G.R.L. is a girl group formed by Robin Antin. The group consists of members Lauren Bennett and Natasha Slayton. Past members included Simone Battle, who committed suicide, Emmalyn Estrada, and Paula van Oppen.

The original line-up consisted of Slayton, Bennett, Estrada, Van Oppen, and Simone Battle. They made their debut appearance on the Smurfs 2 soundtrack with "Vacation". They would go on to appear on Pitbull's internationally successful track "Wild Wild Love" which peaked in the top-40 in the United States, top-10 in the United Kingdom, and was certified platinum by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Their second single "Ugly Heart" gained international success shortly after the sudden passing of member Simone Battle. Leaving the group as a quartet, this inspired the group to release the mildy successful promo-single "Lighthouse" in memory of Battle. The group disbanded shortly after its release, on June 2, 2015.

As of June 18, 2016, it has been confirmed by Antin that the group will be reforming, with plans to release a new single sometime during the summer.


2011–12: Background and line-up changes

In March 2011, Antin began holding auditions to find new girls to replace the departed members of The Pussycat Dolls.[2] The new line-up made their debut on February 5, 2012, during the Super Bowl, as part of GoDaddy’s annual TV commercials, appearing with Danica Patrick. "The look of the commercial is not necessarily the new look of the group this time around," said Robin Antin, adding, "It's breathtakingly beautiful. It's a fun, real-campy kind of sexy. It's all of that, but again, what we're doing for this next life of the Pussycat Dolls, the girls are all young. It's a fresh, young energy."[3] An official picture taken from the ad showed five members: Lauren Bennett, Paula van Oppen, Vanessa Curry, Chrystina Sayers, and Erica Kiehl Jenkins.[4][5]

On 13 April 2012, it was announced that Chrystina Sayers was no longer a part of the new line-up.[6] In July 2012, the line-up was announced consisting of Bennett and Van Oppen, with new members Natalie Mejia, Amanda Branche, and Natasha Slayton, thus confirming Jenkins' withdrawal from the group.[7] In August 2012, publicity photos showed the 'new' line-up including Simone Battle (from Season one of The X Factor USA) replacing Branche.[8] In November 2012, it was revealed, through the hiring of Emmalyn Estrada, that Mejia was no longer part of the group, thus creating the official lineup of G.R.L.[9] Mejia announced that she was expecting her first child with her husband, and due to her situation she made a choice to not continue with the group.[10]

2013–14: Mainstream success, G.R.L. and Battle's death

"There's different flavors in here. There are other girl groups that share the lead, but we also share the lead as well as being very individual. We all have our own thing going on. We took out the 'I' -- it’s basically short for girl, [but] we give it a new meaning. A girl isn't just a young female, it's a strong minded and a strong willed individual. It really represents the bond that we have because we’re all strong individuals and we come together and unite as one girl."

— G.R.L, on being transcendent of the typical girl group.[3]

In February 2013, Antin officially announced that the girls will be making their debut as a brand-new group with a different name instead of replacing the departed members of the Pussycat Dolls.[12] The group was officially unveiled at Chateau Marmont in April.[12] On June 16, the group released their debut single, "Vacation", which was included on the soundtrack for the animated movie The Smurfs 2 as a B-side to Britney Spears' "Ooh La La".[13] The song made its official debut on a national chart on the South Korea Gaon International Chart at number ninety-seven.[14] On September 10, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York, the group began a month long promotional tour partnered with Claire's and Westfield Malls meeting fans, visiting radio stations, and performing at select locations.[5] The group's collaboration with rapper Pitbull on the lead single, "Wild Wild Love" off his album Globalization, became successful internationally.[16] The single peaked at number thirty on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, selling 767,000 copies in the U.S. as of March 2015.[16] The song made the top ten in Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, Norway, United Kingdom, including certified platinum in Australia and Canada.[17]

Not long after their formation they announced they had begun recording for their debut studio album, with songwriters and record producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Cirkut, Darkchild, and Lukas Hilbert.[18] However, the album was scrapped in favor of a self-titled EP instead. The lead single off the EP, "Ugly Heart", debuted in the ARIA Singles Chart at forty-one, before peaking in the top ten at number 2, becoming the group's most successful single to date, being certified 4× platinum by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).[19][20] The song peaked at number ten on The Australian 2014 Year End charts, certifying platinum.[3] The track reached a peak position of number 3 on the Official New Zealand Music Chart.[3]

On 5 September 2014, Battle was found dead in her West Hollywood home.[23][3] Los Angeles County Coroner's Lieutenant Fred Corral ruled the death a suicide, following an autopsy.[3] The next day, the group released a statement via Twitter, saying, "Words cannot express the depth of our loss. Simone's incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart."[3] In a following tweet, they said "We will carry her memory with us in everything we do."[3]

2015: "Lighthouse", G.R.L. Gives an Hour and hiatus

The group released their first single since Battle's death, "Lighthouse".[3] Along with the single, the group announced a new campaign with called G.R.L. Gives an Hour, which was dedicated to raise awareness about mental health issues in America.[3] G.R.L. Gives an Hour later became an associate campaign of Michelle Obama's .[3] "Lighthouse" peaked at number thirty on the ARIA Singles Chart in Australia, number eighteen on the New Zealand singles chart, number 55 on the UK Singles Chart, number 35 on the sales-only based version of the chart and at number 24 on the Scottish Singles Chart.[4][4][4][4]

On 10 March 2015, it was revealed by the band during their performance on Australian breakfast television program Sunrise while in Hawaii that they would be the opening act for Meghan Trainor on the Australian leg of her That Bass Tour where they performed on April 27 and April 30.[37][4]

The group officially disbanded on 2 June 2015 through a joint statement from RCA Records, Kemosabe Records, Larry Rudolph, and Robin Antin, stating "Nearly 9 months following the tragic death of band member Simone Battle, girl group G.R.L. announces today that they are disbanding. We wish them continued success in each of their next creative endeavors." [39][40][41]

2016: Reformation and Upcoming projects

In June, the group's new rep, Matt Wynter, stated that the girls are back via Loco Talent's . G.R.L.'s new single is expected to be released in the summer.[4]

In September 2016, the newly reformed G.R.L. will headline the Australian music festival Nickelodeon Slimefest.[5]


Current members
Former members