more MTV Video Music Awards than any other female group in MTV history, a total of seven, along with four Soul Train Awards, six American Music Awards, and seven Grammy nominations. According to Billboard Magazine they were the 18th most successful act of the 1990s, and one of the most popular and successful female groups of all time.