They can sing, they can dance and they count Britney Spears among their growing group of fans. World, meet G.R.L.
You may not know it, but you've probably heard G.R.L. on the radio already. Their collaboration with Pitbull, "Wild Wild Love," spent 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and their debut single, "Vacation," earned them a spot on the Smurfs 2 soundtrack alongside artists like Spears, Owl City and Nelly Furtado.
With a resurgence of girl groups in the music industry, G.R.L. finds themselves in good company. Little Mix and Fifth Harmony are just two of their peers on the scene, but don't expect any boy band-like feuds from the ladies.
"There's room for everyone so we're really into all the girl groups that are out right now," G.R.L.'s Natasha Slayton tells ET. "The more that you can stick together with the girls and represent support and not be jealous of each other, between us and other girl groups, I think it’s a really positive message," adds Simone Battle.
Don't believe them? Check out this photo of G.R.L. and Little Mix hanging out backstage at a recent show.
"They were really sweet!" G.R.L.'s Paula van Oppen gushes. "We took pictures we got to hang out. We talked about wardrobe and all the dramas of being in a girl group."
Let's rewind: If this is the first you're hearing of G.R.L., allow us to fill you in on the basics. The quintet was formed by Pussycat Dolls mastermind Robin Antin and is managed by Larry Rudolph, who has successfully navigated the careers of both Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus (no big deal, right?). They have a decidedly pop sound (working with hitmakers Dr. Luke and Max Martin) and, unlike Nicole Scherzinger and the PCD, they share the spotlight equally. They're signed to RCA's Kemosabe Records and you'll definitely want to hear their latest single "Ugly Heart" -- check out the deliciously fun music video below.
So how is G.R.L. different from their girl group contemporaries? For starters, these ladies come from all over the world.
"We’re kind of international," says van Oppen. "It's fitting we came out with Mr. Worldwide [Pitbull], but we have Canadians and Brits and Americans."
Adds Lauren Bennet, the group's resident Brit: "There's different flavors in here. There are other girl groups that share the lead, but we also share the lead as well as being very individual. We all have our own thing going on."
But when all five ladies come together, there is most certainly a common theme: girl power.
"'G.R.L.' -- we took out the 'I' -- it’s basically short for girl, [but] we give it a new meaning," says Battle. "A girl isn't just a young female, it's a strong minded and a strong willed individual. It really represents the bond that we have because we’re all strong individuals and we come together and unite as one girl. We want to spread the word of that love and that unity amongst all girls across the board."
This reporter had a blast getting to know G.R.L. -- and they were kind (read: patient) enough to give me a step-by-step run through of the "Ugly Heart" choregraphy. Let's just say I'm going to have to keep practicing...
Get the scoop on G.R.L. in the video above, and please try not to laugh too hard at my lack of dance skills.
What do you think of “Ugly Heart”? Tweet us using the #ETNow and be sure to check out G.R.L.'s brand new EP, out now.
Follow Sophie on Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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