January 30, 1961: The Shirelles Became the First African-American Girl Group to Have a No. 1 Song

Way before I was born and maybe my parents. This group made history. 

On January 30, 1961, The Shirelles became the first African-American girl group to have a No. 1 hit song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” Comprised of four teenagers – Shirley Owens, Beverly Lee, Addie “Micki” Harris, and Doris Coley – their popularity with both white and black audiences was viewed by many as an early success for the Civil Rights movement. Moreover, The Shirelles’ chart-topping success paved the way for an influx of girl groups that would help define the 1960s music sound.


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