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 eponymous 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 five Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards . [9]


1989–91: Formation and Wilson Phillips

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 . 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. [3] 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. [4] The single also won Wilson Phillips the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year for 1990. [5] 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.

In 1991, they contributed a recording 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. [7] 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 . [8]

1992–1993: Shadows and Light and break up

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.

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 titled, Carnie! . [5] In 1997, Carnie and Wendy, along with their father Brian Wilson , released The Wilsons and the single "Monday Without You." [3] Capitol Records released the compilation 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.

2004: First reunion

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. [9]

2010–present: Second reunion

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). [9] [9] [9] 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. [9]

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. [9] The trio appeared in their own reality show, Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On , which debuted on TV Guide Network in April 2012. [9] In 2015, Wilson Phillips contributed backup vocals to the song FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna , Kanye West and Paul McCartney for Rihanna's eighth studio album. [9]

In July 2016, Wilson Phillips reunited and performed on ABC's Greatest Hits . [9] In 2017, the group performed on the season finale of NBC's The New Celebrity Apprentice . [3]


Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
( sales thresholds )
Wilson Phillips 2 7 10 7 27 19 16 16 1
Shadows and Light
  • Released: June 2, 1992
  • Label: SBK Records
4 6 19 30 20 34 3 18 8
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 3 1 16 6 15 Wilson Phillips
" Release Me " 1 1 36 57 1 1 14 18
  • US: Gold
" Impulsive " 4 2 42 1 1 31 28 30
1991 " You're in Love " 1 1 29 3 1 32
"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 1 3 61 46 11 Shadows and Light
" Give It Up " 30 12 36 16 11
"Flesh and Blood" 115 17 33 12 51
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")