For most of us it started with the hit song – ‘Hold on.’
…and those stunning little black dresses. I never realised how little black dresses could light up a stage until ‘Hold on’ and I’m not getting into the lyrics just yet.
I didn’t rest until I got a pretty little skin tight black dress that popped of my own.
We began to understand the importance of owning a pretty little black dress (LBD), not because cosmopolitan magazine said so but because of En vogue.
We didn’t quite grasp the concept of the LBD before.
That’s just a fragment of the impact En vogue had on the world.
Still on ‘Hold on.’ – En vogue’s famous high pitched Michael Jackson intro acapella sounded like an angel choir pulling at our heart strings and it sent shivers up our spines.
Those nightingales made you stop whatever you were doing and listen.
It would be an understatement to say that En vogue took the world by storm.
They owned it. Within a heartbeat.
Their music became a religion to every true Pop, R&B and Soul music lover out there.
We had been for waiting this dazzling group of women with talented voices and sophisticated moves carried out with such apt finesse, ease and confidence
En vogue’s level of sophistication and confidence was unprecedented!
Anyone watching them understood they had come to take on the world.
1990 to 1996 was the year En vogue held the world to ransome with lyrics like ‘Hold on’, ‘My lovin’, ‘Free your mind’, ‘Givin him something he can feel’, and the legendary hit ‘Don’t let go’ that was the sound track to the blockbuster movie ‘Set it off.’
Hit after hit after hit. keeping us spell bound with their sultry moves, sultry voices, and fiery feisty lyrics that told off and stood up to men all over the world.
It was just what the relationship doctor had prescribed for our generation at the time.
This pop sensation took no nonsense and they meant business.
Some people still call them the best looking, best sounding female group of all time.
Their confident feminine exuberance was contagious as they wagged their fingers at men while they shimmied in shiny short flared dresses singing unapologetically with melodious voices that rivalled like mythical creatures called sirens, while simultaneously giving Tina Turner a run for her money in the hot legs department.
The female liberation movement was subconsciously taken up a notch higher.
And then, sadly, En vogue wasn’t heard of for a while again.
But in 1999 to the delight of En vogue fans they released a new album – EV3 that lifted our spirits all over again.
The heat was on again for the entire male race who shat in their pants as the ‘funky divas’ screamed ‘Did you ever think I’d take you back? (‘Too long, too gone’) and smashed cars and pulled cheating men out of jacuzzis in amazing super hero outfits ‘ (riddle)
(It was so good to see them back on the music scene that some fans didn’t mind or notice that one of the group members was missing.)
It was such an exciting time…and then silence again…
…Then confusion as fans realised that one of the group members – Dawn Robinson had broken off from the group and had joined another group called Lucy Pearl…and then silence…and then hope..and then we realised that this time they were ‘too gone too long.’
And our dreams of soaring through life brandishing these amazing En vogue songs like shields and swords were dashed.
So for consolation we turned to a rising female group called ‘Destiny’s child’.
What the hell could have gone wrong with En vogue and where are they now?
Little did we know that while we were enjoying, singing and dancing to En vogues amazing hits, the hard working divas were working hard to keep the group and their livelihood while struggling with problems with their record label.
Part of the group felt they needed to earn more pay for their efforts and were being short changed while some other group members felt they should keep going and just keep singing for their supper.
This conflict divided the group and was the beginning of the end of the group En vogue as we once knew it.
A few of the group members made a go at solo careers that didn’t exactly take off.
Fans and even En vogue members agree that if they had stuck together the group would have soared to inimaginable heights as of today.
I guess not all great things are meant to last.
Die hard En vogue fans are still keeping their fingers crossed and hopeful of a group réconciliation and yet another come back.
Today En vogue currently consists of two old group members – Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron along with one new band member – Rhona Bennett.
They sing mostly their old songs at shows but they say a new album is in the works.
Dawn Robinson of the group En vogue has often been blamed for splitting up this great group that the world loved so much.
But Robinson insists that the record labels are giants that they tried to fight for more profits but couldn’t and this was the major reason for the fall out. Most of the other band members also agree that behind the music scenes the public have no idea what musicians often go through and that it is actually a very ugly cut throat industry to be in.
Former Miss California hopeful Cindy Herron took a break from touring with En Vogue in 2004, but is still very much part of the group. Since 1994, she has been married to former professional baseball player Glenn Bragg, with whom she has four children. She had a couple of acting gigs along the way – ‘Juice’ with the late Tupac Shakur, ‘Batman forever’ and she performed as Deena Jones in the stage version of dream girls.
En Vogue’s Dawn Robinson seemed primed for a successful solo career when she left En Vogue in 1997, but her 2002 debut Dawn failed to pick up steam due to a lack of promotion. Robinson returned to the group off and on over a number of years, most recently departing the group in 2011.
Native Texan Terry Ellis is the one singer to remain with En Vogue consistently since its founding in 1988. Ellis released her solo debut Southern Exposure in 1995, finding moderate success with the singles “Where Ever You Are” and “What Did I Do To You?” She’s best friends with actress Holly Robinson Peete.
Maxine Jones bounced from En Vogue in 2001 to spend more time with her daughter, Maya. By late 2004, the former hairdresser had returned to the group. When she’s not touring with Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis, Jones lives with her family in Charlottesville, Virginia.