2 cents per album

En Vogue is my favorite girl group of all time but 2 cents messed them up. More on that later…

En Vogue combined beauty with great singing; every lady in the group could (and did) sing lead. They had many hits, including “Hold On,” “My “Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Free Your Mind,” “Runaway Love,” “Whatever,” and “Don’t Let Go (Love).” Albums like “Born To Sing” and “Funky Divas” were successful, selling millions of copies around the world. So why are the original four members no longer singing together? It comes down to money.

2 cents
Cindy, Dawn, Maxine, and Terry

En Vogue was all over TV, radio and magazines in the 1990s, but the ladies weren’t making tons of money.

It has been said that the ladies each got 2 cents per album sold.

That meant if their album sold a million copies, they made $20,000. You’d think they’d all be millionaires, but that didn’t happen. The producers and the record label got the majority of the money.

Dawn Robinson, the funkiest of the funky divas, did not like how she and the ladies were doing all the work, yet reaping little reward. So she spoke up when others in the group wouldn’t. From what I’ve read (which may or may not be accurate) Cindy was scared of being sued and Terry was dating one of the producers, at the time, so they didn’t want to rock the boat. Dawn eventually decided to leave the group, leaving EV a trio for an album or two. Later on, two other ladies filled Dawn’s spot, and eventually Maxine Jones left the group a couple times, so Cindy and Terry kept the group going ever since the late 1990s, and still tour together, albeit NOT with Max and Dawn. Yes, the original four have gotten together and done some concerts in the past decade, but that was/is a rare thing. Max and Dawn attempted to do a singing group called “Heirs to the Throne,” but that didn’t work out as hoped. Most recently, Dawn was one of the “R&B Divas: LA” on TV One, an 8-episode series that ran this summer. On the show, she discussed how she wishes she could have a baby (she never has had a child) and tried to be peaceful, poised, and positive.

Wouldn’t you agree that making 2 cents per album sold is not right? If you were a plumber and you made 2 cents per plumbing job, you’d no longer be a plumber. If you were a school teacher and made 2 cents a day, you could not live on that. It’s too bad that the powers-that-be did not properly compensate the ladies of En Vogue because their 4-part harmony is unmatched in modern pop/R&B music. –Mark Weber

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