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Wilson Phillips

Wilson Phillips
Wilson Phillips at Cerritos Performing Arts Center, Cerritos, California, August 2011
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Pop rock
Years active 1989–1993, 2004–present
Labels SBK, Columbia, Sony
Associated acts The Honeys
Website .com.wilsonphillipsmusicwww
Members Chynna Phillips
Carnie Wilson
Wendy Wilson

Wilson Phillips is an American vocal group consisting of Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips, the daughters, respectively, of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.

Their 1990 self-titled debut album sold over 10 million copies worldwide and placed three number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, making the trio the best-selling female group at the time. In 1990, the group won the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year for "Hold On," and in addition was nominated for four Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Chart success 2
  • Hiatus (1993–2003) 3
  • Reunion in 2004 4
  • 2008 to present 5
  • Discography 6
    • Studio albums 6.1
    • Compilation albums 6.2
    • Singles 6.3
    • Other charted songs 6.4
  • Awards and nominations 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

The Wilson sisters and Phillips grew up together in Southern California in the 1970s and 1980s. The three shared a love of music and songwriting, and developed their own style of vocal harmonies. In 1989, the trio signed with SBK Records.

The group is also known for being the offspring of prominent musicians; the Wilsons are the daughters of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys, while Phillips is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.

Chart success

Wilson Phillips released their debut album, Wilson Phillips, in 1990. Their debut single, "Hold On," hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 9, 1990, bumping Madonna's "Vogue" off the top spot.[2] The single was also No. 1 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary and became a worldwide hit, peaking at No. 2 in Australia, No. 6 in the UK, No. 7 in Ireland, No. 10 in Sweden, and at No. 15 in the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland.[3] The single also won Wilson Phillips the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year for 1990.[4]

The second and fourth singles from the album also became number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100: "Release Me" (2 weeks) and "You're in Love" (1-week). The singles "Impulsive" and "The Dream Is Still Alive", peaked at No. 4 and No. 12, respectively, on the Hot 100.[5]

In 1991, they contributed a cover of "Daniel" to the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin. While not released as a single, it peaked at No. 7 in the US Adult Contemporary chart due to strong radio airplay. They also released the song "You're in Love" the same year, which scored as the no. 1 (and, to date, their last top 10) pop single.[6]

In 1992, Wilson Phillips also made history as Billboard declared their debut album the best selling album of all time by an all female group, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and selling over 5 million copies in the US and over 10 million copies worldwide, which also made Wilson Phillips, at the time, the best selling female group of all time for a single album, breaking the previous record set by The Supremes.[7]

In June 1992, Wilson Phillips released their second album, Shadows and Light. The album was deeply personal and adopted a more serious tone, with tracks exploring issues such as child abuse ("Where Are You") and their estrangement from their fathers ("Flesh and Blood", "All the Way From New York"). The first single, "You Won't See Me Cry" peaked at No. 20 in the US and No. 18 in the UK, the first time they had a higher-ranking single in the UK than in the US. The album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in the US, and double platinum in Canada.

Shortly after the release of Shadows and Light in 1992, Chynna Phillips announced plans for a solo career, and the group decided to disband.[8]

Hiatus (1993–2003)

During the next decade, the group went separate ways. In 1993, Wendy and Carnie Wilson released the Christmas holiday themed album, Hey Santa!, a collection of classic holiday themes with an original song (the title track). In 1995, Chynna Phillips released a solo album, Naked and Sacred. The same year, Carnie went on to host her own short-lived syndicated television talk show titled, Carnie!.[9] In 1997, Carnie and Wendy, along with their father Brian Wilson, released The Wilsons and the single "Monday Without You."[10]

Wilson Phillips released the album Greatest Hits in 2000, although the group did not officially reunite for the release. On March 29, 2001, they reunited to perform the Beach Boys' song "You're So Good to Me" at a tribute show to Brian Wilson held at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Chynna Phillips dedicated the performance to her own father John Phillips, who had died a few days earlier.

Reunion in 2004

Wilson Phillips reunited in 2004 to release California, an album of cover songs. A single, "Go Your Own Way," a song originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac, peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The album debuted at No. 35 on the Billboard 200 chart with 31,000 copies sold in its first week of release.

In New Zealand, the album was a surprise hit, reaching the top 10 and amassing gold sales after "Go Your Own Way" topped the country's adult contemporary radio chart for several weeks.[11]

2008 to present

In November 2008, Wilson Phillips reunited on stage for two shows in California. These 90-minute shows were the longest the group have ever performed and featured tracks from throughout their career, as well as some covers of songs by ABBA and Beach Boys.

On October 12, 2010, Wilson Phillips released a new Christmas album, Christmas in Harmony. The album yielded a single, "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday," a cover of the popular seasonal tune that first was a hit in 1973 for English glam-rock band Wizzard.

