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4 Non Blondes

  • 🇺🇸 San Francisco, CA
  • Years Active
    1989 - 1994
San Francisco-based alternative rock band 4 Non Blondes scored one of the most divisive hits of the 1990s with the anthemic "What's Up?," the first in a series of pop smashes written by the group's frontwoman, Linda Perry.

Perry was recruited to join 4 Non Blondes by the group's founders, guitarist Shaunna Hall, bassist Christa Hillhouse and drummer Wanda Day. The band of brunettes built a dedicated lesbian following by playing San Francisco's queer haunts, and after opening for Primus at a 1991 music industry showcase, 4 Non Blondes signed with Interscope Records to cut their first and only LP, Bigger, Better, Faster, More!, recorded with new guitarist Roger Rocha (installed after producer David Tickle insisted on Hall's dismissal) and drummer Dawn Richardson (hired to replace the drug-addled Day).

"What's Up?," produced by an uncredited Perry after tensions with Tickle reached a boil, conquered MTV and climbed to number 14 in Billboard despite widespread scorn. "What's Up?" fared even better internationally, topping the charts in multiple European countries. Perry struggled to repeat its success, however, and she dissolved 4 Non Blondes in 1994. Ascending pop star P!nk - a fan of 4 Non Blondes during her teenage years - encouraged Perry to turn to a career in songwriting, and in response she penned "Get This Party Started," which would become P!nk's first worldwide hit. From there, Perry struck chart success again with Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," nominated for Song of the Year at the 2004 Grammys.

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