It’s always a shame when a popular and successful group break up. When the ORIGINAL EnVogue split in the nineties, I felt betrayed! I wondered why a group of sistahs who seemed so in tune, in more ways than one with one another, would go through an ugly breakup.
Terry, Cindy, Maxine, and Dawn made up the group that was one of the hottest girl groups in the 90s with chart-topping hits like “Hold On”, “Lies”, and my fave, “Don’t Go”! These women could blow; it’s like their vocal pipes were made of happiness and potpourri! They were like four Beyonces and ALL of them could sing lead!
In the video clip you’re about to watch, you’ll be taken back to the days when BET was fun to watch. Before ‘106 & Park’, ‘Video Soul’ was the premier video countdown show to watch. Every music artist you can think of sat on ‘Video Soul’ couch, including EnVogue.
Watching the video, you’d think nothing would break these women up. They appeared to be drama free and full of promise!
Maxine and Dawn VS. Cindy and Terry
After the group’s split which was reportedly the result of management issues, a legal war started for the group’s name! Cindy and Terry, who reportedly owned the name EnVogue, sued Dawn and Maxine for stealing the EnVogue name and started another group. They even toured under the name, but Cindy and Terry said NOPE!
The judge sided with Terry and Cindy. Dawn and Maxine…well….
“It’s been difficult,” Maxine tells Juicy Magazine. “… and it’s been difficult mainly because I feel like all the years I spent there and what I helped to build – you know, 30 million records sold – and what my input…and to just have nothing to show for it. For a long time…it’s been two-and-a-half, going onthree years now since this whole thing happened, but I was mostly angry for most of that time. It’s not until this year really that I totally embraced the idea of putting it behind me and starting out on my own and starting from scratch. Before that, my mind was in the mode that I’m still in a group, I’m not giving up, I’m going to get some more girls, and I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to be in this En Vogue too. I am a third, I own a third, [and I] own a right to use the name too. That’s how it was originally – that trademark has my name on it too in the Library of Congress. My name is on that trademark, and so that was the thing. It was a big deal to me to first of all, to be forced out, and then my intellectual property to be taken away from me. It just really, honestly, pissed me off.”
As for Dawn…
Q: Why did En Vogue really break up?
Being a part of one of the most successful female groups of all-time was a beautiful experience and the camaraderie we shared was awesome. Unfortunately, due to business not being handled properly, I decided to leave. We didn’t have proper management in place.
Q: Describe your situation in Lucy Pearl and how did the group come together?
A: Few people know, I’ve known Raphael Saadiq since I was 16. We both hail from the bay area and we used to perform in local clubs where Raphael played bass and I sang. After I left En Vogue, Raphael came to me with a splendid idea, he wanted to form a trio. We developed the concept, likeness and sound for a group, (together), and we named the group ‘Lucy Pearl.’ During this time, I was on the verge of signing a 7-year, 7 album solo deal with RCA Records and I asked a music executive at the label-can I still sign with you as a solo artist and still do Lucy Pearl because Lucy Pearl is only a one off? He said, no. So I sacrificed my solo project to join Lucy Pearl. It was the right decision because the R&B division at RCA folded a few months later and several artists were left without a contract. At first, the project was exciting. Unfortunately, like En Vogue, lack of good business and the fact we had no manager, contributed to me leaving Lucy Pearl. Before we went on tour in the UK, I lost my house because of-lack of pay. Read more of Dawn’s interview at Panache Report
EnVogue now consists of a trio, Cindy Herron, Terry Ellis, and Rhona Bennett, who had a recurring role as “Nicole” on ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’.
This goes to show that all good groups must come to an end….unless they’re managed properly. Not discrediting Rhona’s talent or the success EnVogue has now, but just like The Temptations, there’s something special about the dynamic of the ORIGINAL members.