The first Sunday of every August marks National Sisters Day, an occasion to show appreciation to your sister (that is, if you have one). While the music world boasts some famous brothers — the Gallaghers, the Butlers, the Halens — there has also been a number of talented sisters. Whether they’re performing in a band together or finding success individually, below are 14 of music’s best sisters.
Tegan and Sara
Canadian pop duo, and identical twins, Tegan and Sara have been making music since they were 15. Both Tegan and Sara write and contribute songs individually to their band and have recently co-written songs on Heartthrob (2013) and this year’s Love You To Death. On the latter, Sara wrote two songs about her relationship with Tegan, also new ground of sorts. She told CBC Music earlier this year: “It definitely feels like a new theme or a new space to write from but I also hesitate to make it completely about a sibling relationship because I think those are emotions and experiences that a lot of people have in romantic or parental relationships.”
The Wainwright Sisters
Last year, half-sisters Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche teamed up for the first time on an album called Songs in the Dark under the moniker the Wainwright Sisters. Together, they recorded a collection of songs, from lullabies to country classics; they both grew up listening to songs like Townes Van Zandt’s “Our Mother the Mountain” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “El Condor Pasa (If I Could).” The Wainwrights have a big musical family tree, including Rufus Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, and another songwriting sister duo, Anna and Kate McGarrigle.
First Aid Kit
Swedish sister folk duo First Aid Kit formed in 2007 and have released three full-length albums in that short amount of time. They first garnered attention on YouTube in 2008 with a gorgeous cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song,” which has now amassed over four million views online.
Beyoncé and Solange
Beyoncé and Solange have both forged successful careers in pop and R&B over the past two decades. In 2003, both sisters released their debut solo albums, Solange with Solo Star and Beyoncé with Dangerously in Love. Since then, the two have gone on to grow their brands to include work in film, fashion, entertainment companies (Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment) and record labels (Solange’s Saint Records).
Chloe x Halle
Speaking of Beyoncé, in 2013, Parkwood Entertainment signed sister duo Chloe x Halle after the two went viral with their rendition of the pop star’s song, “Pretty Hurts.” This year, the Atlanta, Ga., natives put out their first EP under Queen Bey’s label entitled Sugar Symphony.
Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart)
Rock band Heart has gone through dozens of band member changes over the years, but has always centered around sister duo Ann and Nancy Wilson (ever since Nancy joined in 1974). Outside of the band, both Ann and Nancy have released solo records and Nancy has also composed music for films such as Vanilla Sky and Almost Famous.
Martie Maguire and Emily Robison (Dixie Chicks)
Sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison have been performing together as the Dixie Chicks, alongside Natalie Maines, since 1989. The two also perform as a duo called Court Yard Hounds. In 2014, they signed their first publishing deal with Big Deal Music.
Alana, Este and Danielle Haim were encouraged at a young age to play music, forming a family band with their parents called Rockinhaim. Together, they performed covers at local events, but eventually the sisters broke off on their own. After short stints performing in a teen pop group (Danielle and Este) and touring with the likes of Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablancas (both Danielle), the three sisters got together to form Haim and went on to release the highly acclaimed 2013 record, Days Are Gone. The band is currently performing a number of selected festival dates and is rumoured to release new music soon.
Wendy and Carnie Wilson (Wilson Phillips)
Wendy and Carnie Wilson have been performing together in Wilson Phillips, with Chynna Phillips, since 1989. Among performances with Wilson Phillips, Wendy has released a number of solo efforts while Carnie has made many television appearances including a brief hosting stint on a new version of The Newlywed Game, starring on her own reality TV show and occasionally filling in as a guest host on the CBS talk show, The Talk.
Best known as the backing singers for Toronto band Austra, Sari and Romy Lightman have also been releasing music as a sister duo since 2008. Originally named Ghost Bees, the sisters have since changed their artist name to Tasseomancy. Last year, they released an album entitled Palm Wine Revisited.
British folk trio the Staves are made up of sisters Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor. They were originally called the Staveley-Taylors but later simplified their name to just the Staves. They’ve put out two albums over the past four years and earlier this year, they joined Bon Iver’s live band for a number of tour dates.
Psychedelic folk duo CocoRosie is made up of sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady. The name of the band comes from nicknames that each of them received from their mother when they were young, Bianca being named “Coco” and Sierra “Rosie.” After losing touch with each other for a brief period of time, Bianca and Sierra met up in Paris in 2003 to start writing music together. Between 2004 and 2015, CocoRosie has put out six records including last year’s Heartache City.
Les Soeurs Boulay
As you can tell by the name of the group, Les Soeurs Boulay is a folk duo consisting of Stéphanie and Mélanie Boulay. They released their debut album, Le poids des confettis in 2013. That same year, they were nominated for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize as well as longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.
Kim and Kelley Deal (The Breeders)
A few years after alt-rock band the Breeders formed, Kim Deal’s twin sister Kelley joined the band. Outside of the Breeders, Kim Deal is best known as the former bassist of the Pixies while Kelley played in a number of other bands such as The Kelley Deal 6000, The Last Hard Men and most recently, R. Ring.