The band appeared in a cameo and performed "Hold On" in the film Bridesmaids (2011).[12][13][14]

Bandmember Chynna Phillips was a contestant on Season 13 of ABC's Dancing With the Stars and explained that "Hold On" was written by her and bandmates Carnie and Wendy Wilson about Phillips' recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Phillips was eliminated after week 4.[15]

On March 20, 2012, the group appeared on QVC to promote their release Dedicated (2012), a new studio album composed of covers of songs by both The Beach Boys and The Mamas and the Papas. On April 3, 2012, the group released Dedicated, which peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 chart.[16]

The trio appeared in their own reality show, Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On, which debuted on TV Guide Network in April 2012.[17]

In 2015, Wilson Phillips contributed backup vocals to the song FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney for Rihanna's eighth studio album.[18]


Wilson Phillips discography
Studio albums 5
Compilation albums 2
Singles 13
No. 1 Singles (Overall) 3

Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Wilson Phillips 2 7 10 7 27 19 16 16 1
  • US: 5× Multi-Platinum[20]
  • CAN: 7× Platinum[21]
Shadows and Light
  • Released: June 2, 1992
  • Label: SBK Records
4 6 19 30 20 34 3 18 8
  • US: Platinum[20]
  • CAN: 2× Platinum[21]
California 35 197 9
Christmas in Harmony 135
  • Release: April 3, 2012
  • Label: Sony Masterworks
  • US: 60,000 + copies sold
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums

Title Details
The Best of Wilson Phillips
Greatest Hits


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
1990 "Hold On" 1 1 6 2 15 3 1
  • US: Gold[24]
Wilson Phillips
"Release Me" 1 1 36 57 1 1
  • US: Gold[24]
"Impulsive" 4 2 42 30 1 1
1991 "You're in Love" 1 1 29 3 1
"The Dream Is Still Alive" 12 4 11 4
"Daniel" 7 26 7 Two Rooms
1992 "You Won't See Me Cry" 20 4 18 31 11 1 3 Shadows and Light
"Give It Up" 30 12 36 16 11
"Flesh and Blood" 115 17 33 12
2004 "Go Your Own Way" 13 California
"Already Gone"
"Get Together"
2012 "Good Vibrations" 25 Dedicated
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other charted songs

Year Single Peak positions Album
2010 "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" 22 Christmas in Harmony
"Little Drummer Boy" 13
"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" 14

Awards and nominations

Year Award
1990 Billboard Music Award Win for Hot 100 Single of the Year ("Hold On")
1990 Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year ("Hold On")
1990 Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year (Wilson Phillips)
1990 Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist
1990 Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group ("Hold On")
1990 American Music Award nomination for Favorite Single – Pop / Rock ("Hold On")
1990 American Music Award nomination for Favorite New Artist – Pop / Rock
1991 Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group ("You're in Love")


  1. ^ "33rd Annual Grammy Awards – 1991". Rock on the Net. February 20, 1991. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  2. ^ "What's The Most Common Hot 100 Song Title? (Updated)". 21 November 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Album artist Wilson Philips". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1990 - Billboard Year End Charts". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Billboard Chart History
  6. ^ "Wilson Phillips Gets Third No. 1". Orlando Sentinel. 19 April 1991. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Billboard 1995. Billboard. 1995. p. 8. 
  8. ^ Betts, Graham (2005). Complete UK Hit Albums 1956-2005. Harper Collins. p. 447.  
  9. ^ IMDb credits for Carnie Wilson
  10. ^ "". January 1, 2004. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  11. ^ "Wilson Phillips | Music Videos, Songs, News, Photos, and Lyrics". MTV. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  12. ^ "Wilson Phillips Gets New Boost from 'Bridesmaids' Movie". Billboard. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "How 'Bridesmaids' Landed '90s Girl Group Wilson Phillips". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Wilson Phillips Talk ‘Dedicated,’ Their New Reality Show, ‘Bridesmaids’ + More". MTV Buzzworthy. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Chynna Phillips Voted Off ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in Week Four of Season 13". ABC News. October 11, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Wilson Phillips Chart History Billboard 200".  
  17. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (January 14, 2012). "Bridesmaids Scene-Stealers Wilson Phillips Launch Reality Show for TV Guide Network". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (March 31, 2015). "'"Wilson Phillips' Carnie Wilson Dishes On Singing Backup Vocals for Rihanna's 'FourFiveSeconds. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Wilson Phillips Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200".  
  20. ^ a b "RIAA Gold & Platinum – Wilson Phillips albums".  
  21. ^ a b "CRIA Searchable Database".  
  22. ^ "Wilson Phillips Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100".  
  23. ^ a b "Wilson Phillips Album & Song Chart History – Adult Contemporary".  
  24. ^ a b "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – December 8, 2010: Wilson Phillips certified singles".  

External links

  • Official website
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