Their music was a blend of pop/rock and R&B -- especially doo wop and smooth uptown soul -- that appealed to listeners across the board, before Motown ever became a crossover phenomenon with white audiences. Even if the Shirelles weren't technically the first of their kind, their success was unprecedented, paving the way for legions of imitators; their inviting musical blueprint had an enduring influence not just on their immediate followers, but on future generations of female pop singers, who often updated the style with a more modern sensibility. What was more, they provided a few of the earliest hits for important Brill Building songwriters like Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, and Van McCoy. [+]
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