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Wilson Phillips
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Pop, Adult contemporary
Occupations singers
Instruments vocals
Years active 1989–1993
Chynna Phillips
Carnie Wilson
Wendy Wilson

Wilson Phillips is an American vocal group consisting of Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips.

Their 1990 self-titled debut album sold over 10 million copies worldwide, and scored three number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 making the trio, at the time, the best-selling female group of all 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

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 while attending the Sylvia Herpelscheiemer Academy of Performance Art. 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, while Phillips' parents are John Phillips 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 #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 9, 1990, bumping Madonna's "Vogue" off the top spot. The single was also #1 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary and became a worldwide hit, peaking at #2 in Australia, #6 in the UK, #7 in Ireland, #10 in Sweden, and at #15 in the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. The single also won Wilson Phillips the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year for 1990.

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 #4 and #12, respectively, on the Hot 100.[2]

In 1992, Wilson Phillips also made rock history as Billboard declared their debut album the best selling album of all time by an all female group, peaking at #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, breaking the previous record set by The Supremes.

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 #20 in the US and #18 in the UK, the first time they had a higher-ranking single in the UK than in the US. The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum.

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


During the next decade, the group went their 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 entitled, Carnie!.[3] In 1997, Carnie and Wendy, along with their father, Brian Wilson released The Wilsons and the single, "Monday Without You".[4]

A Greatest Hits album was released 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.


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 #13 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The album debuted at #35 on the charts with 31,000 copies sold.

In New Zealand, the album was a surprise hit, reaching the top 100 and amassing gold sales after "Go Your Own Way" topped the country's adult contemporary radio chart for several weeks.[5]


In November 2008, Wilson Phillips reunited on stage for two shows in California. The shows were not publicized heavily, but were very well received by the audiences. Songs from a new album to be released in 2010 were performed. 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 Beach Boys and ABBA classics.


Wilson Phillips discography
Studio albums 3
Compilation albums 3
Singles 12
No. 1 Singles (Overall) 3

Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions[6] Certifications
(sales threshold)
1990 Wilson Phillips
  • Released: May 8, 1990
  • Label: SBK
2 7 7 27 19 16 16 1
1992 Shadows and Light
  • Released: June 2, 1992
  • Label: SBK
4 6 30 20 34 3 18 8
  • US: Platinum[7]
  • CAN: 2× Platinum[8]
2004 California
  • Released: May 25, 2004
  • Label: Columbia
35 197
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums

Year Album details
1998 The Best of Wilson Phillips
  • Released: May 26, 1998
  • Label: Amw
2000 Greatest Hits
  • Released: May 23, 2000
  • Label: Capitol
2005 The Best of Wilson Phillips
  • Released: August 2, 2005
  • Label: Capitol


Year Single Peak chart positions[9] Album
1990 "Hold On" 1 1 6 2 15 3 1 Wilson Phillips
"Release Me" 1 1 36 57 1 1
"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"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

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 Duo Or Group
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")


External links

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